Rock Docs: Another State of Mind (1984) - Reviewed

There are some stories that become more and more iconic as they age. You watch them unfold and several things go through your mind. “How could they do all this?” “Where did they get the balls to do this?” These are some of the questions I still ask upon every viewing I do of Another State of Mind, and I still walk away with the questions unanswered, but a stronger appreciation of the DIY movement that I have supported and been a part of myself for three decades now. The DIY movement, when it comes to punk rock, has spawned some of the greatest bands to come from the genre, three of which are the focal points of
Another State of Mind: Youth Brigade, Social Distortion, and Minor Threat.

Another State of Mind focuses around Youth Brigade and Social Distortion going out on their first national tour in 1982 and all the hijinks that happen along with such a daring adventure spawned by the three Stern Brothers (Adam, Mark, and Shawn) comprising Youth Brigade. Early on in Another State of Mind you get the feeling that things are going to be wild and you will not be mistaken. Another State of Mind is a wild and bumpy jaunt into (at the time) the true counter culture in America. There is a lot of education to be picked up in the linings of Another State of Mind from Shawn Stearns commentary and throughout the film, explaining Punk Rock through it culture and beliefs. Who would have thought this very core of ideas would carry on strong to present day as I am typing this.

Another State of Mind, though it is a documentary, will pull you in emotionally with its protagonists, while it unintentionally paints a picture of each player and how they are responding to the events that are happening all around them. We get to see some of the legends (Mike Ness and Ian Mackaye) literally at the ground floor of their careers. “Damn, they look so young, goes through my head over and over every time I watch this film.”

Another State of Mind is a gritty and smart and while some of the production suffers from being a victim of its own environment, the point is made. This is essential viewing for any punk fan or non-punk fan alike.

Share his review.

-Scott W. Lambert