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In 2003 the Bouncing Souls released their 5th Album on the Epitaph Records label, a follow up to the much-loved How I Spent My Summer Vacation the band had a huge standard to live up to.
As clichéd as it sounds this was a point when the band matured in their music more, they sound less raw and energetic, however they sound a far better band altogether.
Greg Attonito who is on the vocals, over the years his sing voice has improved immensely this can be clearly heard by listening to early Bouncing Souls albums such as Maniacal Laughter.
The band have credited their improvement and better handling of their instruments to drummer Michael McDermott who they recruited to replace Shal after the album Hopeless Romantic. They realised that his ability on the drums was so good that they better improve their own skills you could tell they had improved as a group by listening to How I Spent My Summer Vacation the improvement in sound continues on this album because the band overall sound more polished.
The band cut down on the punk influence on this album providing songs that show how the band are strongly influenced by fellow New Jersey rocker Bruce Springsteen. The album suggests to me that the band was reflecting on their time on the road being away from family and friends hence the title of the album Anchors Aweigh leaving everything thats important behind for a while.
Apartment 5F opens the album; bass player Bryan 'Papillon' Kienlen provides the track with a loud bass riff. A good introduction probably the loudest track on the whole album. This gets you into what is coming up.
The next song is Kids and Heroes which was the first single released off the album. It is strong single material with a catchy chorus and a style that like any classic Souls anthems. It opens up with The Pete playing a little acoustic with Greg singing the opening before the beat kicks in resulting in a classic Souls sing-along anthem.
'New Day' has loud drum cracking breaks, loud guitar and bass and lyrics summing up about the time we have. "Changes coming are way, just like a new day
'Sing Along Forever' is a really short track, but lyrically brilliant and one anyone who likes music can relate to. "I'm driving listening to my radio, checking out the airwaves for something to believe in." I feel this track sums up how people use music to lift them up from their mundane day-to-day life.
'Born Free' in the lyrics book says watch 'Bowling for Columbine' so I'd guess it was inspired by the film-documentary it is a good fast paced song with good lyrics "Don't forget that you are born free, It's better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." At 1.23 it's the shortest track on the album though is sure to get any Souls fan excited using the bands similar old formula.
'Inside Out' is a song with good fast tempo, being helped along by the bass and drums. The lyrics are worth a mention too. "To feel someone beside you is beautiful in life, but to feel a wholeness inside is the greatest feeling of all."
'Simple Man' at 4.19 is the second longest track on the album. Good track that shows the Souls are trying something different, making sure to add there style to it to make it a good sing along tune. "I wanna be a simple man, with a little peace of mind, live a simple life, in a place that's kind.'
"Better Days" is a fast song great guitar work and good drum beat "What do you do when she don't love you anymore?" a song featuring Bryan and the Pete sing along too. "What do you do when she won't hold you anymore?"
The Bruce Springsteen influence is quite noticeable on the track Night Train sung by bassist Bryan who does a really good job of it too. About leaving a loved one behind and the comforts it brings to take to life on the road a problem any touring band will probably suffer.
Todds Song is an emotional tribute song to Todd Eckhardt a former bassist in the band The Pietasters. A beautiful rhythm backed by some strings makes this one of the best tracks (although saddest) on the album.
'Highway Kings' probably one of the weakest tracks on the album, which doesn't say much as it's a good rocking sing along.
Which takes us to 'Anchors Aweigh' the song that shares the name with the album. This is another song chosen for single release (number 3 I think?). Good song, which features a little bit of strings from a keyboard by the sound of it. Good drumming and guitar. "Good times come and they go." Another track about getting away in someway or another.
'I Get Lost' is great from the start with the quick instrumental, to the first words on the opening "I don't want to do anything to prove myself to you..." Great feel good lyrics "Make the best of whatever comes my way." good drumming too to top it all off.
'The Day I Turned my Back on You' is another with Bryan on vocals (again doing a great job) Good rhythm throughout this song, great instrumentals and great chorus 'I threw my life away, The day I turned my back on you'
'I'm from There' is the 'official' final track on the album. The guitar and the bass on this track in particular are exceptional. With the beautiful lyrics it reminds me of 'Gone' the last album 'How I Spent my Summer Vacation'. It even has the moving on element that 'Gone' also has. "There's nothing left to do but kiss that life goodbye.." goodbye repeated till it fades round about 4.34. Would have been a good way to end, but wait there's a little something else hidden away if your willing to wait about two minutes (or just fast forward to it, which probably makes more sense)...
This takes us to the hidden track- 'The Fall Song' though not quite completely hidden as it's in the lyrics book so you know to expect it. This follows about two minutes after 'I'm there' this track has a very 'bohemian' feel to the song with acoustic guitar being round the fire (which if you turn loud enough you can hear crackling). Nice song.
There are some extras available to view on your PC too a video for Kids and Heroes, a short making of documentary (6 minutes) and a trailer for the Bouncing Souls Documentary Do You Remember 15 Years of the Bouncing Souls. Ther is nothing too spectacular for someone who just wanted the album but a good bonus for those who are big fans of this band.
I really like this album when I first purchased it when it came out in 2003 I played it a lot so much that I was still listening to the album regularly when the follow up album The Gold Record came out in 2006, it certainly still has its use as I still put the CD on now and then and I also listening to a number of the tracks regularly still via MP3s.
Overall the band have come a long way from the days of playing house parties.
The Dropkick Murphys are a band that combines the sound of Irish Folk music with punk rock. Listening to the music you can hear how the band has been influenced by the likes of the Pogues, Cock Sparrer and the Clash.
The end result is a unique style of punk that in itself has influenced other American-Irish Punk bands.
The bands lyrics are heavily influenced towards their Boston, American, Irish and working class roots.
In 2001 the Dropkick Murphys (DKM) released Sing Loud, Sing Proud an album filled full of rowdy, drunken sing-alongs and a few sentimental pieces that reflect on friends and family.
The line-up of DKM is:
Al Barr (Lead Vocals)
Ken Casey (Vocals, Bass)
Matt Kelly (Drums, Vocals)
James Lynch (Guitar, Vocals)
Marc Orrell (Guitar, Piano, Vocals)
Tim Brennan (Accordion, Mandolin, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals)
Spicy Mc Haggis (Bagpipes)
The Album opens up with For Boston a localistic sing along that gives the listener an idea of the sort of stuff your going to hear on the album, full of military style drumming and bag pipes, like a cross between Punk Rock and a Celtic Military band.
The Legend of Finn Maccumhail the track keeps up the sing-along aspect of the band to help you get into the album, the instrumental features clapping along which helps the tune catch on.
Which Side are You On is a cover of a pro-union song about staying on the right side of the union rather than being a scab worker. This band really knows how to do good covers of traditional songs, really good song.
The Rocky Road to Dublin punk folk song with whistles of some sort all about some fellow who goes to Dublin looking for work. The folk style sing really get you into the song.
Heroes From Our Past combines the Irish Folk sound with the fast paced lyrics and thrashing guitars of Hardcore Punk. Complete with instrumentals featuring tin whistles. The song is in tribute to those in the past who have stood up for their rights. I like the combination of the bagpipes and drums on this one.
Forever is my favourite song on the album, the song is really moving, and it is about a love for someone special who you get the impression is no longer there. Theres a piece of you with me they cant tear apart, forever. Al and Ken share the vocal duties here and it makes the song much more powerful and the tin whistle that plays through the song just adds to the beauty expressed. I could listen to this song all day.
The Gauntlet another great song follows with strong lyrics about standing up for yourself Stand up and Fight is shouted throughout the song. There is a great guitar solo towards the end of the song.
Good Rats features Shane McGowan of the Pogues who slurs his way through his bits of the song. Funny sing-along song about a bunch of rats that drink so much beer they drown in the stuff! Al has quite strong growling vocals which over power Shane slurring quite noticeably. That is why I prefer it live because it does not feature Shane McGowan.
The New American Way talks about the declining moral standards of Americas youth. The song sounds a bit like a Cock Sparrer song. It is okay from a chorus sing-along point of view though it does drag a bit.
The Torch is an acoustic guitar heavy melody which features an accordion in the background. The song takes the listener through the story of one bitter old man passing the torch onto his son who is just as bitter as he is. I like it as it is quite an emotional piece and also gives the listener a break from sing-along anthems.
The Fortune of War this track opens with the US national anthem suddenly stopping. A fast beat song about someone being killed by a gang features a nice touch of mixing in a TV news report with the song. Features Colin McFaull of Cock Sparrer who provides a good mix on the vocals with Al and Ken blending in quite nicely. A Great punk anthem.
A Few Good Men shows DKM at their sing-along best with a chorus that is too damn catchy. Join us in a song, we shall rise and sing. It shows the talent the band have to immerge an audience into there songs and get them singing and clapping along in unity.
Ramble and Roll has a guitar sound that sounds likes something straight out of 1979 UK Punk scene. This is a song about being in a small band and being on the road. It is okay for what it is - a bit of album filler.
Caps and Bottles is heavily punk influenced tune about the admiration of others. Not one of the best tracks.
The Wild Rover is a cover of the traditional Irish song with an end result of rowdy sing-alongs, and good times had by all. Like I said earlier this band know how to do good covers of traditional songs.
The Spicy McHaggis Jig a song in tribute to the DKM bagpipes player the track heavily featuring the bagpipes, as its main focus. Ken takes the vocal leads and as an end result the song is hilarious. It is about how Spicy goes to bars to pick up fat girls and ends up getting one pregnant. Fantastic track to close the album, the closing line ends the album on a real bang.
Overall out of all of the DKM albums I find this is my favourite for the consistency of their song quality. The album provides solid amusement, sing-alongs and stories of drunken times for a good forty minutes.
I recommend this album if you fancy trying something different to your standard US punk bands or are interested in hearing how Irish Folk music mixes with Punk.
I will admit when I was at college I loved hip-hop and Rap, but then I started getting bored, all these people talked about was how tough they were, how much money they had, and how many women theyhad. Talent was covered over with obscenities. This pretty much left a bad taste in my mouth for hip-hop.
Years later I happened to come across Sage Francis. A rapper, who honed his craft through slam poetry contests and battle raps had made the step to sign up with Epitaph records, a punk label. Available to listen to was his most well known song 'Makeshift Patriot' a song that has been passed about through the Internet and word of mouth alone.
'A Healthy Distrust' is Sages first release on Epitaph.
"This is the heartbeat of the Sage" opens up the album 'The Buzz Kill' (beat Renimator) totally awesome way to start off the album, with this sample of what sounds like a voice over on an educational film. Also it's kind of ironic, as although it has nothing to do with Sage Francis, it sounds like it's talking about Sage's rapping and his values. Sage comes in "I used to think that rappers had it figured out." A good beat which includes Sage ripping on radio. The voiceover total makes this song, an excellent way to open the album.
'Sea Lion' is a track featuring singer Will Oldham (of folk group Bonnie Prince Billy) opening and closing the track, the beat (by Alias) gentle plays through accompanied by the haunting voice, that remind me a little of Radioheads Thom York. On paper it seems a bit of a strange combination, but it works really well.
What I like about Sage is that his lyrics are so smooth and sound is so well thought out.
The song features a sample of a young Sage playing with a tape and his mom giving instructions on how to work it. (Sage began rapping when he was 8 rapping into a tape recorder).
Favourite line is Sages opening "Ma, Ma - look what I did Ma. Look what I did to my hands, I broke 'em, you gave me the stone, gave me the chisel, didn't say how to hold 'em."
'Gunz Yo' is a satire 'gangster' track that has the whole style of a beat (by Dangermouse of Gorillaz and Dangerdoom fame) that you hear on all chart rap acts. The whole song is pretty sarcastic that you get a lot with Sage tracks - 'tragically ironic, suckin' off each others gats & pistols' the track is funny, if you realise it's a parody, which on first listening you might not. The track is topped of with gunshots, and Uzi's going off into the background like you're listening to a 50 Cent song, except you know good.
On 'Escape Artist' (beat Alias) Sage cuts completely loose rapping at super speed, not really a track I like, but seems to have a lot of love amongst his fan base, maybe that was why it was the first music video he did.
'Product Placement' (Beat Alias) is a cool laid back hip hop track that has properly deliberate trippy feel to it, which goes along with the lyrics such as "Off to the bathroom to sniff another line." and closing the song off "my absolute obligation to never do anything bad."
'Voice Mail Bomb Threat' follows this is simply an amusing interlude of some crazy bastard threatening to kill Sage and calling him generic. What's amusing is the music put in the background by Sage's Non-Prophets partner Joey Beats.
'Dance Monkey' the beat is slick club tune by Daddy Kev, this song follows a different formula to the other tracks having a chorus, which rips into rap songs that are designed for the club scene. The lyrics are so tongue in cheek "she loves repetitive songs that keep playin' you know the repetitive songs that keep playin'" basically the whole song is worth quoting.
Sun vs Moon is a song you might want to miss if your religious as Sage has a small bit of ripping on him/her and then proceeding to say 'God's not a WOMAN! He's a bitch. I don't really know what this songs about. It starts off giving the impression it's a battle on stage of some sort (rap battles?), then it goes on about God. Song ends with a prank call (not sure if it's recorded specially?), which is so stupid it's funny.
Personally I can love or hate this track depending what mood I'm in.
'Agony in her body' (Beat Controller 7) moves cooler through with what sounds like castanets. Slick lyrics, drags a bit though.
'Crumble' (beat Sixtoo, guitar and drums Alias) is a slow track with piano playing, which is quite depressing "tell them bitches in the rough who think that love comes with diamonds". Then suddenly towards the end the piano pumps up and the guitar and drums kick, which then using the same tune that 'Crumble' ends with takes us to ....
'Ground Control' (beat Sixtoo) has a good beat, mixed in with beeps which does make me think that if ground control has beeping noises in that's what it would sound like. A good well paced song that stays in line well with the beat.
Lie Detector Test (beat Reanimator) is a chilled out laid-back song that gives you the feeling that Sage is just sat back somewhere busy watching people rushing about. Favourite line "In the world where the girl's got retro tattoos and all I've got is a gut and Velcro black shoes" because I feel it just sums when you feel pretty average about yourself. This track is probably my second favourite on the album.
And my favourite is 'Bridle' (beat Varick Pyr). If you've every heard the term emo-rap, this is what it sounds like, the song opens up with Barry White "Sometimes a girl, will come and go" this song is so good it's a shame it's so short. A good track for wannabes to steal the lyrics and post them in their myspace account like they came up with it themselves. "Out of spite, the lightning strikes him twice, he's peaking out on the pike, and cheating life, peeling out on the lawn" totally beautiful words.
'Slow Down Gandhi' (beat by Reanimator) is a track taking Sage back to what made him a name in the first place, with a political attack. The beat is almost day dreamy to start off, before it kicks in. Attacks are in throughout the song attacking patriotism, the Iraq war and the people who voted for everyones favourite president "It's the same who complain about the global war, But can't overthrow the local joker that they voted for."
'Jah didn't Kill Johnny' ends with a tribute to Johnny Cash, in a country music sort of song, with guitar (played by Tom Inhaler) and harmonica (by Nathan H) play. This song sounds like it was a lot of fun to make, not to be taken too seriously though. "Holler at ya boy. Life is easy".
Sage is a machine of sarcasm, references, double meanings and political attacks, that even if you listen to it hundreds of times you might hear something new, case in point writing this review has made me love this album so much more, because I applied my self to listen to what the tracks where saying at such a deeper level
Good album, good eye opener for those who think hip-hop is all homophobic and shallow. Bit disappointed that Joey Beats isn't featured on any tracks, but I guess that is saved for Sage and Joey's group Non-Prophets. If you're not into hip-hop, look across the Internet it's full of reviews saying stuff like 'I don't normal like stuff like this but...'
Sage Francis has the ability to make you laugh, make you cry and make you mad at the injustices in this world. With such intelligence, wit and talent the future of American hip-hop is indeed secure.
Center Parcs has a number of resorts through the UK Whinfell, Sherwood, Elveden and Longleat Forest. In this review I refer to Center Parcs in Sherwood Forest, Nottingham.
I have been a number of times to Center Parcs resorts however the last time I went I was a teenager, I enjoyed myself in previous times and with nostalgic thoughts felt that it was time to go back again. So three good friends and me went.
There are two choices of bookings either 5 days (Mon Fri) or a weekend however you can book both together to give yourself a full week however I personally feel five days is more than enough.
There are number of choices in accommodation to suit your budget and number of party members. At the bottom of the price range is the standard comfort all the way to the most expensive executive and exclusive lodges. Increase in cost pay for other slight noticeable benefits such as having a DVD in the cabin, with expensive villas having their own private parking and hot tub.
We paid for the bare minimum which cost us about £480 which when split between four I felt was not too bad.
The appeal of Centre Parcs is that it is in the wild except unlike a camping holiday youre not roughing it and is far more comfortable than going to a caravan park.
You also guaranteed pretty much an almost car free week as cars are only allowed on days of coming and going. Cars are only allowed for villa services and guests who have a disability however I imagine this would be quite difficult to get the benefit of the place fully as there is not appropriate parking facilities round the park.
The villas are not the most attractive things being basically planks of wood put together however inside it is quite relaxing and quite homely.
On arrival one of the first things I recommend is getting down to the Parc Market to pick up supplies of what you thin you will need for the week, unless your rich enough to eat out everyday which is great. It is a reasonably priced well-stocked shop that sells fresh baked goods to DVDs and games that youre likely to find in small supermarkets.
One of the main problems with Center Parcs apart from the owners not knowing how to spell centre is that it can get quite expensive depending upon what you want to do. If youre just happy going to the pool and walking round the parc and eating in then it will be a relatively cheap week. However if you want to get as much as possible out of your holiday there are plenty of activities to do at a cost obviously and at a much more costly price than say if you found similar activities in your locality.
For example a golf lesson at the Parc is £30 for an hour and massages are £30 for 30 minutes.
Out of the activities that are available I prefer to mainly focus on things that I would not have the opportunity to do at home so activities such as using the cinema (which shows outdated films) and bowling are only last resorts if I find there is nothing else for me to do (which in all my visits has not happened).
Activities I highly recommend are the private horse riding lesson (do it with a friend to make it a bit cheaper), archery and falconry (though I would recommend any activities with the birds of prey).
Activities range from sporting (football, badminton), creative (art classes), fun (Adventure Golf), nature (various activities looking at wildlife and conservation), relaxing (massages) and other activities suitable for children or family bonding.
You can also get bikes out the week or just for a day which I feel are not too bad value at £21 for a midweek plus you get to keep your bike lock, the only trouble with this is that you do miss out some of the busy scenery in the Parc because you just ride past quickly. Also all the bikes are similar so try and remember were you parked because one day I spent half an hour looking round trying locks to find my bike!
When booking activities there are many that need booking in advance and there are those you can pay for and in less than an hour or straight away. Being able to get on activities depends upon demand as some have limited places while some have a lot (a guide on how many other people do an activity can probably be judge on the price as if its under £10 it will probably have about 30 people the more it costs the less there are).
Although there are a great number of activities you can book some require you to travel off site.
A gripe for me with Centre Parcs is that it is constantly under construction, building things and closing bits off I imagine this is kept to a minimum in peak price season however as a visitor going in the cheap season I found various inconveniences such as roads in the parc closed off, part of the pool shut down and also seeming to be understaffed in certain places.
There are various restaurants to suit a number of tastes at quite an expensive price in Sherwood Forest has Italian, French, Indian, for less exotic food you can go to the country club if you fancy your scampi and chips, have a fast food restaurant or you can have a pancake either savoury or sweet.
The country club has decent quality food however this was the place that seemed to be under staffed and so service was a bit slow.
The Italian has delicious meals offering various numbers of pasta and pizza dishes amongst other things and with a mixture of the ambiance and friendly service is one of the better places to eat in the parc.
The restaurants all have wide varied menus, vegetarian options, childrens meals and also the restaurants seem to be into offering healthy and organic food.
There are a small amount of shops available in the Parc including a toyshop, a sweet shop (which has some really nice chocolates that remind me of ones I could get when I was very young), a shop that sells all relaxing, mystical and smelly stuff and a really good sport shop that beats JJB any day in the Centre Parcs sport centre called Jardine de Sport. It sells nice quality clothes which I have not really seen in the high street and small numbers of sports equipment that can be used in the Jardine such as badminton racquets.
The size of Sherwood Forest Centre Parcs is pretty nice size, so you dont have to travel too far walking or on bikes. We where on the furthest part away yet it only took us 10 minutes to walk to the village centre and even less on bikes.
For spend I would recommend about £200 (per person) to do a few to half a dozen activities, pay for food you need to buy and have a couple of meals out, however this is only a guide as a friend of mine managed to last the week on £50 however he did not really do much except archery and lounge about the house watching the Jetix channel everyday till the early afternoon.
So is the free stuff worth it? Well if you love swimming and hanging about a pool I suppose it is pretty good, I found after going the second day it was pretty tedious you cannot even get a decent swim done with all the people in the way and the wave machine going off every 20 or 30 minutes or so (and the wave machine is inconsistent sometimes it lasts for about a minute other times and particularly when I am at the furthest point of the deep end it decided to go on for over ten minutes. It was not fun holding onto ropes for most of that time (because the current was too strong for me to keep swimming) and as such had sore arms for the rest of the holiday. And the freezing cold plunge pool is no fun once you have been dared to jump in once only proving useful to recover from rope burns, sore arms for holding on and sore legs from being thrown into the sides from the wave machine.
Round the park is nice except for all the villas and all the noisy people which doesnt quite match the tranquil image presented in the Center Parcs brochure.
Center Parcs is a family-orientated holiday hence stuff at night is quite lacking, there is a disco at the place they do the bowling and jazz nights so not the best place to go on a drinking holiday.
Overall I was disappointed with my most recent visit I feel this was a combination of the service, expense, tediousness of the free activities, not meeting expectations of my childhood nostalgia and one of the people I went with generally being miserable.
Probably worth going if you have never been, have children and are willing to pay to do things.
2002 was a strange year for me, I had finished college the previous year, spent a good few months learning about the working world and I was in a situation of what I should be doing with my life, and then I discovered the Get Up Kids. But thats not to say my life changed suddenly because I had discovered a pretty damn good band, but how the music matched my mood at the time can be summed up by this quote from High Fidelity Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?
Do not get me wrong the Get Up Kids were not some depressing dirge band talking about the injustices of the song writers life, they were an Emo band, but an exceptional one at that who have had a huge influence (not to mention set a huge standard) on some modern emo bands.
Something to Write Home About can arguably be described as a point when the band peaked at their highest amongst their ten year career (1995-2005).
Part of the appeal with the band I had was I could relate with their songs about relationships, love, crushes and loneliness - which was made to feel more like solitude.
The songs were a stepping-stone for me between the popular Indie stuff of the early zeros moving towards the punk sound, a taste in music I am still into today.
The sound provides a nice compromise of the two sounds with catchy sing-alongs with poetic lyrics, with music that can be described a synth-pop with guitars.
The band from Kansas City was Matthew Pryor (Guitar/Vocals), Jim Suptic (Guitar/Vocals), Robert Pope (Bass), Ryan Pope (Drums) and James Dewees (Keyboard).
The album composed of 14 tracks which all have great value to them. The artwork completes the whole packaging and is a strong reason why I would never drop the CD in favour for MP3 downloads. This album was the first James Dewees worked on and with the combination on the rest of the band producing a new interesting sound.
Although all tracks are great these ones stand out:
Valentine - a romantic little song mixing the keyboard influence with guitars providing a great song to sit back and relax to and think about your significant other.
Red Letter Day this song is pretty sad as its about a break-up however the power of the vocals and the backing music produces an inspiring defiance to just get over that person. Youre just a phase Ive gotten over anyhow
Ten Minutes an upbeat little pop-punk song great little intro gets you into the song Ten minutes to downtown is ten minutes too far
My Apology this is quite a mellow easy listening song, which is basically about an apology, anyway its the basic story of guy messes up, girl chucks him, guy needs her but she doesnt need him
Im a Loner Dottie, a Rebel okay if you can only listen to one Get Up Kids track then listen to this one. The song opens with a nice little instrumental before the lyrics kick in, song about independence assuming a one-night stand One night doesnt mean the rest of my life. The moog keyboard noises are fantastic in this you can see how the use of the moog keyboard has influenced bands such as Motion City Soundtrack.
Ill Catch You is a piano ballad-like number sang with gentle vocals it gives a personal intimate feel and is in all a nice little feel good love song.
The track listing is:
Action and Action
Red Letter Day
Out of Reach
The Company Dime
Im a Loner Dottie, a Rebel
Close to Home
Ill Catch You
Forgive and Forget
[Total Track Time 52 Minutes 20 Seconds]
Released on Vagrant Records
Although my tastes have changed throughout the year The Get Up Kids are a band I can easily listen to any day and although the album reminds me of harder times were I can look back and relax with this the memories brought by this sublime album.
The appeal of The Get Up Kids is they write songs about the strains of young people as they go through that difficult stage of life from growing up. Although listening to some of the lyrics you realise these songs are actually quite sad, they prove supportive of you in situations when your experiencing that pain yourself.
This film is based off Kyokushin Karate founder Masutatsu Oyama (or as he's referred to in this film his Korean name Choi Bae-dal)
Although on the back cover it claims it's based off the real-life it does craftily use the word 're-telling' as in pretty much saying it's mostly fiction. To find out what's real and what's not you'd need to speak with someone who knows a lot about Kyokushin Karate, which unfortunately I do not.
Masutatsu Oyama took on all challenges and was never defeated, the only human to ever defeat 300 black belts in three days and he fought bulls. This sounds an interesting enough story, yet obviously someone felt it needed that bit more for some reason.
The film begins showing what will be the final scene "I am afraid of fighting, I am afraid of being beaten and losing. But I am more afraid of surviving as a cripple than dying in a fight."
We are then taken back to 1939 in the Japanese colony of Seoul. Where Choi Bae-dal first gets the ambition to be a fighter pilot for the Japanese army. Rush forward to 1942, where he has made his way to Japan. We soon see him tied up with other Koreans refusing to do the Kamikaze. Bae-dal is almost beaten to death by the General Kato. It then shoots to after the war, we see Bae-dal and his friend Chun-bae are left with nothing. He compares his courage to his old country (South Korea) as being left in ruins despite being liberated.
This soon leads up to where he meets his old master Beom-su who saves him from the Yakuza.
Choi Bae-dal asks for him to show him how to fight.
During all this there's this kind of pointless bit where Bae-dal becomes a hero saving Japanese woman from the 'evil' American soldiers (who in the film are described as "Worse than the police and the Yakuza").
The only point of this I feel is to set up the meeting of the 'love interest' Yoko and to give a bit of action to the fight junkies who might be getting a bit bored by now.
Bae-dal's world is then rocked by tragedy. So after an excellent fight scene brawl with the Yakuza he retreats into the mountains where he conditions his body in the most sadistic ways. (Think of the scene in Rocky in which he is punching the meat and running, then you get the idea what this is like).
He returns from the Mountains ready to take on any challenger. I'll leave it at that not to spoil it, though I'm pretty sure you can guess what happens.
What I liked about this film is firstly the fights, it shows Choi Bae-dal at the beginning as only human, which I liked and even after he'd been in the mountains, they showed his fights as being quick and brutal.
I felt that the fights were quite realistic looking you could almost feel ever kick and chop.
Another thing I liked is to be able see a martial arts film where Karate is the focus, as someone who practices karate myself it was great to see moves being used that I practice weekly.
What I disliked was how long the film dragged. This could easily have been 1 hour and 30 minutes, yet it was full of filler.
Another thing I disliked was the constant propaganda; there was a lot of hate on the Japanese, which is understandable as it's just after the war. However stuff like the Japanese Martial Arts Association plotting to kill the Korean was a bit much and I felt it ruined the film a little.
---Scenes to look out for---
The brawl with the Yakuza in the rain
Training in the mountains
First fight from coming down from the mountains (complete with drums and solid kicks to the leg - ouch!)
Fight with the Judo expert
The Final Fight
Yang Dongguem - Choi Bae-dal
Masaya Kato - Kato
Aya Hirayama - Yoko
Tae-woo Jeong - Chun-bae
Doo-hong Jung - Beom-su
You can choose to watch the film from 16 points. Including a few of the fight scenes.
The extras are not really that worth noting first there's the 'Action Diary of a Martial Arts Director' talking about the making of the film. I never like stuff like these things cause I feel they ruin the magic of the film.
Then there is the usual 'Cast and Crew Interviews' which rather than being one long dragging sequence, is split into four - Director Yang Yoon-ho, Yang Dongguem (Choi Bae-Dal), (Yoko), Masaya Kato (Kato).
Followed by a 'Music Video' which is a song accompanied by loads of clips from the film.
Then there is the usual trailer, which is usual on all films DVDs.
Followed by other releases, which are basically other films released off 'Optimum'. It includes trailers for 'Azumi', Azumi 2', 'Arahan', 'The Doll Master' and 'Sky High'
Running Time: 121 minutes approx
The film is shot in Korean and Japanese, with no English dub available, so sorry if you can't stand subtitles.
The album collects all of Minor Threats songs onto one album, which saves you having to look for and buy all the EPs and 7" around. Although it is the 'complete discography' I'm pretty certain there's an odd track about that was realised years after this albums release.
This is a release on Dischord a label started up because the Teen Idles wanted to put a record out, but figured no record label would want them.
The album was released in the 1990's and was remastered in 2003. It collects recordings from 1981 and 1983.
The band is Ian MacKaye vocals (Teen Idles, Fugazi, Embrace, The Evens, and some other bands).
Lyle Preslar - guitar (Meat Men)
Brian Baker - bass (Bad Religion)
Jeff Nelson drums (Egg Hunt, Teen Idles)
'Filler' opens up the album a screaming fast paced attack on religion "You picked up a Bible and now you're gone." A good fast paced track that opens up the album. Not really worth getting offended about.
'I Don't Wanna Hear It' is a song for all the bullshitters out there. "I don't want to hear it, Sick and tired of all your lies." Good quick track that closes with "Oh shut up." Amen. I like the track because I can relate to it so well knowing so many bullshitters in my time, who obviously lie, just makes me want to quote this whole song to them.
'Seeing Red' another good track that people can relate to. "You see me and you laugh out loud. You taunt me from safe inside your crowd." Good fast paced guitars which continues on with...
'Straight Edge' - Is the song that created a scene, quite un-deliberately. Minor Threat lived a clean 'drug free' lifestyle, it is believed the drummer Jeff Nelson was drawing a poster for a show, he commented that the rulers 'straight edge' was a metaphor for their lifestyle and so we get this song, which is short 45 second song that sticks to the point. This is the shortest song on the album, yet probably the most remembered. "I'm a person just like you, but I got better things to do, Than sick around f*** my head, hang out with the living dead, snort white shit up my nose, pass out at shows...." An unforgettable track.
'Small Man, Big Mouth' is a track just under a minute. The guitars have slowed down a step then the drumming kicks in. This track is having a go at mans insecurities. In this case a short man, who's trying to make up his size. "What the f*** are you fighting for, is it because your five foot four?" A forgettable track.
'Screaming At A Wall' another fast guitar, drum banging track. Another forgettable track.
'Bottled Violence' starts up with glass braking after two forgettable tracks this picks it up a bit. "Get your bravery from a six pack." Good tune with the chorus being "Go out and fight, fight." such a simple song yet so effective.
'Minor Threat' a song about growing up, another fast paced song. "I was early to finish, I was late to start, I might be an adult, but I'm a minor at heart." - aren't we all? Excellent song.
'Stand Up' is a tough guy, fight song. At first it sounds like an anti-violence song at shows. But it's made clear that Ian MacKaye won't back down from no challenge "Nothing to fear, Cause I know, my friends are here." however it's also made clear that he doesn't go looking for trouble, "Trouble finds me."
'12XU' is basically an instrumental except with Ian screaming what sounds like gibberish all that I can understand is 'FLEX YOUR HEAD' this one is left out the lyrics book (I wonder why). Good fast paced instrumental anyway.
The next track is 'In My Eyes' is which in my personal opinion is the best ever Minor Threat track. "You tell me you like the taste, (screaming) You just need an excuse, you tell me it calms your nerves, (screaming) you just think it looks cool" you probably can guess it's about drinking. I feel the whole band complements each other well with this track. Definitely worth giving a listen at least.
'Out of Step (with the World)' is a fast paced song, that has guitars that tear through the song, this is another drug free message "Don't smoke, Don't Drink, Don't F***, At least I can f***ing think" which caused a little bit of controversy so it was re-released with (I) added in front and Ian MacKaye talking during the instrumental "Look I'm not telling you what to do...." this version is also on the album a bit later on.
'Guilty of Being White' is an anti-racism message, which despite that was adopted by neo-nazis anyway. The song consists of shouting "Guilty of Being White." If you listen carefully though you can tell what the song is actually about "You blame me for slavery, a hundred years before I was born."
'Steppin' Stone' this track sounds like it was recorded in the back of a room and it probably was. The guitars and drums sound distant and the vocals sound like there coming from another room. Don't take this the wrong way it's still pretty clear to hear. It proceeds with the words "I'm not your steppin' Stone" a decent track.
'Betray' is a pretty noticeable track, as the pace is relaxed (just slightly mind you) on further inspection of the album cover it's the first of the tracks recorded in January 83. After a temporary break up for guitarist Lyle Preslar to go to college they came back and you can tell just by this track they've matured a little in there music. The song follows a friendship of some kind that's finished the song is powerful from the start up. "Maybe it was no one's fault, I know it wasn't mine." Good little song that's one of the longest on the album.
'It Follows' is next and is has lyrics towards getting away from an old life. Not really a song I like. Good guitar on it though.
On 'Think Again' it has a dig at criticism "Everybody's right, Everything's done wrong." okay track.
"Look Back and Laugh" is one of my favourites, just so good the way it opens up. "I want to tell you a story..." which is what makes it good, it's told like a story, "It's about some friends growing up and all the things they tried." because this is Minor Threat, it's not going to be positive about drugs. A clever track that's backed up well by the music.
'Sob Story' is a track talking about someone who's not had a good life and is always moaning about it. It's summed up pretty well with 'Boy, I'm glad I'm not in your shoes.' pretty amusing comment, though I don't think it was meant to be.
The song closes of 'I've got some news for you, Nothing is fair' the song finishes with Ian saying 'Boo f***ing hoo.' Good rhythm throughout this song. Good song to listen to when your feel sorry for yourself, cause Ian puts it so bluntly that it's true.
'No Reason' is a track which makes you wonder what it's about, it's about two people not getting on, put your not sure how they know each other 'Haven't we met before?' is a reoccurring through the song. It's okay I like the bass in this track.
'Little Friend' seems to bring the pace back up a little, with fast guitars and drumming that makes the song.
This takes us to the second version of 'Out of Step' with what was mentioned earlier, this track feels slightly slowly and adding the (I) I feel makes the song 'Out of Step', sorry had to say that!
'Cashing In' follows and is an amusing track I'm assuming deliberately (I hope). This is the first track that takes a bit of a different pace, where the song is actually sung; this follows onto the final three tracks as well. "Know something? The problem with money is I want more. Let's raise the price off are tour. Starting tonight 3000 or 4. Then we'll make a million when we go on tour."
At 3 minutes 43 seconds this is the longest track on the album, which may not sound long, but when most of the tracks are under two minutes it makes this one seem like it last for ages
'Stumped' is slow paced track with guitar opening the song, and then the drums kick in, quite cool and laidback (well for a Minor Threat song anyway). Decent track.
'Good Guys (don't wear white)' (written by Ed Cobb) is next and this is done a little bit like a Clash song in there early days. With very catchy lyrics and a great chorus, "Tell your momma and your poppa, sometimes good guys (don't wear white.)
'Salad Days' closes off the album and is pretty appropriate, to mark the finishing of Minor Threat. This track includes Acoustic guitar (played in Minor Threat style of course) and some chimes ringing throughout of some sort, though I can't put my finger on what instrument it is. It's a good song just to say, you know 'we've said all we can, lets just go on and do something new.' which was probably a good idea, shame some of today's bands couldn't to the same - "Look at us today we've gotten soft and fat, Waiting for the moment, It's just not coming back." Good way for the album to end on a high.
This an excellent album to buy if your starting to get into hardcore punk. This album appeals to me so much because it has such a raw sound.
The other good thing about this album is that it's dirt cheap.
Although Minor Threat were only together for a short time there songs of friendship, positive lifestyle and teen anger influenced many bands and artists still today.
The main trouble with Minor Threat is how over hyped they are, before listening you expect the most amazing album ever, it's definitely was groundbreaking but only a good album at best.
Most of the songs are in the album cover, though quite a few have been missed off for some reason, probably because they weren't written by anyone in Minor Threat at a guess.
If you don't like obscenities it's a good idea to give this one a miss, as a lot of the songs are very angry ranting tunes. (Though if you don't like obscenities then you might as well not bother giving hardcore punk a go at all thinking about it).
Also if your very insecure about your drinking habits and get offended when some suggests you might want cut down a bit, you'll probably want to miss this too.
If your the sort of person who stone stinking sober at the end of a night on the town making sure your friends get home safely, this might be something you like.
If you like good singing and power ballads this isn't for you.
Clerks II is the story of two clerks stuck in a dead end job.
The story is based 10 years after the original Clerks where Dante (Brian OHalloran) and Randal (Jeff Anderson) are still working at the Quick Stop, however Dante opens up the Quick Stop shutters to find the place burning down from there the film credits roll and we find a year has passed and now Dante and Randal are working at a place called Moobys a fast food restaurant that is like a mix between McDonalds and Disney.
If film takes us through a day at Moobys however this is no ordinary day as Dante as leaving New Jersey to move to Florida with his controlling fiancée Emma (Jennifer Schwalbach) however Dantes feelings for boss Becks (Rosario Dawson) are apparent. What will happen?
If youve seen you notice that the plot is similar with two guys stuck in a job they hate, with one of them stuck deciding between two women.
Directed by Kevin Smith (films such as Mallrats, Dogma and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back) Clerks II is the first sequel he has actually done to any of his films, although the characters Jay and Silent Bob have featured regularly.
Personally I find the film really amusing, Clerks is my favourite Kevin Smith and partly thats down to the strength of the two main characters Dante and Randal who are quite easy to sympathise with. With the second film you can sympathise even more because they are still seen as the characters that are doing nothing with their life, yet are ten years older.
Again like the original film the dialogue is witty, obscene, crude and loaded with references to popular culture in this film you get a rant from Randal about The Lord of the Rings Trilogy All it was, was a bunch of people walking, three movies of people walking to a f****** volcano.
One of the amusing factors of the film is the relationship between Randal and Elias (Trevor Fehrman) as Randal picks and makes fun of him. This might sound so appealing to some people as he is a Christian and its made obvious that Elias has some sort of special needs. The downside to all the dialogue that they share means that in the film you dont get to see Dante and Randal talking with each other as much as the original film.
Dawson does a good job as Becks as you want Dante to get with her, however I cant really rate Schwalbach as an actress because her lines sound so forced.
One thing I didnt like about the film was Jay and Silent Bob, as both Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith get older it seems a bit ridiculous that 30-somethings are playing characters who act like their in their teens. I dont think the characters have been as funny as they have been in previous movies and came across as a bit embarrassing more than anything.
The DVD is loaded with extras there are three commentaries, deleted scenes, an introduction by Kevin Smith and Scott Mosier to the film.
A documentary on interspecies erotica
Then there is a second disc full of more extras
90 minutes documentary on the making of Clerks II, Bloopers and Train Wrecks (which are like diaries of the film being produced).
Overall it comes to about 6 hours.
Some bits are amusing to watch like Zak Knutson discussing his role in the film however like all DVDs loaded with so many extras, theres lots of boring stuff too that only a diehard fan wants to see.
The extras are subtitledwhich can be annoying when you buy a film that is subtitled to have everything that comes with it having no subtitles available.
Also include in the box are four artcards.
More Info: Certificate 15
Time: 93 Minutes
Language: Very very very bad!
Sex: Interspecies Erotica
Drugs: Just references
Out of all of Kevin Smiths films I would rate this as his third best (behind Clerks and Dogma).
The film is a great watch and has a much more satisfying ending that the original, which is a bonus.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with PVP (Player vs. Player). It all started when PVP creator Scott Kurtz began playing online games. Communities where growing round these games with websites and message boards, soon he was meeting these people in real life. It wasn't too long before people asked him to draw cartoons of the stuff they got up to online, the cartoons where passed around the Internet. He made his first website in 1997 about gaming and was offered money by a larger site to have his cartoons appear on their website.
PVP came on the web in 1998 and grew from that day from a couple hundred readers, to hundreds of thousands where it is still coming out daily to this day. Image offered him a deal to publish his comic and here we are - now released in 2004 we have a compilation of the first six comics released by Image.
The setting of PVP is in an office of a gaming magazine; we see the characters in there daily routine at the office (usually having fun and doing very little work of course).
This collects the first six issues that where released under Image Comics. There is no gap so to speak, to tell you where the next issue starts. The comic is printed in black and white, which to me is good and gives the characters a sleek polished style.
The artwork is very basic; you usually see the tops of bodies (though every so often you might see legs).
At the start it has the usual opening, print details etc at the bottom. Followed by an Introduction which is written by Michael Jantze who created the syndicated comic 'The Norm'
Next page we have -The History of PVP, which basically goes into a bit more detail than my introduction to how PVP came about. It features the original drawing of how all the characters used to be drawn.
Cole Richards - Owner of PVP magazine. He does his best to get the team working. Cole doesn't like modern game releases sticking to classic 80's arcade games
Brent Sienna - Pretentious, Mac loving, caffeine addicted. He's cynical, despite this though he goes out with Jade.
Jade Fontaine - Lady writer at the magazine determined to give women a voice in the gaming world. Has limited expressions.
Francis Ottoman - 16-year-old geek, sort of person who you know online and want to kill. Knows everything about gaming because his life revolves around it.
Skull - Is a troll found in the janitors closet when the staff moved in. He's simple, loveable and childlike.
Robbie and Jase - Two ex-jocks who play sports games all day, drinking beer and eating junk food. They are old college friends of Cole. Cole won't get rid of them despite being no use at all.
Max Powers - Old enemy of Cole and Brent's, yet he doesn't act like it. Sure he can be annoyingly smug, but one would think that made him a bad person.
Marcy Wisniewsky - Girl gamer, who's damn good at any game. Object of Francis's desires.
You'll find the characters in PVP not annoying at all even a character like Francis. You love them all Cole for being the square guy trying to keep things in line, Francis misbehaving and dragging Brent in who is just a big immature kid really. Skull wanting to be a part of the 'gang', generally getting in the way and being a bit of an annoyance to Francis and Brent. Jade who's like a walking billboard for women's lib doesn't even get old?
1) First issue starts with Francis starting off office Nerf wars. Followed by Brent, Francis and Skull trying to kill a mouse.
This is a nice little introduction to the staff at PVP, getting you hooked by giving you laughs.
2) The gang introduce Francis to the world of Dungeons and Dragons
Might be a bit too geeky for some, however as someone who's never played D & D I enjoyed this strip immensely. It features the characters in fantasy dress, providing laughs with Skull being a dwarf and Jade moaning about how all the women characters have little armour.
3) Skull - fed up of Brent being mean to him runs away. Francis spies on Jade with a portable camera (could be part of the next issue though, not sure as I don't own that).
Cute little story with Skull disappearing hiding in the broom cupboard, you also get used to the panda gags - which is a long running joke in the PVP world.
4) Francis is having trouble, as he is no longer the number 1 'cyber-athlete'. To make matters worse he finds a girl has beaten him to the top spot.
This part introduces us to Marcy and following Francis attempting to beat her so she can kiss him.
5) Cole arranges to meet up with someone he knew at school 'Max Powers', who Brent knows too. Neither of them like him - so what does he want?
Couple of one shots round here, could belong to either 5 or 6. A lot based around Matrix Reloaded (as it was released at the time)
Funny story with Max Powers, as he decides to start his own gaming magazine after being inspired by Cole, this goes onto them playing pranks on each other. You see a bit more of the 'fart' jokes PVP is put down for.
6) Skull draws his own comics and with the help of Brent becomes an 'alternative' comic book artist. Getting him a fanboy on the way. Also Cole gets himself an X-Box.
The final and best one so far. It's probably a bit too sub-culture, but is probably Kurtz poking fun at the alternative comic book industry.
The layout has it's own exclusive cover and for those who feel they are missing out on the cover of each release, you only need to go to the back page to have a look at scaled down pictures of all the covers (2 per page).
Inside there's a 'Choose your Player' page which is done in the style of a video game, showing you a list of characters featured in the first issue and a little description about them. The characters not in the first issue - Marcy and Max are blacked out saying 'you have not unlocked this character yet. Keep playing!'
It's a hardcover book yet it's quite soft cover too. The paper quality is very thin, meaning if you've got the light on you, you can see the next pages (just).
The back has certain panels from the comic, which will give you an idea if you might like this or not.
Cover 1 & 2 by Frank Cho (Liberty Meadows)
Cover 3, 4 & 5 Scott Kurtz
Cover 6 by indy artist James Kochalka.
For those of you who are fans of the comic, you may be disappointed to find that it's just the stories that we've already seen online, re-drawn and expanded. However if your a big fan of the comic you probably appreciate being able to have your own copy in print rather than having to log on all the time, besides you wouldn't complain about a Calvin and Hobbes collection featuring what you'd already read before in the newspaper.
I'm sure your thinking it's not for you because you see comics based off Dungeons and Dragons, Quake references, Alternative comics references and of course gaming references. So many sub cultures may be a little bit off putting, but to me it doesn't ruin the enjoyment at all and I find that there aren't really jokes 'I don't get'. I'm sure we can all laugh at lines about Francis not understanding how you play Dungeons and Dragons thinking he needs his computer to play, with Jade trying to get through that you use your imagination.
Because it is based off the daily comic, pretty much every strip has a gag somewhere in it, so plenty of laughs to cheer even the blackest of hearts up.
If you want to experience all the PVP goodness you might want to consider collecting all the comics separately as there are extra strips (some in colour) that are not in here.
Still not sure? Remember you can read PVP everyday for free at www.pvponline.com
Published in 2001 came the Clerks comic book. Based off the cult movie of the same name it collects the three issues released in trade paperback form.
---What's Clerks about then? ---
If you haven't heard of the movie, I don't blame you; it's one of those that have grown through word of mouth and a rabid fanatic fan base. The story is pretty simple, it's the story of two young men who are stuck in dead end jobs, which pay poorly and have long and unsociable hours. There is no big adventure or life changing story to it, it's about there lives and how they just get by with what they do, never motivating themselves to change for anything better.
Dante - Works at the Quick Stop, very depressed with his job, the lack of money he makes, the customers who come in the store and he finds generally very annoying. Taken advantage of quite a bit, whether it is by Randal, the owners of the Quick Stop, even customers.
Randal - Works next door to the Quick Stop at RST Video. He is lazy and spends more time in the Quick Stop talking to Dante rather than dealing with customers at RST who get very annoyed that the store seems to be shut most of the time. Randal deals with them by being rude, ignoring them and telling them deals going on at the rival video store.
Jay - Foul-mouthed, loud, rude, obnoxious, abusive, pot dealer who hangs out at the Quick Stop all day looking for trade. He is in his twenties but acts like he's twelve.
Silent Bob - Jay's 'Hetro-Life-Mate' complete opposite of Jay. He's called Silent Bob for a reason, as he doesn't say much usually expressing him opinion with facial expressions. Hangs out the Quick Stop with Jay selling pot. He is much more sensible and intelligent than Jay.
Clerks: The Comic Book
It starts with Randal looking at the toys (action figures) down at the local comic book store. He's amazed at the price they sell for and so he drags Dante into the world of Star Wars action figure selling.
Meanwhile Jay is not pleased that people aren't buying weed because there spending there money on Star Wars figures, so with Silent Bob decides to go do something about it.
Clerks: Holiday Special
It's Christmas time, a time of good will. So Dante decides to visit his old girlfriend Caitlin in the mental hospital (you see why she's there in the film). While Randal is sure Saint Nick, is next door in the quick stop. Plus Dante is smug as he's about to win a bet with Randal he made 15 years ago - that Randal would still be wearing his Mötley Crüe jacket he got for Christmas 15 years ago? But will Randal manage to get his hands on a replacement?
Clerks: The Lost Scene
Before the Clerks X DVD came out with this scene animated all we had was the comic book to bring to life the 'lost scene' that Kevin Smith had written to feature in the originally Clerks movie, but he ran out of money to film it.
Here we see the bit where Dante and Randal going to the funeral (in the film it shows them driving there, then a '10 minutes later' tag appears on screen with some people chasing them out the funeral parlour). So we see Dante paying his respects to his old girlfriend Julie Dwyer while Randal is just there for the fun of it?! It's all a bit awkward for Dante as Julies parents caught them in a compromising position and Dante would do anything to not get noticed, but he drops his car keys in the coffin, down her skirt... whoops!
Part of the appeal of these is that they are written by Clerks Director/Writer/Actor Kevin Smith so you feel the characters are staying true to themselves rather than feeling like fan-fiction which is what seems to happen with other well known franchises that get a comic series made.
---The Artwork and Layout---
This is done in a thick black and white style giving it the feeling of the movie (which was done in black and white). The first two comics are drawn by Jim Mahfood and have a more cartoonish style where as the lost scene was pencilled by Phil Hester and inked by Ande Parks is drawn in a more 'serious' style, looking pretty much like the two main characters in the film
The cover has a photo of Jay and Silent Bob from the Clerks film and the back features the synopsis with drawings of the characters (this time in the style of the animated series).
The back page contains artwork and sketches by the artist Jim Mahfood
In between each story is the front cover feature for each comic:
Clerks: The Comic Book cover by Gilbert Hernandez
Clerks: Holiday Special cover by Arthur Adams
Clerks: The Lost Scene cover by Duncan Fegredo.
I'll also point out that all the characters seen in Clerks Dante, Randal, Jay and Silent Bob all look like their characters from the movie. Also Steve Dave and Walt the Fanboy (who make numerous cameos in Smith films) also look like the actors who play them. The only character I would say who looks different is Caitlin. Whether this is because of payment of image rights I don't know.
If you've seen Clerks, you'll know it's has very vulgar language and descriptions - this has not been toned down in the comic book. So it's not suitable for young people, maybe 16+
I really enjoyed these stories, especially the first two that inspired me so much that when I first read them I spent many months doing drawings copying Jim Mahfood style.
I always really enjoyed the Clerks film thinking Dante and Randal where the two best and most 'real' characters Kevin Smith had come up with and was begging for more stories about the life of Dante and Randal. I guess Smith felt the same otherwise he wouldn't have made Clerks II.
The best stories was definitely the first it was so funny hearing Randal pitch to Dante why getting in the business of Star Wars figures was such a good idea while Dante thought it was joke that a movie that had been out for 20 years made 100 million at the cinema.
The second one was pretty good and made reference to the Clerks movie with Caitlin. To be fair you don't need to have seen the Clerks movie to enjoy this story (especially as it refers in the dialogue what happened to Caitlin) I hadn't actually seen the film till after I read this. I was quite pleased with this one as it lets Jay and Silent Bob take a backseat, only appearing on a couple of pages and you get to see Dante and Randal carry a fun compelling story.
The third is easily the worst of the three I can't say I care it's a 'lost scene' or not. It just goes over the top with Randal behaving like a dick at a funeral (I can't really believe even he would do that? I know through the film you see him act like that, but I still felt it was something no one would do at a funeral). However the gross-out-humour in this was quite amusing and the Alyssa Jones cameo (you know the lesbian in Chasing Amy) was quite good "Why do you smell of shoe polish?"
My only disappointment was that Smith didn't continue doing more Clerks stories and went where the money was with 'Chasing Dogma' and 'Bluntman and Chronic' comics instead, which in my opinion never quite reached the laughs that this book gives you.
The Match was released in 1999. Surprisingly it didn't get as much attention as other British films that came out around the same time. It features a lot of British names and was a pleasant, humorous feel-good football film.
Set in the small Scottish village of Inverdoune. We meet Wullie, who works as a milkman, has an unbeatable knowledge of Scottish Football trivia and deep down still is scarred from seeing his brother fall to his death in childhood.
There are two bars in the village Benny's Bar and the Le Bistro. Who have annually for the last 99 years played each other, with the 100th year having it all at stake - the loser has to give their bar away to the other. There are three big problems 1) Benny's Bar has lost 99 times 2) There's only eight players in the team and 3) There coach Big Tam just breathed his last breath. It's a very hard time for Wullie as the love of his life Rosemary has just come back from University and will be leaving again soon. Will Wullie, take charge of the team? Get their spirits up? Find another three players? Get his feelings across to the girl he loves? Or will 'Gorgeous' Gus be laughing at the end of the match and turn Benny's Bar into a car park?
---Directed and Written by---
Max Beesley - Wullie Smith
Richard E. Grant - 'Gorgeous' Gus
Laura Fraser - Rosemary Bailey
Isla Blair - Sheila Bailey
James Cosmo - Billy Bailey
David Hayman - Scrapper
Samantha Fox - Patsy
Ian Holm - Big Tam
Neil Morrissey - Piss-Off
David O'Hara - Mechanic
Bill Paterson - Tommy
Iain Robertson - Danny
Tom Sizemore - Buffalo
Sally Howitt - Carol McGhee
Michael Nardone - Dingus
I quite like some of the humour in this film, the fact the men who went to Benny's bar seem to be put across as overgrown kids, whether deliberate or not it was amusing, to see them waiting outside Wullies house cause they needed a football proceeding to then go and kick an out of control ball down the street chasing after it.
Max Beesley played a great role as Wullie, you really felt for him with the loss of his brother, the fact he's always had a bad leg so has never really been able to play football and the struggle to get across his feeling to Rosemary.
Speaking of Rosemary, Laura Fraser was a good actress and her 'look' made her a very good girl next door.
Bill Paterson and a young Iain Robertson (now seen together in Sea of Souls) played a good double act as the bread deliverers whose van has broken down, they play a key role in giving you an introduction to the main characters. With Tommy keeps telling Danny to get his notebook out to write down who the people are. Tommy describes Wullie as having T.F.R (Total football recall).
Sam Fox (yes really) she holds a good Scots accent and adds a nice little role as the barmaid of Benny's bar. "I'd shag you, shagging her," says one of the patrons "I'd let you" says the other.
Finally look out for the Alan Shearer cameo.
Some of the Scots accents where quite questionable referring to Richard E Grant and Neil Morrissey. Might have been better sticking to an English accent though even if it meant rubbing out the scenes where one of the lads goes mental every time he smells an English man. (You have to see to get it).
I know it was quite a simple plot, but it took me ages to realise that the bet was that the 100th game was winner takes all; I thought the bet must have been that Benny's Bar wouldn't have been able to be Le Bistro once.
Also another technicality was that I didn't get how the bet worked. I assume that Gus was (great) grandson to the man that owned Le Bistro because would you buy a bar if it had the condition you'd lose it from a petty bet. Also who owns Benny's? When Big Tam dies (who you assume is the owner) who inherited it? Minor questions like this bother/confuse you but they don't get in the way of enjoying the film (unless you have that sort of personality).
There's a bit of Scots pipe music and also a few tracks that always seem to crop up in British films (such as Gary Glitter). Be nice to hear some different songs for a change.
This overall is a real fun film to watch. I wouldn't recommend the purchase, but maybe renting it or seeing if it will appear on Channel 4 or Film 4. I originally saw this film when NTL cable had pay films, which you paid for later in your bill.
Watch for a Pierce Brosnan cameo at the end (he was a co-producer).
The football is only a background in the film to keep the plot rolling so don't worry if you don't like (or understand the game) as it never really gets technical. Good fun for men and woman alike.
Can't comment on the DVD features, as I've not seen it, though a quick check on Amazon show there is none.
It all a cliché story and if you've ever seen any sporting films featuring underdogs who never do anything vs Excellent team of athletes then you probably know what's going to happen. But it's all enjoyable anyway.
Time 93 minutes (approx)
Following on from their previous release Rusty Medals and Broken Badges, in 2003 Over my Dead Body released there second full album Sink or Swim.
Daniel Saint - Vocals
Mike Arney - Guitar
Aaron Cooley - Guitar
Adam Meehan - Bass
Tommy Anthony - Drums
Over My Dead Body formed in 2000, from San Diego, California, their sound is an old school hardcore punk style that plays what they like and are arguable one of the best hardcore bands of the 21st century.
There lyrics cover straight edge, politics, the hardcore scene, oh and a bit of football as well. The album Sink or Swim has a mix of old school hardcore, punk and metal.
'Why are you here' (1.29) starts off the album, no big build up instrumental or anything straight into the lyrics "It makes me sick/ It's reduced to this/ where is the though and passion?/ You've got no heart/ just waiting for the mosh part/ a slave to fucking fashion." It goes into a breakdown to slow the pace down and the chance of a breather before kicking into more screaming.
'Anchors Aweigh' (1.52) an anthem for those who stay drug free (i.e. no alcohol, smoking and drugs - i.e. the straight edge lifestyle). You might not like a track like this as you might view it as preachy, it's not but some people get touchy. You might also find this whole 'straight edge' thing a bit strange and might get it confused for a cult. "This is for you who still believe and it's not for everyone but it is right for me, right for me."
'Broken Backs' (1.44) this song has so much to say in such little time ripping on punks in bands who seem to believe there own hype. "I for one am glad you're here/ To show what sets us apart/ We'll see you dead." Banging drums tearing guitar ring this song through.
'Bricks' (1.13) has a great unity-positive feel to it chanting, "I'm there for you" a punky sort of track. Has a great appeal for me for the sing along. Good friendship hardcore song.
'Patriotic Cattle Call' (1.16) is an angry attack on the government and those people who label traitors for simply questioning how things are happening (as in the US and its media). The frustration is displayed in the lyrics sharp and to the point "Is it right to deceive while others die and millions grieve?" Fast drumming that races through this quick song. It finishes with the simple message - "Question everything - to be free"
'Tunnel Vision' (2.50) longest song on the album probably because it's at a slower pace taking it's time to kick in. The song give you the impression it may be calmer than sets off ripping on the hardcore elitists "Your way or the highway/ one way is all you see." closes down at a slower pace.
Dead Alive (0.59) is a fast cutting track that heads straight to the point "I've fucking had it with sleepless nights/Breaking my neck to survive/I wanted so much more/out of this thing called life" great song feeling the frustration of being over worked and under paid.
'Don't call it a comeback' (0.47) has great guitar, good lyrics going on about phases and fads in the Straight Edge scene.
'The 23rd Letter' (2.32) is a track that doesn't get to the point unlike the other tracks, though you can pretty much assume it's going about the government with chants of "Won't be fooled again" ringing out.
'Remembrance Day' (1.19) opens with some taking to a heroin addict, this opens up are next song. The tempo is quick with a thudding drumbeat, before a breakdown chanting "Free yourself from this."
'The Kippax' (1.23) is best described as a hardcore football anthem that would be sung on the terraces if the world were into hardcore. An amazing sing along with Daniel Pledging his allegiance to Man City "Fuck the Reds up the Blues, heaven is a train away"
'Always and Forever' (1.55) gives love to the hardcore scene and the friends made from it. "Good times we've shared/ You're always in my heart/ For always being there." okay-ish track drags even though it isn't even two minutes.
'The Cold Front' (1.33) is another gang sing along "If we don't stand together/ If we don't draw that line all our efforts, lost forever distant thoughts from a faded time" a hard fast tune that's great to chant along to.
A lot of tracks, which are short (pretty typical of hardcore as the music is fast and so are the lyrics), no tracks reach three minutes and most tracks being in the one-minute group. This makes the whole album in total 20 minutes and 57, which is short, but it is available at a good price from the Amazon market traders.
Patriotic Cattle Call
The Cold Front
The vocals are pretty pleasant vocals in hardcore, pleasant probably being the wrong word to use, but there a good sound from the shouting that isn't irritating and doesn't sound off. Looking it up in the dictionary I find out that this is called melody.
I also like the anger and aggression, bad language is used frequently and I feel this puts the bands frustrations in a lot of the songs across even more.
The guitar are easy to hear and enjoyable with no distortion. The drum work is quick yet not quite that loud and blends into the background easy enough.
The songs are good though cause OMDB aren't afraid of just getting to the point. No subliminal messages, no trying to be clever - Just great lyrics with great guitar and drum backing.
The only problem is that some of the tracks are a bit repetitive with a lot of tracks about hardcore, straight edge, unity, scenesters, coming up a at least twice.
The album art is pretty standard generic hardcore band album layout - lyrics, pictures of band in action at shows. It's all decked out in a greyish blue with pictures of a sinking ship on the front, a lifeboat behind the CD and a (rescue) plane on the back. The lyrics have explanations for the songs below them, which can be cool to know what the songs are about, though bad if you are quite content to have what the song means to you. (Personally I never really cared for it but it was a great help to write this review!). I liked it though on 'patriotic cattle call' where under the lyrics it says, "By simply asking a question you are labelled a traitor, instead of 'love it or leave it' how about we all stay and try and make it a better place for everyone...."
This is an enjoyable fast paced fun album packed with anthems of angst, aggression and staying true to who you are.
This is the last album OMDB released calling it a day on 27th November 2004.
I first came across Miles Away through one song - Worlds Apart. I had this in a compilation of many other hardcore tracks, but I found that this consistently stood out. Under the strength of that song alone I purchased Miles Away debut album titled... um.... Miles Away.
Miles Away are a fast paced, energetic hardcore band, from Perth Australia. Influenced by the likes of Champion and Gorilla Biscuits. They released their debut under hardcore label Bridge Nine Records (International) and Common Bond Records (Australia).
They have been described as one of the hardest working bands in the Australian hardcore scene and actually made Australia aware there actually was a Perth hardcore scene.
This album isn't the 'official' debut album as it collects tracks taken from two EPs 'Make it count' and 'State of Affairs' - a split CD that featured 5 Aussie bands.
Nick Horsnell - Vocals
Cam Jose - Guitar
Steve Hopperton - Bass
Adam Crowe - Guitar
Chris Unsworth - Drums
Worlds Apart (2.27) - so this is the track that got me into the band. Well it's very catchy song. Quick guitars intro, before shooting straight into the lyrics, which are fired off quickly with a gang sing along giving off the main message. Great, great song. "I'd like nothing more than to trust your words/ I'd like nothing more than to trust/ but the truth is we're worlds apart"
So it Begins (1.35) - quick track, which with a quick drum roll starts off, and the lyrics are shouted straight out. "Nothing Compares!" nice short track
Turn Your Back (2.30) - takes us on a story of friendship, where somewhere has turned there back on their friends and done something that's betrayed them in some way. "You sold us out for the last time". Shouty sing-along chorus with loud rampaging guitars to close the song off.
As One (2.04) - this tracks fills up the album, very forgetful and merges into the next track really. Which is weird, as they sound very similar. The guitars and drums tear through this making this song a dull mess.
The Betrayal (2.36) - Like the last track the drum work and guitars sound the same. Listening to the lyrics it's quite ironic (whether deliberate or not) but the chorus goes "I won't dwell" on you, yet it keeps being mention, so he is 'dwelling' on them. Ok little track.
This Heart (3.12) - longest track on the album and it drags too. Loud tearing guitar, all sounds familiar to the other tracks though, so gives nothing new to give you any interest in this song.
Die Alone (3.06) - finally the album begins to pick up a bit, long metal style intro. Here we get a melodic hardcore tune. Bit more interesting than the last three tracks.
Holding on (2.31) - has an energetic aggressive lyric style, the drums crack away, while the guitars hold onto the tune, breakdown the pace ever so often so the crowd can cool off a bit.
Sinking Ships (2.25) - is an energetic track, which to me would have been a great closing track, especially when the closing lyrics are "I just can't wait until the very end, until my last breath". It took a while for me to get into this track... but now I have, I have to say I love it. If only more tracks displayed the same passion and energy this track does.
You Lose (1.16) - this track closes up the album with a mean guitar intro, before the pace is picked up and the vocals are laid out, sort of just plonked out in front of you. "And when it f**king ends, you lose... f**k you". This is great closer - so fierce and quick.
Total album time 23 minutes and 45 seconds.
Best tracks "Worlds Apart" and "Sinking Ships"
Layout is generic hardcore album artwork, picture of a hardcore show with crowd really into it on the cover. Back cover same you get a shot of the three guys on guitars getting into it. Inside cover has group mug shot of the entire band. Inside you have the technical details/band members; this is followed by the lyrics, with numerous photos through the booklet. Final page has the Thank You's.
The album is overall all a pretty enjoyable listen, however they're not a band I find myself too into and I don't have any interest in getting their next album. How can I say the music didn't speak to me? Does that sound pretentious? It just all seemed a bit too generic hardcore with nothing 'special' that stood out to keep me into this band. No lyrics that reached me, with standard guitar and drumming, and vocals that are just blurted out.
If you want to get into hardcore then I'd recommend Over My Dead Body or Comeback Kid to start with, or even better go back to the 80's and check out the likes of Black Flag, Minor Threat and The Dead Kennedy's.
The album can be bought very cheap of Amazon marketplace sellers.
It was 1996 and a 12 soon to be 13 year old was watching the 'Chart Show' (you know that programme that used to be on ITV and showed videos?). It was watching this I would find my taste in music changed forever.
Apart from the naff comp tapes ('Smash Hits 95') etc I had no real knowledge or interest in music. I didn't really have a favourite band.
That was to change that day as a fantastic group called 'Space' came on singing a song called 'Neighbourhood'. My love for rubbishy 90's chart anthems died out over the years. The downfall started when I received Spaces debut album 'Spiders' for my thirteenth birthday. I was an obsessed fan and would often bore my friends to death talking about them, while all they wanted to talk about was football.
Amongst all the hype the band began growing and becoming more popular. They released their second album 'Tin Planet' which was more of an Indie band fare though it still had that unusual sound that the first release had. I would still say now that Spaces sound is original no one yet has attempted to copy them.
They reached their peak reaching number 2 with 'The Ballad of Tom Jones' a duet with Cerys Matthews (of Catatonia fame).
Unfortunately it wasn't going to last long, by the third album 'Love you more than Football' was due to be released... well it never did.... it got held back... then I sort of got over waiting for new Space goodness and experimented with other bands briefly while at college.
During that time they released Suburban Rock 'N' Roll to no hype at all (doing research for this review is how I just found out about it).
Now forgive the long intro... I was checking out the deals in the tat shop known as Woolworth's about a year ago when I came across a familiar logo. 'Space - Greatest Hits' is what it was simply called. Priced £4.99 and because I only had half the songs on tape I decided to purchased it. The first problem was getting the ridiculously huge 'SALE £4.99' sticker that was on it. Not doing a very successful job of it I eventually could see what the album looked like....
To be honest the album artwork is the most unappealing thing I've ever seen. Obviously this was a bit of a rushed job put together, featuring pictures of all the singles inside. It seemed apparent that this 'Greatest Hits' was just a moneymaker - when you see the artwork of Space albums/singles they where very appealing all being works of art in there own right. This album isn't, it's like a bad Photoshop that someone's put together to have all their favourite Space songs on one CD.
Anyway, you're probably wondering who Space are? No, well I'm telling you anyway.
Tommy Scott - Lead Vocals/Guitar
Jamie Murphy - Vocals/Lead Guitar
Franny Griffiths - Keyboards
Yorkie - Bass (Brought in so Tommy could focus on vocals)
Andy Parle - Drums (1st)
Leon Caffrey - Drums (2nd)
They are a Liverpool band, so some of the songs have a very working class feel to them, their songs had elements of comedy, tragedy, love, romance, and greed; all topped with a cinematic feel.
The album compromises of the following songs -
'Female of the Species' (3.19) arguably Spaces most famous song. This is a song about a woman having a power of a man. Hence why "The female of the species is more deadlier than the male" this track features a tingling keyboard tune that sounds like a xylophone, that I just fell in love with when I first heard that sound.
'Avenging Angels' (2.58) was the first release from Tin Planet and was aimed to make an impact and build up on the momentum Space had made from their first album. Catchy song with the chorus "Calling all avenging angels..."
'Neighbourhood' (3.28) a song about a bizarre neighbourhood. Strangely enough I could imagine there being a place like this in Liverpool. To listen to this song is to sum up what I liked about Space, dark funny lyrics that describe to the listener some of the residents who lived in the neighbourhood.
"In number 18 there lives a big butch queen/ He's bigger than Tyson and he's twice as mean/ In 666 their lives a Mr Miller/ He's a local Vicar and a serial killer". Features great guitar riffs, Spanish trumpets and a great background tune.
'The Ballad of Tom Jones' (with Cerys) (4.10) this track hits you straight from the opening a loud crashing piano opening, this is like the idea 'Fairy Tale of New York' mixed with Tom Jones song names, mixed with pop culture references, add that Space charm and sound and this is the song you get. I always remember this song for the memorable video where Cerys and Tommy where hanging off the edge of a cliff in a car. "Tommy: What did I do wrong?
Cerys: Oh, you nearly drove me cuckoo
Tommy: Am I really all that bad?
Cerys: You're worse than Hannibal Lecter, Charlie Manson and Freddy Krueger"
'Sunny Afternoon' (with Tom Jones) (3.27) - taken from Tom Jones 'Reloaded' album, you know the one he did with all the young stars. Nice little cover good to finally hear it without having to buy the Tom Jones album.
'Money' (4.02) this song sums up a greedy world, as Tommy singings in an eerie raspy voice, "Some folks help the needy, may I just help myself? Fantastic song needs to be heard.
'Begin Again' (3.07) - wow this song is weird, never one I took to much, this song is melodramatic and has singer Tommy Scott singing like it's a Sinatra song. "How can I love again/ now she's gone again/ I'm on that ship again/ called the sinking heart"
'We Gotta Get out of this Place' (3.20) cover of The Animals song, I never actually remember this song, though I heard it was on an advert must have released it sometime as a B-Side.
'Bad Days (Remix)' (3.22) it's a remix but sounds exactly as it does on Tin Planet, all right song, singing about a woman. Love the instrumental in the middle where it's like music from a western though.
'Dark Clouds' (3.48) opens with DJ like scratching, the tune goes a bit Latin, with Spanish sounding trumpets if you listen carefully you can hear that Latin clickerty click sound, with Spanish guitar.
'Me and You Vs the World' (3.36) opens up with a big synth/guitar style intro, it tells the tale of a Bonnie and Clyde style story with a Northern feel to it. The song goes through the story of this couples love, ending with them both dying. "And whether we were in heaven or hell/ I know it's better than separate cells."
'Diary of a Wimp' (2.46) one of the first releases of 'Love you more than football' poor sales meant Gut Records, decided to delay the albums release. This is not a bad song though, it basically a story of a guy who loves a girl, but she doesn't love him and loves someone else.
'Gravity' (4.43) one of the tracks off 'Love you more than football' this song is sang by Jamie who quite often in Space albums had a track or two, with him taking the lead. This song is beautiful, featuring an orchestra background, real different feel to normal Space stuff.
'The Shit you talk is beautiful' (2.19) is something totally different, you got glimpses of Frans stuff on Space albums, usually having an upbeat 'dance' number at the end of 'Tin Planet' and 'Spiders' here they have Tommy's lyrics in. It's an okay song, not the Space I fell in love with though.
'Spiders' (2.50) this track was a live fan favourite, talking about a girl whose scared of a lot of things, but if comes near Tommy "I know she'll cut there balls off"
The albums total time 51 minutes and 22 seconds.
Bit disappointing that there's not much material from the album that never happened, but doing a search for Space brings up three (yes three) greatest hits album with slight differences - one being basically a two disc version of the album I own and the other being called 'Greatest hits and Unheard bits' so great I got the crappist 'Best of Version' bloody Woolworth's.
Also in my opinion three great tracks 'Liddle biddy help from Elvis', '1 O'clock and 'Mr Psycho' where crimes to miss off.
Anyway if you've not heard of Space... well trust me you probably have and just don't realise it, there music has been used in films, adverts, TV series - hopefully the Royalties have kept the band members comfortable.
The greatest thing about Space was there sound, they are unique, it's so easy to call them an Indie band, but then what does that mean anyway? Where else can you get a band that mixes Frank Sinatra style singing, Lyrics like they where summarising a story for a Tarantino movie, maracas and castanets, one of the most underrated guitar players in Jamie Murphy, a keyboard player influenced by the likes of Kraftwreck and a song about Tom Jones stopping a couple from killing each other?
To listen to Space is to release how mediocre a lot of bands that are shoved down are throats today really are.
My only disappointment is this band never got the recognition they deserved before splitting.
Not recommended to purchase
Bare Necessities was a book that was giving to me as a present by my mum. (Note if your living at home and your mum get you a book like this it's basically a translation for - get out).
It's an interesting book that's okay to flick through for a first read, though I found myself skipping large bits, because well it's like school of the bleeding obvious. I understand there will be bits in life that people will not be so good with - I know plenty of people who could do to read the section on banking for example. But sections such as the opening where it's talking about eating and going over items such as the oven and the microwave then you can not blame a person for thinking this book can be a little patronising.
Food Survival: 21st-Century caveman
Covers the basic cooking machinery. Then it goes onto basics such as boiling, baking, roasting etc. Then it covers fat, calcium etc and what food they are found in. It then goes onto tell you where to store things, before closing the chapter off telling you, you need to clean up!
I didn't find this chapter much use as I have ideas how to use kitchen machinery and I've always been weary of what I eat and I know it's a good idea to clean up.
Health: Staying Alive
This covers anywhere you can get treatment at, to alternative therapy, family planning, looking after yourself (mainly focusing on hangovers), followed by female/male checks, paperwork and injections.
This chapters good, yes some is obvious but it's still a good idea, especially the section on checking your self for diseases.
Moving Out: The Property Predicament
This chapter covers renting a property more than buying your own home with a mortgage, though most is basic stuff that can be covered by both. It looks at your budget requirements, to estate agents, viewing, making an offer, contracts, inventory, payments, buying requirements, then it covers all the bills you will get or need. Then it covers the general maintenance such plumbing and electrics (going down to the basics of changing a plug). Before closing the chapter off with advices about dealing with potential troublesome neighbours and some final basic advise such as looking after your keys!
This section covers how to clean your house, just think the first chapter except instead of food, this covers cleaning utensils and what to clean and how. This chapter is quite long and goes into large detail.
This chapter covers the planning; preparation of painting a room and certain objects that may need painting too (woodwork and metalwork). It gives you advice on choosing the right colour to doing painting patterns to make your decorating more interesting. Decent chapter that covers in depth, though I think if I was going to get a self help guide I would probably buy a special book for it, with expert advice and some pictures so you can see what you might be doing.
Car Survival: More than A to B
This chapter tells you about maintaining your car (Plus the authors ego needlessly bragging she passed first time!). It talks about petrol which includes a gem that says "WARNING: DO NOT SMOKE anywhere near petrol - it's highly flammable." It's covers oil, coolant, wiper, brake fluid, tyres, tread, checking your lights - yes all things you should know when you go in for your driving test. It also covers mechanics, breakdown, cleaning your car, documents, buying and selling, MOT, Tax and Insurance, accidents, travelling aboard and fines.
The World of Work
This covers; yep you guessed it - work (which logically you would think would be at the beginning as I'm sure most people get a job before moving into there own house?). It tells you about finding a job, doing a CV, covering letter, interview and other little things.
Banking: Sell, Sell, Sell!
This chapter goes very basic explaining the world of banking, starting the reader off by explaining the account number; it follows with such things as interest rates. The next sub-heading covers choosing a bank and opening a certain sort of account, how to access your money (which I assume you would be smart enough to know when you set the account up!). It goes onto cover investments, budgeting, overdrafts, loans, debts and keeping records of your finances.
Looking after money personally for me has always been a strong point so I didn't really get much out of this chapter.
Other Stuff you Should Know
This chapter covers birth, death and marriage, voting, your passport, explaining what you can get from the post office; and then it all gets a bit silly with some pointless stuff that I wouldn't consider life essential. There is a paragraph on 'bar banter' (covering such life essential skills such as being able to order sophisticated sounding drinks from a bar), 'casino courtesy' and I'm not kidding 'Sounding Smart'. Which might as well have been called bullshitting as that was basically (briefly) explaining how to do. It covered if some begins speaking politics to you and you don't know what there talking about, coming out with some stock phrases to get them to shut up - such as "It's all a question of whether the ends justify the means", "That's democracy for you", "The problem is the extremists on both sides".
I get the sneaking suspicion that pages needed to be filled. The chapter started okay then, well I don't know what happened.
This is pretty self-explanatory as it contains useful contacts
The book has an index so if you swear you saw something but can't find it check the back (though maybe I'm stating the obvious now).
I find this book can be a bit preachy at times and the author tries her best to get some connection with the reader (who is assumed to be straight from school by the tone sometimes) by making the odd joke and trying to relate to the reader by trying to act young. Which I can't say how I'd take it as an 18 year old, but as a slightly older reader I find a bit lame really.
If your interested in certain chapters than I would recommend not getting this book as there are many books out there that go into more detail about certain issues and I would say the advice is more qualified rather than a been there done that so I know what I'm talking about attitude that you get with this book.
Overall this is a nice little book, however I would not recommend this if you've already moved away from home as you've probably come across the majority already anyway. Also you've worked and used to being in an adult environment you probably have good knowledge of a lot of the stuff covered anyway.