Sound: For as dramatic as the makeup and costumes are in Mushroomhead, it's obvious from watching the 2005 DVD Volume 1 that the band doesn't take itself too seriously offstage. The self-produced and self-edited DVD captured everything and anything that went on behind the scenes (including pranks galore), and as one might assume from the title, there would be more antics to come. Fast forward to 2008 and we now have Volume 2, which does follow the same basic setup as the Volume 1, only this time new vocalist Waylon Reavis is now a part of the featured lineup. With over 2 hours of content (involving plenty of hilarious misadventures from the road), Volume 2 is a pretty well-rounded look at the Ohio-based band.
In this day and age it might not seem like much of a feat to edit and/or produce your own video, but you've got to realize that there was an obscene amount of footage to sift through on Volume 2. There must have been hours upon hours of random, day-to-day activities filmed, and you've got to give the band credit for putting the energy into it all. Mixed in with all of the odd backstage footage are 6 music videos, including Damage Done, Burn, and the band's latest video Save Us. Starting all of the videos off is the eeriest of the bunch, 1200 (which the band called their Thriller video), and it immediately grabs your attention.
The excellent audio quality on the music videos definitely makes up for what might be missing from the live scenes. I heard some complaints from fans that there wasn't enough concert footage on Volume 1, and the newest DVD doesn't necessarily have that many songs performed live in full. Although there are live versions of 1200, Burn, and Simple Survival, the audio mix is not the best. They do give you a pretty good idea of the band's stage show, but it's the live clips that are edited within the behind-the-scenes content that are a bit more impressive. // 8
Content: If you want to take a peek at a day in the life of Mushroomhead, Volume 2 is a fascinating, often humorous overview. You'll see everything from people tasering themselves to physical altercations to boils being popped - and don't forget the many, many penis jokes. For those of you wanting a live show, you'll have to settle for footage that is mediocre in comparison to a lot of the other live DVDs out there. But those performances are not meant to be part of the main feature and are included in the bonus section anyway. The videos (complete with creepy, effective editing and some disturbing themes) steal the show in many ways, plus you get drummer Skinny and tuntablist ST1TCH providing commentary for 1200. // 9
Production Quality: The objective behind Volume 2 was obviously not about using the best visual equipment, and it would almost take away from the real feel if the DVD was not primarily shot with the band's own handheld cameras. It all comes down to editing and telling a story of the band's Savior Sorrow Tour, and although there isn't necessarily a plot to the whole thing, you are taken on quite a ride. Mushroomhead edited Volume 2 itself, and that must have taken an ungodly amount of time. It's a pretty amazing job when you look at things from that perspective. // 9
Overall Impression: If you get bored with what could be considered potty humor, Volume 2 will likely leave you annoyed. But for every prank or antic that might fall flat, there are tons more that will leave you entertained -and shocked every once in a while. The music videos are impeccable and engaging, particularly if you enjoy the horror film genre. Although there is a bonus clip about the making of Save Us, the band approached it in much the same way they did the random backstage footage - only with a better camera. It's still fun to watch, but there really isn't any commentary or interviews to lead the viewer through what exactly is happening from scene to scene. These little flaws aside, Volume 2 is still a must-have for Mushroomhead fans. // 8