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S. Harris "SPIDER_FAN106" (Swindon, England)

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Terrible Things
Terrible Things
Price: £22.62

4.0 out of 5 stars Terrible Things (2010), 2 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Terrible Things (Audio CD)
Fred Mascherino returns to the music scene once again, with the debut album from his new band, Terrible Things. Once you get past the slightly dodgy band name, it's easy to enjoy the songs that are to be found on this solid debut album. If you've enjoyed any of Fred's past work, then it's likely that you'll enjoy this. Some of the songs feel like they could happily sit on a Taking Back Sunday album, while some feel like they would be more at home with The Color Fred. There are also some songs on here that venture into territory that Fred hasn't entered before ("The Hills of Birmingham").

The best songs to be found on this album work as bookends, with "Revolution" and "The Arsonist's Wife" providing the best hooks of the record. In "The Arsonist's Wife", Fred passionately yells `this was all we had/and you took it away for good', in a vocal moment reminiscent of some of the more aggressive Taking Back Sunday songs. The album also has its softer moments, particularly on `Been Here Before' in which the lyrics tell of a doomed relationship (`Now I wonder what this could have been/I fought this and lost you again'). Each song sounds sufficiently different from the last, enough so that the listener doesn't get bored during the album's thirty-nine minute duration. It's this diversity that keeps the album fresh and exciting and ensures that you'll be hooked to the album's concept of arson and fire throughout.

Of course, this album isn't all about Fred. You have the incredible Josh Eppard (ex-Coheed) on drums and Andy Jackson (ex-Hot Rod Circuit) providing backing vocals and guitar. Andy also sings lead on two songs here, most notably the infectious "Not Alone" that drives along at an almost reckless pace, inviting repeat listens. Andy's contributions to this CD are good but somehow they just simply don't mix well with Fred's efforts. There's a lack of a cohesion jumping from a song penned by Fred to a song by Andy. For some reason, their writing styles don't contrast well and this ruins any cohesion the album had achieved within its first half. Unfortunately as of 2011, Andy Jackson is no longer a part of the band and has seemingly returned to Hot Rod Circuit/Death In The Park.

Another flaw that this album has is that Fred used two songs from his previous bands, "Lullaby" and "Terrible Things". It's not that I don't like these songs; it's just that I've heard them before. "Lullaby" is almost ten years old and therefore hearing it again on this CD, reworked into an inferior version, is a somewhat disappointing experience. It means that on this album, the listener is only getting eight new songs, two of which are fronted by Andy Jackson. This comes off as slightly lazy on Fred's part, but I'm sure that on the next album this will be rectified. To be fair to Fred, he did completely change the lyrics in the verses of "Terrible Things" to fit the concept of the album.

So overall, this is a diverse album that foreshadows a promising future for this band. It ranges from pop-rock ("Conspiracy", "Up All Night") to alternative rock ("Revolution", "Not Alone", "The Arsonist's Wife") to acoustic ballads ("Been Here Before", "Can't Be True"). If you've enjoyed any of Fred's past work, then I definitely recommend this album as it is just as good, if not better. While not perfect, this album suggests that we could see great things from this band in the future.

Battle for the Sun
Battle for the Sun
Offered by zoreno-uk
Price: £5.11

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Journey, 23 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Battle for the Sun (Audio CD)
I feel that with this album, Placebo present us with a journey. It's not a concept album but in my opinion, you could definitely interpret it as having a narrative. The first five tracks are dark and confused; with the lyrics dealing with themes such as sex and the 'Devil in the Details'. One of the lines in the opening track is 'I need a change of skin' which sums up the overall theme of the album. Once you begin to listen to track 6, you'll notice a change in the tone of the tracks. Suddenly the lyrics are upbeat. The singer is looking for the light. He wants answers. He wants happiness. From track 6-13, the protagonist sings about how he intends to sort his life out, essentially. He cuts off everyone he doesn't need (Julien) and looks ahead to the future (Bright Lights, Speak In Tongues, Kings of Medicine). This aspect of the album is the most interesting to me, and therefore makes for a good listen from start to finish. The name 'Battle For The Sun' is perfect considering the thematic values of the album.

The songs themselves are amazing, with tracks 6-13 being absolutely flawless. I find the first five tracks to be the weakest on the album, which almost sound like a band running out of steam. Luckily the second half of the album makes up for this with killer tracks such as 'Speak In Tongues', 'Kings of Medicine', 'Bright Lights' and 'Breathe Underwater'. With this album, Placebo have gone for a more straightforward alternative rock sound and have pretty much completely ditched the more experimental nature of previous releases (such as 'Black Market Music' and 'Sleeping With Ghosts'). This is basically a continuation of the sound of the full-on rock songs from 'Meds', only here the songs all mostly have uplifting, positive lyrics. Surprisingly, hearing uplifting lyrics such as "We can build a new tomorrow, today" and "I'm coming up for air/I want to see another dawn" coming from Brian Molko's mouth isn't as weird as it sounds. Considering the often cynical nature of Placebo's previous lyrics, this sudden change is somewhat unexpected but it works really well. This is an album that you will enjoy if you liked previous Placebo songs such as 'Infra-Red', 'Song To Say Goodbye' or 'The Bitter End'. If you're a Placebo fan, then you definitely owe it to yourself to check this out.

Under The Boards
Under The Boards
Offered by MasterDVD
Price: £17.10

4.0 out of 5 stars Saves The Day - Under The Boards, 14 Dec. 2010
This review is from: Under The Boards (Audio CD)
'Under The Boards' by Saves The Day is their sixth album and after my first listen, it came off as slightly underwhelming. None of the songs stuck, and were quickly forgotten as I retreated back to the bands earlier, and superior album- 'Stay What You Are'. Eventually, I gave 'Under The Boards' a second listen and soon found myself humming the hooks of these songs as I walked to school. It definitely takes time to grow on you and is definitely not an album that you will love instantly.

1. Under The Boards - 7/10
I enjoy this song, but I think it was misplaced. It slowly builds up but doesn't really climax in the way that it should. Unlike 'At Your Funeral', the song fails to go anywhere after the initial build-up but is still worth a listen. This is one of the weakest songs on the album and Shouldn't have been the opening track.

2. Radio - 8/10
Somewhat ironically, this is the kind of song that would do well on the Radio. The chorus is one of the catchiest to be found on the album and I can imagine this being a fun song to see live. Simple, yet effective. It manages to kickstart the album and would have made a better opening track than 'Under The Boards'.

3. Can't Stay The Same - 9/10
As you can see from the scores, the album keeps getting better and better. This song is without a doubt the catchiest tune on the album. The song is fast and exciting and ends in a climax that will have you hitting the repeat button once the song is over. This is another song, similar to 'Radio' that see's Saves The Day move towards a more radio-friendly sound.

4. F*cked Up - 8.5/10
This song is another song that would make a good single, if it wasn't for the naughty word in both the title and the chorus. I think this song demonstrates the emotive vocals of Chris Conley since you really feel as if he believes every word that he is singing.

5. When I'm Not There - 6/10
This is another song similar to 'Under The Boards', in that it floats along without really taking the listener anywhere interesting. This didn't really need to be on the album and the best description for this song is 'filler'.

6. Lonely Nights - 9/10
The bouncy piano in this song is a nice effort by the band to add a touch of variety to the album, and it works well. This is my personal favourite song on the album and a lyrical highlight overall. I think that Saves The Day should experiment more with songs like this on their next album.

7. Bye Bye Baby - 8/10
This song is yet another fast, accessible song that you will be singing along to in no time at all. The vocals in this song are top-notch, with Chris Conley hitting a few high notes. Despite being quite catchy, this song is one of the least memorable songs on the album. It's more of a reflection on the other songs than this song- the others are all so good that they overshadow this one, pushing it to the back of your mind.

8. Stay - 9/10
This is another contender for my favourite song of the album. Chris once more reaches the emotive highs that his voice was at on 'F*cked Up' and this really makes the song. It's a stripped down effort, with only Chris and an acoustic guitar to be heard. 'I thought you'd save me from myself with love'.

9. Getaway - 8/10
This song has Saves The Day embracing the sound of their previous album, with them pulsing through this fast number. While not a highlight, this song is still definitely worth a listen and you are likely to come back to this song time and time again.

10. Because You Are No Other - 8.5/10
This is a continuation of the sound started by the previous song, and it's done well. I like the way in which Chris hits high notes in the chorus, in total contrast to the harshness of the fast music surrounding his voice. An awesome song.

11. Kaleidoscope - 8.5/10
This song starts off slow, but unlike 'Under The Boards', the initial build-up pays off. This song is a definitive highlight and will leave you wondering where it's going to go next. I like the way in which the song is really quiet one minute and the next its overly dramatic and emotive. The guitar solo in this song is nicely done as well, creating a fitting and exciting climax. This is another song that would have made a much better opener than 'Under The Boards'.

12. Woe - 5/10
The vocals displayed by Chris here are a bit hit and miss, boarding on being unlistenable. Your either going to love it or hate it, but if you like Saves The Day, the chances are that you like Chris's voice. Definitely one of the weaker songs to be found on the album. I do like the music on this song but Chris's vocals/vocal melodies kill this song for me.

13. Turning In My Tomb - 7/10
Yet another song that starts off peacefully, before exploding into a mass of sound. The lyrics are quite good, but this is yet another song that is nothing special.

This album is hit & miss- luckily it hits 9/13 times which makes for a good album. If you don't want to buy the entire album, then just download 'Lonely Nights', 'Can't Stay The Same' and 'Stay'. These offer the best moments on the album and make it a worthwhile purchase. If you have never listened to this band before, then definitely do not start here since it does not represent the band at their best. Start with 'Stay What You Are'.

They're Only Chasing Safety: +DVD
They're Only Chasing Safety: +DVD
Offered by westworld-
Price: £11.83

5.0 out of 5 stars Reinventing Your Exit..., 24 Nov. 2008
"They're Only Chasing Safety" is the title of Underoaths fourth album. And what an album it is! Every song crackles with atmosphere and energy. You won't forget these songs in a hurry because they are all so memorable!

1. Youg and Aspiring - The opening track is an excellent introduction. The guitars on this song are amazing and as usual feature some excellent vocals and lyrics. One of the strongest songs on the album. = 8/10
2. A Boy Brushed In... - This song is slightly more mainstream than the others and I find that it gets old quick. Yes, it has a good chorus and everything but it does begin to get a bit boring after you have listened to it for the 10th time. Still an excellent song, though. = 8/10
3. The Impact of Reason - I love the subtle sound effects in the verses. They really help to build the atmosphere of the song. While this may be one of the more difficult songs to get into on the album, it is still a decent song. It has an excellent chorus: "I'm at a loss for words." = 8/10
4. Reinventing Your Exit - Best song on the albumn IMO. Yes, it is probably the most mainstream song on here, but I also think it is the best. Every part of the song is catchy and you just want to listen to it over and over again. A perfect single. It never gets old. "Feeling like were Gold and were nothing short of invincible!" = 10/10
5. The Blue Note - An instrumental. This adds more atmosphere to the album and serves as a good intro to the next song. = (Compared to the other songs) 6/10
6. It's Dangerous Business... - This song is the most unique on the album and it also manages to be one of the best. It features great vocals and is a nice contrast between Aaron and Spencer. I like the way Spencer screams in this song since it sounds different to anything I have heard before. = 9/10
7. Down, Set, GO - Amazing! This song builds up all the way through to the climatic ending with the epic final chorus. "Whatever I say goes!" The contrasting vocals work especially well on this track with the epic final chorus being absolutely amazing. = 9/10
8. I don't Feel Very Receptive... - This song is good, mainly because the guitars and drums contrast together nicely. But other than that, it is mostly average metalcore lark. Filler? Maybe. = 6/10
9. I'm Content With Losing - "This is what I get for wanting more, for wanting more." The lyrics on this song are amazing and really help the song to ascend to a higher level of quality. The verses build up to the excellent chorus's to make for an excellent song. = 8/10
10. Some will seek forgiveness - This song is quiter than the others. SOme nice vocal work from Spencer, with Aaron helping him out in parts. This song is more religious than the others but is still enjoyable even if you aren't Christian(I am not) due to the great rhythem. A great closer. = 9/10
11. I've Got 10 Friends and a... - Great chorus and great screaming. Typical Underoath song. = 8/10

DVD - Really good. Features some live performances of some of the songs off this album and the music video for "It's Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door". There is also a feature about Underoath and each member- it really is a great DVD and definetly worth the extra money.

If you buy this album, you will not regret it. Some of the songs may take a couple of listens to get into, but once you are into them you won't be able to stop listening. Overall = 9/10

Spider-Man: One More Day Premiere HC
Spider-Man: One More Day Premiere HC
by J. Michael Straczynski
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.99

5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Controversial, but excellent none the less, 13 Sept. 2008
This is an amazing collection of comics. 4 issues are present here, and were the last ones written by J. Michael Straczynski. He really is an excellent writer, and his presence will be missed on the Spider-Man comics. I will review each of the 4 comics featured in this story arc, seperately because I feel the quality of each deserves seperate analysis.

Issue #544(Amazing Spider-Man): This is the best issue featured here. Everything about it is amazing, as the title of the comic suggests. You have Peter distraught about what he should do about Aunt May and he has no idea what to do. If you have read the comics previous to this one(Back in Black), then you will know that this has been really well built-up to this point. Also, the relationship between Tony Stark and Peter Parker is rather twisted and complex at this point. Which is why it is awesome that they bring it to a stunning conclusion in this issue. I really enjoyed the dialogue between the two heroes and it's what makes this one so amazing. There are some really great exchanges here. Not to mention, the fight they have is awesome. The art work is on fire here. 10/10

Issue #545: This is another excellent addition to "One More Day". Spider-Man visits Dr. Strange for further help in this one, and it features some interesting twists. My favourite part is when the writer manages to link this issue back to Amazing Spider-Man #42. When I read that part I was just like: "Whoa.... that is amazing!". It was a neat little idea, and I thought the execution was excellent. Recently, during JMS run on Amazing Spider-Man, the title character has had a lot of interaction with Dr. Strange which was cool because it expanded the Spidey universe. So it's nice to see a conclusion to their relationship. 8.5/10

Issue #24(Friendly Neighbourhood Spider-Man): This issue reminds me of the "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" episode, titled "Restless". Most of it is like a dream in which Spider-Man is introduced to some unfamilar faces. He meets three people, each with their own interesting story. Some themes are tackled here which make you stop and think for a second. But when Parker meets, the fourth and final face... this is when the most major shock of "One More Day", is revealed. 8/10

Issue #41(Sensational Spider-Man): The final part of "One More Day" is a fitting final. There are some very emotional scenes here between Peter Parker and Mary Jane as they both make the decision regarding Aunt May's fate. When they make their choice, the dialogue is extraordanary. I thought I was watching a movie. You can tell that the writer put all of his effort into this, because it really is something special. The final scenes of this issue serve as an introduction to the next story arc, "Brand New Day". I thought it was ok, but a bit weak really... But other than the introduction at the end, the rest of the issue is... spectacular. 8.5/10

"One More Day".Amazing. One of the best Spider-Man stories ever written.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 16, 2009 2:00 PM GMT

Batman Broken City TP
Batman Broken City TP
by Eduardo Risso
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I Had No Choice.", 28 Jun. 2008
This review is from: Batman Broken City TP (Paperback)
This is an excellent, noir Batman story. When Angel Lupo(A small time car dealer)"murders" his sister, Batman is hot on his trail to find out why.

The Graphic novel opens with Batman interrogating "Croc", which is one of the best scenes in the entire book. It also proves that this is a dark tale, and not for children. But then again, what Batman story is these days? There is blood and a loss of teeth in this scene- making Batman seem like Jack Bauer but in a cape and tights. Also, it features killer Croc who is one of the better characters in this book. He is a driving force in the story and also provides a punch bag for Batman.

I found the plot to be decent enough and also the exploration of Batmans character interesting. This was a good part of the story, that Batman was personally driven to solve the case because of the circumstances. They show you how Batman feels and what he sees when he goes to sleep in the morning. It really is an interesting turn from a comic which I would have thought would be plot-driven(It is, to a certain extent...). This great balance of plot and character importance is what raises this graphic novel above others.

Some decent fights are included as well- with plenty of blood and teeth flying out all over the place. Batman sure knows how to handle himself. So in conslusion, if you want an above average detective tale featuring the Dark Knight himself, give this a read.

P.S. There is a guest appearance at the end of this graphic novel. I'll give you a clue as to who it is... "WhY sO SerIouS?HEHEHEHEHAHAHAHAAHAH...." Hmmmmm, I wonder who that could be?!

Spider-Man: Maximum Carnage TPB (Graphic Novel Pb)
Spider-Man: Maximum Carnage TPB (Graphic Novel Pb)
by Tom DeFalco
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.29

3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Repetitive..., 28 Jun. 2008
This book has the intelligence of a brick wall. Basically the 12 or so issues it collects features fight after fight after fight with nothing of any significance really ever happening. This could have easily been a 3 or 4 issue story arc. Some of the dialogue is cringe-worthy and unfortuanetly it is almost impossible to enjoy this book unless you are five years old.

If you only "read" comics for the fights then you'll love this, since there is one(or two! Maybe even three...) in every issue. The art is average, typical 90s style. I didn't really enjoy the art style myself being used to the visually attractive art we have these days. With a fight happening every issue, and no one really getting injured or anything actually happening as an outcome of the fight- I found that my brain switched off in the fight scenes. Which is a not-small portion of the book.

The only redeeming feature of this "Graphic Novel" are the interactions between Spider-Man, Venom and carnage. Yes the dialogue is awfully cheesy, but these scenes of speech are enjoyable non-the less. The constant arguements and threats thrown across the table are interesting and some are almost funny. However, I did find Spider-Man himself slightly annoying in this book. He is written like he is a nun or something. A complete goody two shoes, he hates it when anyone does anything wrong. Now, I know that he is the hero but in this particular graphic novel, this aspect of him is really over-written. Because I wasn't aware that Spider-Man was a nun.

Basically, the best parts of this book are the scenes with Venom. He has an interesting relationship with Carnage and Spidey so he often gets the best lines. A few of the fights here and there are interesting but most of them are instantly forgettable. So if you like your comics to be low on plot/character development and full of disposable action- this is the comic for you!

Casually Dressed And Deep In Conversation
Casually Dressed And Deep In Conversation
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Best EMO Albums Ever Made, 13 Jun. 2008
This album is masterful. It really is excellent; in almost every song. The screaming(or aggressive vocals)from the drummer and the melodic singing from the frontman are both perfect. Fitting the songs perfectly, they make some decent tracks. Ok, not just 'some'. Most of the tracks on this album are excellent.

The album actually takes at least two listens until you get into it and begin to understand the band. At first you may be led to believe that it all sounds the same. But when you give it a chance, and listen to the songs a couple of times- the songs begin to become more than good. They become excellent. The best songs on the album are: "Red is the new black", "Rookie of the year" and "Junea". Each one of those three songs have excellent vocals and music. The lyrics are amazing too; the band make a good use of the English language.

Their previous albums, "Tales don't tell themselves" and "Hours", were both good but nothing particulary outstanding. Most of the songs sounded the same and the ones that did have a catchy chorous, were almost instantly fogettable. But with this excellent album, the band were obviously at their best. Each song shows the effort they put into making this album. It just makes me wish that they still put out records like this. I'll just have to see what their new album is like.

So in conclusion, if you want a good EMO rock album, check this out. This is FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND at their best. Every song is great- featuring some of the best Vocals, lyrics and overall sound you will ever hear from this genre. So if you like this genre, I definetly recommend that you buy this.

Grand Theft Auto IV (Xbox 360)
Grand Theft Auto IV (Xbox 360)
Offered by PROGAMES
Price: £14.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Next-Gen GTA... ?, 27 May 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
GTA 4. Possibley the most hyped-up game EVER?! who hadn't given out a 10/10 score in ten years gave GTA 4 a ten. Did it deserve that score? Lots and lots of other critics gave the game the perfect score of 10/10. This suggests that it is the best game ever. It's not. And if you can get that idea out of your head - you will not be disappointed by GTA 4. Because it IS one of the best games available on the Xbox 360.

I'll start with the story. No spoilers that you do not already know. Niko arrives in Liberty City to meet his cousin. And for something else too... I found the story to actually be quite interesting. Unfortuanetly the cut scenes don't always spend that much time on the main story. Most of the missions could be classed as "filler" in terms of story since only a handfull of them actually develop the main storyline. But it doesn't matter- its a game, not a movie. I found the story to be quite gripping but I would have liked it too be developed better. I wanted to know what Niko was feeling more often. Niko is a good character though, and probably the best the GTA series has spawned so far.

The gameplay has been much improved. You can now take cover, and shoot from behind it. You can blind fire. With a rocket launcher. The shooting is quite enjoyable now and while its no Gears Of War, it could stand in for it if GOW decided to take a day off work. The driving has been heavily critised by the casual player. Personally, I think the driving system is the best I have ever seen in a game. I love the way that when you crash the car actually takes the damage where you crashed. Once you get used to it, the handling is excellent. The movement of Niko himself feels more weighty this time around. But again, I like this change too because it adds to the feel of realism this game has got.

The mobile phone is a crucial tool in this game. You recieve mission objectives from it, and you also phone whoever your boss is after completing a mission. If you like interesting dialogue then you will love the addition of the phone. But if your an impatient 14 year old boy then you will probably not like this addition since when you are on the phone you cannot do anything else but walk around. You can also use the phone to call your friends and to ask them out for a drink. You can change the background on it and even the ringtone. My ringtone is 'lesbians'.

So all in all, this is a great game. But if you want to buy it too just fly planes into buildings or to just generally mess about... maybe you should stick with San Andreas. But if you like story and good characters- then this is a MUST buy!!!

Chase This Light
Chase This Light
Price: £5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Chase This Light With Me, 14 May 2008
This review is from: Chase This Light (Audio CD)
This album is surprisingly good. Reading some of the reviews here on Amazon, you would think this album is just average. I think its much more than average- its awesome! Incredible! Excellent! You know, it really is that good. The songs have great lyrics which are relatable and this makes them more entertaining to listen to. I was surprised to find that the lyrics really do seem to be well thought out and actually mean something. This band are one of the best pop/rock bands around. If not THE best.

And I'm saying that having only listened to this album. I haven't heard any of this bands previous work so this album was a completely new experience for me. I enjoyed this album so much because the songs were all so catchy(And not in a bland, forgettable way)- you will be listening to these songs months after initially listening to them. They really stick out in your mind, you'll find yourself humming the tunes all day long at work/school.

"Talk, talking a lot, but it's still talk/Gotta love how it's somehow all on me/All the petty scenes/And all the pretty things/Say whatever you want
'Cause I can laugh it off/I can laugh it off."

The lyrics above are from the song "Let It happen", one of the best songs on the album. I really like those lyrics highlighted above because they are clever and I can relate them into my own life and I think that lots of other people could do so to. Its the great lyrics which elevate this album to the great hights that it manages to reach. They really get you involved in the music which is great. I'm pretty sure that you will enjoy this album if you like either of the singles "Always be" or "Big Casino".

The BEST Songs to be found on this CD Are: "Let It Happen", "Always Be", "Chase This Light", "Dizzy", "Here it Goes" AND "Carry You". Each one has a certain energy to it which enables them to all be enjoyable in their own individual ways. There is a bonus track on this UK edition called "Be Sensible" which is yet another great song which I cannot believe didn't make it onto the album any way!! It really is a great song.

So, looking for a great, lyrically excellent yet fun album? Make a purchase with this album right now.

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