I've been following Bleach's career since their debut on Forefront Records back in 1996. With five studio albums under their belt, carving a respectable career leaving a lasting impression on fans along the way, Bleach decided it was time to call it quits and played their final show this past August. As one of the few rock bands who have really expressed their appreciation of their fans, Bleach has made their final months as special and as memorable for them as possible. A fun and lengthy farewell tour, an unforgettable final performance, and current production on a sixth and final studio recording, Bleach is not going quietly. Among their 'parting gifts' is their first - and hopefully not only - DVD release, That's Our Life Up Until Now.
That's Our Life Up Until Now is an independently recorded and produced behind-the-scenes glance at life in the studio and on the road for the Bleach boys. Although members have come and gone since the band's inception, the roster has been the same now since about 2000 and the group has reached back that far in grabbing material for this release. The final result is an all-around silly and fun candid look at Bleach.
The "movie" featured on the DVD begins immediately with an in-studio look at the making of their 2001 record Again, For the First Time. Most of this lengthy segment is just the guys goofing off in the studio, lead by producer Oran Thornton (of Flick, formerly of johnny Q. public). The silliness is infectious and clearly fun, but it surprised me that more serious segments about the writing process of the record weren't included (maybe they were never even filmed?). As a fan myself, I would have found some exploration of the writing process intriguing at the very least. But to be fair, there really isn't anything about That's Our Life Up Until Now that is taken seriously. Even in the "Interviews" segment, the guys do not answer a single question with an honest answer. This is fine, and in fact makes the project one fun and lighthearted trip through Bleach history. However, if this is should be the last we'll get from these guys in the visual media department, it lacks the substance I think some fans will wish it would have had. I was especially holding out for some final show footage but was disappointed to find none included. The band briefly mentioned the possibility of a new DVD from the band coming in March, so we can only pray Tooth & Nail either allows the band to release the live footage independently or decides to release it themselves.
Overall, That's Our Life Up Until Now is a really fun must-have for any true Bleach fan. If you're a more casual fan, you may not fully appreciate this release. Some montages of live footage and silly antics like a late-night browse through a gas station store, throwing themselves down a skateboard ramp without a skateboard and scaring the living daylights out of frontman Davy Baysinger while he's sleeping are just a few of the highlights on this project. While being an independent release probably limited what they could put on the project (no actual official music videos are included, which is unfortunate), perhaps the rumored 2005 Bleach DVD release will take care of what was missed. All in all, the boys bring the good times once again. (Disclaimer: The guys use the word "cr*p" many times throughout the course of the film as well as a few uses of "p*ssed" and "s*cks." We realize this language is considered inappropriate to some and thought it should be noted.)Review date: 11/22/04, written by John DiBiase
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