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Profile for Duncan F. Mcculloch > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Duncan F. Mcculloch
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EPs
EPs
Price: £16.13

5.0 out of 5 stars genetic perfection, audio style, 20 April 2015
This review is from: EPs (Audio CD)
excellent atmospheric synth sound, with great melody, vocal, percussion combination - but without the directionless self-indulgence sometimes present within the genre - this record has some good variation on the theme but sticks well to its core values with some especially punchy and moody tracks - check out cleo, vitreum, and ennoea - hopefully the band continue to evolve and replicate to produce further material


Deeper
Deeper
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb. Better. Scary. Intense. Etc., 16 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Deeper (Audio CD)
Imagine you are having a horrible dream, waking up in a dark cave somewhere. Aware of a suspected presence, that you may not be alone. Even though you try not to panic, and manage to scramble out of your tomb, you find yourself running for your life through a dark wood, not knowing the way to escape, not knowing who, or what, you are running from. You dare not look behind you, but if you do, you'll be too scared to look forwards again in case something is right there in front of your face. This record could be the sinister, crazy, concerning soundtrack to your horrible nightmare, except that it seems so real it surely can't be a dream, can it?
The tracks are a little less structured, repetitive and rhythmic than The Soft Moon's previous record (also a 5-star rated effort), but the increased variation in sound and technique are a welcome and interesting development. If you like previous Soft Moon material you will surely like this. Using my basic rating method, I'd rate 8 tracks as positive "green ticks", 2 as average "yellow dashes" (feel,deeper), and 1 as a negative "red cross" (wrong). Great records often are best experienced whilst listening to them with your eyes closed and no other distractions. This fits that bill. A very commendable piece of work indeed.


Physical World
Physical World

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars back at long last, and the wait has been well worth it, 27 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Physical World (Audio CD)
there's not much between this release and previous efforts (heads up, you're a woman i'm a machine) - if i could have given 4 and a half stars i would have, but can't quite give it 5 out of 5 just because it didn't quite hit me with the impact of the first 2 records - maybe that's because i'm already familiar with the band - but in fairness, i could easily see some fans giving this a 5, and previous records a 4, because they are all very good records

i can't wait to see this album played live because it's obvious the band absolutely still have that sound/energy combination - some 2nd/3rd records by some bands don't have that anymore, especially after such a long break - this one does, you can just tell

about 5 of these tracks are 5 of 5, real crackers (2,5,8,10,11 for me), but the others are all probably 4 of 5 apart from (6) which i'd give a 3 - so that works out nearly 4.5 from 5 overall, which is pretty good

if you have dfa1979 previous stuff, you must buy this, as its a different version of previous releases, but not too different as to leave fans disappointed - if you buy this and like it, you should also buy previous releases, as you will certainly like them too

to the band, so glad you got back together and made one more record, and so hopeful you make some more - but if not, thanks for what we received so far!


You're a Woman, I'm a Machine
You're a Woman, I'm a Machine
Price: £20.34

5.0 out of 5 stars like an expanded version of "heads up" and, 27 Sept. 2014
like an expanded version of "heads up" and, tough as it seemed, possibly even better - if you like heads up, you'll love this - if you already have this, you'll love heads up - you get the idea

a little more varied than heads up in terms of song structure, some longer, some shorter, some faster, some slower, but all unmistakingly DFA1979 thoroughbred efforts

i recommend buying the cd with the bonus tracks, some cracking versions on the extra disc

still listen to this nearly 10 years later since its release, and it still fires you up each and every time - not many records can do that

if you're reading this, you probably already know the type of sound dfa1979 are - buy this, they do it so very well


Heads Up
Heads Up
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £9.37

5.0 out of 5 stars get your "heads up", 27 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Heads Up (Audio CD)
fast, athletic, noisy bass+drum epics - short and sweet in terms of song duration and number of tracks, but just so worth the paltry price - buy it, listen to it loud, then listen to it loud again

a little more primitive then you're a woman i'm a machine, which can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how well produced you like your favourite bands to sound

also, the music is very powerful, therefore extremely well suited to intense, escalating and speedy live performances


Zeros
Zeros
Price: £12.44

5.0 out of 5 stars great sound continually delivered throughout, 11 Mar. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Zeros (Audio CD)
the other reviews hit all the key words

barely no weak fillers - all good driving, clever, electro, catchy, sinister stuff

i've owned this for several months and can honestly say its the record that most of all over the last few years that i cannot seem to be able to put down for any length of time and listen to something else - i keep picking it back up for "one more listen"

a brilliant record


Love Letters
Love Letters
Price: £7.25

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "english riviera 2", a big departure from "nights out", 11 Mar. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Love Letters (Audio CD)
i agree with others who have labelled this a bit of a B side sounding effort - some of these tracks sound like demos that didn't quite make the cut for the english riviera - interesting-ish, but not that many are quirky or catchy, not even matching "corinne" or "everything goes my way" - there are none i would want to play to my mates and proudly say "you've got to hear this", but there are a few where girlfriends/wives might comment on "how nice that sounds" (and thats normally a bad sign for my tastes) - this almost sounds like a record you'd make as a nice present for a girl so she'd think you were a sweet guy!

however, this sort of sound may appeal to many metronomy fans, especially as the "english riviera" seems to have been better received than "nights out" by the music press - depends on which metronomy sound you lean towards?

i much preferred the more up-tempo, clever, punky racket of nights out (that i could imagine dancing to in a basement club), as opposed to the more pleasant sounding english riviera (that would be a gentle cd to listen to on a sunday afternoon drive in the country with the window down) - you get the idea

i'm off to see them live next week and i suspect that a lot of the crowd will want them to "get the new stuff out of the way first" before moving onto the "proper stuff" - thats the feel i get from the new record, it just doesn't have enough catchy numbers that will keep me coming back for more listens - hopefully the live versions are more spiced up, but i think that will be a difficult ask, and maybe not suited anyway to the sound the band are now seemingly aiming for

there is nothing on here to touch, or sound along the lines of "you could easily have me", "radio ladio", "my heart rate rapid", "heartbreaker", "holiday", "a thing for me" etc - if you didn't really like the songs just listed, but preferred "she wants", "the look", "the bay" then you'll probably find "love letters" more to your tastes

when i listen to "late night tales" (and there are a few decent songs on there) i kind of thought "i can see where metronomy (joseph) has got his influences from but i'm glad the band don't actually sound like that" - with "love letters", i'm rather disappointed to say they do

i still don't think they've got anywhere near "nights out" since 2008 and this is a further step away from that sound in my opinion - ok overall, but just ok
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 13, 2014 12:48 PM GMT


M b v
M b v
Price: £9.99

26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars can do better, and hopefully will, 12 Mar. 2013
This review is from: M b v (Audio CD)
let's get straight to the point: i fully expect the vast majority of my bloody valentine fans to rate this a distant 3rd behind isn't anything and loveless

they were great records, this is not, just merely decent overall

i'd rate 3 songs as good, 1 dreadful, 2 poor, and 3 ok

but thankfully its not the disappointing, predictable and dreaded "change of direction" that normally means "if you like our previous stuff you probably won't like this" - its just that it doesn't quite have any of the punch of earlier mbv records, or as many of the amazing melodies

if you are reading this as an already converted mbv fan, then, like all fans, you will buy this, and so you should - but if you are new to the band, i'd strongly suggest you obtain isn't anything and/or loveless before this record

its not that its a bad record, its not..... its just very difficult to judge it without unconsciously comparing it to previous efforts - thats why, in isolation, i've given it 3 stars, because overall its ok - but in terms of my personal disappointment comparing this to isn't anything+loveless i would be ranking it as a 1 or 2 star effort

most of the modern day "professional" reviewers won't rubbish this record because:
a)they wouldn't dare
b)they never were around (maybe alive but not active in music!) at the time of release of i.a + loveless, if they're being honest, so those records are merely pieces of history, as opposed to something they saved up money to go and buy
c)unfortunately its "fashionable" to like mbv, almost embarassingly and patronisingly so, reading some of the reviews

hopefully this record is a resurrection, rather than the finale - and more, truly new material (not seemingly a compilation of the last 20 odd years) is forthcoming, and soon

and don't let any "experts" confuse the issue with the "have you heard it on vinyl though?" - a great record is great, whatever the format.....if you find yourself arguing that it "needs to be heard" on this format or that format, then you've missed the point

isn't anything and loveless were really special, really special indeed, on any format - i suspect most fans would buy any mbv release just based on those 2 records alone

we've been truly, truly, spoiled by how good mbv were, and overall, this stuff sounds a little like demos etc that just didn't quite make previous releases, but respect to the band for releasing it - maybe in a sick way (and i don't think the band would do this, its not their style?), i'm hoping they were releasing it to make a few quid (because they know it will obviously sell to the hardcore fans), because that way i can justify to myself that they don't really think this is the best they can do, and then they come back with something stronger - or am i just clutching at straws? i hope not....

really pleased to see the band back with us, maybe they never went away..... hopefully its the re-birth of a special group


Wreckonomics EP
Wreckonomics EP
Price: £3.09

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars get wreckonics-ed now!, 27 April 2012
This review is from: Wreckonomics EP (MP3 Download)
if you like(d) crisis works then you will like this

more especially good stuff from a top quality band, totally worth the measly price charged

if you are reading these words, then that means you probably have crisis works already, if you don't posess that record, then buy it also, its also extremely good

how can we ignore this feeling?


Sounds Of The Universe
Sounds Of The Universe
Price: £7.75

2 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars depeche mode? "i hope they never let me down again", 24 April 2009
This review is from: Sounds Of The Universe (Audio CD)
A simply very tame release indeed. The new single "Wrong" is quite good, and tempted me into believing the album would deliver several good tracks (which hadn't happened, in the depeche mode world for nearly 20 years, i.e. violator, which is probably only their 5th or 6th best album).

As it turns out, I was wrong. Badly wrong. The album is samey, bland, low-key, and most of all, spectacularly dramatic in the sense of gahan attempting to make each song a "classic" when the music is rather poor. Gahan's fresh and nippy singing from earlier pre-violator albums is obviously long-gone. I cannot suffer the disappointment of buying, listening, and then unfortunately strongly disliking another DM album. I have now accepted that DM no longer exist in the form they once were. Time for me, and them, to move on.


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