Lamest Band I Ever Saw
The Lamest Band I Ever Saw tells the story of the British Punk rock band Ezra Sound.
Before we get into the review, I wanted to let everyone know about our new partnership with FandependentFilms and the new Hashtag #FandependentFriday. Every Friday, we’ll be embedding a new film from Fandependent and helping the filmmaker gain “Fans” so they can be rewarded for their hard work.
Today’s film is the 2016 comedic musical documentary The Lamest Band I Ever Saw directed by Ben Phethean. Featuring Ezra Sound members Seb Pietrovito, Xander Pietrovito, Thom Dinsdale and Josh Greenwood. It is currently being featured for the winter 2017 Fandependent film festival awards.
The Lamest Band I Ever Saw tells the story of the British Punk rock band Ezra Sound from the point of view of Seb Pietrovito, front man and co founder of the band with his brother Xander. Throughout the documentary Seb and the other members of the band tell how they struggle to keep up with their art when they are unsigned to any label and have their day time jobs to pay the bills. Seb goes on to showcase his creative talent outside of the band with his mask making and illustrations but always comes full circle back to wanting to truly make it in the musical world. Over the six month shoot of the documentary a crippling blow is landed to the band when Seb’s brother and co founder Xander is offered a fairly high paying job in New York city and is forced to leave the band causing it’s dissolution and leaving Seb to try to fill his remaining time with something other than his first passion.
I have been a big fan of British Punk music ever since I was a small boy so when I read the description of this documentary I got a little excited. I figured that this would be a tale of struggle and overcoming the odds when the deck is stacked against you and in the process I would hear some tasty licks on a electric guitar unfortunately for me and the band only the latter was true. Real life is hardly ever like you see on the big screen where a struggling artist finally makes it big at the end of the film and goes on to fame and glory, no this is a tale of no matter how passionate you are sometimes things just don’t go your way. I actually am sad to see this band’s end come as the music featured in the film is quite good and it is very clear that each member really cared about their craft despite their busy daytime lives. While only Seb and Xander feature prominently the brief look into their lives and Seb’s thought process in creating their music was a fascinating look behind the curtain of a seemingly glamorous lifestyle, however like another musical documentary I featured (Adult Rappers, which can be found here on Film Fervor) it shows that the reality of the industry is that it is harsh and difficult to make something of yourself.
The Lamest Band I Ever Saw got it’s name from a internet review of a young lady in London who heard the band play their song about MSG and completely trashed them on twitter. I found it truly funny that they would use this negative review about their band to name their documentary after but it just goes to show you what type of guys the members of Ezra sound are. While they were serious about their craft they were a lighthearted bunch who could easily make fun of themselves and never fell into the trap that some musicians get themselves into where they believe their own hype and think they are the greatest. With their lightheartedness, good nature and the raw talent I truly believe if they had been able to stick with it they might have actually made it work but alas it was not to be.
The technical aspects of The Lamest Band I Ever Saw is a bit of a mixed bag. The Cinematography of the film is flawlessly recorded. The picture is always clear and the shots of the band on stage is professionally done. In many films of this nature featuring bands when it comes time to record a play session it is often blurry and handled in a amateurish way with shaky cam effects and darkened pictures as the lights go off but this is not the case here. Even when the house lights dim the picture retains it’s high resolution and is almost movie quality which is a welcome if rare thing in documentaries and really bespoke a high level of talent to the cinematography team.
Where the film takes a little hit however is surprisingly enough in the audio department. First let me say the music is fantastically clear and if you are like me and where headphones while watching a film you almost certainly will go deaf that is how loud it is. You could tell that the band really wanted to showcase their talent in the musical department by making it the forefront of all of their audio mixing skills, where the problem comes in however is the voices. When not singing the voices of the band members are sometimes nearly inaudible as they are apparently using an open air microphone and if they are just a bit far away from the camera or not facing it directly the sound drops off dramatically. Another hit in the audio department is the fact that the open air microphone manages to pick up every sound around them, weather this is the sounds of traffic outside Seb’s apartment or just the ambient hissing of a live audio feed it really takes away from the film. This is an all to common problem in documentaries and I have no idea why as talented a team of recording artists as they are couldn’t simply clear up the artifacts in post production.
While it is always hard to judge a documentary for it’s content if you are not interested in the subject matter, The Lamest Band I Ever Saw is a fascinating look into the struggles of a small time band trying to make it big. If you enjoy Punk music and would like to see what artists who haven’t quite reached the big time go through then this film will be quite educational for you, Not to mention that the members of Ezra Sound are all charming and witty people who will inspire you to try something hard if you are passionate about it. Though it has it’s technical faults at a mere thirteen minutes The Lamest Band I Ever Saw is well worth a glance to any British Punk fan.