This one almost got moved out of the stack, but since it came with
an accompanying DVD, I'm giving them both the treatment. I should
note that the same standard I hold for the musical CD I do not hold
for the DVD documentary since I consider the DVD to be only for hardcore
fans, and will, as such, view it from that perspective.
Society 1 is the brainchild of porn auteur Matt Zane.
For a while in the '90s, Zane defined the ideal of the Gen-X porn
genre, whatever that was. After making his millions, and presumably
bored with the limitations of his craft, he decided to transport his
hedonistic lifestyle into the one medium that was almost certain to
get him even more free sex: hard rock music. Mr. Zane likes to call
himself "The Lord", which it seems, is the bait on
the end of a large hook designed to land some sort of Tipper Gore-type
of fish. Society 1 is today's Marilyn Manson or Insane Clown
Posse. I mean, we all know the routine by now. HM is decidedly
uninterested in the whole controversy aspect of shameless self-promotion
except to note that it is a nearly perfect symbiotic relationship.
Conservative media whores would be lost and cashless without their
complementary, adulterous devils. With names like Sin, Dirt,
The Lord and um
Preston, I can only surmise that these
chaps are just champing at the bit to find their Right-Wing Christian
Playmate. I'm a little concerned about Preston though. His name seems
to indicate a lack of commitment, or perhaps a penchant for underachieving.
C'mon, can't you at least have a name like Vice, or Chlamydia or something?
But anyway, whaddya say Mr. Jerry Falwell? You haven't said
anything ridiculously stupid in at least 6 months, and it's possible
that the public has nearly and collectively forgotten about you. Now
I'm just guessing here, but I expect that the coffers get to overflowin'
every time you put your foot in your mouth. Might I introduce you
to Society 1? You have it on my word as a scholar and a gentleman
that they are a low and foul breed who espouse the virtues of those
corporeal delights you have sworn to eradicate. By God, I expect that
they are corrupting your very grandchildren at this moment. So, Jer,
(can I call you "Jer?") let's cracking on that media circus!
Okay, It's time to be somewhat serious now. I've gotta say something
about the music, so here it is: Society 1 is a competent but uninspired
band. They've drawn from numerous sources including Metallica,
Danzig and Pantera to create a highly marketable but
none-too-challenging musical foundation for Zane's political platform
of Sex, Piercings and Rock & Roll. To their credit, they're pretty
successful at integrating what they've learned from other bands together,
but when you primarily draw from inspirations that themselves are
remarkably similar, the outcome of your own efforts becomes rather
indistinguishable from the source material. Matt has a manifesto of
sorts proclaiming a new way to live in which the person becomes subjugated
to his own impulses and urges. He claims that he's not in it for the
money, and for someone who is already very rich, that can probably
be taken on its own merits. However, to be judged within this medium,
a new way to live matters precious little when you've accompanied
it with an old and established way of making music. Herein, the message
may be dangerous, but the delivery is a tad mundane and played out.
Now for the DVD: The first documentary is compiled from band members'
and crew members' personal video footage. The majority of this comes
from numerous tour dates that all show the same thing: Matt Zane
screaming at fans, daring them to come onstage and fuck him in the
ass; he censures them profusely when they fail to take his offer.
Afterward, he has sex with some possibly underage groupie in his
limo. The irony of this repetitive tedium coming from an ex-porn
director is not lost on me. If your interest is to catch fleeting
images of tits as viewed through a night-vision video camera, then
this will provide mild titillation. If you expect to gain some pithy
insight into the band, then you will tire of it quickly. Documentary
is probably the wrong label for this; videolog would be better.
The second documentary was clearly produced by another source, and
has much better footage of the concerts, including a detailed section
where Zane is suspended by surgical hooks through his flesh prior
to and during the performing of his show. The whole suspended-side-o-beef
angle is built up with a great deal of aplomb, and while I've never
actually been suspended in that manner, I know that the Jim Rose
folks regularly make their daily salt off of similar stunts. So, maybe
it's a big deal and maybe it isn't. There seems to be more telling
than showing of the danger involved, but I'll at least credit them
for talking a good game. Unfortunately, the talk goes well beyond
my interest level, and I went to 4X and 16X a few times just to get
to the hangin' bits. There is more live performing here, but it is
still well under what I would expect to be paying for - were I a loyal
fan. There are also a few MTV-style videos contained on the disc as
well. I found these to be a bit disappointing as they had a far too
slick veneer for what I'm supposed to believe is a seedy and 'underground'
type of band. If you want someone to believe that you really are out
on the fringe, high-dollar productions are strictly verboten.
Track Listing (CD):
1. It Isn't Me
2. Let Me Live
3. 6 Months
4. No Father
5. Touch A Girl
6. Realms Of Bliss
8. I Love Her
12. Wounded Veins
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