Thursday, March 02, 2006

Maynard, Make Me a Tequila and Gatorade Please

Tool – Schism

About six months before Lateralus was released Tool released a live CD/DVD, Salival, in order to build anticipation for the new album. It was pretty fucking good. In a similar move they've released a pair of DVDs containing the videos for 'Schism' and 'Parabola' (with a new album due in a few months). They're not so good.

I was a little sceptical about paying $20 for one of these discs but I received some CD vouchers for Christmas so I thought what the hell. The disc contains a mere three tracks; the original video, the same video with commentary and an audio remix of the song by Lustmord.

To be fair the disc comes beautifully packaged, with a nice booklet of cool stills from the video. The DVD menus themselves have had a lot of attention paid to them, with some really detailed art direction. The video itself is, like almost all of Tool's videos, completely fucking brilliant. Like the videos from Undertow and Aenima it contains all of Adam Jones' standard motifs; weird mutant alien things, characters combining and reforming, and freaky gross biological stuff. Unlike the older videos it contains live actors and CGI as well as the traditional stop start animation.

The songs themes of communication and loneliness are fairly straightforwardly represented by the video, although of course there's a whole bunch of extra crazy shit that doesn't make any sense at all. What the fuck's up with the little guy who comes out of the main guy's head? But that fire effect at the end (looks like oil burning on water viewed from below or something) is pretty damn cool.

The audio commentary is sadly not by Adam or Maynard, but we get instead the abstract ramblings of David Yow, formally singer for The Jesus Lizard, who tells us about what he had for lunch, makes gross burping noises, talks on the phone and refers once or twice to the actual video (“This video, is all about ears...”). To top it off, he has actually recorded two commentaries, which play simultaneously on the left and right stereo channels. One gets the impression that it's really meant as a commentary on how Adam doesn't like the idea of doing a commentary.

The remix is a very good ambient work, which happens to be at it's best before recognisable parts of the original song start appearing.

While it's cool to own the video, I feel a bit ripped off that I paid $20 for it. If it had contained both 'Schism' and 'Parabola' it would have been worth it, but I'm a bit gypped that they expect us to shell out for two discs when they could have easily packaged them together. I am interested in hearing Jello Biafra's commentary for 'Parabola', but I think it will have to wait until I find a really cheap copy.

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