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DVD Review: Orgy – Trans Global Spectacle

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Orgy is a group that found itself doing a disappearing-reappearing act on my personal musical radar. They made an impact way back in 1998 with their debut album, Candyass. Their fame was fueled by their cover of New Order’s “Blue Monday” and their follow up single, “Stitches.” Now, 7 years after their rise to fame, they are unleashing their first DVD upon an unsuspecting public.

I mentioned that they have been on and off my radar for the past few years, and until the appearance of this disk they had been off of it. This was fun way of rediscovering them. I had forgotten just how much I liked their sound.

Trans Global Spectacle is broken down into three main sections, each one chronicling a stage in the bands evolution using their three albums to show the passage of time. Once you press play and enter the three stages there will be no escape from the wanton bawdiness, zany antics, and a little bit of music that you will be subjected to.

The documentary runs about two hours and gives a clear indication of what it could be like to be on the road with these guys. The crazy stunts, the pranks, the jokes, the general wackiness. Clearly made for the fans, this is a pretty fun trip through the first seven years of the band.

We get to see them performing onstage, including their first televised appearance on MTV. We see them before and after a variety of shows over the years. We catch them on the sets of their videos. A fun aspect is that the band shot a lot of the footage themselves, as each had their own camcorder to capture the moment.

Extras include four music videos, “Blue Monday,” “Stitches,” “Vague,” and “Fiction.” I like their videos, they have this experimental electronic feeling to them. They have this David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust crossed with modern techno culture look to them. This carries through in the live footage in the documentary, the costumes, the make-up. I like this return of stage theatrics, it goes a long way to livening up the concert experience, especially if the band can back it up musically. Fortunately, Orgy seems to be able to.

The disk is not perfect. A couple of complaints include the absence of chapter stops. There are three chapters, starting at the beginning of each albums section, there should have been more, especially for a feature this long. I also didn’t really care for the way it ended, 15 minutes of still photos to music. That would have been OK if it had been included as a separate photo gallery feature. Finally the live footage, I would have liked some good quality here. Much of the live stuff is covered over with the studio versions, or is just a clip and poorly recorded. Hopefully we will get a concert disk at some point.

As for something I would have liked, more interviews. I would have liked to have seen some actual band interviews to get some more insight into the music and the reasons for the costumes and such. Again, maybe next time.

The disk is presented in full frame 1.33:1 ratio, save for the concert and video footage which is primarily widescreen, it appears to be 1.78:1. It looks pretty good considering the varied sources. The audio also does a pretty good job, presented in Dolby Digital stereo. It sounds good, doing justice to the music.

Bottomline. This is an entertaining disk, giving us an idea of what it would be like to be in the band and on the road. Good music, crazy antics and rock stars. Hard to go completely wrong.

Recommended.

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  • http://none.com Bob A. Booey

    I’d lump them in with Frente, bands that did rather uninspired, by-the-book covers of New Order songs to get big radio hits but didn’t really have very good original material to keep them going after that.

    That is all.