Vid Review: Label Kills

This weekend it rained, so I had no choice but to sit in the pad and download skate vids. Anyway, I’m gonna start out the week with a video review of Label Kills, the latest from Lucero’s hesh crew.

The copy I had doesn’t have any sound- so I can’t review the music, which I’m sure is pretty hesh. So we’re gonna have to go on skating alone here.

I don’t want to say that this is a bad video- it isn’t bad. And I wouldn’t want to say that these are bad skaters- they’re not. But in a testament to how competitve skating has become- this video just ain’ that interesting. Skating is not just about tricks, or clothes, or styles- to be a big baller in the 2k3 you gotta have the whole onion- an elusive combination for sure.

The lineup is:
Jason Adams
Jim Gagne
Mike Vallely
Salman Agah
Matt Hensley
Pro-Mar Hassan
Neal Hendrix
Kristian Svitak
Patrick Melcher (am?)
Jub (am)
Wes Lott (am)
Adam Alfaro (am)
Ben Gilley (am)
Ricky Espinosa (am)
Pat Smith (am)
Jeff Grosso

Obviously this is a big team. The first thing that struck me about this vid was that it’s really a ‘hardcore street’ team- I was expecting a lot more mixed terrain. Ultimately I think this is the demise of the vid- many of these riders just don’t stand out as street dogs. Yeah, Pat Melcher wears a cool hat, and they all seem to fall a lot, but how can anyone get jazzed about a handrail nosegrind when little kids like Paul Rodriguez are doing em’ in their sleep?

Rather than bash the weak points (except Vallely, I’m definietly gonna bash him), I’ll skip to the good stuff:

Jason Adams: I’ve never really seen a full part from ‘The Kid’, but this was what I expected. He seems to be genuinely having fun, skating 1000 miles an hour, doing curb slappies and skating weird trannies. Just don’t think he can’t do a FS noseslide on a hubba, cause he can and does.

Neal Hendrix + Omar Hassan: These guys both turn in plenty of rockin’ pool jammers, with Omar going balls and divebombing off the roof into Chicken’s pool. Neal has lip tricks mastered and I love to watch lip tricks.

Pat Smith: Although probably destined for obscurity, Pat shot his whole part in NYC which leads to plenty of new and interesting spots.

Matt Hensley: Hensley’s part is done in a ‘home video’ style, mixing in his new family and some old home movies. No hammers here, but it’s fun to watch him hit up all sorts of weird homemade obstacles and generally have fun.

Kris Svitak: Kristian’s part is definitely a legit street part, he’s got the skills and style. He gets a mongo ollie over a bank that is totally nutso.

Other that that, the rest of this vid is pretty standard. None of the street dogs have the tech-gnar skillz to compete with the new breed. The main point here seems to be that these guys got really wrecked making this vid, which, to me, says nothing. L’il Mikey Taylor slashed his leg wide open in In Bloom and rips harder than any of these ams. Ben Gilley gets clobbered on every trick he tries, Jim Gagne is old and a goon and gets clobbered, I don’t see why that should make me like them.

Finally I want to mention Mike Vallely’s part, which consists of nothing except him pushing really fast down the street and doing some ollies and stuff. The whole thing seems like it’s trying to show how punk he is and how little he cares. Unfortunately, it makes him look like even more of a caricature of his former self, a guy who’s milking his look for all it’s worth. It’s obvious that Vallely is full of it, just look at this. How punk is that?

Label Kills is not a bad vid, but not a great vid. This is one of those videos that just fails to live up to the image of the team. The whole thing is very calculated and professional, at the same time bland and formulaic. I never got the sense that these were guys who are disconnected from the skating mainstream- it just looks like a lot of average riders with vans and black hair, tryin’ to get paid like anyone else.