When it comes to music, I tend to be a purist. I have always shied away from the away from the flashy, theatrical elements and artists. I just want to hear the music and watch it performed. However, that is just a preference and preferences should be elastic when it comes to music and art in its entirety. There is a lot to be said about a band laying in full throttle on stage with one hell of a show to behind them. Sometimes it can be more theatre, as is the case with New York’s Peelander-Z.
Having never been a fan of Peelander-Z and never really experiencing them, my interest was sparked from watching the trailer for Mad Tiger. Peelander-Z’s main engine KengoHioki (Peelander Yellow) is the focus of the film. We get what a good rock doc should give a history of the band from the members themselves. But, Mad Tiger has a lot more character and style than your standard “let’s run through the story of this band” format. Mad Tiger is not just about the band's past; it is about the bands present, and future. Mad Tiger is a real tear jerker at times. Well, at least for me, I am a softy. There is something to be said though about being pulled into what is supposed to be a documentary on a band so heavily like I did. That is really what sets Mad Tiger apart.
But with all this praise, I do have some serious issues with this film. While, Mad Tiger is an emotionally gripping experience, a lot of the footage in this “documentary” really seems choreographed to me. I guess it is the constant “do not use this” statements from the band throughout Mad Tiger’s compact 82 minute running time that just seemed to seem so contrived as directors Michael Haertlein and Jonathan Yi snuck in the background behind them to film (or capture audio at least) of conversations deemed private by the band (namely Peelander Yellow).
|This is how I sleep when its daylight|
With all that said, if you want to swallow the pill and take everything that Mad Tiger offers verbatim, it is an enjoyable bird’s eye view into the hard life of a touring band that lovers of The Story of Anvil will appreciate. Just do not expect it to be nearly as uplifting.
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-Scott W. Lambert