MVD Visual // 2011 // 73 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Daryl Loomis // September 10th, 2011
You should see her use a gun.
It comes as a surprise to me, but not every reunion tour has to be awful. Now, granted, they almost always are, but when it's J. Giles or Loverboy, I don't care. It's when my favorite defunct bands come out of the woodwork to make some money as anemic skeletons of their former selves playing old songs to old crowds and cashing in that I start to get sick...usually. I should never doubt The Jesus Lizard, though. Was one of the most crushing bands in history cashing in? Sure they were, but they still play with the ridiculous intensity they once did. Their 2009 reunion tour smashed it and the band, who haven't played together in over a decade, sounds like they never left the studio. The Jesus Lizard: Club is the first reunion DVD I've ever felt good watching.
Once upon a time, their shows were vulgar and violent, everything a young punk could want. Today, their hair may be a little grayer and their bodies may be a little thicker, but the show is still pretty vulgar and still pretty violent; it's certainly still noisy, jagged, atonal, and all I could want from a reunion show. It should come as no surprise that the members still have their chops, though. They've all stayed fairly active over the years, with Singer David Yow performing with bands such as Qui and Cop Shoot Cop, bassist David Wm. Sims with Sparklehorse and UnFact, his solo project, drummer Mac McNeilly with with Mule and Come, and the great guitarist Duane Denison with his luminary supergroup, Tomahawk. Still, the lack of regression in The Jesus Lizard's sound here is shocking
Fans of The Jesus Lizard should note a couple of things. On the DVD cover, Yow is actually wearing a shirt. Not to worry, that thing lasts about forty seconds before it's in the crowd. They may be happier to know that he, in fact, does keep his pants on, which is a change from the old days. Second, the set list covers the band's entire career, including a few tracks from their final poor albums. Those performances are still good, but easily could have been substituted for better older songs. Still, the set is filled with some of their best work, including "Gladiator," "Then Comes Dudley," "Mouthbreather," and the crowd surfing anthem, "Seasick." Regardless of my quibbles over the set list, The Jesus Lizard: Club is a phenomenal concert DVD and one of the best reunion shows that I've ever witnessed.
The DVD for The Jesus Lizard: Club is just fine. The image is full frame and, while that's kind of weird given how easily it is to shoot cheaply in widescreen, the image still looks perfectly good, with no transfer problems and fine colors and clearly visible sweat. The surround sound is excellent; turn it up loud, the concert sounds great, full and loud all around. The real key for the DVD, though, is the single extra feature on the disc. Every song on the set is downloadable in MP3 format for your listening pleasure. For fans of The Jesus Lizard, it's honestly better than "Show," their live album, available for free, and totally worth having.
If you miss the insanity of David Yow, the precision of Duane Denison, or the churning rhythm of Mac McNeilly and David Wm. Sims, you really should pick up The Jesus Lizard: Club. The group may not be so unhinged as they were in 1992, but given what "punk" means today, this surpasses it all in both skill and balls.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: MVD Visual
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 73 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Downloadable MP3s
* Wikipedia: The Jesus Lizard