Eric Robel’s The Color of Noise is a lovingly irreverent documentary about Tom Hazelmyer, aka Haze XXL. Who? For those not obsessive record collectors in their 40s or 50s, this film reminds of the world when Haze was the tornado of creativity behind Amphetamine Reptile Records and the killer noise-rock band Halo of Flies. Throughout the late ’80s and ’90s, AmRep ranked among America’s most important sources of artful hard-rock machismo, up there with Touch and Go, SST, and Sub Pop. A Minneapolis punk, Haze dropped out of high school in 1983 to enlist in the Marines—a very un-punk move. He was stationed at Whidbey Island and started his label there with Halo of Flies’ debut single. After his military stint, Haze returned to Minneapolis and assembled a robust roster that included Melvins, Helmet, Helios Creed, Cows, Unsane, Boss Hog, and Lubricated Goat. He also hired some of America’s greatest graphic artists to design his releases. For such a tough, gun-loving SOB, Haze had fantastic sonic and visual aesthetics (post-AmRep, he opened a restaurant, then an art gallery). In 2009, Haze suffered a 39-day coma, but checked himself out of the hospital five days after emerging from it. That sort of pluck tints The Color of Noise, a lurch down memory lane for aging underground-rock fans who like it rough. recommended

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