Director Doug Pray’s cutting documentary on the rise and fall of the Seattle music scene of the late 1980s and early 1990s is a fascinating watch.
As its title suggests, Hype! cuts into the period where Seattle became the centre of the rock universe, and every major label was sniffing around looking for the next Nirvana or Pearl Jam.
Pray laments this hype and commercialization as being the downfall of a hugely promising movement in the city, where from the mid to late 1980s a loose community of underground rock bands and artists emerged with a distinctive attitude, sound and style.
As well as excellent concert footage (including Nirvana’s first public performance of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’) the documentary also features numerous interviews with members of bands such as Mudhoney, Seven Year Bitch and Tad, and local industry figures like band manager and Chris Cornell’s-ex wife Susan Silver, record producer Jack Endino and photographer Jack Endino.
A provocative rock doc that is well worth an hour and a half of your time.