Another month, another volume of Kung Fu's "The Show Must Go Off!" live DVD series. Guttermouth is the series' latest victim, following suit behind such bands as One Man Army, Alkaline Trio, and funnyman Neil Hamburger.
Now, right up front, I'll say that I don't like Guttermouth. So essentially I'm reviewing this from a filmmaking standpoint, not a musical one [as one song sounds like the next to me here]. The camera work in this live show is very crisp and clear, and definitely benefits from the well-lit House Of Blues venue. You see virtually every angle of every member, but on the downside, you see very little of this [apparently sold-out] crowd. There's even one point in the DVD where Guttermouth singer Mark is convincing some girl in the audience to take her shirt off, and the camera stays on Mark the whole time, even as you hear the audience explode in cheers [presumably because the girl in question caved in]. Now I'm not promoting softcore pornography [who am I kidding? Of course I am!], but when the damn band is interacting with the crowd, would it kill you to show them?
The sound quality on here is less than stellar, especially the guitars. The drums and vocals are nice and clean, but the guitar tone is similar to that of the sound on Pennywise's Live At The Key Club album - it's like putting a practice amp inside an upside-down metal bucket. Of course, that very well could be the band's fault and not the sound guy's, so it's not fair to deduct points from there.
Song selection for the DVD spans a good majority of the group's entire career, with the 20 songs breaking down like this:
Friendly People: 3
Teri Yakimoto: 1
Album Formerly Known as Full Length LP: 7
Musical Monkey: 3
Covered With Ants: 5
So except for the band completely ignoring their last Nitro album, they touch base on every last nook and cranny of their existance.
The DVD's extras include a band commentary with Mark and drummer Tyler which consists mainly of the band making fun of themselves and pretty much everyone else, as well. There's definitely no silence for the hour or so the show runs [as opposed to the Alkaline Trio DVD from a few months back]. Quite possibly the most amusing part of the DVD is Mark and Tyler making fun of Gusto, apologizing profusely for even having made it.
Gentlemen, I accept your apology.
Moving on with the extras - there's a little bit with Mark and bassist Clint out getting drinks before the show that is sort of funny in a "when does this feature end?" kind of way. On the flip side of the features, we have the annoying-as-all-hell "photo gallery," which [to me] just looks like screen shots from the DVD put through a black & white filter. That, combined with the stupid camera noise with each picture makes me want to throw the damn thing out the window. Also, in yet another labelling snafu, the back of the box mentions that there is an alternative angle option. This option is nowhere to be found on any of the normal menus [and it seems silly to me to hide a feature as an easter egg if you're advertising it right on the box]. So once again, Kung Fu isn't really on top of their game with the extras.
So yeah, it's Guttermouth. I say "eh," but if you're a fan, it's a cool little memento to have. To add to the overall package, Kung Fu included a live CD of the show [and will be selling the same thing in CD form with the DVD as a bonus] which contains an extra song. This way if you don't have a DVD player, you can still enjoy the show, at least aurally. I think that is a cool idea and wish they would have been doing it from the start.