3 out of 5 stars (Average)
Thank you to Cher Culver PR for reaching out to me for this review. Bleeding Audio premiered at the 2021 Slamdance Film Festival.
I remember many things growing up in the 2000’s. The sound of neighborhood kids playing outside in the cul-de-sac, being super bummed that I couldn’t see The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and the radio being full of punk rock music. Simple Plan, Blink-182, Smash Mouth, and more dominated the airwaves and film soundtracks of my youth, some of which I still rock out to today. However, until the documentary Bleeding Audio, I had missed the boat on a small but beloved band known as The Matches. Thanks to the doc, I and many others can see their story and come away knowing a bit more about the music industry as a bonus.
Through interviews, concert footage, and candid images, we trace the rise and fall of The Matches, an Oakland-based punk rock band who dreamed of going from indie darlings to big label stars. As they grew their fanbase and rubbed elbows with some of music’s biggest producers, they faced unexpected pressures from extensive touring, studio execs, and a rapidly-shifting musical landscape that would challenge each in different ways.
Bleeding Audio is a rockin good time. Through The Matches’ story, we see lesser-discussed aspects of the music industry such as how much money a band actually makes, the stress of the studio system, and how the unexpected emergence of free online music impacted both them and the industry at large. The guys’ collective determination and work ethic is inspiring, as is the community they built around their fans that still rides strong today. While some of the guys feel underexplored in the grand scheme, the overall package is engaging and will bring more attention to the realities of rockstardom. Bleeding Audio serves as both a love letter to Matches fans and a wide open introduction to newcomers that rocks the house. See it.
Likely Rated R for Language