cd reviews?

hello I noticed my friend got his cd reviewed by someone on this site and I was wondering if my band could do the same? It’s so we can put it in our promo pack that we’re sending out soonshque. Any help’d be GrrrrEat. thank you.#
Bethxxx

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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

RUSSIANS!

What an intro!

The film is, of course, ludicrous. Who else would survive a nuclear blast by hiding in a (led-lined, obviously) fridge that is being blown around the desert for quite some distance. Who else would be able to fight someone in a moving vehicle from, well, another moving vehicle. Including climbing out of one side of said vehicle, getting back in the other side of said vehicle and still winning?

Purists will probably be annoyed at two aspects of the ending. One is ——-, the other involves Indiana Jones doing ——. The first being more surprising than the latter.

Shia Le Boeuf (that kid from the Transformers movie) does make a marvelous sidekick though, with his little comb and his little flick knife, bless.

This movie is basically Indiana Jones by numbers, but, what’s wrong with that? Does anyone watch these films seriously expect or want any changes or major reinventions of the Indy well? Exactly.

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Oppenheimer – Look Up (single on Fantastic Plastic)

At long last! Something new from Belfast’s bestest electropopsters! Quick, everyone gather round and adore this band! If you like synths and perfect pop songs, you will love this. No really, you bloody well will.

Since the self titled debut album was a collection of songs stretching back over ten years or so (you can’t even tell that when listening to it though, for it all fits together perfectly), imagine the excitement of an entire new single coming out. Better still, it’s on limited edition white vinyl. Oh yes!

And it’s good! And so catchy! I love it! Can’t even think of anything to compare it to, it just sounds like Oppenheimer. In a brilliant way. If you’re still looking for the summer … okay, a suitable soundtrack for the summer that is unlikely to happen, you must! Must! Must! Buy this!

The B-Side (The Never Never) starts off a bit weirdly, in a semi-Muse kind of way. That is a bit of a downer indeed, at least for the first 40 seconds (and yes, I have checked this). Then it’s back to the nice vocodery bits.

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A Woman's Weekly

I think I am addicted to weeklies. It all started quite innocently with fishing out a copy of Love It! Magazine to read in the bath. Next was Take A Break, followed by Real People and there isn’t an end in sight.

Now, I consider my self a reasonably educated semi-feminist. I have no understanding of cosmetic surgery or the latest weight loss fad. Neither am I a 15 year old single mother with hoop earrings and hair scraped back so tightly my eyes have started to wander towards my temples.

But, how could I resist the riveting weekly story about someone having a sex-change? ‘My Groom is a Bride’! ‘How I became the first pregnant man in Bolton’!.

For the more harrowing tales, paragraph one will set the scene and force the reader to like the tortured protagonist. Hence, a lot of ‘I smiled’, ‘I cupped my baby bump’ and ‘I giggled as I stuck the last bauble on our Christmas tree’.

Inadvertently, some form of disaster will strike in paragraph number four. ‘Dwayne only had four weeks left’, ‘I was about to loose my baby’ or ‘I just didn’t feel comfortable as a man any more’. Luckily, good friends are always at hand to ‘soothe’. I could write a whole book on the overuse of the word ‘soothe’ in human interest stories. ‘It will be okay’, Stacey soothed, ‘Don’t worry, he only lost both legs, an eye and a kidney’, Jayneesha soothed …

After much soothing and despair, a solution will present itself in the shape of a ‘hunky mechanic’ with ‘rippling muscles and eyes like saucers’, accompanied by a picture of a grinning, hideous male with two litres of hairgel on his head, a gold earring in his nose, fake tan on his shoe and a shifty glint in his ears. Chavboy to the rescue! First thing chavboy will do is impregnate the protagonist, because then she will be able to do all the smiling and bump-cupping from paragraph once again and everyone is happy.

Should there was a baddie in the story, a picture of Baddie (no matter what Baddie did, if they’re male, they will always look like a pedophile) will appear at the end, with a caption saying ‘Bruce refused to comment, but did say he had never met Stacey in his life. Sadly, we could not interview him properly because he is currently imprisoned for petty theft or GBH’.

Another staple requisite for the likes of Love It! is the weekly plastic surgery story. Entitled ‘I hated my ugly hooter’ or ‘Bullied for my spaniel ear boobs’, this will explain to the hapless reader that a restructured bodypart can buy you eternal happiness. It also reminds you that anything smaller than a D cup will ruin your life (Oh no, better go hang myself on my A cup bra right now! I can’t possibly go on like this!). To reinforce the point, ‘before and after’ shots are provided. Before: blurred picture, bad hair, misery all around. After: big smile, full makeover (which tends to evolve around blond highlights and a low cut top or bikini), lens no longer blurry lens. Flat chested BAD. Big tits GOOD.

The cunning editor also manages to consiostently feature the amazing weightloss story right next to the one entitled ‘My Bulimia Hell’. What now? Am I meant to loose weight or gain weight?

Particularly annoying is the ‘You’ve Got Male’ section. Where do they find these people? Building sites? The job centre? They’re always topless and look like they’re likely to reappear in next week’s issue as an axemurderer. If I see another bronzed sixpack on some semi naked fireman I am going to puke.

Thumbs up for the Reader’s Tips page though (‘Carly’s Top Tips’!) though. Did you know there was ten useful things to do with the little net bags washing tablets come in? And that you can satisfy your neatfreak cravings by sticking clingfilm on the bathroom wall above the sink so you can just peel any toothpaste stains off the wall without actually having to scrub it? Did you know that your goldfish just loves frozen peas and that you can make a perfect gardening kneeling pad out of ‘an old showercurtain’? I don’t know about you, but how many old showercurtains do you have knocking around at any given time?

I can’t wait for next weeks issue. ‘I love my fake 32G boobs!’!! ‘I stole my best friend’s wrinkly dad!’!! and the much awaited ‘Cheryl Exclusive’!!

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Two in Three People suffer from STRESS at work!

… so how can you beat it?

Sounds helpful enough, doesn’t it?

Keep reading …

Alright then, now that you have handed me this four page free Scientology newspaper after work, I might as well. For I am, of course, one of the two in three people who suffer from STRESS at work. To help me realise this, you have helpfully printed the word STRESS in a massive red font that looks like it’s cracking up. Along with pictures of people who are supposed to look STRESSed. There’s a man with his head in his hands, below we find a woman waving her arms at a man and she looks like she is shouting. Again, man burying face in hands.

What causes you to lose confidence? Why can’t you believe in yourself? What causes unhappy relationships? Where do unwanted emotions come from? Anger? Jealousy? Guilt? Fear? And last but not least, the semi-medical question: What causes unexplained illness and pain?

Yes, why! Dammit! Why why why? Can you help me, Mr Hubbard? Can you, can you can you? Pretty please.

(a friend actually urged me to put the paper down at this point, because he was worried about subliminal messages and fumes oozing from the print. I think they’ll have to do better than red and black ink in Times New Roman laced with pictures of people in powersuits for that).

Oh look! It’s called DIANETICS. There is a cure! A cure! A fucking CURE! For, it says here, there is a single source of all your problems … it’s called the reactive mind – the hidden part of your mind that stores all painful experiences, then uses them against you.

Hey ho, yes, people are volatile little things. Bash them on the head with a stick, they react. Show them a picture of a lamb being led to slaughter, they well up. Or is that just their petty little reactive minds talking?

To rid oneself of such creepy little things, one must embrace the analytical mind. So when someone next bashes you on the head with a stick, you’ll leave them to it. And the next lamb coming your way, you’ll merely view as lambchops. With dill.

Turn the page, pictures of happy people will appear. They’re laughing, they’re drinking coffee and they chat on the phone. Gosh, isn’t it lovely? And all because they have emptied their brains of anything remotely emotional. Great stuff.

Somewhere halfway down the page, I am informed that we will not put you into a trance. No? What a shame, I had been looking forward to that bit. How can you delete my reactive mind without me being in a pleasant semi-awake state of eternal bliss? What are you going to do instead? Talk me round? Go on go on gowangowangowan, please, reactive mind, would you please leave?

Oh, halfway there, with all these celebrities advising me on how to swap my mind, how can I resist? A certain ‘Chick Corea’ (award winning jazz keyboardist) tells me that he no longer suffers from ‘inner conflict’ (heck if I was into Jazz I’d be in eternal turmoil as well, Jazz is just so ghastly), whilst the bassist from Mr Big (what the fuck?) managed to ‘come out of his shell’. Now I wish the latter had stayed well tucked into his shell, because then there would be one less soft rock power ballad outfit with poodle hair bothering me.

My favourite part is the ‘quick crossword’ on the back of the paper, where little inconspicuous nobrainers like ‘tavern, 3 letters’ and ‘also, 3 letters’ mingle freely with ‘L. __ Hubbard, author and humanitarian, 3 letters’ and … wait for it … ‘tax free bank account, 3 letters’. Not sure how to react to this one.

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Applicants, Untitled Musical Project and Elle Milano @ The Fly, London

Up until now I didn’t even know this venue existed. Looks like the evil Barfly people are expanding left, right and centre. The venue is okay, if a little small and the sound is abysmal. Mind you, never trust a sound engineer with dreadlocks.

This was the first time I’d seen Applicants, so I can’t be sure what they sound like in a decent venue. They were covered in fake blood and had a girl in some kind of leotard and what appeared to be tennis shorts. Marvellous. Soundwise, think carcrash. In fact they had a song about a carcrash which sounded just like the real thing. They also had a rather catchy tune involving a pizza, which I spent the next day humming. Argh. Weirdly, the set ended with said girl offering sausages from a jar to random people (nice German bockwurst, now that was tempting!). I liked Applicants a lot.

Untitled Musical Project I’d seen countless times before. They are one of those bands that are always fairly good. And they’re starting to sound less like McClusky now. But, the sound in this place … ouchie. Most of what I could hear were the backing vocals (okay, backing shouts, actually!). Pleasant as they were, it would have been helpful to be able to hear the actual singer. Judging from his purple, contorted face, he really did try to overcome the inaudible microphone issue, but, to no avail. Still, Untitled can’t really go wrong.

Elle Milano I hadn’t seen before, but I was informed they are from Brighton and have been around for quite some time. They had interesting hair. Think Tim Burgess in the very early nineties. Or, if you’re familiar with a band named Meg, think Matt Pimm ca 2000. They also featured a weird, Ladytronesque-looking girl. She did have marvellous hair, but I am still puzzled what her purpose in the band actually was. She appeared to me mouthing into a microphone every now and then, but spent the rest of the time posing with her lipgloss as if she was in a bizarre seated, guitarless version of THAT Rober Palmer video. Hmm. The whole thing didn’t sound particularly original. The singer’s vocals reminded me of Brian Molko in places (not sure if that’s a god thing …), there were some disco-y bits, but the whole venbture suffered because the songs didn’t seem to end. If you’re going for this kinda artcollege/indie/slightly glammy thing, please make sure your tracks don’t overstep the minute-and-a-half mark. My opinion, anyway.

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EP Review: OK Junior – Logic & Reason

I’ll begin with the promotional literature because it left me fairly confused. In a bid to be whimsically clever it manages to tell me nothing about the band except that they dislike Bono and Johnny Borrell and (presumably) they hate writing biographies. Don’t we all, but this doesn’t give you carte blanche to write something as bad as this:

‘The term OKJUNIOR is generally used to indicate a diverse group of small celestial bodies that drift in the solar system in orbit around the Sun. “okjuniors” (Greek for “star-like”) is the word used most in English literature for super stars, which is the term preferred by the International Astronomical Union. Others prefer “awesome” (Greek: “causing awe, inspiring wonder or excitement”), because it more accurately describes what they are.’

Right. Drugs are bad, mmm-kay? It continues in this sort of vein for a further four paragraphs and all I can glean from it is that the EP took a long time to make due to issues. Given the slagging of Bono and Borrell I assume they’ve been locked away from all media, working on it for the last 3 years. Well, that’s until you hear the music.

The CD case is something else. It’s one of those chunky plastic ones that you slip the CD into through a slot and then eject it again by pressing a little lever that pushes the end out. The artwork and info comes on a pair of big square stickers affixed to either side and the CD itself has a nice professional label. This is a really swish little package.

Playing the EP makes me wonder if this got lost in the post for 10 years, which isn’t to say the music is unpleasant: it just has a very strong feel of the late 90s to me. The first track is even called ‘All I Need’, meaning I was already thinking of Air when I stuck it on, and I wasn’t entirely disappointed. I saw in a live review of the band on our site that OK Junior have been compared to The Beta Band and that’s probably a fair starting point for describing their sound. They like their songs to be long, drenched in atmosphere and with lyrics that sound like they were lifted straight from the Morcheeba Songwriter’s Guide.

There are a lot of different layers here and they’ve clearly spent a lot of time recording and producing it. The drums sound mechanical, with multi-layered rhythmic elements and it suits the music well. It all gives me the feeling that the target audience should probably be at home enjoying a spliff. Even the ‘fast’ one is 3.32, though that does include a strangely out of place sample at the start.

The last track is 12 minutes long, but this is because it’s actually two tracks separated by three or four minutes. While the production of this ‘hidden’ track isn’t up to the standards of the other four, it’s not far off and I like it a lot, maybe because it’s just an instrumental. But I’m not sure why you need this on an EP? Why not just have a five-track disc, especially when everyone just rips stuff to MP3 and are then going to skip forward when the silence starts or grudgingly forward until the music starts again, feeling irritated.

In summary, OK Junior’s Logic & Reason is a great EP if what you’re into is a slab of late 90s underground Indie retro and you like your music laid back and atmospheric.

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