Jackson Browne was a mere 29 when Running on Empty dropped.
Bruce Dickinson, 28 when warned us of “Wasted Years.”
Ted Leo recorded “Timorous Me” just after rounding into his thirties.
Ray Cappo belted out the ultra-prescient “A Time We’ll Remember” at the tender age of 22.
But when it comes to wise-beyond-one’s-years insights into the ephemeral nature of life, living, and self-actualization Tom Capone and Kevin Egan may have them all beat with the epic metal-tinged hardcore jams such as “What Awaits Us,” “Time Stands Still,” and “Ancient Head” that they wrote in their teens through the under-loved yet insanely influential Beyond.
“In a world that moves so fast,” Egan screams, “I try real hard to make things last.”
Enter What Awaits Us: A Beyond Story, a highly personal, beautifully rendered documentary directed by Egan that takes a deep, revelatory dive into the ripples of that short-lived band — both in his life and then through the scene at-large as the No Longer At Ease (1988) lineup (Egan, Capone, Alan Cage, Vic DiCara) went onto redefine underground music via Quicksand, 108, Burn, Bold, Shelter, Inside Out, Handsome, 1.6 Band, and more.
Along the way we hear from a who’s who of NYHC — Walter Schreifels, Gavin Van Vlack, Sammy Siegler, Porcell, Alex Brown (RIP) — offer further insights into a band that, from one perspective, should’ve been much, much bigger, yet from another vantage point, really could not be any bigger.
The film offers up an inspiring story about the magnifying effects of fate and determination; about the beauty of a scene with primal origins dove into wondrous evolutionary flux; about reconciling the feats of youth with the rage, rage, raging against the dying of the light of middle age. There’s definitely a DIY vibe to the shooting and editing which only serves to further drive home this underlying theme.
The vibe here is equal parts bemused and reflective, the soundtrack is next level great, and even long-time devotees of NYHC lore will enjoying noshing on several tasty new morsels: What Awaits Us is highly recommended, essential viewing.
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