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X — The Unheard Music: Silver Edition Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English LPCM 2.0 Stereo (48kHz/16-bit), English Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: N/A
  • Region: A (Region-Free)
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Run Time: 84 Mins
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: MVD Visual
  • Blu-ray Release Date: December 13, 2011
  • List Price: $19.95

Purchase X: The Unheard Music on Blu-ray at CD Universe

X: The Unheard Music

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are only are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:4.5/5]

Dark, poetic, edgy, powerful, energetic – these are just some of the words that can be used to describe the L.A. punk band X that sprang from the underground music scene in the late Seventies to record some of the most important and artistically meaningful albums of the 1980s. Much like the true spawners of the genre, bands such as The Velvet Underground and The Stooges more than a decade earlier, X’s music dealt with the forgotten America of drug abuse, rape, murder, death; the dark underbelly that was never seen in the sunny L.A. of postcards and Reagan-era America.

X: The Unheard Music, an independent film, was five years in the making and followed the band during their peak. It is a rough look into the world of these often unsung heroes of “art music” that debuted at Sundance Film Festival 25 years ago now and is still equally as powerful as it was then, mostly due to the enduring quality of the music of X.

The film succeeds in capturing the raw energy of the live performances of the band taken from their four early classic albums, Los Angeles, Wild Gift, Under the Big Black Sun, and More Fun in the New World, and is a must for punk fans.

Track list:

  • Los Angeles
  • The Hungry Wolf
  • Year One
  • Riding With Mary
  • We’re Desperate
  • Because I Do
  • Beyond and Back
  • Come Back to Me
  • Soul Kitchen
  • White Girl
  • The Once Over Twice
  • Motel Room in My Bed
  • The Unheard Music
  • Real Child of Hell
  • Johnny Hit & Run Paulene
  • I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts
  • The World’s a Mess; It’s in my Kiss
  • The Have Nots

Video Quality

[Rating:3/5]

X: The Unheard Music is never going to look great. This is low budget, 16mm, independent, grungy, rock and roll filmmaking at its best. This new 1080p AVC transfer doesn’t make for great HD material, and never will, but it is probably as good as this is going to get. Source damage is relatively tempered but still visible, grain is coarse and there is some noise visible on occasion.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

As The Unheard Music opens we are prompted to “play this film loud,” unfortunately the mastering engineers took this a bit too seriously for the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix on this release, because it is pushed to the max, to the point where you can hear digital clipping during the musical performances and a definite absence of dynamic range. Everything seems out of balance and boomy. Fortunately we are rescued by a sane LPCM 2.0 (48kHz/16-bit) offering that is more balanced, shows more dynamics, a good stereo spread and great punchiness. Stick with the PCM 2.0.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

More great stuff here for X fans to get into, including a new interview with John and Exene, an outtake performance of “Some Other Time” and replica of the original souvenir songbook.

The supplements:

  • John and Exene Dialogue (1.78:1; 1080i/60; 00:18:37) – An interview segment discussing the 25th anniversary of the film and reminiscing on the film itself.
  • Interview with Angel City (1080p/24; 00:15:03) – Archival “making of” interview with the crew from Angel City Productions (circa 1983)
  • Some Other Time (Live Outtake) (1.33:1; 1080p/24, LPCM 2.0 Stereo)
  • Original Theatrical Trailer (1.78:1; 1080p/24)
  • The Unheard Music Songbook – Browse through a replica of the original souvenir songbook.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

25-years later, X: The Unheard Music still rocks just as hard as the band’s music. Something as great as a raw indie film capturing the essence of a classic band never gets old. This is a must for punk and X fans.

Additional Screen Captures

Purchase X: The Unheard Music on Blu-ray at CD Universe

X: The Unheard Music

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:4.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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