|Regurgitator - Jingles|
|Warner Vision/Warner Vision .
R4 . COLOR . 69 mins .
M15+ . PAL
Love’em or hate’em, unless you’re an utter dickhead you’ve got to have some respect for Regurgitator. After all, how many bands can plop a slice of Ramones-like punk-pop, a bright and shiny electropop ditty and a dance remix of the theme from the camp-as ancient Britcom Are You Being Served? on the one CD?
Yes, they’ve always kept us guessing. From thrashy roots with their self-titled and New EPs and Tu-Plang album, to the slick super-pop (Cold Chisel meets The Prodigy anybody?) of Unit, to a bastard mix of them both on ...art and almost full circle (but with sandpapered edges so you don’t poke your eyes out) with the long-player they’ll always be explaining the title of, Eduardo and Rodriguez Wage War on T-Wrecks, Regurgitator have always dodged and weaved musical pigeonholes with stupefying agility. While the more one-tracked fans may have been as frustrated as all hell by it (but hey, Unit opener I Like Your Old Stuff Better Than Your New Stuff was just for them!), others have revelled in the convenience of having a smushed-up melange of pop, rock, dance and punk history all available from one little three-piece, erm... unit.
Drifting from the limelight somewhat in recent years – seemingly a steadfast rule of the pathetically fickle Australian market nowadays – it looks like its pension’n’dentures time for Quan, Ben and Pete (original drummer Martin nicked off a few years ago), with the simultaneous release of the Jingles greatest hits collection on CD and DVD. While the music-only disc is a fab little pressie for your glove box, this DVD offers up a complete visual history of Regurgitator that is as unique and inventive as the band’s decade or so of musical “product” (to go all record company exec on your arses).
So what do we get? Try 22 clips on for size. From early classics such as EP fodder like the homey piss take Track 1 to Nanook’s Alaskan adventures in Blubber Boy and the seemingly Richard Scarry inspired blockheadedness of Miffy’s Simplicity, to the Tron meets Devo slickness of Everyday Formula to the cute-as Angus Young-alike keyboard axe wielding bunny in the sublime ode to video games Black Bugs, to the fast food hell of I Wanna Be a Nudist to the “just do it” jingoism of unofficial Sydney Olympics anthem Crush the Losers to a couple of Japanese-only singles, to... OK, that’s already more “to”s than in your average roadie’s vocabulary – you get the message.
For those who haven’t got the stamina to absorb an 89-word sentence, here’s the track listing in all its nicely simplified fullness...
I Like It Like That
Couldn’t Do It
Kong Foo Sing
! (The Song Formerly Known As)
I Like Your Old Remix Better Than Your New Remix
I Wanna Be a Nudist
Crush the Losers
Fuck the Goddamn World
Oh come on, with a collection of clips ranging from low budget to high budget to low budget that looks high budget to high budget that looks low budget, you’re not seriously expecting movie-like pristine vision? Good, ‘cos you ain’t gettin’ it punk! Despite being at the mercy of the quality of the source material used, in general all the clips look pretty good – as far as plopping-it-all-onto-disc nasties are concerned there’s very little to be pissed off about. Colour ranges from muted in some of the almost commando-shot styled clips to gloriously vivid in the computer animated ones, while detail is once again at the mercy of the source material - as is clarity. Hey, DVD’s been around long enough now that we all should know what to expect with a compilation such as this, but in comparison with many others this has been done pretty well. It’s predominantly full frame, although some of the clips have been masked in various ratios, but needless to say they’re not anamorphically enhanced. Get over it – there’s more important stuff in life to worry about.
The sonic side of things offers us a choice between Linear PCM and Dolby Digital 5.1. The latter sure is a loud sucker, with plenty of bass oomph pumped through the subwoofwoof, while surround action is a little limited. Still, it doesn’t seem to have had a lot of effort lavished on producing a special 5.1 mix, in fact it smells of pumping it into one of those machines that just yawns and does its preset extrapolation thing. Regardless, it all sounds pretty spiffy – and if you’re a stickler for getting it all how it was originally recorded then you can simply pop over to the fabulously CD-like PCM mix, can’t you? Everybody’s happy. Ah!
So what’s the deal with extras? Well, there’s a doco, conveniently entitled Doco, which runs for as near-as-dammit 33 minutes (tech junkies will possibly be keen to know it is in full frame with DD2.0 sound). Cobbled together by Ben Ely, it’s a scattershot collection of on the road, in the studio, on the stage and on the telly stuff often jump-cut together in a manner not particularly suited for those more epileptically-prone members of the public. From subverting Japanese fans to grabbing ARIA awards off Michael Hutchence, to guest appearances from a rather flat David Bowie to bouncing around on stage with TISM, it’s a perfect example of dodgy home vid-styled editing at its finest - if that makes any sense at all. Special mention must also go to the menus. Whilst the opener reconstitutes the rather drab cover art, popping into the track selection menu opens a whole world of 8-bit fun for those of us who remember the funky old wood-panelled Atari VCS (or later the 2600, if you prefer). Four selection screens are presented as (sadly non-interactive) games, more specifically bodgy versions of Frogger, Galaxian, something that looks vaguely like Wizard of Wor (with Pacman sound) and some bizarre balloon assassination thingy. Ah, memories!
It’s taken a bloody long time for the Australian tentacles of the world's record conglomerates to embrace the DVD format as a viable promotional tool for local artists, but finally this year has seen the floodgates creaking open just enough to let a few vital releases slither through that aren’t just of the horrifyingly bland Barnesy and Farnesy ilk. Regurgitator’s Jingles is right up there sharing space with Jitters Rudken Angusing away on his Marshall stack-like skyscraper, and if you don’t like it then you’re stupid. After all, how can you not love a band with such a passion for fluffy animal suits?
MMMmmm, I want a Regurgiburger!!!
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| And I quote...|
|"...a complete visual history of Regurgitator that is as unique and inventive as the band’s decade or so of musical “product”..."|
- Amy Flower
| Review Equipment|
- DVD Player:
DB Dynamics Eclipse RBS662
- Centre Speaker:
DB Dynamics Eclipse ECC442
DB Dynamics Eclipse ECR042
DTX Digital 4.8
- Audio Cables:
- Video Cables:
Standard Component RCA
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