Friday, July 17, 2009

Review #2 Faith No More : You Fat Bastards ! : Live At The Brixton Academy & Who Cares A Lot ? : The Greatest Videos 2-DVD Set (Rhino/Slash/Reprise)

Faith No More, especially in the U.S.A, are probably one of the most underrated and unappreciated bands to come out of the late 80's-1990's music scene. Casual music listeners only seem to think of them as that band who came out with that one song Epic, and don't realize that how good that song is, there's a plethora of better songs and 5 other albums (yes even the two with original singer Chuck Mosely) out there. In light of the band's highly anticipated reunion tour of Europe this year, (Please come to the states guys! You have more fans here than you know!) 12 years after their breakup in 1998, I figured it be a good time to review something from probably one of the few mainstream acts who weren't afraid to take chances and did exactly what they wanted to do.

This 2 DVD collection is a re-release of these two video collections by Rhino. Ugh, I'm not a big fan of what Rhino puts out. As far as movies go, they usually don't take any care into re-mastering or putting any work into releasing a DVD. Any one who own the Transformers 80's series box sets can surely attest to this. But since I owned these two videos on VHS, I needed to update.

Let's start with You Fat Bastards! Originally released in 1990, this video chronicles the band, with original guitarist Jim Martin (who was later fired in 1993) during The Real Thing Tour. They were riding high on the success of the singles Epic and Falling To Pieces and were just beginning to build up steam. This tour was also the first tour for Mike Patton, Mosely's replacement and was just beginning to develop the insane vocal acrobatics that he's known for today. Filmed at The Brixton Academy, (where the band would return to kick off their reunion tour 19 years later) Faith No More plays through a blistering, high energy, hour long set of songs from their 3 albums at the time. The band is tight and barrels through "As The Worm Turns", "Zombie Eaters" and a cover of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs". They even catch their breath for a split second to perform the lounge-tune "Edge Of The World" It really is a great documentary that captures the band just realizing their full potential.

Who Cares A Lot? was released in February of 1999, almost a year after the band's breakup. It's pretty much a companion piece to the compilation album of the same name. This disc pretty much covers most of the bands music videos (except for Ricochet and Another Body Murdered) and is more or less an updated version of an earlier video collection, Video Croissant. This time with music videos added from the bands releases after their 1992 masterpiece Angel Dust, 1995's King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime and 1997's Album Of The Year. Interspersed between videos are various short interview clips and home video moments, and two live performances. One in 1992 on an old MTV show called Hangin' With MTV and a live performance of the Burt Bacharach song "This Guy's In Love With You" from Australia in late 1997. It's a nice little video documentary of the band and it's different eras.

The video quality on these discs are so-so. As with most Rhino dvd's, They really don't put much time or effort into re-mastering. So don't expect HD quality with these. The YFB and WCA disc's footage is grainy at times and still feels like you're watching a VHS tape and not a DVD. And the presentation is in full screen with the exception of the videos for "Stripsearch" and "I Started A Joke". Sorry widescreen fans.

As far as any special features on the two discs are concerned, there are none. The only feature is the choice of audio. Either in 2.0 or 5.1 surround sound. 5.1 is a welcome addition to these discs and it definitely is a nice touch. I know tensions between the band members towards the end were at an all time high but it would have been a nice addition to have members of the band do a commentary on the live shows and videos to give a bit of insight on what was going on with them during this period. And the lack of any additional bonus footage is kind of a bummer. I mean come on, it would've been great to see more live footage or interviews from the first 17 years of the bands existence that I'm sure the fans would love to see. YouTube is full of stuff

All in all, this set isn't too bad. For all intents and purposes, this basically was released by their former label for get some extra cash, and by both discs presentations, it really shows. The Brixton video, despite the video quality, is an excellent set of songs and a great performance. For the hardcore fans who may not own this or casual fans looking to check out more from these guys, this collection is certainly worth getting if they're not hoping for crystal clear video or no widescreen. As much as I like this band, the lack of any bonus features or even a band commentary really hurts this collection. Hopefully now that these guys are back together, and I really hope they stick around for a while, we can get a proper release that will satisfy the fans who stuck by the band through the good and the bad, even when they were gone.

(4 jizzlobbers out of 5)