Never Get Out Of The Van: The Story of Mustard Plug is an 84-minute documentary that traces the ska-punk pioneers “from their humble roots in the basements, bars and punk clubs of Grand Rapids, Michigan and follows them on a 17 year journey across the world.” Over two hours of bonus material includes audio commentary, deleted scenes, interview outtakes, six music videos, and live footage of nine songs.
The band claims that the DVD chronicles their “meteoric rise to traveling in a van and their subsequent continuation of traveling in said van.”
I love these guys, and it would probably be wrong not to disclose that I’ve been friends with them for years, attending weddings, sharing rounds of Old Style longnecks at Mulligan’s, etc. I’ve already said everything I need to say about this band and the anti-ska snobs who hate everything, but the new album, In Black and White, is the best thing they’ve done since 1997’s Evildoers Beware!
You’re always afraid after a band releases a greatest hits compilation that it’s all downhill from there. Thankfully, that’s not the case this time. They sound re-energized. Colin Clive’s guitars are bigger and badder than ever. Dave Kirchgessner’s vocals and lyrics have a new sense of anger. They’ve got a new drummer (again — what is this, Spinal Tap?) And the horns are actually in tune most of the time! Just kidding, but I know they can take it.
Is it the matching outfits? Can’t be. The Hives wear matching outfits and everybody loves them. So I don’t know.
But I do know that on a Saturday night at the Metro in Chicago, about 1,200 kids were totally getting off on the music of the Planet Smashers and Mustard Plug. These kids were going nuts. It was exhilarating to watch from the relative safety and calm of the balcony with the rest of the people too old or just too exhausted to be involved in the mosh pit that consumed the entire floor.