Demented Are Go

Sick Sick Sick/Call of the Wired

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This DVD is a combination of two shows by the psychobilly band, one of them a half-hour set at the Klub Foot in London in 1987, the other 50 minutes from the Charlotte in Leicester in 1994. Although the level of camera work and the image quality are pretty good, beyond that this is only for the diehards -- a comment that could apply to the music as well, on whatever medium it's presented. Demented Are Go plays blunt psychobilly with a consciously outrageous-hokey attitude and not a whole lot of variation. Even if that's your bag, the subpar sound of the vocals on the 1987 set in particular is a big drawback; they're pretty incomprehensible, as is the minimal between-song patter. Certainly singer Mark Phillips has an odd stage presence, singing from a hunchback-ish crouch in a leopard skin outfit with a buzz cut that leaves the sides of his head bare and the wide Mohawk in the middle stuck up high as if he's being electrocuted. The other members of the band aren't nearly as, um, flamboyant, doing their work in a poker-faced fashion, with the drummer barely visible at all. The 1994 gig takes a turn for the cruder, the group performing in ludicrously gruesome Texas Chainsaw Massacre-style masks, and putting more blatantly shocking and sexual imagery into the material, as is apparent from titles like "Love Seeps Like a Festering Sore," "Zombie Stalk," "Brand New Corpse," "Busted Hymen," "Queen of Disease," and "Beast in the Cellar." The sound quality on the 1994 portion is better than it is on the 1987 segment, but the vocals (and the standup bass, for that matter) are still not well recorded, though clarity and enunciation might not be the point in this kind of psychobilly. Most of the songs on both sets are original, broken up by occasional covers, including Gene Vincent's "Be Bop a Lula," Mack Self's "Vibrate," and Devo's "Mongoloid."

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