Some members of Generation X will find Jared Barel’s The Incoherents a walk down 90’s indie-rock memory lane with this comeback of age story about a group of 40-something guys who decide to reunite their band.
The lead singer Bruce (Jeff Auer) broke the band up in 1995 to get married and have a more stable life from the stress of touring. Bruce is a low rung paralegal at a law firm that has a ridiculous company culture reminiscent of the cult classic ‘Office Space’. Fed up with the mundane life he has, Bruce practices writing new songs on his guitar to release stress. After getting the okay from his wife Liz (Kate Arrington) to restart the band, but only as a fun side gig, Bruce reaches out to his old bandmates.
Drummer Tyler (Casey Clark) immediately quits his lame wedding band trio; his shy bass guitarist brother Keith (Walter Hoffman) is cajoled to join as he’s content with his insurance adjuster life; and the heart and soul of The Incoherents, guitarist, and bartender Jimmy (Alex Emanuel) immediately jump on the opportunity to have another run with his most successful band because the other 22 were all terrible.
Soon, the quartet reaches out to flamboyant low-rent studio owner Mrs. Graham, wonderfully played by the snarky Annette O’Toole, and the jam sessions commence. The band then reconnects with The Jules (Vincent Lamberti) their old tour manager to help book live gigs. A few rough show starts and very low audience attendance humbles the guys and make them wonder if it’s all worth it.
What they need is someone to help promote The Incoherents the way bands are promoted in the 21st century. Enters, Debbie (Margaret Anne Florence) a music blogger and interviewer who attends concerts every night to help promote the music scene; she could hold the ticket to help them find a new audience and motivate them to keep playing. She believes in them and along with the dedication of The Jules, the band may become more than just a side-gig reunion. Jeff Auer wrote the screenplay and along with Alex Emmanuel, they composed the music for The Incoherents that reflected the angst and hope of the 90s and make this film entertaining with great original songs. Their performance on the stage singing and playing the guitar clearly reveals their real-life vocation as musical talents.
The Incoherents is inspiring in showing how when your current lifestyle does not make you happy, it’s okay to embrace what made you happy in the past but to make it work, your past interests need to mesh to the realities of the now. The harsh realities of the way the music industry operates in 2019 compared to the 90s and the influence of social media to market and promote a band’s music and gigs are the key ingredients along with great lyrics and riffs to make The Incoherents, coherent and relatable for music fans today.
Starring Jeff Auer, Alex Emanuel, Walter Hoffman and Casey Clark as THE INCOHERENTS, with Amy Carlson (Blue Bloods), Annette O’Toole (The Punisher), Kate Arrington (Ray Donovan), Robert McKay (Asunder the Series), Margaret Anne Florence (Sun Records) and Christine Chang (New Amsterdam).
The film is now available on iTunes and all major VOD platforms courtesy Gravitas Ventures and will arrive on SVOD in August.
Reviewed by Simone CromerTwitter: TheatreofZen