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Chris McGuirk

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Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £6.99

2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First track - naff. Other nine tracks - phenomenal., 26 Sept. 2005
This review is from: Antics (Audio CD)
The theory with Interpol's debut was that if you liked Joy Division, then it stood to reason that you would love Interpol.
This theory is totally fair - on Turn the Bright Lights, they sounded like Joy Division down to the production. Claustrophobic, eerie, isolated - Interpol's sound was all of those things. To put it bluntly, 2002 was the year of Interpol, and few albums came close that year.
On the first play of their second album, you could be forgiven for thinking that Interpol had sold themselves to the dark side ('Next Exit' sounds so much like the Strokes, it's not even funny), but then it hits you - the blistering 'Evil'. The bassline is so infectious, and the guitar just hooks you.
Thankfully, the rest of the album is like the 2nd track - creepy, claustrophobic indie anthems, with a slightly cynical, but also weirdly uplifting outlook. If you liked the first record, you will be disappointed at first, but give it time. Musically, this album is arguably better than the first. It's just a pity that the 1st track is such a poor effort, and it really dents your first impressions of this CD. Still, that's what CD player Program facilities are for, eh?

The Back Room
The Back Room
Price: £3.99

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent., 28 Aug. 2005
This review is from: The Back Room (Audio CD)
Not like Interpol. Not entirely like Joy Division. The Editors' first album is a stunning mix of 'Unknown Pleasures' and 'Seventeen Seconds' with a unique signature only the Editors could deliver. It's not enough to say that because this band's dark, they are copying Joy Division. As 'Munich', 'Blood' and the stunning 'Fingers in the factories' testify, this is a band destined to go places. They are wonderfully grim, but at the same time, uplifting. It's like 80s goth mixed with some of Coldplay's earlier musings. Try it. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

Late Night Conversations
Late Night Conversations
Offered by The Music Warehouse
Price: £12.63

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply stunning., 12 Aug. 2005
This is one of those albums that grips you on the first listen. Although this LP has come out on Victory Records, which is known for metalcore acts like Atreyu, don't be put off. This is actually indie in the most melodic form. This album is, put simply, 10 beautifully crafted indie gems.
Buy it. You won't be disappointed.

Return of the Giant Slits
Return of the Giant Slits
Offered by Japan-Select
Price: £48.09

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensational., 27 Feb. 2005
This was the Slits at their most experimental, and arguably at their very best. It only seems to be avaliable in Japan now, but with brilliant tracks like 'Earthbeat', 'Face Place', 'Improperly Dressed' and 'Life on earth', it's an absolute must for fans of not only the Slits, but Kate Bush, Bjork and the Banshees too. If you liked 'Cut', you'll find it strange at first, but eventually well worth the purchase. Please re-release this in England. It's absolutely ridiculous that it hasn't been re-issued already.

Mind Body And Soul
Mind Body And Soul
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.97

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive second LP., 28 Sept. 2004
This review is from: Mind Body And Soul (Audio CD)
I thoroughly enjoyed Joss Stone's first album. It was a cover album, but at the end of the day, we weren't expecting much. She was a 16 year-old soul singer, and a lot of people argue that you have to be more mature than that before you can be a truly great soul singer. What we got more than exceeded any of our expectations, and when i heard that this one was going to be her first actual attempt at writing songs, I was keen to listen.
Difficult follow-up, this one. She's clearly picked the harder route. Several soul singers are quite content to stick with covers, because they're tried-and-tested classic material. However, this 17 year-old darling of modern soul has produced something really quite special on her own steam. Single 'You had me' is a great piece of funky soul, whereas tracks like 'Jet lag' and 'Don't cha wanna ride' wouldn't be totally out of place on a Beverley Knight CD. The range of styles is very diverse, too, with final track 'Sleep like a child' sounding like something that would belong on a Portishead album, and 'Don't know how' boasting cool grooves that Maroon 5 would have a job pulling off convincingly.
Overall, it's an excellent album, and needless to say, if this is what she's like at 17, we'll be blown away by the time she's 20.


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely amazing., 4 Jun. 2004
This review is from: Once (Audio CD)
Fans of Nightwish's previous work will find this a heavier, more powerful, musically infinitely stronger record. For those new to the band, give Century Child a go first.
Tarja trunnen has clearly benefitted from the copious amounts of vocal training, and on tracks like 'Nemo', 'Higher than hope' and 'Romanticide', the vocals are simply breathtaking. On top of this, the musicianship is better than ever, with the band delivering power metal that beats most of the run-of-the-mill dross going round.
If you want normal, lack-lustre power-metal, give Therions new one a go. That's about as average as you could get. If on the other hand, you want an album that will truly blow your mind, buy this.

The Best Of Deicide
The Best Of Deicide
Price: £7.42

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introduction to Death Metal's great heros., 4 Dec. 2003
This review is from: The Best Of Deicide (Audio CD)
Deicide are, arguably the world's premier Death metal outfit. Their songwriting skills are unsurpassed, their riffs crushing, and they are undoubtably responsible for arguably the four most fantastic death metal albums ever penned. For this reason, to hear 18 out the 20 tracks coming from those albums is a great start indeed, including the arduous 'Dead by Dawn', the twisted 'In Hell I burn', and lest we forget, the magnificent 'Blame it on God' - the song that first converted me to deicide and almost reshaped my religious thought.Of course, you can't believe anything you read, but if you like Slipknot, Opeth, Soilwork or Decapitated, then you'll love perhaps their most obvious influence. Lie back, relax, and go insane to the sordid rhythms of men possessed. Welcome to what alternative music REALLY implies.

Fame Academy - The Finalists
Fame Academy - The Finalists
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £1.26

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In short, very much like the series., 3 Nov. 2003
Nothing surprises me about this album. Alex is top notch as always, Carolynne does a better job than anyone could expect, and Alastair proves as over-rated as ever (he can butcher songs in several different keys - really impressive.) Peter and Parris' offerings are simply resplendent, while James once again shows how hard he likes to try - usually way too bloody hard. Overall, very good, but skip track 8. Alastair's performance of 'It must have been love' was appalling to begin with.

Vehicles & Animals
Vehicles & Animals
Offered by Springwood Media
Price: £2.25

5.0 out of 5 stars Bout bloody time indie made a comeback., 2 Nov. 2003
This review is from: Vehicles & Animals (Audio CD)
So many bands have built their career around hype. The Strokes constantly pratted around throughout the recording of their new album (which, by the way, is monumental guff), The Coral were touted as one of Britain's brightest new stars (once again, very questionable after their second album), and less said, the better about Menswear.How refreshing then, that Athlete have built up a rep that's richly deserved. The sound is very unique - Britpop mixed with Radiohead circa Kid A and Flaming Lips style lo-fi would best describe it. The vocals have a very vulnerable quality, which adds an interesting extra dimension to the music, and the lyrics are very intelligent and witty. Indie was flagging, and the deliberate retro feel of garage rock was getting on my nerves. It's always nice to see an indie band, prove, once again, that good songwriting isn't just about a loud guitar, and shouting.

Thirteenth Step
Thirteenth Step
Price: £13.77

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maynard once again proves he's outgrowing Tool., 27 Sept. 2003
This review is from: Thirteenth Step (Audio CD)
With 'Mer de Noms', Maynard was trying to steadily distance himself from the stigma attached to TOOL, and the soul metal that he had both created and modified into one of the alternative scene's most unpredictable monsters. You've got to love Tool, but the simple fact is that the first Perfect Circle was just in another league entirely, and most TOOL fans were suitably wowed by the effect of that CD for long after the initial hype and publicity.
It's with this in mind, that people were, quite understandably, salivating over the news that A Perfect Circle, the band people dismissed as no more than a cocky side project, were back with a new album, and a truly fantastic new set of musicians. With Paz Lenchantin now neatly stuck with the Zwan crowd, it seems only fitting that James Iha join a Perfect Circle, and Jordie, or Twiggy Ramirez - the name devout Marilyn Manson fans used to know and love him by, step in to take Paz's place.
Of course, the Perfect Circle that Paz belonged to was a wandering, mysterious, reflective outfit with an amazing knack for ensnaring the senses of the listener. Has any of that gone? if you listen to the very first track, 'The Package', with its Judith-esque wandering, and earthy, spiritual tones, the simple answer is 'no'. If anything, it's more earthy, more spiritual, and more explorational. 'The Noose', 'The Nurse who loved me' and 'Lullaby', are so reminiscent of hypnotic tracks like 'Magdalena' and '3 Libras', but also reminiscent of 'Mechanical Animals'-era Marilyn Manson, or 'Siamese Dream'-era Smashing Pumpkins. The new musicians have left a definite mark on the music, and the effect is nothing short of majestic. You can't listen to it in the same way you'd listen to 'Mer de Noms', but in many ways, that's a good thing. '13th Step' is one of the few metal albums in recent years to take you on a psychological journey. Where you're going, you don't know, but in the same breath, you really don't care. Invest in this. This is as good as Maynard or Billy are ever likely to get.

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