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Puscifer’s “What Is…” The Best Look at Redneck Punk Rock of 2013

This amusing DVD starts off with a “mockumentary” following Billy D, Hilldy, and (F******) Peter Merkin of the Burger Barns, a self-proclaimed “Punk Rock” band. It follows the band through their tumultuous tour which is filled with drama, infidelity, and thievery. It’s like a mix of Cops, WWE wrestling, and The Young and The Restless. Although the documentary is a hoot, the group manage to sprinkle some legitimate, enjoyable country music into the performance. Songs include “Cuntry Boner,” “Something Depressing,” and “That Song About Hilldy’s Titties.” The last character introduced is Sergeant Major Douché (that’s French) who suffered a mule kick to the head at young age and now believes he’s in the military (although he’s only on for a moment to introduce the band).

The documentary continues in short bits interspersed throughout Puscifer’s set, following the Burger Barns and delving into Major Douche’s life as well. That all said, the documentary is funny and filled with loveabl… well likeab… well, it’s filled with characters. The documentary is recommended to watch first, so you know who the characters are as they will make appearances later.  As enjoyable as the documentary is, when the band’s set rolls around it’s none too late.

It starts with an airstream trailer being pulled on stage, from which Maynard James Keenan emerges. He recites an insightful and thought provoking speech as he sets up the band’s stinky, hippy, drum circle (but not with real hippies, he hates real hippies). Following this circus, the band shoots right into their set and it’s nothing but marvelous. Some of the band sits and sips wine as the others jam out, delving deeper into the previous characters. The setlist is made up of songs mostly from “Conditions of my Parole” as it was the supporting tour for that album.

In conclusion (and all seriousness) this DVD is funny, entertaining, and the band is in excellent form. MJK has put together an original and creative piece of art. For any Puscifer or even just Maynard fans in general this is an essential buy. It’s great look to a side of Keenan I don’t think a lot of people get see. He’s not just the untouchable frontman of rock Gods Tool. He’s not as serious as his work with his other two bands would suggest. His affection for comedy really shines through and makes this something that will stand out in your collection.

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