The Damage Manual was a short lived project that featured Martin Atkins (Pigface, Ministry, Killing Joke, PiL), Jah Wobble (PiL), Geordie Walker (Killing Joke) and Chris Connelly (Revolting Cocks, Ministry, Pigface). They put out an EP and LP both in the year 2000 and then that version of the band ceased existence. As you could probably imagine, the band sounded like a blend of the participants other bands which made for some rather interesting results. I was a fan of both records, but especially the EP.
Since such a collection of musicians from well-known and great bands is a unique and rare event, Martin Atkins had the foresight to document the recording process of the band’s EP on film which is now available eight years later on this DVD. The disc starts off with an eight minute intro by Martin Atkins where he tells the story of how the band came to be. It was really quite an interesting into that ended up being my favorite part of the disc. Once the intro ends the next 50 minutes is spent showing all the footage they shot of the recording process. You see all the band members laying down their respective parts in pieces of various songs. There is plenty of footage of the band brainstorming and goofing around as well. Some of the footage was quite interesting to see as I’ve never been in a real studio while a band records before so I liked getting a peak of what goes on behind the scenes. There was some other footage that could have benefited from some editing such as the numerous scenes where everyone was screwing around with the security buzzer/camera for the studio door which became painful to sit through due to the annoying sound the buzzer made while they were playing with it. It was fine for about a minute, but 5 minutes of that grew tiresome and had me starting to divert my attention to other things in my living room.
Fortunately once that past it was back to the business of watching a group of very talented musicians from bands I really like make another good record together. This DVD would have made a great companion piece to the CDs the band released and I’m a little surprised they didn’t just reissue those as part of a package with this DVD. As a fan of those records it was neat to see how they were made and the feature was a pretty good way to spend an hour on while hibernating from the winter.
The disc also has some bonus material that consists of a couple of music videos that I had never seen before, as well as some lyrics, dub mixes and two live clips when an altered version (sans-Wobble) played live at the Double Door here in Chicago. They bonus material was a nice touch to round out the package and sort of show you what the finished product ended up being. If you are a fan of The Damage Manual or just want to get a peak behind the studio door of the making of a record, this is a pretty good way to spend some time in front of the television.