The Meatmen – The Devil’s In The Details Volume 1 [DVD]

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

At even the mention of the possibility of a Meatmen DVD release, there will surely be a series of gasps and shivers. Since appearing in 1978 with a sound that instantly allied itself with the then radical and publicly terrifying punk rock masses, The Meatmen and especially the band’s front man Tesco Vee sealed their respective fates as reviled. What they didn’t count onwas making even “the rowdy bunch” that comprised the punk rock community of the day squeamish too; using names like Jim and Tammy Faye Baker on stage and professing an adoration for their ilk because they made organized religion look like shit and playing punk-flavored provocations that had guitar solos seemed designed to set the band up as the outcasts even of the outcast. Unlike so many other punk bands as well, in thirty years, none of the bands that Tesco Vee has been involved in (The Meatmen, Blight, Hate Police) have ever watered themselves down; this DVD (that does include a couple of performances from The Hate Police) stands as proof of that.

Maybe that’s the reason why it looks the way it does too. The Meatmen have always scared people in any form of influence because they are the dictionary definition of the loose cannon band so why would anyone dare put money into it? Regardless, here it is in all its patchwork glory – the inaugural Meatmen DVD.

Looking eerily like a public access television production (hand held camcorders weren’t just a good idea for this endeavor, they were a necessity), TDITDV1 collect footage dating back to as early as the dawn of when camcorders became affordable (around 1983) all the way up through to present-day chicanery (literally – March of 2008) with the Hate Police and slaps it together with changes between concert footage managed via home-shot mock commercials, interview spots from different low-budget television talk shows, and the occasional appearance of Satan. The cuts are always choppy, the content is never not of suspect quality and music is the fetid fare that brought the band infamy (how else would one describe the incendiary couplets that comprise songs like “Tooling For Anus,” “I Sin For A Living” and “Orgy Of One”?).

And yet, while for any other band these noticeable and omnipresent shortcomings would make for a pitiful presentation but, for The Meatmen, this shambolic DVD is perfect. Tesco Vee and the band somehow manage to make people love them because at no point will anyone watching – fan or not – not be in stitches. The band laughs at themselves mercilessly for the duration of The Devil’s In The Details’ runtime and holds everyone else to precisely the same standard which basically means that there isn’t a single sacred cow in creation that Tesco Vee and company won’t take pleasure in tipping. Gimmicks, prosthetics, collectibles and sloganeering (“Tesco Vee For President!”) abound throughout the film but, as the runtime progresses, eventually viewers find themselves captivated (or maybe it’s ‘held hostage’ – either way, it happens around the “Behind The Nonsense” sequence) and inextricably entangled in the film; you find yourself reaching for the remote to start the proceedings over and pervert yourself further. That has always been the beauty of The Meatmen: everyone laughs at a dick or fart joke, it’s really only a matter of how hard.

More Info:

The Devil's In The Detail Volume 1 is out now on King Midas. Buy it NOW on

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