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The Los Angeles punk music scene circa 1980 is the focus of this film. With Alice Bag Band, Black Flag, Catholic Discipline, Circle Jerks, Fear, Germs, and X.Written by
Rich Swenson <email@example.com>
Everyone who's seen "Decline" knows how great it is. My favorite segments are those featuring Black Flag and Fear, because they're the funniest and the most visceral. Still, all the bands that actually STARTED the Los Angeles punk scene, apart from the Germs, are missing from this film. Where are the Weirdos, the Screamers, the Dils, and the Zeros? The Alice Bag Band is here, but they were better when they were simply the Bags. The Germs' segment is depressing. The very brief glimpses of Catholic Discipline were fascinating and made me wish that this band had at least recorded some demos. As a documentary, "Decline" is flawed...but it's indispensable, too. To find out about the bands this film didn't cover, read "We Got the Neutron Bomb" by Marc Spitz and Brendan Mullen. And to see what was going on in San Francisco right around the same time, get the much shorter (but equally brilliant) documentary "Louder Faster Shorter", directed by Mindaugis Bagdon. This twenty-minute burst of pure punk actually *does* feature the Dils--along with UXA, the Avengers, the Sleepers, and the Mutants.
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