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Whistle Down The Wind - Andrew Lloyd Webber And Jim Steinman
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So this may come as a shock to people who read my stuff, I actually am quite worldly, I may be a rocker and a punk but at the same time I love just as much to sit and listen to an ALW musical!!
Andrew Lloyd Webber is a... do I really need to tell you?!?!?
Surely everyone knows Lord Webber by know!!!
Well if you don't he Composed and created many of the most classic musicals of the last few years, such as "Evita", "Phantom of the Opera" and "Jesus Christ superstar" that's without mentioning all the others!!!
Oh and this may surprise you ill give one song he wrote now, and another at the end of the review!!!
He made the hit single Doctor Spin - tetris!!!, yep he was the genius behind making the Tetris theme tune a dance hit in the 90's lol!!! But the second reveal is better that's coming later!!!!!!
Anyway along side Webber you need a good Lyricist, Webber can make a piano say words we cant imagine, but only a Lyricist can make his words come to life, and in Steinman he has picked someone with a different sort of history here than his normal collaborators
Steinman is most famous for his work with Meat Loaf on the Bat out of Hell albums, and various other ventures that were never quite as well received.
Well better talk about what im not being paid for!!!
Well we have the story of a small town in Louisiana, originally it was somewhere in Lancashire, as this is based on a novel by Mary Hayley Bell, it is also set 10 years earlier, but rest of the story is pretty much as is!!
The story starts with a choir and a choral church setting, letting you know that this is a religious town, which does impact on the children of the story, and the children are the story....
A cold blooded killer has escaped prison, and will obviously do anything to not be spotted caught!!
Well he decides to hide in the children's hiding area, they bump into him, pretty much literally, asking who he is he replies "Oh Jesus Christ" at the shock but the children see that as literal, and as such the story then tells itself...!!!!
The criminal hiding gets children who look up to him for their own reasons which are explained so lovely and carefully over the cause of the story!!!
That's where I leave the plot, that's quite early in the story, and I don't want to ruin it for others.
Oh this is a musical isn't it, better tell something about the sounds!!!
Not sure which version you may buy, ive listened to London 1998 cast, normally it doesn't matter that much, though I listened to evita original versus film remake and original was 10 times better!!!!
The songs jump all over the place yet fit beautifully, you have some typical opera type numbers, some 50's jazzy type numbers and some really rockin rock and roll numbers, the whole soundtrack is beautiful, it manages to mix styles and colours beautifully.
The well known songs from this are boyzones no matter what which is an almost completely different song here, but still recognisable!
And the title track which is beautiful and moving and holds you close to tears before kicking you, making you cry more!!!
Steinman and Webber have done a wondrous thing here they have made a musical thriller that needs other people to listen to; it's created a show where kids of all ages really show talent! These kids are great.
Depending on which version you get im sure you will be happy, ive listened to London cast, but im sure Us cast would be as good, Lloyd Webber doesn't normally cast badly!!!
If you like this then, try all Lloyd Webber and all Steinman, it's almost the perfect mix!!!
Kylecoares greatest moment will arrive soon, but then he will fall further than any coare as ever fallen
On the astroroid known as Ciaofun, also known as the place a good man will look for a beer
Oh and just so to finish the review I almost forgot the other major single by mister Llyod Webber was......
Should I tell you? Its gonna be painful unless you know, your never gonna believe such a great musician was behind this.....
Ok here goes...
"Itsy Bitsy teeny weenie polka dot bikini" by timmy mallott!!!!!!!
As one last bonus I say look up me first and the gimmie gimmies doing phantom of the opera on you tube!!!! Youl see the song so different!!!!
Goodnight good morning
Space Invaders Extreme 2 - Nintendo DS
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So im often referred to as a Retro gamer and a reviewer of retro games, even though ive not touched retro for a good few years.
But one thing ive always found with other retro enthusiasts is their love for the really early classics, which unfortunately is a love I don't share, im not a fan of Pac man, frogger can just go and play in the traffic and possibly my most hated of retro games, space invaders, just couldn't see the fun in endlessly shooting the same bunch of aliens ad infinitum!!!
So is that review over?
You would think so, but if you look at the stars at the top you might realise my mind has been slightly altered, I blame my mum for those weird tasting mushrooms but that's another story involving a sheep a kettle and a block of stilton.
Onwards we must march, aliens are again doing what they do best they be invading!!!!!
Aaarrrgggghhhh lines of aliens coming down in a sorta left to right formation, how will we ever defend ourselves from this evil destructive menace?!?!?!?
Should we send the army, or a frog over the road? How about we see if they are friendly first?
Nah lets blast them outta the sky and let's ask one person to do it!!!!!!
So that's it really the premise of space invaders extreme 2!!!
If it was a movie it would have a deep growling American saying " One man, humanity willing him on, oh bugger that's way too many aliens for me too handle, let graham Norton take the voice over job!!"
So onto the Game..............
The first thing I have to warn you, is this IS space invaders!!
But then I have top say, throw away any pre conceived ideas away, forget putting your pennies in machines, this IS space invaders, what it should have been all those years ago!!
The basic principle stays the same, you have aliens on screen that need to be shot, and you're at the bottom of the screen defending gallifrey.
You must shoot those slimy creatures before they mate with your chicken and create a pikachu!!
So far so space invaders, well, firstly they don't all come in white! Yay no more racial space invaders, there are many colours for a reason which I will mention, but have some patience!!!
Secondly they don't all come in lines, over the 30 odd years they have been invading they realised this was quite easy for our top guys to shoot down, so they now come down in various strategic ways, some can move straight down for instance, instantly killing you, until you regenerate into the twelfth you, played by Hugh Grant.
So game play is basically the same you say?!?!?
Well yes and a big no, and it's the no that takes this from rubbish old throwaway to modern classic.
Firstly the aliens are all different colours because you have a combo system, kill a number of one colour and a number of another colour and you enter bonus rounds where the top screen comes alive with beasties, whilst bottom screen is still full of what you had left, so you are now fighting two screens of invaders for extra points and the love of your fellow geek!!!
These bonus rounds vary depending on how many you string together how many of one colour you blast etc, that's something to learn through play, and will bring exciting fun battles.
The other major change from classic invaders land is there are now boss fights, where your whole top screen is took up with some sort of monstrous alien creation ready to turn your land red to help it live, little does it know its gonna get a cold!!!! Don't tell it!!!!
The graphi9c I hear you cry, well what can I say, its space invaders, with more than one colour on screen, to any modern day kid this will look less like a game and more like something that just got spat onto their modern phones screen, but for us old timers its fine, a mix of the 8 bit invaders with some funky colourful backgrounds!!
Music isn't my cup of tea on games tend to ignore it, or not have it on in the first place but for the sake of this review (DESERVES AN EXCEPTIONAL JUST FOR THIS!!!!) I listened to the sounds!!!
There is some kinda voiceover telling you to get ready etc, then a very weak electro dance techno kinda feel to the rest of it, then I turned it off so hope it didn't improve and I missed it!!!
The game has various styles of play, multiplayer no ideas have no friends sorry!!!!
Score and time attack are the two most used game styles, and both offer a good amount of time to master, going up through the difficulties which you really should with this game as it does change quite a lot!!!
So to give my overall opinion, if you can find this game quite cheap, I would say definitely, especially if you are near or in your 30's this will change your impressions on one of the most classic icons of the video gaming world!!
If your under that age id probably tell you to get something else this might not engross you as much as us oldies!!!!
Though if your parents, older sibling get it then certainly give it a go!!!
Anyway enough for tonight, party on Wayne, party on Garth
Excellent, ive been Kyle Coare, you've all been beautiful except you!!! Good night!!!
Russell T Davies and Benjamin Cook
The Writers Tale - The final Chapters.
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So, ill let you into a little secret, most people that know me know this already, but for those that don't, I'm a massive Doctor Who fan, there it's out their now!!
To the point of almost obsessive about The Doctor, his adventures and his friends and enemies.
So when I saw this book mentioned on a Dr who forum I just knew id have to obtain it at some point in the future.
Roughly £8.50 later and a few days for delivery from Amazon, I had this huge monster of a book in my mitts, so for all of you that haven't read this, or for those that have but fancy reading me waffle on about it, I shall begin..
The Writers tale is a book by Russell T Davies creator and writer of various TV shows such as Queer as folk, Second coming, Casanova and of course Doctor Who.
Co author is Benjamin Cook editor and writer for the official Doctor who magazine.
Normally I wouldn't mention a co author on a celebrity's book, cos it's normally just a ghost writer or such like, but here the co author is as much a part of the book as Russell T Davies.
So onto the book, I always start book reviews by telling how many pages it contains, normally I don't like my books too long or too short, but this weighing in at over 700 pages is actually the exception because even at 700 pages I could have carried on with it!
So firstly this isn't a fictional piece, this is a serious look into the makings of an hit TV series, please don't let this put you off, its almost as gripping as fiction and will make you think a lot about writing and television and the human condition.
The book began life when Ben cook contacted RTD asking for a few interview emails about the writing process for an episode or two of the then new series 4 of Dr Who, Well this couple of Emails soon flew out of control and became a monster of the sorts no one can contain.
So the whole book is a set of emails and text messages sent back ands forward between the two men, at first RTD is not quite sure if this will affect his writing, but soon finds he likes it so we start to gain a lot of insight into the world inside the mans head, which isn't always rosy.
The book deals with his issues of depression, lack of motivation his inability to write until he is right on deadline, this is moving yet funny with some bits almost Laugh out loud funny!
The book was originally released on hardback in 2008 and focused on the writing of Series 4.
It was re-released on paperback in 2010 with an added 300 pages talking about his work on the series of specials released in 2009 ending with both RTD and 10th Doctor David Tennant both leaving their roles on the show.
As well as the Emails there are some script extracts that didn't make the final show, some photos and some original cartoons drawn by Mr Davies.
I would recommend this book to any fan of RTD, Dr who or just television in general, though I should warn there are some references to sex and drug use, and some bad language at times so maybe not for the younger fans!!!
I would also recommend it for anyone that wants to learn how to get into working in the television industry or who wants to become a writer.
I read all 700+ pages in about 3 days because it was completely engrossing, I didn't use to like RTD and this book doesn't make him out to be a saint, but having read it I have a lot more respect for him!
The book also has a website with more info about the writers etc it also contains full shooting scripts for all Russells episodes from series 4 and the specials year, well worth a look.
Hope this has been useful
I've been Kyle Coare, goodnight!!
MANIC STREET PREACHERS
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Journal for plague lovers.
So The Manics for years were one of the top rock/pop groups to come from the UK, first three albums all offered something to show the rest of the world that we could still do rock music as well, with the beautifully tuneful "motorcycle emptiness" you could already see the class in this band.
Over the years they changed styles many times, though their earlier input tended to be poppy punk based with a lot of melancholic lyrics which is right up my street!!
This was mainly due to chief songwriter Ritchey Edwards, well sadly come 1995 Ritchey disappeared, car left on a notorious suicide spot nothing heard of him since.
And simply since that day the manics have only really produced 1 semi decent album, well this year that changed...
The rest of the Manics realising they weren't as good without Ritchey's Lyrics decided to do what any other decent person would do, use his old leftover lyrics in a money grabbing grave robbing way, though I honestly believe they did this for the right reasons lol!!
So here we have an album where all lyrics were written by master of misery and greatness Ritchey Manic!!
Could the rest of the Manics mess this up by sticking to the middle of the road boring rock they have produced over the last few years?
Well we shall at last answer that question but you will have to wait till the end to find out, or ignore me talking about songs and stuff?!?
The First thing that hits me with the first song is the use of a spoken word intro, used a lot in the Manics supposed best album " the Holy bible"
Then we very soon have bruising guitars and vocals that sound like they want to rip your throat out?!?
Yet the tunes are beautiful, the chorus kicks in with perfection can imagine a few thousand people jumping around singing the complete wrong words yet loving every minute!
The guitars are ripping the drums give a good base to the tune works really well first Manics song ive liked since the "everything must go" album
This is soon followed by another song, just as well else it would only be a poor single and a very short review.
This takes us down a much more poppy route, with a bouncy cute tone, though it soon makes way for some proper welsh shouting for the chorus, a truly great track, where has this new found energy come from?
Starting as a typical punky rocking track the third track soon becomes a sort of verse chorus verse song with slow verses and fast chorus, nice but a bit overdone in the last 15 years so its slightly fillerish, good tune but ive heard better.
We follow with what the Manics are good at ballads, though this time I feel it just isn't strong enough, it doesn't get under my skin and start tearing me up to use as a new second skin like a lot of the older stuff did.
The title track soon kicks in with a sort of middle of the road rock/pop/punk feel not quite hitting the heights of any of its genres but still being a playable rocking tune with an instantly catchy chorus.
Talking of catchy choruses we very soon meet another with the shouty chorus of "She bathed herself in a bath of bleach" lovely title!!
Musically a little rocky not too tuneful but the shouty chorus saves it.
"Facing page: top left" the next song in the list starts with James singing over a beautiful piano guitar mix, slow balanced almost perfect for its style, this is where James really hits his form and shows how good his lungs and vocal chords are with a nice ballad only problem its a bit too short, then we are straight into another rockier number....
Which unfortunately sounds very eighties, and a bit poor, in fact not very good in fact im already skipping it sorry...
"doors closing slowly" follows which is back in ballad land and just as well cos its the Manics back in good form, nothing special but better than over the last few years.
We soon Kick into the next song that really feels like it should be on the holy bible, this is really in the wrong place its got almost every thing great vocals a good guitar base drums which really sit well, the manics loosing years and sounding good for it.
And then again they do it for another song, the manics sounding like they did in 1994 and producing quality music, two tracks in a row should say something, this is them doing what they are good at, catchy tunes melancholic lyrics weird voice overs everything you want from them.
Almost as catchy as pork flu, though nowhere near beef flu yet!
Two more songs one good other not so, first one has a great balance with some nice singing good tunes although it also features some of the worst co vocals ive heard in a long time.
The second is just plain bad which is a shame cos its Ritcheys last words basically, but they are sung by the wrong member of the manics. Who makes it all sound like some karaoke with a rubbish singer, whose head is stuck in a vice , with a ten tonne gallon of oil over his head whilst suffering burns to his lower gentlemen's bits.
Ohh what did I feel about this album, ive probably left you with no idea reviewing the tracks so ill try my best to tell ya!
The holy bible is one of my all time favourite albums I love the whole thing, this is its younger cousin nice in parts and certainly has a resemblance but never quite reaches the heights.
Still a lot better than other albums that came in-between, if you liked holy bible id give it a go, if you like pink then id commit suicide then not bother choice is yours.
Fanks for readin, ive been Kyle Core wish you all well.
21st CENTURY BREAKDOWN
Years ago when I was a lot younger than I now find myself, I discovered a band that made me excited made me feel music could be fun, id never really enjoyed music till this point.
That band was obviously Green Day, with their punky take on pop music I was hooked like musical heroin.
Well over the years this band grew up, as did I.
First album on the turn to the 90's,"1039 smoothed out slappy hours" was simple yet very effective punk pop which made me jump around like a loon.
They followed this with a punky master class taking hints from all the greats but blending in their own soft sloppy pop, and guess what, it really worked, following the success of this album Green Day were signed to a major label a big no-no to many fans but to me it meant more money to make great music.
They followed this with the awesome Dookie a bestseller wherever you went, topped the charts in various nations.
After this a lot of people thought they had disappeared though they released a few albums which never really hit the upper echelons of the charts.
Then came 2003's American Idiot, an album that took ideas from all over the spectrum, bit of rock opera check! Bit of punk check!
Almost too perfect it gained many album of the year awards etc!!
So this brings us up to date?!?
We start with singer Billie Joe basically singing acapello, this soon leads into a rock opera number, starting with just a couple of chords on the guitar soon joined by crashing drums and a big bass sound.
Billie Joe Armstrong sounds epic here, opening with a powerful, yet very tuneful display, halfway through the tune changes and we hear a different Green Day, more like an oi punk band, kind of angry sounding!
This is good, Green day are really mixing their influences and styles to suit everyone.
We soon enter ballad land and remember this is just one song, think Queen's Bohemian rhapsody that can be done by a punk band!!!!!
They quickly follow this with radio hit know your enemy, which is far from the best song on the album, but does inject5 a lot of energy, I can imagine jumping around like a loon, though im too old to do that lol!
Viva la Gloria is a beautiful ballad over violins etc, until the punky rock side joins the mess of music, and it joins in a gorgeous way almost snogging the violin players and don't ask what its doing with the cellists!
We have a few tracks like this nice, well played and recorded but not really worth reviewing they are all good but in the same way as the previous song.
The next track is catchy but Billie Joe insists on over using the megaphone effect, which is a big shame as chorus is catchy as swine flu.
Almost the best song on the album is the upon you "Last night on earth" is a beautiful ballad along the lines of when September ends and good riddance though tonnes better.
BJ shows he can really sing on this song.
What you find around this point is that the album may be slightly too long, some of the songs feel a bit like fillers, though fillers on an album like this would go nicely on most albums as main tracks.
Fast forward a few tracks and we have the real stand out song, I normally like rocky upbeat stuff, but the down beat non rocky 121 guns wins for me hands down, you have beautiful lyrics, vocals and music its almost perfect, not many songs would stand up to it!!
This Album is going to get a 4 outta 5 mainly cos it was slightly too long a couple of tracks could have been trimmed but a very nice effort
Fanks for reading ive been kyle coare, take care.
ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN (P.C)
Being a massive Spider-man fan ever since I was a wee nipper, it's always a joy to find something new based on the licence, and so when I heard there was a new spider man game out for the P.C. well I had to give it a try.
As there isn't another Spider-man film due until mid 2007, you could have forgiven treyarch for waiting until the next money printing movie to arrive, but instead they decided to give the fans a little something different.
This game is based on a fairly new set of comics, The Ultimate series is a reinvention of the original series, with spider man now still being a high school student and the whole idea of the series is a little more high tech, whilst still having a nod towards the more traditional comics.
Treyarch have been making the spider-man games since the first movie based game, and with each on have took a good idea and increased on it a little, so as a fan I was quite hopeful of something special here.
The previous spider man game to this, Spiderman 2 was a stunning yet quite flawed game, with you in control of our friendly neighbourhood webslinger, on the whole it was a good game with a nice freeform version of New York city to swing your way around, and plenty of baddies to hang from lamp posts etc, unfortunately where this game fell down was that the game was too short, and there wasn't enough variety in the game to warrant extended play, so after a year have treyarch made enough changes to the game to make it a classic?
We shall find out over the course of this here review!
THE (Ultimate?) GAME
So lets start at the start here, you've just been into your local game store and have handed over the £25 - £30 that this game might set you back, you've got it home and your ready to install it, you insert the first of the three disks and follow on screen instructions, and before you know it you have a shiny new icon on your windows desktop!
So now it's into the game proper, you're past all that boring installing and its time for a bit of action, but what can you expect from the game?
Well the first thing that will hit you is the all new graphics and I mean hit you, these really pack a nice punch.
All of the in game graphics have been done in a 3d cel shaded style, which basically means the game looks like a cartoon, none of the realism from the previous games, this is pure cartoon action.
The main story is told in a series of cutscenes, these can be skipped, but I would advice you not to as you would be missing some of the most gorgeously realised moving comic book style cartoons I have had the joy of witnessing, the story and artwork has all been done by the writer and artist of the actual comics, and their quality really shows through.
The cutscenes have some really nice touches such as the panel borders as you would see in an actual comic, They really are like a comic come to life and I really cannot do them justice here.
So Into the game itself, the first thing you notice is how similar this is to previous Spidey games, you are given a fairly big city to explore, although not quite as big as spidey 2's city.
In this city you can jump around, swing on your webbing, you can generally do what a spider does, so far so good.
To progress during the game you must pass a certain amount of cit challenges, these are basically the same as what you used to do in the previous game, such as saving people from falling from a building or beating up a group of thugs, you also have to collect tokens and complete races in order to progress the story, there will be more about this later, but for now lets talk about the storyline missions.
These missions are all basically Boss battles on a fairly big scale, usually following a set pattern, one section will be a chase across town, usually with some evil doer causing accidents and near death experiences for the citizens of the colourful cartoony New York.
After you have saved the lives of these poor unfortunate people its usually onto some spectacular action sequence where you try to work out the enemies weaknesses without getting your body flattened into the ground, these are in reality quite an ordinary gaming element, but for some reason in this game they feel so much better than usual boss battles, and they can also be quite challenging, which will give the older gamers something to test their reactions against.
As well as Spidey, you also get a chance to play as venom at certain points in the game, venom is basically a bigger evil version of spider man (Im not going to tell you all the history of the characters!)
These missions are vastly different from spidey's, with the controls handling different and the fact that you are actually a bad guy and you have to smash things up.
These add a bit of depth to the game, but also cause the game to loose a few points as they become very repetitive very quickly, they are basically an all out scrap with as many people as the good guys can throw at you, entertaining at first but gets quite boring as time passed.
So aside from venom this sounds like a great game? Unfortunately not, as the game is about as flawed as its predecessor.
The main problem with the game is the city goals, these are challenges that have to be completed before you can progress the story, these were also in Spidey 2 although in that game you could choose if you wanted to do them or not, whereas this time they are compulsory, which wouldn't be a problem if their was a little variety, but on the most part they involve beating up a group of thugs or saving people from falling off buildings. This is all well and good for the first five minutes, but soon begins to get on your nerves when all you want to do is see the next cutscene and fight the next boss battle.
As bad as these are they are not as bad as the ultra annoying races, these are the usual swing from checkpoint to checkpoint in a certain time style races, which alongside another of the games problems causes progression to be quite difficult and boring, namely the fact that treyarch have messed up the swinging style, in Spidey 2 you could choose simple swing or expert swing, with the latter you could really control the way you used your webs and controlling spidey was so much easier for it, unfortunately they have taken this option out and left us with simple swing which makes control appallingly bad. This basically means you will be trying these races over and over again, not fun believe me!
There are quite a few other niggling little problems with the game, for example the buildings have all been shortened and their seems a lot less skyscrapers etc. this makes swinging around even harder, which considering that one of Spiderman's main selling points is his ability to swing from webs, really doesn't make much sense.
So after much thought I will now try to sum up my findings in a nice paragraph sized section called
Well, I wanted to love this game, I have always been a fan of spider man, and although I'm not 100% sure I like the new direction these comics seem to be taking, I still wanted a great spider man game, and unfortunately didn't get it.
The graphics are some of the best cartoon/comic style that ive witnessed and the story missions of the game are quite fun and involving, but the city goals and some other silly niggling things stop this quite some distance from greatness.
But I Would still give it a chance because it has some very nice moments but I would advice waiting until its available at a budget price, as it isn't worth £30.
Thanks for reading, see ya soon
The Libertines - Up the bracket.
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Pete Doherty it seems like you cannot open a newspaper with out some headline or other screaming about his on/off relationship with Kate Moss or his appalling drug habit.
What you dont seem to read about is his music, the thing that gave him his fame in the first place, so im here to tell you about it.
The Libertines formed in about 1998 when Carl barat and Pete Doherty were introduced to each other by Pete's sister, it wasnt long before they were playing guitars, writing songs and planning their careers in the music world.
After this first meeting the boys started to play lots of small gigs with various different band members over the years, even including a 63 year old drummer at one point!
The lads had a few ups and downs but come 2002 they had what will in years to come be heralded as a classic album.
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The group that appeared on this record were:-
Pete Doherty - Guitars/Vocals
Carl Barat - Guitars/Vocals
John Hassall - Bass
Gary Powell - Drums
The album was produced by ex Clash member Mick Jones, and the link with the clash does come across in a fair few songs!
The song writing duties were shared between Barat and Doherty.
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The version of the album that ive got contains 12 songs, some have a few bonus tracks or a free DVD its worth shopping around to find the best deal.
Track one - Vertigo.
The album really kicks off as it means to go one, with a bouncy guitar driven tune which is by no means heavy or grinding, but jumpy and colourful.
The drumming is perfect with a nice beat holding the tune together beautifully especially when it's combined with the stuttery bass line.
The main vocals are performed by Carl barat with Doherty giving the backing vocals and helping out with the almost beatlesesque harmonies.
Barat has a similar voice to Pete so it's sometimes difficult to tell them apart but barat has a slightly deeper voice.
Track Two - Death on the stairs.
This kicks in with a great tunefully guitar intro which is soon joined by the bass and drums.
The tune is a fairly quick paced with a simple but nice twiddly guitar line running behind the wall of drums and bass.
Vocally this song has the pair sharing vocal duties, Carl sings some sections and Pete does the others, this works brilliantly as the two voices complement each other very well.
Track three - HorrorShow.
This song is about Pete's addiction to drugs, and is the first time you really get to here Pete's unique style.
Tune wise this is a simple juttery pop punk type rock number, with fast paced guitars jumping all over the place and a drumbeat which the Clash would have been happy with.
Pete really makes this song, with his almost drunken style of slurred singing, now this might sound like he's a bad singer but in reality it gives the tune a little something else, almost like a cross between Shane McGowan and Joe strummer.
Track Four - Time for Heroes.
Probably the first song most people will have heard from the band, and one of the best.
This song is a lot better produced and a bit more commercial sounding than most others on the album, with Pete's vocals a bit more refrained and clearer.
Musically this is a catchy number with more than a slight hint at The Clash and The Jam.
The music seems to be a little further back in the track giving more emphasis on the vocals than on other songs.
Pete produces probably his finest performance on this track, with a clearer delivery and a good show of his talent.
Track Five - Boys in the band.
On of my all time favourites, and one of the songs that got me into the band when I first heard it played live on Jools Holland's later show.
The song opens with a very catchy bouncy guitar riff which jumps all around the room with you, the bass and the drums do their job well.
The main parts of the song are sung by Carl, who gives a quite rocking performance.
The chorus changes the song from decent number to quality song with a catchy use of backing vocals and a distinct change to the main tune which works very well.
The highlight of this track has to be Pete's clever almost comical backing vocals.
Track Six - Radio America.
This seems a very odd choice for the album, as it doesnt sound anything like the rest of the collection.
The song is an acoustic number with Pete tacking main singing duties and unfortunately failing, not a complete waste of time but not one to recommend the album on!
The guitars are out of tune and Pete's vocals dont rally work here, which is a shame as some of Pete's best work is his solo acoustic stuff.
Track seven - Up the bracket.
Well the album is quickly back on track with this.
This was also a single from the album and definitely one of the best tunes on the album.
Musically this is a balls out punky pop number which contains some of the catchiest moments on a rock record.
The guitars race through the tune giving out sharp colourful hooks all the way through like a Day-Glo version of the clash.
The drums really offer a lot on this song giving it a great backbone and a really bouncy feel to it.
Pete's vocals are top notch on this one and again go a long way to show how talented this young man is and hopefully he can regain this in the future.
The song also contains one of the catchiest choruses ive heard in the last few years with some nice harmonies.
Track Eight - Tell the king.
This is a little slower and more downbeat than the previous song, but still a great tune.
Musically it is a fairly simple song with some twiddly guitars thrown over some simple effective drums and bass.
The vocals are again shared between the two singers, and again this works really well.
A good tune to relax to and just listen to the clever vocal interplays and the more mellow side to the libs.
Track Nine - The boy looked at Johnny.
This starts very poorly, with a bad vocal style with the band almost sounding like theyve had a few too many shandys, but this is almost a false start as the song really comes into itself during the catchy chorus.
Definitely not one id recommend the album on but as a filler its not one I skip very often.
Track Ten - Begging.
This song opens with a simple drumbeat which lasts quite some time, then the guitars start to come into the tune sounding a lot like 'the sebadoh', then a bit later carls vocals come in with a quite rocking performance.
Again this isnt the best song on the album by a long shot, and musically apart from the nice intro guitars there isnt really a lot to shout about, but as part of the album it fits well.
Track Eleven - The Good old days.
An essential Libertines song, a much darker brooding number which see's the band really show a side to their music that really should get more of an airing.
Pete's dark vocals work brilliantly with the downbeat mood of the guitars and drums.
Track Twelve - I Get Along.
The bands first single was a double a side with this and 'what a waster', and at the time people were naming them the new Strokes mainly due to this tune, a very catchy number but not a fair view of what the album contains.
The number features Carl on front man duties and he pulls this off very well, with an almost shouted chorus and a strokesy verse pattern.
A great tune to have a few bevies to and just jump around like a mad version of tigger!
- - - - - - - -
Well as you can probably tell I would recommend this album, it has a bit of everything.
It isnt an instantly great album, but after only a few listens it will begin to grow on you like a bad sore.
Pete does a decent job on this album as do the rest of the band, and hopefully one day he will be able to show this sort of talent again.
If you like this album I would also recommend the bands self titled second album, which shows the band in a less rocking mode but still a tuneful and talented group of musicians.
Also if you search around on the net you can find a lot of demos and bootlegs which the band have kindly aloud fans to download for free, which is a good way to find out whether this band is for you or not.
Pete has also released a few acoustic albums for free download on his babyshambles website.
Thanks for reading.
Terry Pratchett And Neil Gaiman
Well I was thinking of writing another music review but couldnt think of any albums to write about so instead we are going to lean over and pick up a nicely sized novel by a certain Mr T. Pratchett and his friend Mr N. Gaiman, entitled Good Omens, which was realeased upon the world in the grand year of 1990.
Terry Pratchett started writing a fair few years ago, back in the 60s whilst still in school, over the years his talents increased and he found himself working for various newspapers etc.
He then went on to write a series of fairly successful books, which you may have heard about, the Diskworld books, pretty much always in the top ten charts.
Neil Gaiman on the other hand is pretty unknown in this country, he is a comic book writer, but has also had a hand in various books and tv films and series.
So anyway you take these two writers and stick them in a pot, bring to the boil, let simmer for a few months and what do you get, well thats the interesting part and also what most of you would have looked at this review for, so I suppose id better let you have the gory details.
The first thing a lot of people like to know about books is how long is it, am I going to be reading the same novel for the next five years ala Tom Clancy, or is it going to be a waste of money, well fear not this novel rests right in the centre its not too long and its not too short basically its almost perfect.
The story revolves around the oncoming Armegeddon (end of the world, Battle between Hell and Heaven, blood guts and a very strange little child who call Satan daddy)
Basically the Anti Christ has been brought upon our fine earth to do what he is meant to do, ultimately end all existence, the thing is that the Demon that is supposedly helping these matters forward,Crowley, doesnt really want the earth to end, in fact he quite likes it here, so along with his friend the angel Aziraphale they go about trying to stop the end of all existence.
The anti Christ himself starts unsurprisingly as a newborn baby, who over the course of eleven years grows into an eleven year old boy, so far so good, in fact its almost how it should be, except for one minor detail, the anti Christ really should be raised by evil people, but unfortunately there was a slight mix up at the hospital, and he was brought up by a nice quiet god fearing family in middle England.
Anyone that has read a Terry Pratchett book before will be on fairly familiour ground here, although this book is a little darker and is set in the real world, in the end its trademark Pratchett, which makes me wonder what Mr Gaiman actually put towards the novel.
There is a lot of clever jokes that use references from various other sources such as a book called the bible, certain movies like E.T, the Omen and the Excorsist, the list goes on as is really expected from a pratchett novel.
The book is one of the funniest of Pratchetts offerings to date, it just blends perfectly, and I also enjoy humour that makes fun of the bible and the early days of the world, not because I dont believe in god, but because I can see the funny side in the bible.
This book is well worth reading, if you dont think youll get the references dont worry, the story is funny without all of them.
Its easily near the top of my favourite comedy style books, alongside Douglas Adams that is!
The storyline should keep you interested over each of its near 400 pages and there are a few little plot twist that will keep you turning the pages.
The story brings fair few charactures into play all of which bring their own personalities and twists into the story, these include a few biblical references such as the Metatron or the voice of god as he/she is also known.
The story also has a guest appearance by none other than one of Pratchetts most loved charatures, Death, who really reminds you that this is one of Pratchetts books.
Im going to leave it a that for now, if youd like to know more about the novel please leave a comment and ill add more to this review, but really I think you should just get out and either borrow or buy a copy(£5.99), then you will see how good it is!
Thanks for reading and hopefully my next few reviews wont be as bad as this one!
JAMES HERBERT - 48
James Herbert has been writing horror fiction for many years now, with such classics as the Rats and Haunted to name just a couple, these books have pushed him to the forefront of British horror and rightly so.
Up until recently I didnt know much about Herbert as I was stuck in a bit of a rut, where I would want to read something, but not know of any good authors, seeing as I had already read all the Stephen King books and the James Patterson ones, I felt like something different, so I picked up my dads copy of Herberts Nobody True and have since read about six of his books over the course of a couple of weeks.
So after a few novels I had started to realise that I had found a writer that did horror better than most, so that brings us up to date.
This book was first released into the world in 1996, and is also only Herberts 17th Novel, which is quite surprising since he has been writing for such a long time, but with quality pieces like this and the rest of his catalogue he can be excused!
Anyway onto the book
The war is about to end, the Germans have pretty much lost and everything seems to be going to plan, or It would have been but unfortunately no one realised that Adolph Hitler and his men had a devastating new weapon up their sleeves.
Hitler unleashes a bunch of bombs around the world, causing a slow and painful death to almost everybody, except people of a certain blood type.
Roll onto 1948 since this is where the story is set.
Here we are introduced to Hoke and his dog Cagney.
Hoke is an American Air force pilot, with an interesting history and quite a few skeletons in his closet, he is also one of the lucky ones that has the unaffected blood group.
Unfortunately that doesnt mean Hoke is safe, in fact he is far from it, as he seems to be head hunted by a scary bunch of people that seem to have the blood disease.
Along the way Hoke happens across a small group of unaffected people and they fight for their survival in a war ravaged London.
Among these that join him along the way are, an upper class woman, Muriel, A working class girl, Cissie, and A German named Stern, whom Hoke takes an obvious dislike to.
Over the course of the story the group will travel through some interesting London landmarks such as Buckingham palace and the underground.
That is basically the background to the story, but what is it actually like?
Well thats why i'm here, to tell you about it.
Firstly you probably want to know if its an overly long book or a short story, well luckily its neither its a perfectly balanced book which at 330 pages is just about right for a few nights of reading, or if your like me a few hours of non stop reading.
The storys chapters are all quite short meaning that you get a real feeling of pace, something that really makes this an exciting novel is that it almost feels like an action movie.
From the opening few pages to the end you never quite know what is about to happen, with some well written, pacy and descriptive action set pieces this isnt a slow read, for example the first time we meet the evil blackshirts is in the first twenty pages and its during a tense nail biting race through the centre of London on a motorbike.
When the story does slow down a bit we find out a bit more about the various character's and how they tend to interact with each other, for example Hokes immediate distrust of Stern due to him being German, this is very well written as you could imagine the hatred between the two during the war.
Each person in the story was well filled out with enough information for you to imagine them as living people and they were all different enough to cause some interesting sections during the story.
The story isnt really in Herberts usual horror style, its more of an action suspense thriller type novel, although it isnt short of its own horrific scenes and shocks.
Herberts description of the war wracked London are all very realistic and as in any good book, you almost feel as you are there watching the action as an innocent bystander.
Over the course of the story there are enough clever plot turns to keep you interested and you dont quite know how things are going to turn out until the very last page.
At first this was one of the few Herbert books that didnt jump off the shelf at me, it didnt seem to feature his usual ghosts or other horror aspects, but as soon as I started to read it I realised how wrong I was to dismiss it straight away and it soon turned into a very enjoyable story that certainly passed a good few hours late into the early morning.
Obviously the book isnt perfect, no book is, but overall the story is gripping, the character's are fairly realistic and given enough life to make you believe in them.
You should be able to pick this book up for about 5 pounds, but it might be worth looking in charity shops as they tend to have these sorts of books in a lot of them!
Thanks for reading, but now its time to stop reading me and read this book!
JIMMY EAT WORLD
Jimmy Eat World are one of those bands that nobody knew for years then suddenly they have a breakthrough album and suddenly they are in everyones cd collection.
Well they are back again with a new album, and a bit of a new sound.
The band formed way back in 1993, and did some tours released some Eps and just generally gained a small fan base.
In 1994 they released their debut album, which was self titled and released on a small Indie label.
After this the band was quickly signed up to Capitol Records, and released second album Static Prevails in 1996.
This was a very rough, quite punky affair which had its moments but ultimately was a slight let down.
On to 1999 and the bands third album Clarity, and here we see the band sounding completely different, and a lot better.
The album did quite well and gained the band a good few fans, then they were dumped by their record company, typical.
Clarity did have some very good songs on it and was well mixed and although not an instant listener it was a grower.
So label less and without a manager the band could quite easily have split up, but nope not these guys, they went on lots of tours saving as much money as they could and recorded a new album Bleed America, which was later changed to Jimmy Eat World due to 9-11.
The band was then signed to Dreamworks and released the album, then they seemed to be everywhere, the singles from the album did well appearing on both radio and Tv.
You could check my previous review to hear about this album.
Anyway so after a 3 year gap the band are back with their fifth album.
Jim Adkins - Vocals, Guitar and Percussion.
Tom Linton - Guitar and Vocals.
Rich Burch - Bass.
Zach Lind - Drums.
The album was produced by Gil Norton, who has worked on albums by Foo Fighters and the Pixies.
The Album is 13 songs long and runs up to 58 minutes.
TRACK ONE - FUTURES
The opening title track on the album begins with quite a broody sounding bass driven riff, which makes this a fairly dark sounding tune, it also sounds like nothing from the last album.
Where the last album tended to be quite bright poppy tunes this is a much deeper darker number and on first listen went straight over my head, but over time it has grown on me and is a great way to lead you into this album.
During the course of the song the tone of the tune seems to get a bit lighter with some more instruments coming in and some well placed harmonic backing vocals.
The vocals are all sung very well, although by no means as well as this guy can sing, but they get their job done!
TRACK TWO - JUST TONIGHT
This song opens with a lot more energy than the previous song, having a fairly up-tempo tune with some very smart catchy hooks and a simple drumbeat that you cant stop bouncing to.
The song features some great moments where the music stops just before the vocals have finished giving a gap where its just the vocalist, I have always loved this trick in music as it just gives more emphasis on the song and the vocals.
Musically the tune is quite catchy, not the sort of thing youll be humming all day or anything, but catchy nonetheless.
With a nice guitar riff and the usual well placed drums.
Vocally this is a good performance, having a mixture of aggression and emotion which this singer is good at.
The song reminds me of an old band called Kerbdog, who were also very good at this style of rock music.
TRACK THREE - WORK
The album slows down a bit for this song, something it does a few more times over its entire course.
Ive always said that this band is at its best throwing out these slow ballad style tunes, basically when you have a singer that can show emotion its best to use him in an emotional song!
Musically this is a nice tune, the guitars are not too loud or too quiet, the drums dont take over the song which is basically left pretty much for the singer to paint his words.
And paint them he does, with a lot of different tones and emotion, already three songs in he has surpassed the previous album.
TRACK FOUR - KILL
The album stays in ballad style again for this song, which is okay by me.
Because again its a cracker, and again its all due to the vocal performance, which really cant be faulted.
The music is good but nothing special, its basically a simple backing track of low guitars and various other instruments.
The song also features a nice chorus with some well placed backing vocals and a catchy vocal style.
TRACK FIVE - THE WORLD YOU LOVE
This is a slightly more upbeat tune, with the guitars playing a bit faster.
But this isnt a rocker, its an upbeat ballad song, with some nice effective use of space and tone in the tune.
The music is never overstated or loud, its basically just a backing tune which certainly isnt overtly catchy, but it works with the vocals.
Vocally this is still on a level with the previous ballad style songs.
Emotion drips from every word that Jim sings, which shows some great talent.
TRACK SIX - PAIN
Well we are back in rock mode now, this song, which was a single, is quite a fast loudish number, with a simple but catchy riff.
The drums are just loud enough to give this song bounce appeal, and with the shouty backing vocals I wouldnt be too ashamed to get up at my local rock club and jump around like a buffoon to this tune.
Vocally these rock tunes are a bit of a double edged sword for the band, on one side they always seem to be catchy, but on the other the vocals always seem to loose a bit of their power and emotion during them.
During the verses the singing is as good as weve heard on previous songs, but when he tries to get a bit aggressive it sometimes sounds a little whiny, but it still works on the whole.
TRACK SEVEN - DRUGS OR ME
Back in planet ballad, and we have one of the best songs on the album, not a faultless perfect song, but a damn good try.
Musically this is again just a fairly plain backing track to give a bit of atmosphere, with a string section and the usual guitars and drums.
Again its the singer that gives this song its life in the world of music, here we have everything that is good about this singer in one song, some very emotional sounding vocals, which all hit the right notes and tones and make this a great song.
The lyrics unfortunately are a bit clichéd, they always seem to remind me of some American teen drama like Dawsons creek or something, we all know drugs are bad but it all seems a little bit like you cant think of any lyrics so you do a song about the evil of drugs.
TRACK EIGHT - POLARIS
This is another slow burning track, opening with a dreamy bass line and some guitar, which is reminiscent of Crowded House, this is another well played ballad and in all another well played song.
The problem with reviewing ballad type tunes is that there really isnt a lot I can tell you without hearing it yourself, musically ballads dont tend to set the world alight with clever new ideas, and this one doesnt either.
But it all works and thats what matters, what you have here is a quality tune which makes you feel good/bad depending on your mood!
Again it goes without saying the vocals really lift this from being an instrumental!
Honestly though this guy can sing and has proven it time after time on this style of song.
TRACK NINE - NOTHINGWRONG
This song sounds like it would be a blast played live, its a semi rocking number with a crunchy guitar riff and an altogether rocky outlook on life.
With lots of shouty yet tuneful backing vocals that just seem to come at just the right times, mixed with Jims main vocals which work better here than on some of the bands other rockier output.
Unfortunately though this song is good but its not one id put on a compilation or play any other time than when im listening to the whole album, its good but not essential listening!
TRACK TEN - NIGHT DRIVE
This again takes us back into slow ballad style, by now youd think that these would get boring, but again they pull of another masterful performance.
The music is again very simple, although there are some interesting effects and some different instruments, which stop this from being just another ballad.
The emotion is whats important with a ballad, and again the band has this down to a tee, with the backing vocals offering some lovely harmonies that accompany the main vocals perfectly, its as if they planned it!
TRACK ELEVEN - 23
I have to admit by this point of the album it starts to drag a little, as they have pretty much done everything in their style library and its almost as if they are just going through the motions on the last couple of songs.
This is not to say that these are bad songs, they are not, but the album could have been a few songs shorter.
This one for example is a pretty but ultimately bland ballad and when compared with earlier songs doesnt really cut the mustard.
TRACK TWELVE - SHAME
Another ballad again a bit dull, nice but its all too much by this point.
Some albums are good when they have lots of tracks, especially punky albums, but when the music very rarely changes it all gets a little boring.
Musically this is a good tune, again a bit lightweight, but nice.
The vocals havent really failed on any of the songs featured and again they dont here.
TRACK THIRTEEN - WHEN I WANT
An upbeat ballad, its almost as if im reviewing westlife!!
Again another really good tune, but too late in the album to really make an impact,
Maybe if you put the album on random selection then these songs would grab you more, but they seem to have just over done it a little, which is a shame because up until track ten it was going really well!
When I first got this album I was initially quite disappointed, it sounded nothing like their previous hit filled album and a lot more like earlier releases, but after about three listens a lot of the subtleties of the music and vocals raised my opinions.
After Ten listens it was a firm stayer in my cd player and one of my favourite albums of the past few years.
One thing I would say though is that if youve actually read my review and not just skipped to this point! The album is a bit one sided, fans that liked the bands rockier output might be a bit disappointed, and the album seems about three songs too long, but even so there are still a good ten quality songs.
I would also state that if you like Bleed America, this album is quite different and in a lot of ways better, but be expecting something different.
If you do like this album I would certainly recommend their Static Prevails album, which this sounds closer to that Bleed America.
Check out www.jimmyeatworld.com for more info on the band.
Anyway, thanks for reading, this exceptional review!!!!!
Oops sorry meant somewhat helpful, actually tell you what you choose!
2000+ words ill be writing a book soon!
So having been away from the Internet for way too long, I actually missed out on writing a review on this fine album when it was released, but the good thing is that its given me even more time to listen to it and give an honest opinion, so here we go.
Green Day, as anyone that has read any of my reviews will know, are one of my favourite bands.
They formed way back in the middle to late 80s, when school friends Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt decided that they would start playing punk rock.
At first they called themselves Sweet Children, but shortly afterwards decided to change their name to Green Day.
They released their first E.P, named after their previous band name, in 1987 on a small indie label called Skene records, this E.P was later added to the bands second album, Kerplunk.
After the first E.P the band went on to record two albums on the massively underrated indie label, Lookout Records, then all of a sudden in 1994 they were everywhere, with the release of the bands breakthrough album, Dookie, which was their first major label album and contained such hits as Longview, Basket Case and when I come around.
After the huge success of Dookie the band went on to record a further 3 albums, Insomnia, Nimrod and Warning.
These all sold well, although by no means as well as Dookie
So four years after their last studio album, Green Day are back with a new sound and a new view of the world.
The band consists of a basic three piece.
Billie Joe Armstrong - Guitar and Lead Vocals.
Mike Dirnt - Bass and Backing Vocals.
Tre Cool - Drums and Backing Vocals.
The album was produced by Rob Cavallo and Green day, Cavallo also plays the piano on some songs.
The album is 13 tracks long, with a running time of 57 minutes.
TRACK ONE - AMERICAN IDIOT
As the first chords rip through this track you instantly think back to earlier albums by the band, so in a lot of ways its a bit of a false start to the album, but seeing how well it did in the charts people seemed to like it.
The song is about the state of things in America, with the Bush government and its wars, its also about how the media is really running the country.
The song features a great little riff which digs its way into the section of your brain which stores riffs for when youre bored.
Meaning you will be humming this one for days to come!
Along with the guitar riff we can also hear some great drumming by Mr. Cool, which shows why he is one of the most respected rock drummers.
Vocally this is a good performance by Billie Joe, although by no means the finest on this album.
TRACK TWO - JESUS OF SUBURBIA
So this is where the album really starts, with this nine minute rock opera epic.
The song is split into 5 different sections all joining together to tell the story of the main character's of the album.
You see this isnt any old Green Day album, infact this is one long story about the state of affairs in America and how it affects the people.
The characters from this song turn up all over the album, and make it an even more enjoyable listen.
Anyway back to the song!
The first part of the song starts with a few ringing chords and Billies strong vocals coming out really clear above the music.
The tune is fairly slow, with a sort of 60s tinge to it, with a lot of oohs and aahs in the background, and also a bit of piano reminiscent of Meat Loaf or Elton John.
Then all of a sudden we are into the second section of the tune, which starts as a quite piano driven affair but soon lets the guitars through to give a quite rocking chorus.
As with the first section this is a fairly slow tune, which lets Billies Vocals do their work.
The third part sees Billie in a quite angry mood, and the tone of the track gets a bit darker as we start to see that the main character is angry at the things going on around him.
Then the track moves to an altogether different type of tune, which is almost acoustic with a nice lullaby type theme to it, again this shows some more styles to Billies vocals.
In the last section of the song we here the main character decide to leave his little suburb and enter the big bad world, this track has a real feel of defiance and you feel the main character wants to prove himself.
Musically the whole song has to be heard from start to finish, there really isnt an easy way to describe it, basically it is anything you want it to be, and there are all sorts of different genres and sounds on this one song.
TRACK THREE - HOLIDAY
Following on from a 9 minute masterpiece isnt an easy thing to do but somehow Green Day manage it with this song.
The tune opens with a nice jaunty riff which starts semi acoustically then builds up to an altogether more rocking piece.
The song is very catchy and has everything in its right place, with some well placed backing vocals and drums.
About half way through the song starts to take a darker tone, with a section which is clearly slating the Government and how it wants to sort out all its problems with bombs and guns.
TRACK FOUR - BOULEVARD OF BROKEN DREAMS
This, the second single from the album, is actually one of my least favourites on the album.
Musically its very good, with a sort of shimery guitar riff just holding the track together with some piano and drums building the rest of the musical base.
Vocally again its a great performance from Billie Joe proving to some people that he can actually sing.
Unfortunately the problem is in the actual lyrics, they seem a bit shallow and simple, with most of the song being taken up by one line.
Not a bad song, but not up with the best on this album.
TRACK FIVE - ARE WE THE WAITING
Musically this track has an almost Christmassy tune, with a slow tempo and some nice guitar work.
The chorus is an anthemic arms in the air lighters aflame sort of group chant.
Vocally Billie puts in another top notch performance, but again I found this song to lack a little spark.
TRACK SIX - ST JIMMY
This is just a straightforward punk rock run through really, reminiscent of older punk bands from the late 70s and early 80s.
Loud fast and angry sounding, which although not as imaginative as the rest of the album really brings the story onwards and also introduces you to another main character, whose attitude to life really fits with the music and feel of the song.
Vocally this isnt really easy to judge seeing as this sort of track isnt about how good your vocals are, this does however show that Billie can pull off a very good Punk vocal.
TRACK SEVEN - GIVE ME NOVACAINE
One of my favourite songs on the album, this is possibly the best ive ever heard Billie sing, and also the most unGreenday like song ive heard them do.
The song opens with a cool drum intro which is soon joined by some jingly guitar chords, giving an almost dreamlike base to the main song, during the chorus this is ripped apart by some loud rocking guitars and loud drum beats, giving a feeling of pain.
As I said this is probably the best ive heard Billie singing, he puts a lot of emotion into his voice and has definitely proven he can sing now!
TRACK EIGHT - SHES A REBEL
Introducing another new character to the story we have this poppy punk tune, which is reminiscent of the bands Insomnia period songs.
Musically this is fairly simple stuff, three chord catchy punky guitars played over a simple but effective drum beat.
This song shows why so many fans still call them a punk band, when its clear they have changed over the years.
TRACK NINE - EXTRAORDINARY GIRL
Another song that just doesnt sound like Green Day, but again this album is all the better due to the diversity of the tunes on offer.
Opening with an almost tribal bongo intro this soon gives way to a song that would sit quite nicely on an early Beatles or Kinks album, with some fantastic duel vocal harmonies and a soft jangely guitar riff ripped straight from the 60s and punked up a little.
Vocally Billie again puts all his heart and soul into the song, with another top performance.
TRACK TEN - LETTERBOMB
This is another delve back into the bands earlier albums, bringing another perfect piece of pop punk to the album.
Although musically it sounds like earlier Green Day, lyrically and vocally you can really see how this band has grown over the years.
This shows that you dont always need loads of instruments and special effects to make a fantastic catchy pop tune, which will lodge itself into your head after a couple of listens.
TRACK ELEVEN - WAKE ME UP WHEN SEPTEMBER ENDS.
This is a sad song, about Billies Father passing away when he was ten years old, and how each year the month of September brings him so much pain, Its also about 9-11.
Musically this is a slow tune reminiscent of Green days earlier Time of your life tune, with just a simple semi acoustic guitar plucking away in the background, over some orchestral instruments.
Again Billie puts a lot of effort into this song, and its obviously quite an hard song for him to play.
TRACK TWELVE - HOMECOMING
This is the second of the five part songs, and again really mixes the styles and sounds to make a really interesting listen.
The first part of the song starts with Billie singing over a very low guitar, this soon gives way to a rocking tune which is driven by its almost military style drumbeat.
This really is a catchy number, although the story line is fairly dark, with one of the main characters killing himself.
The whole song again goes through so many changes that its hard to actually review it, this is one of those songs that you just have to hear for yourself .
The song has elements of many great artists over the years, with some sections having a tinge of Queen some Meat Loaf and a dose of the who.
Personally I find that this isnt as good as the first 5 parter, but its still a very interesting tune.
TRACK THIRTEEN - WHATSERNAME
Personally I would have finished this album at the end of the last song, as I just dont feel that much for this song, its not that its a bad tune or anything, but it just doesnt seem to fit after the last song.
Its a slow chugging song, with some very thoughtful vocals by Billie, but all in all I find it a bit of a filler.
Well there you go, Green Day have really come of age on this album, and have again reinvented their sound and style, which some fans will either love or hate.
Personally I think its a great piece of Art, with so much going on throughout the album.
The only way to truly get an opinion on this album is to actually listen to it, as its not an easy one to describe, one minute its fairly straight forward Green Day by numbers then suddenly your listening to an altogether different band.
For further information on this and all of Green Days other albums you could visit their website.
You could also check out some of my other Green Day reviews!
Thanks for reading, sorry if it seemed a bit sloppy but im out of practise!
M A T C H B O X T W E N T Y ------------------------------------ MORE THAN YOU THINK YOU ARE ------------------------------------------- When the band appeared in 1996, not many people were ready for what was to follow. Rising from the ashes of Tabitha's Secret, the band soon started to gain a following, this following got a whole lot bigger with the release of the bands debut album, 'Yourself or someone like you'. This album reached over 10 million sales, undoubtedly helped by the single 'push', which introduced a lot of people to this group and their rocking pop sound. After this massive start to the bands musical career it took four years for them to get their second album out, but the wait was well worth it, with the release of 'Mad Season' in 2000. This album took the bands rocking sound and gave it a more polished poppy edge, which worked but overall the album seemed a little too overproduced, and even the band themselves have dubbed it the kitchen sink album, due to the amount of different instruments and sounds they incorporated into it. Also between the first two albums lead singer Rob Thomas had a hit single with guitar genius Santana, with the massive single 'Smooth'. So two years later after intensive touring and various side projects its time for their third album, 'More than you think you are'. B A N D M E M B E R S ----------------------------- Rob Thomas - Vocals, Piano and Guitars. Kyle Cooke - Lead Guitar and backing vocals. Adam Gaynor - Rhythm Guitar and Backing Vocals. Brian Yale - Bass. Paul Doucette - Drums, Percussion and Backing Vocals. T H E A L B U M --------------------- The album contains 12 songs and is 50 minutes long. I wont write about every song as that would probably bore you all to tears and we all know that water and electricity don't mix too well, so instead o
f facing a few counts of murder by poor writing, ill just write about some of the songs on the album. FEEL. Opening an album with a crushing riff is always good in my book, so thankfully the matchbox boys have already won me over with this. Already the band sound a lot rockier than on either of their previous albums and this shows a lot of potential for future releases. musically this track is quite fierce and rough sounding using the guitars to great effect and mixing in the odd extra instrument to create a real wall of sound that just begs to be jumped around to. Rob Thomas' vocals just seem to improve with each album he does and again that's the case here, he can do almost any type of music justice with his fantastic vocals and songwriting that has already earned him 3 Grammys. DISEASE. The first single to be released from the album and to be fair it really deserved to be heard. opening with a quite odd sounding intro which instantly draws you to the song. For a while it seems like its going to be a fairly low key ballad type song but just when your about to sit back and relax it kicks in with a massive guitar riff which rips right through your skin and lodges itself deep within you. The band seem a lot more together on this album, with each member adding just the right notes etc at just the right time, this perfect musicianship really builds this album up to a higher standard than some other bands outputs. The song was also co written by Rolling Stones legend Mick Jagger. BRIGHT LIGHTS. Here we get the real Rob Thomas, a beautiful sounding piano driven pop ballad. The song begins with a simple piano intro which is soon joined by Robs soulful vocals and already the song sounds like a winner. This is soon joined by the rest of the band where it picks up the pace a little. On this song we really get to hear all of Rob's different vocal style
s, starting with the slow opening to the rocking chorus, this is a true talent. UNWELL. This song opens with a jangly guitar piece which soon gives way for some more piano playing over which Rob lays down some more fine vocals. Musically this isn't the best song on the album, but when you have a singer that can produce the sorts of things that Rob does then it really doesn't matter. Here we get another piece of perfect balladry, which really suits Mr Thomas' voice down to a tee. All way through the song you get a real feeling that Rob Thomas has really lived like the subject in his song, this is down to all of the emotion and passion in his voice, which is rarely heard in a lot of bands nowadays. COLD. This song takes the band back into rocking territory, opening with another crunching riff and some fine bass playing all backed up by the perfectly timed drums. The main riff throughout is fairly simple but quite cutting and effective, and again provides a nice place over which the great vocals can be placed. And again they are pretty great, although maybe not quite as soulful or emotional as the ballads, the voice still sounds good and provides just the right atmosphere for the song. ALL I NEED. Probably my favorite song on this album, this takes the band into a bit of a different direction, with a glitzy sound and some very smooth vocals from Rob and the boys giving backups in just the right places. The song has a nice little 70's rock inspired twirly tune which gives an odd impression of a fairground, without ever sounding cheesy. Again here we hear the full range of Rob's vocals with some perfect slow verses coupled with rocking loud choruses, this is really the perfect blend. DOWNFALL. Well here we have another fantastic song, with some nice new elements to add to the already huge matchbox sound list. This song features a massive backing tra
ck which gives lots of atmosphere and emotion, the main riff is very strong and loud whilst still being radio friendly enough so as not to annoy the neighbors. The song is quite up tempo and features a great chorus and some more fine vocals from the boy wonder. Halfway through the song we are treated to a choir singing the chorus, which really adds a lot of depth and emotion to the song. O V E R A L L ----------------- What more is their to say really, its obvious that i like this album, and everyone I've played it to has also agreed that it is a true gem of an album. will you like it? quite probably, mainly down to some fine vocals and the mixture of styles so if your not into rocking music the ballads will certainly make you listen. This is definitely the bands best output so far and hopefully they keep up the good work when they make another record. If you want to know more, or would like to hear some of the songs then move on over to www.matchboxtwenty.com this site has snippets of all of the bands songs over the course of their career, so you can find out their if they are your cup of tee! Thanks for reading, Kyle.
T R I P P I N G D A I S Y Jesus hits like the Atom bomb. ===================== Tripping Daisy are a band that most people will be unaware off, this isn't because they were a bad group or that their music was poor, it was more about promotion and our countries aparant dislike of American rock music. The band formed in 1991 and were soon getting quite a name for themselves in their local area, entering and winning a variety of different band competitions. They then went on to write and record a few singles and their debut album, Bill, which was originally released on a smalltime label, but when the band signed for Island records this was rereleased. Around this time the band had started to get noticed a little by the music press around the world, and were unfairly being given the tag of the new Janes Addiction, when really the bands shared very few similarities musically, apart from the quirky tunes. After the semi success of 'Bill' the band went on to there second album 1995's, ' I am the Elastic Firecracker', this strangely titled album showed a lot of promise with some cleverly written tunes alongside some quite bizarre lyrics, but what really brought this album into the limelight is the only song to feature in the British top 40, 'I've got a girl', which is a song the band soon slated and never played live. This brings us nicely onto the next album and this review...... BAND MEMBERS. --------------------- Tim DeLaughter - Vocals, Guitars, Califone and Dulcimer. Wes Berggren - Guitars, melotron, cello. Mark Pirro - Bass , Percussion, Phillip Karnats - Guitar, Trumpet and Banjo. Ben Curtis - Drums, Percussion. After this album Wes Berggren sadly died of a drug overdose causing the band to split up. THE ALBUM. --------------- Okay so until this point I've hardly mentioned a
nything about the most important thing, what do they sound like. The main reason I've took so long is that you really cant pigeon hole this sound. Be Ready for something strange and different with this album. The rest of the review should help you through! The album clocks in at 57 minutes and contains 15 songs, im only going to mention a few of those else id bore you all to tears and we all know that water and your PC don't mix very well. FIELD DAY JITTERS ------------------------ This is the first song on the album, and basically is a very good indication of whats to come later,in the way that you haven't got a clue how this song is going to change let along the album as a whole, the music is everything, its all over the place but yet it works well. The first thing i should really say about this bands music is that its very odd, quite psychedelic, while staying very rocky and melodic. If you look back at the band members and their instruments you will realize that the musicians involved were great multi instrumentalists, and it shows a lot on most songs on this collection. The music starts with a very jangly confused sounding fast paced guitar riff, which is nicely mixed with about ever other instrument under the sun, giving a really cool loud sound, whilst staying tuneful. This goes for about a verse then stops suddenly for a little section of what sounds like a xylophone, then kicks back into the main tune. by the end of the tune you have all sorts of musical instruments adding their little parts, which on first listen will sound well out of key and disorganized but given a few listens it all soon clicks into place, and you realize how talented the artists are. Lyrically this is just plain odd, which is one of the downsides with this band, basically the lyrics don't seem to mean anything at all, the vocals are very well done though, and give the music an extra
layer to the already overflowing river of sound. "Wondering Jets inside of me, I've got the field day jitters, wet matches and a bottle of Mr clean" WAITED A LIGHT YEAR ---------------------------- After the fairly fast paced opener the album soon gives something a little slower, but no less cleverly written musically. This opens with some nicely plucked guitar notes giving a sense of wellbeing and niceness about the tune, this soon gives way for a more forceful approach with some heavy riffing taking over. This soon changes again to show another layer of the tune which adds a lot of tunefulness and shows a lot of quality in the musicians. This song clocks in at 6 minutes long, yet it doesn't feel that long due to the way the music is constantly changing tempo and style. Lyrically this will not win any awards, the lyrics total about two lines and are nothing to write home about, but the way Tom sings them gives them a slight edge, and makes the song very listenable. SONIC BLOOM ------------------- one of the bands best songs and certainly one of my top 50 songs, this is a great little tune, a semi hippy type love song with one of the most beautiful sounds ever. Musically this again mixes a vast array of different instruments into the sound, but it never sounds overloaded or too loud, basically it gets it just right. The song runs at a nice mid tempo pace and has a very lovey type feel to it. The tune is mostly filled with a slowish acoustic guitar backed up by some light drums and various other instruments that i wouldn't dare to even name. Lyrically and vocally this is one of the albums highlights and also makes it a stand out song. MECHANICAL BREAKDOWN ----------------------------------- Well heres the bands chance to rock out, and they take it, although they still have to be a bit different about it, o
n this track they add a very 80's sounding synthesizer to the mix, which really works and they were many years before The Darkness! Tunewise this isn't quite as strong as some of the other numbers mentioned, it follows a pretty basic guitar sequence and just has the basic instruments and the afore mentioned synth. Vocally Tom has had a little studio surgery done on his vocals her, which really doesn't help in the end, but it was probably a good idea at the time! GEEAREOHDOUBLEYOU ----------------------------- This song again takes up the whole style of the album by being all over the place, one minute its a slow type song then suddenly were greeted by a thunderous riff and drums then almost as soon as were used to the increase in volume were into the next little section of the song . G.R.O.W (Read the song title again!) this is a nice tune, it features a fine vocal performance from Mr Tom DeLaughter and some very fine music mostly written by the same Mr DeLaughter .DeLaughter has a fascination with the 60's/70's and it shows a lot in his music and certainly his vocals. HUMAN CONTACT ------------------------ This is a sort of spacey sounding tune, if you imagine floating around Mars with a girl/boy you love then you have the feeling that this song gives. This is one of the very few tunes that doesn't really need all off the extra instruments and only really adds what would give a bit more to the song. This song is one of the slower numbers on the album, and works really well as a relaxing tune, and also adds a bit of a vocal chorus which Mr DeLaughter is obviously happy about seeing as he followed this band up by forming 'The Polyphonic Spree'! PILLAR ----------- this is a strange number, which changes tempo quite a few different times during the song, but this works and it works well like a really hard work
ing person. The tune starts out sounding like a slow ballad, with only a few plucked notes and the vocals, then before you know it its kicked into a full blown riff with some nice additional music joining in. After which point the song gets even quicker and really keeps the interest in the song. Vocally this as good as previous songs, although Tom Delaughter isnt the best singer in the world he has still got a very good tuneful voice that mixes well with the thoughtful music. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------- OVERALL Well as any album goes, your either going to love this or hate it, but if your a rock fan then id certainly recommend it as its going to be something you haven't heard yet, also if you have heard and liked the Polyphonic Spree you should listen to this band to see where they started from. After this recording the guitarist Wes Berggren died of an overdose, which made the band split up, they released one final album as tripping daisy then split. Tom Delaughter went on to form the Polyphonic spree a quite different type of group!!! Thanks for reading. Kyle
THE LEMONHEADS - BEST OF (THE ATLANTIC YEARS) --------------------------------------------- Best of albums are always a hit or miss affair, they either do what they say on the tin and give you the best possible tracks from a bands career, or on the other hand they could just pick a bunch of singles and call it a best of. The good thing with best of albums is that you don't always have to wade through a tonne of album filler material to find a decent track, and if you haven't brought a bands complete back catalogue they can give a good insight into what the band is all about, giving you the option at a later date to trawl through their albums. So when i heard that The Lemonheads had released a best of album i was quite happy, as id already heard a lot of their albums, and whilst i was impressed with a fair amount of the tunes on offer I also found quite a lot that didn't really affect me. The Lemonheads formed in 1987, when two high School kids, Evan Dando and Ben Deily, decided it would be cool to form a band. They recorded a few punky but ultimately throwaway albums, which they got a little bit of success from, especially "Lick", with its cover of Susanne Vega's "Luka" But all was not well in the world of Lemons, Dando and Deily had a falling out, with both quitting the band then returning, but soon it was all left to Dando to take control. The band, basically Dando and a few people that he could drag in from other bands etc, were signed to Atlantic records and released even more records. In 1990 they released their first album for Atlantic "lovey", which as with their earlier albums got a little press but lacked that certain sparkle that was to follow. This was followed by the real breakthrough album, "Its a shame about Ray", which sold a fair amount mainly due to the popular cover version of Simon and Garfunkel's "Mrs Robinson&quo
t; The band went on to release a further two albums,"come on feel the lemonheads", "car Button Cloth" Then as so often happens with rock stars Dando went off the rails a little, taking too many drugs and drinking too much, even turning up to an interview even though he had lost his voice, and being found in an airport covered in blood asking if anyone had found his mind, well they hadn't, but since then he has and he has been busy getting rehabilitated and has found his love for music again! THE BAND MEMBERS. ----------------- As this is a Lemonheads collection it would be stupid to mention everyone that has ever played with the band, a number which at last count was around 50 different people, but the main members on this collection are as follows. Evan Dando - Guitar and Vocals. oh wait im sure there were some others as well... Juliana Hatfield - Bass and backing vocals. David Ryan - Drums. Nic Dalton - Bass. Patrick Murphy - Drums. Bill Gibson - Guitar and Bass. and tonnes more... THE ALBUM ---------- This collection contains a massive 19 songs but a not so massive running time of 56 minutes, so most songs are about three minutes each, which is about right in my book. well seeing as there are 19 songs im not going to review all of them, else you would all die of boredom and id get arrested for multiple murders, which isn't something I really fancy, so Ill just pick a small selection and bore you with them instead! ---CONFETTI--- This song is the perfect opener to the collection, it has all the properties you want from a good Lemonheads song. Musically this is a fairly upbeat tune, with some nice jangley guitar chords keeping the main tune together, with a very poppy but still rocking little riff. The drum playing is pretty fast paced and brings an extra level to the song, which really lif
ts it to a higher level. Lyrically this seems a little simple and unfortunately this is one of the downfalls of the band, really most of the actual lyrics are poor, but when they are mixed with the nice poppy tunes and Dando's slightly drawled vocals they all sound like a soundtrack to a summer from the 60's. ---INTO YOUR ARMS--- This song is all about Dando's voice for me. With a steady simple guitar riff which is fairly catchy and some nice drums which are pushed quite far into the mix so they are only just noticeable, musically this isn't a fantastic song, but where it all comes to life is when Dando starts to sing. Now Evan Dando isn't a brilliant singer, he certainly doesn't rate in my top 5, but he can string a few lines together nicely with a nice sense of melody, and that's what he does here with great effect, again his voice has a slight southern American type sound to it, which just adds that extra kick. This is just a nice, inoffensive pop song, which can be enjoyed by almost anybody. ---MRS ROBINSON--- Anyone not heard this? Oh well i don't really need to review it then... ..But i cant help myself, this is just pure pop fun, I never get sick of this tune. Originally a hit for Simon and Garfunkel years and years ago, the original was brilliant, and this version just gives the original an extra sprinkling of pop punk type vibes and we are onto a winner. The Lemonheads version was recorded in one take, so its basically a live track, and originally the band didn't want it releasing, I bet they soon changed their minds! Musically from the opening chuggy guitars to the final chord this is bouncy, joyful stuff, with a nice bubbly bass line and drums which hit at just the right time, perfect. Dando's vocals suit this style of song perfectly, giving the original song his own style and making it his own song. <
br> ---RUDDERLESS--- This one is a little darker sounding, although still firmly stuck in the trademark Lemonheads pop style, it has an almost acoustic feel to it, with a chuggy, stop start guitar riff, which stays in your head for some hours. This makes really good background music, its not really a great tune or anything, but it does have that certain something that makes it very likeable, without ever reaching any new ground. This is the main problem with the Lemonhead's music, it is either intensely catchy, strange or just plain background music. ---RIDE WITH ME--- The only song on this collection that comes from their first Atlantic album, and even then its not the same version as on that album! This song is a nice acoustic strum along, with just Dando and his Acoustic guitar, a sense of things to come in future years. The really strange thing, is that this works so much better than some of the full on band efforts on the collection, this actually shows some of the talent that Dando has for writing a catchy yet thoughtful tune. Vocally this is one of the better efforts on the album, it is raw and unaltered and you can hear each crackle in his voice, which actually gives it a bit more depth than some of the more over produced tracks. ---ITS ALL TRUE--- This is taken from the bands final album, 1997's "Car, Button, Cloth" This tune gives a bit more body to the sound of the Lemonheads, with a much louder sounding guitar riff, which really suits the style of the band. This is probably my favourite song on the album, I just love the way the crunchy guitar riff gives way for Dando to place some quite tuneful vocals. This was recorded after Dando had gotten all of the strange illegal substances out of his system, and shows a more thoughtful vocal and lyrical performance. ---IF I COULD TALK ID TELL YOU--- This is anothe
r slice of perfect pop rock, it has all the ingredients required... 1 tbspn hooky guitars. 2 ltrs crashing drums. 1g sugary pop tune. 22mls likeable introspective vocals. No added colours or preservatives. Nice tune to just play before going on a night on the town, because by the end of the night the title will fit perfectly! ---DOWN ABOUT IT (ACOUSTIC)--- This was recorded during the sessions for the "come on feel the lemonheads" album, and again goes to show that they didn't really need any loud guitars or crashing drums, the songs seem to have a much better feeling to them when played acoustically, and they end up less throwaway and lightweight. Dando's voice also sounds a lot better on the acoustic songs, giving a lot more depth and feeling to his voice than on the louder songs. ---HOSPITAL--- This is a bit of a throwaway effort, you can imagine Dando writing it in a few spare minutes, yet its also a fantastically catchy tune which really goes to show that the best songs don't have to have a lot of neat tricks or added production. The song opens with a plinky piano playing well out of key and then suddenly we get a simplistic three chord guitar riff, which is simple but extremely catchy. Then Mr Dando again pops up with another effective vocal performance, which just oozes with poppy melodies. OTHER SONGS The rest of the collection includes "Its a shame about Ray","The great big no","My drug buddy","Big gay heart","Its about time","Rudy with a flashlight","into your arms(acoustic)","Being around" and "Rick James acoustic style" which are not bad songs, in fact some of them are really good. OVERALL ------- Well im left with a difficult responsibility here, do I recommend this collection? That would b
e a yes, but also be warned that although most of the songs on here are good, and some are intensely catchy, they are also quite lightweight, and this will probably not be a cd that you keep in your player for months to come, its one for when your in the mood for lightweight pop with rock elements. Also because this is only based on the bands Atlantic Records years, it doesnt even touch upon some of the older material, which would have made this a bit more interesting, but thats another problem with best of albums in general. Thanks for reading, any comments? Kyle.
JIMMY EAT WORLD - JIMMY EAT WORLD --------------------------------- Before anyone downrates me for being off topic, id better explain why the title of the album is different from the one listed on the site, when this album was first released in 2001 it was originally called Bleed American, but only weeks after its release there was the atrocity at the world trade centre on September 11th, so the band changed the title. Jimmy Eat World formed in 1993 in Arizona, and released a selection of singles and eps, and their first full length album, which was also self titled! Very confusing. The band was then signed to Capitol Records where they released two albums, Static Prevails and Clarity, these were both quite well received especially Clarity due to its single 'Lucky Denver Mint' Then the band were unceremoniously dumped from the label, but instead of lying down and giving up, they worked even harder, touring all over the world, building up a fan base and writing material for an album. The band were finally picked up by Dreamworks Records and finally got the chance to unleash their new album on the world. The band hold Blink 182 as one of their biggest fans, in fact Tom from Blink 182 actually got the band to perform at his wedding as he first started dating his future wife at a Jimmy Eat World gig. BAND MEMBERS ------------ The band consists of Jim Adkins - Vocals, Guitar and Percussion. Tom Linton - Guitar and Vocals. Rich Burch - Bass. Zach Lind - Drums. The album was produced by Mark Trombino, who also produced Blink 182, he also plays a few instruments here and there on the album. Also featured on some of the songs is Rachel Haden who provides some vocals. THE ALBUM --------- The album is 11 songs long and clocks in at a respectable 46 minutes. TRACK ONE - SALT, SWEAT, SUGAR. ------------------------------- T
he first single from the album, and one of the first reasons people started to take notice of this band. This opens with a crunching rocking riff, and soon builds into a catchy high paced rock tune. The verses are all played over a simple chord patter which is nice enough to keep you interested, then the chorus kicks in with some loud guitars and crashing drums, which really should be enough to get you jumping around. Vocally this is a good rocking solid performance, which features a nice duel vocal performance from both Jim and Tom, they sound a bit angry about something, but still quite tuneful and all in all a decent opening number. TRACK TWO - A PRAISE CHORUS. ---------------------------- Now this is more like it, even though the first tune was good, it doesn't compare with this, firstly they have stopped sounding angry, and a lot poppier, which really makes a difference. This is fast paced and rocking, but still poppy enough to play in front of your parents, its a perfect slice of pop rock, with a catchy guitar line running throughout the tune and some drum playing that will get you playing those air drums! The tune is simple enough, but effective where it counts, and drills itself into your head and stays there for weeks. Vocally this is better than the first song, again mainly because they are not trying to sound angry and instead they use their normal voices which are pretty cool. Again this features both singers and they really compliment each other very well, and make this an even more infectious song. TRACK THREE - THE MIDDLE. ------------------------- The second single, and probably the main reason anyone has heard of this band, the song was played everywhere at the time, TOTP, MTV, Kerrang Tv, you name it this song was there! The main reason this song was everywhere is because its another infectious slice of rock music which is quite reminiscent
of the Foo Fighters and Weezer, whilst still keeping the bands own identity. The song features another chuggy guitar based verse, which leads nicely into a contagious chorus which you really need to sing along with. Lyrically this is a little cheesy, basically saying that people may put you down but not to worry what others think of you, okay its cheesy, but I expect its helped a few people deal with self confidence issues so it cant be bad! TRACK FOUR - YOUR HOUSE. ------------------------ Up until fairly recently this song was quite hard for me to listen to, it was basically a song which hit a little too close to home, where Id just split with my ex girlfriend and this song basically fit everything that was going through my head at the time. Well since that was a couple of years ago, and i now have a girlfriend that i love a lot and i feel a lot better about myself i can actually listen to this song with a different feeling, and its pretty damn good. Musically a slow burning rock/pop song, which opens with a nice acoustic guitar tune which is soon met by a simple but nice bass line and some very soft drums. The song features some quite emotional lyrics which give the impression that the singer has been through a fairly bad time in a relationship. The vocals portray this very well and you can almost imagine that the singer has a tear in his eye, which gives the song a lot more atmosphere and feeling. TRACK FIVE - SWEETNESS. ----------------------- This was also released as a single, but didn't receive quite as much air time as the previous two singles, which is a shame as it deserves to be heard. The song opens with just the singer with no music, which instantly gets the hairs on the back of your neck standing on end. The tune is a fairly rocking little number, with the usual fast paced guitars and crashing drums. The vocals have a semi
80's feel to them which sounds a bit odd at first, but soon fit quite well and it all comes together into a fine catchy tune, which isn't as good as previous songs but still not a bad song at all. TRACK SIX - HEAR YOU ME. ------------------------ So then just over halfway through the album and were at what is probably the best song in this collection. This is a slow rock ballad, which is filled with emotion and feeling. Musically this is a fairly simple tune, with a guitar playing a jangly tune which is accompanied by some slow precise drum beats which really drag you into the tune and give you a sense of belonging. This is the first song on the album to feature the female vocals of Rachel Haden, and this gives a really nice contrast with Jims vocals and they work really well together. Jims heartfelt vocals really hit a nerve with this song, sounding very passionate and full of emotion, really showing a lot of talent for his future in music. TRACK SEVEN - IF YOU DON'T, DON'T. --------------------------------- Another slice of catchy pop rock, which again has a lot of emotion and feeling to it. This starts off with a mid tempo drum beat and some atmospheric music with the guitars just in the background, these come a bit more to the front of the track for the chorus, but again this is more about the vocals which give the song most of its melody. Again Jim shows a lot of talent, which hopefully will continue and improve for a few years to come. During the verses he uses a fairly quiet tone which his voice is well suited to, then during the chorus he is joined by the other vocalists in the band and shows a bit more of his rocky side. TRACK EIGHT - GET IT FASTER. ---------------------------- One thing I really like about this band is that they are not afraid to try something different, and play around with new styles and sounds. This song starts with a very ambient sounding intro, which really draws you into the song, only during the chorus do the guitars get to come out, and when they do its fantastic, they come out blaring and heavy, which is a real contrast to the eerie ambient sounds of the verses, but it works amazingly well and shows a lot of thought and talent from the band members. Lyrically this is a bit of a let down, with the words not really living up to the music, but luckily the vocals make them sound ten times better. Again a nice contrast between low key vocals kicking into rocky group vocals is what makes them sound so good. TRACK NINE - CAUTIONERS. ------------------------ The first thing i thought of when i heard this song is the old 80's NightRider TV program, this uses a bassline that is very similar to the theme music to that show, which at first sounds very cheesy, but given a couple of listens and it all seems to work. As with the previous song this is quite a change from the rocky singles, and this is where the album stops being just a good rock album and becomes something a little special, the originality and ability shown by this band really lift them a bit higher than some of the more recent rock acts to emerge. Jim again gets to show the better side of his voice with this sort of song, instead of trying to rock out he can focus on his more relaxed vocals which really work well. TRACK TEN - THE AUTHORITY SONG. ------------------------------- This is a sort of 50's influenced rock and roll number played by a modern day rock band, which is quite rocking and extremely catchy, although it also feels a little like a filler. Musically the guitars get a good airing here, with a crunchy riff which is backed by some fairly low key drums and some nice percussion. What really gives this song its identity is the duel vocal performance, with both singers givin
g a good showing and again complimenting each other very well. Maybe not a great song, but certainly catchy enough for a few listens. TRACK ELEVEN - MY SUNDOWN. -------------------------- The album ends on another one of the bands slower tunes, and another great vocal performance. This is another slow burner, and a song that takes a few listens to truly appreciate. Musically very simple with a selection of instruments all mixing together to form a light wall of sound, which isn't really a tune as such more a place for Jim to paint his vocals over. Vocally this is another song that shows that Jim is better at slow ballad type songs than rocking numbers. Here he sings very quietly and thoughtfully which gives a nice sense of atmosphere and makes a perfect album ending track. OVERALL ------- Well before I brought the album, I had only ever heard the bands rockier singles and wasn't expecting anything like the album finally turned out like. But that's why I like this so much, as the rockier tracks quickly gave way to the well written thoughtful slower songs, songs that will always make you think instead of just being plain jump around music. I would recommend this album to everyone, its inoffensive and full of quality music and vocals, some of the lyrics are a bit poor but they work well and when mixed with the rest of the ingredients form a very well worked out album. Thanks for reading, please leave any comments. Kyle.