Sometimes, when reviewing a CD, DVD, book, or whatever, outside factors can come into play and result in an opinion one would normally not come to. Maybe it’s that you know the drummer was playing under the duress of healing after nearly being burned alive, following an attempt at emulating Gene Simmons’s fire breathing shenanigans with a disposable lighter, or that the singer had to record a slew of happy tunes while suffering from an acute case of stigmata and his girlfriend left him for a pelican. Neither of these applies here, of course, but I think you get my point. Now, I could ruminate all day over the pros and cons of these two DVDs. One contains a decent live show from the band at their late-‘80s peak, with the crowd being pelted with flower petals (“Instead of beer cans,” my wife Karla interjects from the other room as I type this, referring to a Fear show we attended where people were tossing stuff at Lee) as they join in song with the Mission, who, in turn, run through spirited performances of some of their best loved tunes, including “Sacrilege,” “Serpent’s Kiss,” “Garden of Delight,” and more. The other is a collection of music videos made over the first decade or so of their existence, videos the band readily admits are pretty terrible and I’m inclined to agree. I might add that I was always more partial to the band half the members were in prior, The Sisters Of Mercy, and never really gave the Mission much thought.
As previously intimated, however, a few extenuating factors need to be included in my assessment: 1) The Mission is Karla’s favorite band of all time; 2) the discs reawakened her “inner goth” and her appreciation for underground music and culture and now the house and car are filled with the sounds of Chrome, Sisters, Killing Joke, Danse Macabre, Fields Of The Nephilim, Bauhaus, Dead Guitars, and others; 3) she has since met Wayne Hussey and is his “personal MySpace friend.” Taking all these factors into consideration, my assessment is this: These are the greatest music DVDs ever committed to, uh, plastic. Go ahead, scream “conflict of interest” and whine about the decaying ethics of journalism all you want, ’cause if you think I’m brave enough to slag down my wife’s favorite band of all time, you’re completely off your nut, kiddo. –Jimmy Alvarado (Cherry Red, www.cherryred.co.uk)