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Mr. L. D. T. Sheppard "Luke Shep" (Birmingham, UK)
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Busy Bein' Born
Busy Bein' Born

5.0 out of 5 stars Influences on their sleeves, 3 Feb 2009
This review is from: Busy Bein' Born (MP3 Download)
Middle Class Rut are a band who certainly are not afraid to wear their influences on their sleeves. You can instantly hear Jane's Addiction, At The Drive In and even a bit of Radiohead. The Jane's Addiction link is the easiest to spot, with Perry Farrel's vocal style being shamelessly (and very effectively) immitated at times. While ordinarily this would put me off, Zack Lopez adds just enough snarl to the "imitation" to make it his own. Get this guy fired up though and the passion pours out in his voice, with echoes of Cedric Bixler-Zavala (At The Drive In, The Mars Volta).

For a 2-piece band, they manage to produce some stunningly rich and complex musical arrangements - you have to wonder how they managed it.

It really is fascinating stuff and essential for anyone who likes honest, quality rock music with clever melodies and complexity, things that are sadly lacking in many recent releases.


Busy Bein' Born (Album Version)
Busy Bein' Born (Album Version)

5.0 out of 5 stars Influences on their sleeves, 3 Feb 2009
Middle Class Rut are a band who certainly are not afraid to wear their influences on their sleeves. You can instantly hear Jane's Addiction, At The Drive In and even a bit of Radiohead. The Jane's Addiction link is the easiest to spot, with Perry Farrel's vocal style being shamelessly (and very effectively) immitated at times. While ordinarily this would put me off, Zack Lopez adds just enough snarl to the "imitation" to make it his own. Get this guy fired up though and the passion pours out in his voice, with echoes of Cedric Bixler-Zavala (At The Drive In, The Mars Volta).

For a 2-piece band, they manage to produce some stunningly rich and complex musical arrangements - you have to wonder how they managed it.

It really is fascinating stuff and essential for anyone who likes honest, quality rock music with clever melodies and complexity, things that are sadly lacking in many recent releases.


Busy Bein' Born [7" VINYL]
Busy Bein' Born [7" VINYL]
Offered by 5records
Price: £4.89

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Influences on their sleeves, 3 Feb 2009
This review is from: Busy Bein' Born [7" VINYL] (Vinyl)
Middle Class Rut are a band who certainly are not afraid to wear their influences on their sleeves. You can instantly hear Jane's Addiction, At The Drive In and even a bit of Radiohead. The Jane's Addiction link is the easiest to spot, with Perry Farrel's vocal style being shamelessly (and very effectively) immitated at times. While ordinarily this would put me off, Zack Lopez adds just enough snarl to the "imitation" to make it his own. Get this guy fired up though and the passion pours out in his voice, with echoes of Cedric Bixler-Zavala (At The Drive In, The Mars Volta).

For a 2-piece band, they manage to produce some stunningly rich and complex musical arrangements - you have to wonder how they managed it.

It really is fascinating stuff and essential for anyone who likes honest, quality rock music with clever melodies and complexity, things that are sadly lacking in many recent releases.


Creating a Web Site: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals)
Creating a Web Site: The Missing Manual (Missing Manuals)
by Matthew MacDonald
Edition: Paperback

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 3 Feb 2009
I'm slightly confused about the previous review. Is he suggesting that he's never used a text editor?? So what if you haven't? The book DOES suggest which ones you might want to use and, since they all do essentially the same thing, does it really matter which one you choose? To focus on one sentence like that in a book of hundreds of pages is short-sighted to say the least.

To say that this is not a good beginner's book because it doesn't spoonfeed you what a text editor is is completely absurd. The fact is that it IS a good beginner's book and I would strongly advise people not to be put off by the previous review.

It walks you through all the skills you need to create your own stylish-looking websites in a logical, easy-to-follow manner, which is pretty much all you want from this book. It does EXACTLY what you'd want it to do and it does it very well. If you're looking for other good beginner books, try Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML, which will give you a very good grounding in most things html and css.


Web Design in Easy Steps
Web Design in Easy Steps
by Richard Quick
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.45

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Shocking!, 3 Feb 2009
I didn't actually buy this book but one of my friends is just starting out in web design and he asked me to pop round to give him a hand with the basics (i.e. how to upload to the web, etc.). Anyway, he had bought this book and he asked me to have a look at it and let him know what I thought. I gave it a quick glance and was distinctly unimpressed but I've encountered a few books that didn't exactly strike me as brilliant at first glance, but then went on to become absolutely indispensible. I therefore decided to take the book home, give it a read and then give a more resoned opinion.

As you can probably tell by the fact that I went to the effort of tracking this book down on amazon and writing this review, I feel strongly that people should get a well-rounded, considered opinion of its contents before they make a purchase. Well, here is my considered, well-rounded opinion:

This is, quite simply, the WORST web design book I have ever had the misfortune to stumble across. I thank my lucky stars that I didn't spend any money on it because it is utterly useless. I can't even begin to explain how incredibly bad this book is.

If you're going to buy a book on web design, I have discovered that it's quite a good idea to have a look at the author's web portfolio BEFORE purchasing. If you have a look at this guy's site, you'll find a list of websites that look like they've all been made in Joomla with next to no code alterations. Does he make money? Probably. Does he make good websites?? NO!!!

There are a whole load of really good beginner guides to making websites on amazon and it amazes me that anyone would choose this one. I would highly recommend Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML for absolute beginners - it'll give you a REALLY good grounding in html and css if you complete the book (probably technically better than a lot of so-called pro's) and then maybe CSS: The Missing Manual once you get more confident and able.


Building Websites with Joomla! 1.5
Building Websites with Joomla! 1.5
by Hagen Graf
Edition: Paperback
Price: £27.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't agree more - what a waste!, 22 Jan 2009
Strange how the guy who rated it 5 star has only ever reviewed 2 items - both Joomla! books and both by the same publisher. I don't think this is coincidence, since his review on here is so far off the mark as to be completely laughable.

Not good for beginners, not good for intermediates and definitely no good for experts. Amazon really ought to remove this guy's comments.

Anyone know of a Joomla! book that's actually any good?


Braindead [DVD] [1993]
Braindead [DVD] [1993]
Dvd ~ Timothy Balme
Offered by westworld-
Price: £12.44

5.0 out of 5 stars Blood, gore and GORE! Oh, and laughs!, 18 Jan 2009
This review is from: Braindead [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
First saw this film when it first came out on VHS - my mate's mum rented it from the local blockbuster (I was about 13) and I have to say, the first time I saw it, I didn't rate it at all.

However... Now I'm considerably older and wiser (with a MUCH more juvenile sense of humour) I LOVE this film so much. There are loads of standout scenes, too many to list on here.

It's badly filmed, badly acted, completely unscary and yet I count it as one of my favourite films of all time - go figure!!


Severance [DVD] [2006]
Severance [DVD] [2006]
Dvd ~ Danny Dyer
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £2.73

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, Sick English Humour at it's best., 14 Dec 2008
This review is from: Severance [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
If you are buying this film expecting a horror-fest, you are bound to be disappointed. If, however, you want to spend the next 90 or so minutes of your life laughing, then go ahead.

While not exactly slapstick, this film certainly has elements of it (cue putting a severed leg in the bus refrigerator). At times the laughs are cheap but then when they are this funny, who cares?

I am certain that many people will watch this film and not see the point at all. It is a VERY English film and you really have to be prepared to find some pretty sick stuff funny. Danny Dyer is the biggest name actor and he is perfectly cast as a drug-taking scamp with a very sarcastic manner. He plays his part perfectly and, although this film was never going to win any Oscar nominations for best actor (or anything else for that matter), I honestly count it as one of the best films I've ever seen. It is laugh-out-loud hilarious and who cares if the plot is a bit thin and most of the actors terrible (intentionally I think)???

If you liked Dog Soldiers, Braindead, Bad Taste, Shaun Of The Dead, Planet Terror or anything along those lines, then BUY THIS FILM - you'll love it. Just don't take it too seriously!


MC Rut
MC Rut

5.0 out of 5 stars Wearing Influences on Their Sleeves, 14 Dec 2008
This review is from: MC Rut (MP3 Download)
Middle Class Rut are a band who certainly are not afraid to wear their influences on their sleeves. You can instantly hear Jane's Addiction, At The Drive In and even a bit of Radiohead. The Jane's Addiction link is the easiest to spot, with Perry Farrel's vocal style being shamelessly (and very effectively) immitated at times, especially "All Walks Of Life", "Busy Being Born" and "New Low". While ordinarily this would put me off, Zack Lopez adds just enough snarl to the "imitation" to make it his own. Get this guy fired up though and the passion pours out in his voice, with very real echoes of Cedric Bixler-Zavala (At The Drive In, The Mars Volta) and maybe even a little Zack de la Rocha.

For a 2-piece band, they manage to produce some stunningly rich and complex musical arrangements - "Dead Set" sounds especially rich and you have to wonder how they managed it. The EP, whilst remaining firmly locked in an "Alternative Rock" category, shows a very effective mixture of musical styles, from screamers like "Dead Set" to much more relaxed "So Long" and everything in between.

I've tried to pick some standout tracks but it really is impossible - every time a new track starts, it grabs you, sucks you in, crushes your chest and then spits you out just in time for the next to do the same. It really is fascinating stuff and essential for anyone who likes honest, quality rock music with clever melodies and complexity, things that are sadly lacking in many recent releases.


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