GORILLAZ – Slow Boat to Hades
If you are at all familiar with the Gorillaz mythos, then I’m about to preach to the choir. For everyone else, the Gorillaz have a “shit-ton” to offer, both musically and stylistically. Plus they are cartoons, okay? I’m not ashamed to say that over the last few albums I became part of the community that believed that the Gorillaz could do no wrong. So when the new DVD, Slow Boat to Hades, arrived at my place, I just about hammer-fucked that bad boy into my entertainment center expecting a frothy, drunken orgy of the senses. And I was not wrong.
Slowboat basically repackages the whole Gorillaz experience, from music videos and commercials, to B-side singles and live concerts. It’s even got a particularly hilarious spot from a Gorillaz-themed episode of “MTV Cribs.” Ignore the grating voice work and it’s actually a satisfying chunk of sensory entertainment, just like the aforementioned orgy.
But, also like an orgy, it’s confusing as hell.
See, the creators have chosen to have the viewer navigate the Gorillaz maze-like recording studio and “discover” the content through random exploration. It’s a fun idea, in theory. But more often that not, you end up “discovering” an animation of a polar bear with his testicles hanging out when what you really wanted was to see that cool-ass video for the lead single, “Feel Good Inc.” (no, a dislike for polar bear penis does not make me homophobic). Of course, they give you the option to bypass the craziness and get straight to the videos, but it could have been nice if the primary navigation was as well conceived as the band itself. My only other gripe is that the DVD allows you to listen to the all of the Gorillaz B-side releases not available on 2005’s Demon Days, but you can’t download them to your computer for continued listening. Around my dinner table, we call that “bullshittery.” Basically, it forces you to go out and buy the individual singles when they could have just packaged them in with the DVD as a thank you to the fans.
Still, all in all, it’s a decent effort. If you liked their previous DVD release, Celebrity Takedown, you should probably get this, too. It will catch you up on everything you missed the first time around. But no rush. I’m sure there will still be plenty of these things left a couple months from now.
(Virgin Records, no address provided)