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J. E. W. Jackson "funky_ben" (surrey, england)

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Grey Britain
Grey Britain
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: 10.39

5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "We wanted to make the heaviest album we'd ever heard", 30 April 2009
This review is from: Grey Britain (Audio CD)
I loved Orchestra of Wolves.
The album suceeded in capturing a raw energy wrapped in a sense of fun; something few bands have ever pulled off in the same way, let alone on a debut album.
Frank Carter's desperate vocals, while lacking in beauty and even quality, were just a part of the Gallows machine that churned out a noise which, when assembled, actually proved to be one of the most entertaining harcore punk albums ever.
(It may be a little overplayed but it's still hard to beat a well timed `In the Belly of a Shark' in a crowded room.)
For the second album, I was looking forward to saying that it offers something new and fresh in this world of moshing dancefloors. I was also looking forward to saying that this is more of the same 'brilliance' (only in inverted commas for the band's critics).
However, I'm not sure I can say either.
The sound is undeniably familiar, but with twists here and there - a common second step is to push the boundaries of experimentation - to make for an interesting listen.
The band is, 3 years on, all grow-ed up. The guitar and drums are at the top of their game, injecting as much if not more energy than Carter's shouting on the first album. (The guitar in particualr did show potential in Orchestra of Wolves - see 'In the Belly of a Shark' - but the band was more focused on an overall musical picture, in case they messed it up...)
As good as the improved guitar and drums may be now, they do appear to have messed it up. The first album avoided exactly this. Let me explain.
Much to my sadness, Frank Carter is simply not as fantastic as he was first time around. He is not awful (on a scale of 'shouty-anger', of course) but is far eclipsed by the instrumentals, something which cannot happen in a band like Gallows. Other bands have failed here in the same way (many bands, from the Editors to Fightstar can arguably be accused of this, but I'd choose the worst of Black Stone Cherry as an example) and Gallows made a point in their first album of using Frank Carter's 'different' vocal stylings to contribute, as I have said, to that all-important overall noise. The different aspects need to support each other more than this.
Do not be disheartened! The songs might be worse than the first album, but that does not mean they are bad songs. Baring in mind I have not listening to Grey Britain extensively, I cannot say for sure I am in the proper mindset. It is likely that, as I'm sure many listeners of Orchestra of Wolves found, Grey Britain takes a bit of getting used to.
So I can forgive the album... up to a point.
That point unfortunately must be 'In the Belly of a Shark' (or 'Orchestra of Wolves' (the song)). `Unfortunately' because that point is hard to reach, let alone superceed.
Any songs looking like they'll match up?
The first that caught my eye/ear was most definitely 'I Dread the Night', the highlight for me (though i must admit the last 3 songs have eluded me).
The other song, the first single, is 'The Vulture Acts I & II'. I didn't like this song. However, I predict it to be a (huge?) success, so long as Radio 1 are paid off enough. Frank Carter actually sings, my friends. For all Gallows fans, I would hope the news would be disheartening. It's not an completely awful song, it's just very odd considering the Carter quote which is the title of this review.
So the new album's a little strange, a little wierd, and it will take a little getting used to. I feel assured that the album will not, for me, be the soundtrack that Orchestra of Wolves was. However, I have a suspicion the last 3 tracks will even the album out into something that will beg for a few listens and then will draw you in to the same dark (darker perhaps, or maybe just grey-er) world of moshing dancefloors.
Gallows seem to have sidestepped the mainstream (with the exception of 'The Vulture'), and when put like that I'm sure I sound optimistic.

For fans wanting a fix, you'll be missing out if you don't give it a try.

For those who weren't convince by the first album, by all means give it a try too but I would say try to understand Orchestra of Wolves first - it's a better starting point.

For anyone coming into the Gallows scene on the second album (why should there be such people? not sure, but there may be a few), I doubt you'll be grabbed unless you're a stubborn listener.

What's worth saying is that the band have always been first and foremost about live gigs, and I reckon that with the studio stripped away, this would be a blistering night out, maybe even turning into more of a spectacle than their last album live.

The only thing I feel I can end with is saying:
It's no Orchestra of Wolves and I think everyone will appreciate that, but whatever you do, don't knock it just yet...

Eddie Izzard Box Set [DVD]
Eddie Izzard Box Set [DVD]
Dvd ~ Eddie Izzard
Price: 14.39

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You don't get much better stand-up, 31 July 2007
This review is from: Eddie Izzard Box Set [DVD] (DVD)
Eddie Izzard is, at least in my opinion, the best comedian on the planet. He is very funny (which helps), but also comes off as a 'nice person'. He seems a lot more down-to-earth than other comedians. Anyone who is put-off by the whole transvestite thing is really missing the point - if anything, it just gives him more material. He never repeats any material (well if I've forgotten then only a slight repeat). There are so many amazing routines and jokes in this box set it is hard to pick out the best show, let alone the best routine. Eddie (or Mr. Izzard) is great with his miming and impressions - especially his dentist routine in 'Sexie'. Sometimes if he messes up or gets carried away he can bomb a little bit (sounds a bit contradictory), which is probably most apparant in 'Glorious'. However, if you stick with the show you will love him by the end. He is clever, nice, insightful, down-to-earth and very very very funny. All the shows are very re-watchable if you just wait till you've forgotten a couple of the jokes. In fact, I think I'm going to go and watch Circle again right now.
Oh yeah - this is pretty good value for 6 shows (it was even better value this time last year so just wait a bit!)

Because Of The Times
Because Of The Times
Offered by Direct-Offers-UK-FBA
Price: 3.11

20 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing - Some of the best songs being written at the moment, 31 July 2007
This review is from: Because Of The Times (Audio CD)
Kings of Leon have definatly changed since their earlier stuff. The tracks are more atmospheric (as has been said in a previous reveiw) and the bass has been upped for this album (you can feel it through every bone in your body). As a whole the album is great - there are several briliant songs, complimented by good and very listen-able 'lesser tracks'. (This strong points being tracks 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, 13)
1.Knocked Up
This song is 7minutes long - it's good (quiet but smooth drumming; great bass, and then it all gets louder, which is good but seems a bit smudgy) but after 5minutes of it, becomes slightly tiring
2. Charmer
Much better - the screaming (very slight amount) rubbs off a more 'rock and roll' feel and the bass is excellent
3. On Call
Good bass again; quite a smooth easy-going song
4. Mcfearless
Good bass and guitar; more 'rythmic' singing - you can't help but move to it
5. Black Thumbnail
Great strumming; well complimented by drums and bass - it again makes you move to the music, but it's another long song. Not as tiring, however - the chorus is pretty 'rocked-up'
6. My Party
More strong bass and some great vocal work (assuming you like his voice) with the drums makes for a slick song with a nice breaking-up of style for the chorus
7. True Love Way
A quieter song, less striking but still smooth listening
8. Ragoo
Possibly the best track (either this or 9.). Some great lines and the singing lays down the slightly jaunty guitar, making yet another smooth ride. The chorus is a bit of a change of heart, but the kings manage to pull it off stylishly
9. Fans
Amazing song - the singing is great with the way Caleb (singer) pinches the lines in a such a different but beautiful way (this may sound wierd but I'm running out of adjectives!). The drumming and guitar doesn't get too overpowering and the bass is subtle but still enforces the choruses very well. The song also nods at the english (because kings are more popular over here), which is a nice touch
10. The Runner
Not a terrible song but probably the worst the album has to offer. The singing doesn't flow as well and the song seems spoilt (there's nothing wrong with the guitar, bass or drums)
11. Trunk
A forgettable song but a very easy-going one - especially the nice chorus ("woooooo")
12. Camaro
This song feels dragged out but is more of a jaunty, 'rocky' affair than the rest of the album. The singing feels more desperate and lacks the charm of the other tracks, bu there is some great guitar
13. Arizona
A swaying-lighter song. Slower but brilliant. The singing has a touch of lullabye (that spelling is probably wrong) to it and the gentle whine of the guitar works well.
Overall, as I said, this is a great album and definatly worth your money and attention. It contains the lyrics which is always a plus for me (not for my friends and family though). I find it hard to classify the Kings of Leon. They are rock, but softer, possibly with a hint of Indie influence too.

24: Season One DVD Collection [DVD]
24: Season One DVD Collection [DVD]
Dvd ~ Kiefer Sutherland
Price: 9.75

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE Best Thing You Can Use Your TV For, 19 Jan 2007
I was told how great this show is months before I actually watched, not particularly trusting anyone's compliments. But as soon as I watched it, I was hooked. It is much better to buy a box set than watch it on TV because it gives you the freedom to watch it whenever you want, and you will never miss an episode. 24 is also miles better as a whole sereis (even though I would also give each episode 5 stars).

Jack Bauer is by far the coolest person in the world ever, and kiefer sutherland plays him brilliantly. His acting shows best in later series, but his transformation during this series show is fenomanal. Kim provides a great daughter character, and the beautiful Elisha Cuthbert plays the role the best any actress could (this series is by far Elisha Cuthbert's best). Teri, Nina and so many other characters (tony) shine amazingly (gaines), and all their actors/actresses play them staggeringly well (drazen).

This series is very well arguably the best, as the story is much more straightfoward thatn, say, series 3. The twists work well, but don't distract from the plot as much as series 3. Some argue that 24 is unrealistic, but I disagree, saying that if it was more spread out it would loose it's tension and main hook (the fact that it's in real time). Not to mention the fact that 24 would loose Jack Bauer. It is also more realistic in this series without so many twists (although there are easily enough to make twists BELONG to 24)

The entire journey is action-packed, edge-of-your-seat tension and plot twists. There are a few moments when you are on the verdge of a twist, and can't breathe. This does not happen as much as in the series 3, but the story is more focused on action and characters than 'what's gonna happen next'. The characters reacted well to plot twists etc., which makes them more believable and human, increasing your link to the story every episode.

I have one more thing to say:

Anyone who thinks that 24 is anything less than fantastic has something seriously wrong with them.

Watch it. Now.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2)
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2)
Offered by Musicland Ltd
Price: 10.50

0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars let me explain.., 24 Nov 2005
If you are lookign for a game that will challenge you to do it all, then buy this game. There are loads of jumps you can make with your car, horseshoes, oysters, and more to collect, and the missions alone can be quite hard. If you are a hardcore or patient player, then this is the game for you. However, if you are looking for a game that you will come back to, you might want to choose something else. I am not critising this game, but saying that you might get bored of it. Eventually the huge landscape that you first thought of as daunting become repetetive, and boring. As you travel across them to get that one oyster, you end up putting down the controller. You might think that it's got so much that it can't get boring, but who rescues hundreds of people from fires to get to level twelve fireman? So this is definatly a good game, but hesitate before you spend too much on it!

Needful Things
Needful Things
by Stephen King
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brill, but let down by the ending, 1 Nov 2005
This review is from: Needful Things (Hardcover)
The book was great, and although the beginnning was alittle slow, once you get into it, there is rarely more than a dozen pages where nothing much happens. The ending I felt was rushed, and I felt that it was as though King didn't have much in the way of ideas.
Apart from that, I would recommend this book as the best steven king book aside from The Green Mile

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