Review Summary: A must have for Botch fans.
"I love this Norma Jean song," Brian Cook, the bassist of what should be Seattle's pride and joy, Botch boasts as he and the rest of his bandmates watch the filming of Botch's final show. Shot at the The Showbox in Seattle, on June 6th, 2002 (hence 061502), Botch left behind a relatively unknown legacy. With the demise of Botch saw the jump-start of many imitators. This band is the pinnacle of the metalcore most people know today. Often being described with terms such as "math-core" and "math-rock", (neither of which i use because there is no real "math" involved in writing music and they both just sound stupid.) the music that this behemoth wrote contained complex rhythms and odd time signatures. With the rising popularity of modern metal and hardcore music brought forth this gem of a DVD. The fourteen songs performed span their entire career including a B-52's cover of "Rock Lobster".
Without any introduction, Botch unleashes "St. Matthew Returns to the Womb". Right away you notice that the cameras that were used to film the concert are not of the highest quality. The picture is very grainy and is very hard to watch at some points. This is one of the main problems that I have with this DVD. Some fans might be disappointed because of the low quality of the picture, but I think that this was done intentionally to give it a more underground or DIY look. Also you may notice that the bands playing is very sloppy, except the drummer, Tim Latona. The guitar is hard to follow with the mass amount of feedback that screeches every time he stops playing, (think The Chariot's Everything is Alive... album, another band that Botch has had a major influence on.) although he fixes the problem by the next song.
Dave Verellen's dedication of "C. Thomas Howell as the Soul Man" to straight-edge bands marks the beginning of one of my personal favorite Botch songs. The intro punches you in the face and does let up for awhile. The song then enters Dave Knudson's guitar experimentation with a guitar line played on the highest string with loads of delay. This quickly morphs into a simple chord progression played on bass with a sheer amount of fuzz distortion to accent the progression. A horrendous scream from an audience member signals the rest of the band to join in to finish the song.
"John Woo", from American Nervoso showcases more of Knudson's talent when he starts some sort of harmonic bending. If your parents were listening, this is the point where they would open up the DVD tray and snap 061502 in half. In the DVD commentary, Knudson admits that he saw the harmonic bending technique on a Saturday Night Live episode with David Bowie as the guest. I guess it shows his large range of influences.
After asking the crowd for more "quality heckling" and Verellen asks the crowd to comment on his weight proclaiming, "I'm chubby, I know it, tell me about it," the band pounds through "Japam", "Oma", which apparently means "grandmother" in German, and "Frequency Ass Bandit". All of these songs deliver the signature Botch sound, with the added aggression of Verellen screaming like a madman over the top it. Track eight introduces my favorite song off of Botch's last e.p. An Anthology of Dead Ends, entitled "Framce" . The song starts off with the guitar's squealing feedback and explodes into the guitar riff laden with some sort of electronic sounding effect. It sounds very close to a pitch bender that would be on a keyboard. The songs goes on to a riff that contains more of The Chariot style feedback (well, I should call it Botch style feedback because The Chariot would exist if it wasn't for this band.)
After "Third Part in Tragedy", a song from what I presume is off of an early 7" or something of the sort, and the odd cover of the B-52's "Rock Lobster", complete with screaming an all, starts the main course of this DVD. My all time favorite Botch song "Transitions from Persona to Object" begins with the odd, yet simple guitar riff with a rather low amount of distortion, one of the rare moments of the concert where you eardrums aren't being pummeled with a wall of sound. This riff is played for a while with the rest of the band joining in occasionally. The most active instrument is the drums. Latona plays with the crazy time signatures provided by the guitars, which is why I consider him an amazing drummer. His playing in "Transitions..." consists of interesting double bass patterns and some cool snare rolls that intertwine with the guitar at one point. The song repeats itself entirely again and then Knudson starts putting his Kaoss pad to good use. A Kaoss pad is a piece of equipment that is able to record short guitar clips and then it plays it over and over again, non-stop. The guitarist loops the guitar riff that starts the song and then he starts to record the same riff chromatically until it becomes a complete mess. He then puts his guitar down and starts messing with the speeds of his guitar loops and making them sound completely insane. The song ends with a simple drum beat that actually becomes the next song.
With the highlight of the concert over it is not hard to think the next songs aren't going to be as great, which they're not but they are still worth watching . "Our Friends in the Great White North", dubbed "the Canada Song" by the band, and "Hutton's Great Heat Engine" are just as intense as earlier songs and as easily enjoyable. The show ends on a rather strange note. A sample of the choir on "Man the Ramparts" plays as there is a lot of commotion on the stage. The band and a bunch of random people start playing the ending to "Man the Ramparts". Botch exit in a hail of not so great guitar playing, which seems sort of ironic seeing that most of the bands the proceeded Botch, are not great at all.
The major problem of this DVD is the video quality. Throughout, the picture quality is grainy and not crisp at all. The sound quality is great and I was able to hear every instrument well. 061502 should only be purchased by die-hard fans of Botch. Some standout features was the drumming, the brilliance of the guitar and the fact that I was able to hear the bass. It should also be noted that this DVD contains five tracks from a different live show back in 2000, full band commentary and a music video for "St. Matthew Returns to the Womb".