October 30, 2008

Music DVD - Mushroomhead: Volume 2

I love Mushroomhead. Yes, I said it. Now, with that cat out of the bag, I would love it if the band would release a proper concert DVD, or a complete videos collection, or even a straight up documentary. Volume 1 came out back in 2005 and now we have Volume 2, and as it turns out, the DVDs are virtually indistinguishable from each other. Sure, the videos and clips are all different, but the set up is exactly the same and while they are a fun watch, I do not find either one to be terribly rewatchable. I will go back to them for the videos, but that is about it.

I have seen Mushroomhead live a number of times over the years and they never fail to put on a great show. This is a band that brings together a strong sense of musicianship and combines it with a theatricality not seen all that often anymore. Sure, there are the inevitable comparisons to Slipknot, but beyond the fact that they were masks and paint and play variations of metal, there is little else that stands between the two. I am a fan of both, but prefer Mushroomhead.

Now, when Mushroomhead goes on tour, they pull out all the stops and make for damn sure they have a good time doing it. That is what is captured on this DVD. All of the antics, places, and videos made during the touring cycle for their third major release, Savior Sorrow, and first with co-lead vocalist Waylon. Follow the band as they count off the days of their tour with clips from each stop, including one brief glimpse of the outside of The Chance, where I see them in Poughkeepsie, NY.

mrhbandWith all of the pranks, goofy antics, and actual work, I wish they would call each other by their band name a bit more often. The problem is that outside Waylon, Jeffrey Nothing, and Gravy, I have no idea who is who. I guess it does not really matter as we watch them get ready to play, play goofy pranks on sleeping band members and fire high calibre weapons.

Do not get me wrong, the DVD is fun to watch. Anything will give insight into what it is like to be in a band, but there is always hope for more. For one thing, you will quickly find Mushroomhead's penchant for the scary side of life, particularly in their videos. You will also see that they put it all out on the stage in their energetic stage show.

Still, what I would not give to see a professionally shot and edited concert release. Three live tracks grace Volume 2, "1200," "Simple Survival," and "Burn." The problem is that they are all camcorder takes with terrible audio and no multi-camera edits. Neat, yes, but not a good representative of what they do live.

Also, I would love to see an actual documentary on the band. Perhaps covering them as they work on an album, take us inside their writing process and follow them through tour preparation. Maybe something like Lamb of God's Walk With Me In Hell release?

Anyway, I still like the disk, how can I not? Mushroomhead is as talented as they are underrated. Just watch them in their videos and tell me they don't have it. This disk has videos for "1200," "Simple Survival," "Burn," "The Doubt," "Damage Done," and "Save Us."

The extras on the disk include commentary on the "1200" video with Gravy and Stitch, a collection of behind the scenes clips from the same shoot, and about 10 minutes of deleted clips.

Bottomline. No, not what I want in my vision of an ideal Mushroomhead DVD release, but still worth watching if you are a fan. If you are not a fan, but are curious, I would recommend picking up one of their albums (XX, XIII, Savior Sorrow) or just go see them live.

Mildly Recommended.


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