Lydia Lunch – Video Hysterie: 1978-2006 – Review

dvd-lydialunch200Lydia Lunch

Video Hysterie: 1978-2006 (MVD Visual)
By Craig Regala

LOOK; what this is is a full scan through one person’s very individual take of the just après punk era on up. Whether pissing in ole man “rocks” mouth early on using Teenage Jesus and The Jerks nerve shoot noise-jangle to the gruesome-ising of “rock” uh “roll” form; (see 8 Eyed Spy’s cover of C.C.R.’s “Run Through the Jungle”) her desire/revulsion was evident. Having buried the thing, she digs it up and utilizes a curdled brutish take on actual “rock” music (a great song with Die Haut) “Doggin’,” which scans like her spoken word stuff flowed through a band comfortable with say, Killdozer or Led Zepplin’s muse-pose. From there, she adopts the chanteuse role to dredge up eternal truths and busts them out of the cultural mold they’ve been wedged into in the here and now, all while looking like Pat Benatar’s cooler cousin. I wish I’d seen 8 Eyed with say, The Contortions; but like mom said, “Wish in one hand, shit in the other.”

After this, the music has a menacing cool urban ’50s heroin vibe jimmied through a less-polite take on the ’90s Tom Waits/Cop Shoot Cop wheezy industrial/song writerishness whittling down decades of sounds and centuries of art and truth. She speaks a common language; just a little rougher and less patronizing than most of us are used to, and nothing Celine, Sun Ra, or Burroughs would be surprised by. Hell, that’s where she learned to smash atoms. As Lydia says, “Religion used to be the opiate for the masses, now it’s the crack cocaine of assassins.”