Released: 2004, Metal Mind Productions
Reviewer: Michael De Los Muertos
I confess I’m not too familiar with Acid Drinkers, and when I first saw this DVD I assumed they were a punk band. Thankfully I was wrong, and this DVD makes me ashamed I haven’t heard of them before! Acid Drinkers are very much a metal band, and this DVD shows that, despite relative obscurity, they’ve enjoyed a long, varied and evidently fun career.
Acid Drinkers was formed in Poznan, Poland in 1989 (although a previous incarnation existed before that time) and has put out an astonishing 14 albums, most on Metal Mind Productions: ARE YOU A REBEL?, DIRTY MONEY, DIRTY TRICKS, STRIP TEASE, VILE VICIOUS VISION, FISHDICK, INFERNAL CONNECTION, THE STATE OF MIND REPORT, HIGH PROOF COSMIC MILK, VARRAN STRIKES BACK—ALIVE!!!, AMAZING ATOMIC ACTIVITY, BROKEN HEAD, ACIDOFILIA, and MAXIMUM OVERLOAD. With this incredible back catalog, it makes total sense that it’s time for a DVD. Capitalizing on their reputation as being (as their press material claims) the most popular metal band in Poland of the 1990s, they’ve culled together two live performances, the first in Krakow in 1998 and the second from the same city three years earlier. What they’ve come up with is a highly energetic viewing experience that serves as a very positive introduction to this band for metal fans who might not be familiar with them.
Acid Drinkers’ style is pretty traditional. They’re standard thrash metal, though they have a slightly “dirtier” and more modern sound than most of the thrash metal bands that came out of the 80s. The riffs are snappy and crunchy, the vocals are very standard shouting, and their songs are all pretty predictable. Nonetheless, this band has a lot of energy on stage, and their fans go nuts. The first concert on the disc is considerably more subdued than the second, although even in the first go-round the band puts some energy into songs such as “Joker” and “Drug Dealer.” The second concert (Krakow, 1995) is where things really come alive on this disc. It’s obvious Acid Drinkers has loyal fans with their original stuff, but the concerts really begin to cook when they do covers, and there are several represented here—“Am I Evil,” “Ace of Spades,” “Smoke on the Water,” and even some non-metal stuff such as “Proud Mary” and “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.” (!) Clearly they’re a crowd-pleasing band, and as legions of beer-soaked Polish metalheads leap on and off stage to “help” them perform, you get the sense that an Acid Drinkers live show is an experience not to be forgotten!
Technically this DVD is very good. Again I think the second concert on the disc is superior to the first one, but at least neither is shot with the “single camera angle” technique and the editing is fairly good, keeping the sequence of angles and views of the band from becoming repetitive. The viewer also gets a very good sense of the audience at these shows. I like to see audience interaction in a live concert video, and 15 SCREWED YEARS has plenty of it. It’s not perfect. Some of the songs, especially on the first concert, tend toward mallcore, and the reaction of the audience (jumping straight up and down, etc.) seems to show that their fan base might be easing away from more traditional metal roots. But overall the DVD is very enjoyable, not boring at all, and definitely worth a look.
Thus, I think 15 SCREWED YEARS is a good investment both for existing fans of Acid Drinkers, and also for metalheads who might not know them yet. It’ll make a nice collection-rounder if you have some of their material already, but even if you don’t, I think you’ll enjoy this video.