Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Music > Rock > Albums > Critical Times: Fishbone’s Hen House Sessions

Critical Times: Fishbone’s Hen House Sessions


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: C-     Main Program: B-



Could the critically acclaimed band Fishbone, having never sold out and retained its diehard fans make a comeback album that was up to what made them a name band in the first place?  That is the question that is quickly answered by Critical Times: Fishbone’s Hen House Sessions, a recent DVD release of the 2001 taping of the recording sessions at the name music studio.  It is uncut, raw and as blunt as their lyrics.


The session includes members Norwood Fisher, Angelo Moore, Walter Kibby III, Tracy Singleton, John Steward and John McKnight, who manage to come together with only limited rough spots.  Not knowing much about the band, this turned out to be an advantage.  Unlike phony “reality TV” that digital High Definition will hopefully kill off, all the band members are fighting to be as open and musically accurate as possible.  Unlike a recent spate of Rock dramas where the drama is too often predictable, I enjoyed seeing the conflict coming out of everyone’s best efforts to do a great album and knew that all the awful, horrible, bubblegum garbage was being made under opposite “yes men” circumstances.  That it takes some friction and conflict to really make music about something, it is obvious some known names are so grossly overpaid, its no wonder people are starving to death.


During the program, the songs that were made include:


1)     Frayed F%*ing Nerve Ending

2)     Lost Dayz, Critical Times

3)     Premadawnuff

4)     Demon In Here

5)     In The Heat Of Angrrr

6)     Skank ’N’ Go Nutts



This is well edited and shot for a taped program, presented here in 1.33 X 1 analog NTSC color video with no older footage.  Interesting honest people make music of the same quality and that holds here.  The print source is clean, as it should be for a recent taping.  The Dolby Digital is available in Dolby Digital 5.1 and is not bad, but the limit of the taping and that multi-channel was not in consideration when they were shooting shows.  It spreads the stereo around enough and adds some bass that helps the sound, but it is not bad for what it is.  The only extras are four music video-like clips that still retain moments of the documentary.  Too bad there was not more, but Critical Times is worth a look, especially for music fans that are not fond of the mainstream.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com