Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, DC (1980-1990) takes an in-depth look at the hotbed of hardcore punk activity that occurred in our nation’s capital between 1980 and 1990. It only seems fitting that a genre that is anti-establishment should grow out of the shadows of one of the greatest political cities in the world, Washington, DC.
At the time I was vaguely aware of the punk activity here but never really understood how much influence the bands that rose from the scene actually had on the hardcore genre as a whole. The documentary unfolds through in-depth interviews with legendary acts such as Bad Brains, Minor Threat, Henry Rollins and the owner of label that was at the center of it all, Dischord Records. Along the way there are also performances from Fugazi, Government Issue and Beefeater.
As a casual fan of hardcore punk I found this film to be entertaining and extremely informative, especially with regards to the heart of the genre – the DIY movement. After watching this film I came away with a new appreciation for the bands and those involved in creating and propagating the hardcore genre, one house party at a time and one fan at a time. From how it appears, as chaotic as it all seems, the community of like-minded musicians that was created here was influential in defining the genre.
Fans of the genre will eat this up but, as I mentioned, it is more than entertaining even for the outsider or casual fan.
Run Time: 103 minutes
Release Date: December 19, 2015
Check out the trailer for “Salad Days” here.