Friday, October 30, 2015

Top 5 Records (October)

1: METRIC - pagans in Vegas
2: NEW ORDER - music complete
3: DURAN DURAN - paper gods
4: JULIA HOLTER - have you in my wilderness
5: CLASS ACTRESS - movies

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Metric - pagans in Vegas

The new album from Metric is very fine indeed, and a definite album of the year contender. Its an explosion of incredible pop and synth treats, gorgeous pop hooks to die for drenched in high energy yet also often so retro synths - the only downside is that the filler tracks can sometimes sound like directionless 8-bit video game music.

Forget the filler though, the highlights of the album shine brighter than most. "The shade" is a wonderous track, a driving electric beat underpinning vocals at once needy and triumphant. "Celebrate" is another exciting and dance friendly upbeat track that shines so bright.

"Lie lie lie" recalls Depeche Mode being more downbeat and menacing though still with plenty of synthy life. "Cascades" breaks up the beats and synths and sounds like Tron gone wrong. But this album is so so right.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

MV : "Debbie Downer" by Courtney Barnett

Lovely tune.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Movie : Troll 2 (1990)

Troll 2 is often listed among the worst films of all time, so is it? Its a basic horror film involving murderous little goblins (not trolls - there are no actual trolls in the movie) terrorising a family in the middle of nowhere. Thats fine for a basic horror flick, but what makes Troll 2 stand out is how badly it was all executed. The plot, dialogue, acting and camerawork all basically suck but happily it sucks in such a way as to be actually very entertaining...

Some examples of the (real) terror include a fly very visibly landing on an actor's forehead and the director not bothering to redo the shot. One of the main actors was a dentist who turned up at filming for a laugh and ended up being made the lead. The goblins are defeated by eating a ham sandwich...

So its utterly terrible, but so compelling. So it surely should be a contender for best worst movie of all time.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Comics : Blake & Mortimer 21 : Plutarch's Staff

Yes comic reviews are back, i thought it was time seeing as this blog isn't just about music nowadays...

Lets start with the latest Blake & Mortimer which has been translated here into English mere months after the original French publication. "Plutarch's Staff" is a prequel of sorts, the events of the book deal with the end of WW2 and the start of WW3 which was covered in the Secret of the Swordfish saga (which began the Blake & Mortimer story back in the 1950s) so the strip can be considered as having travelled full circle.

Though to be honest i'm finding the current obsession with filling in gaps and continuity-porn a bit tiresome with this volume and the previous couple it would be nice for future volumes to explore new territory. "Plutarch's Staff" does cover some interesting origins though, especially for one of the series' major characters.

The criticisms aside the story is very good, and drawn beautifully of course. This story sees Blake more to the fore and so is less mystical and more action and intrigue based. At the risk of contradicting myself in the previous paragraph the events that lead up to Secret of the Swordfish are very interesting and fit in perfectly well with the later stories even though they were written by another author (the original master Edgar P. Jacobs of course) and over 60 years before. So a great addition to the Blake & Mortimer saga and very recommended, but lets hope we can explore something a little fresher next time.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Movie : Master Blaster (1987)

Or... when paintball goes wrong. Yes paintball. This is a film about paintball! A group of 80s stereotypes (Vietnam vet, rednecks, troubled female cop, rich old guy, Cubans et cetera) turn up in the woods for the national paintball competition and $50K is at stake. All you have to do is avoid being shot with paint... and be murdered. Yes of course things start to go wrong when one of the competitors apparently decides to play for keeps.

Most of the action takes place in the woods, and the action is actually pretty good. The story as well is reasonable with the identity of the killer hidden until the end, and there are a few false leads to keep you interested. Ultimately its all a bit cheesy and very low budget but well worth a viewing.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Sound Is Lov - shipwrecks

The debut EP from this new shoegazey band and very fine it is too, coming at the sweeter lusher more refined end of the spectrum than harsh noise and doing that so well.  There are some great indie pop noises that waft over you on "And don't believe" and "Take me with you". The EP includes some contributions from former Smashing Pumpkins members and i detect some influences here and there perhaps especially from their earlier songs (which i think was their best period to be honest so this is a really good thing).

"Not good enough" is a blissful smash of a track and along with "Love FM" is a well structured song and a bit of a minor epic. Favourite track though is "And don't believe" with its tasty guitar and feedback drenched melody. A really great debut.

Friday, October 2, 2015

New Order - music complete

New Order are no strangers to drama, they've had more "last albums ever" than i've had hot dinners (well OK may be a slight exaggeration). After the acrimonious split with Peter Hook though New Order have returned, Hooky-bass-less maybe but returning to their electronic dance roots.

The rockier edge that has flavoured recent New Order has been pushed aside and we have a return to hard industrial beats, dancefloor destruction yet retaining pop melodies a-plenty. So its amazing natch and "Plastic" and "Restless" are highlights. Some tracks do seem to go on a bit and some of the lyrics are pretty banal, but thats been true of New Order for a long time to be honest. Having said all that its the best New Order album for some time, maybe since Republic.