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Reviews Written by
Mr. M. L. Hawes "Mitchmusic"

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good return to form, 25 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Outbursts (MP3 Download)
Turin Brakes seem to go from new folk heroes to a derided and scolded twosome who somehow lost their way a couple of years back.

I have to say, their third album 'Jackinabox' was not exactly ground breaking but neither was it particularly bad. I guess you could say that when you scale the heights of The Optimist and Ether Song, you may well find yourselves a little stuck.

With Outbursts, it sounds like the band have gone back to basics, focused on writing strong, personal songs that reflect where they are rather than where they think they should be and as a result the quality is far more consistent than Jackinabox.

There are no obvious 'hit' songs on this record, but it does not suffer for that. Instead what you get is an album of quality, folk based songs that do the band justice once more.

Take your time over this record and it will certainly reward you with its riches.

Attack and Release
Attack and Release
Offered by MediaMine
Price: £4.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant blues rock., 12 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Attack and Release (Audio CD)
This is my first Black Keys album and what an introduction. I've played this through mercilessly on numerous occassions and love the way that the whole album just flows.

Someone suggested that this had White Stripes hallmarks, but outside of the band being a 2 piece, and that they play with a bluesy style, then that's where the comparison ends. The whole feel is more bluesy, slightly softer than the Stripes with fantastic songs and brilliant musicianship.

It works as a whole so please don't download your fave tracks, given time each song will become a cherished favourite.

Blown to Smithereens Best of the Smithereens
Blown to Smithereens Best of the Smithereens
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £7.71

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant band, a brilliant compilation, 12 Mar. 2010
For any purist, a greatest hits collection is always a tough pill to swallow. Some see them as a cop out, a nod to the record company in order to sell product to existing fans that they may already have, but in a new package.

The great thing with the SMithereens is that far too few people know enough about them to complain. Most will use this album as an entry point and what an entry point it is. Spanning virtually all their career before they started their takes on the Who and the Beatles, this dates back into the 80's and 90's when their songwriting was at its peak.

You could see them as a kind of middle ground between the Beatles and REM if such a place exists, melodic, strong indie rock with fantastic musicianship and siniging from Pat De Nizio. This is a massively underrated band and if you are curious then this is the place to start.

5 stars are given for the fact that you need all these songs, and I mean need them. From here, start on their first two albums and you will be well and truly, Blown To Smithereens.

So Who's Paranoid?
So Who's Paranoid?

4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best albums of 2009, 10 Mar. 2010
This review is from: So Who's Paranoid? (Audio CD)
This is my first Damned album, which is shameful, but I'd not really got into them during the late 70's and so missed out on their heyday.

My first experience of the Damned was during a tour shortly after Grimley Feindish at the Hammersmith Palais and they were shockingly poor, so when I read the reviews of this, it made me think, perhaps I'd been a little foolish in dismissing them for all these years.

It's a great record, very solid from the beginning to the end, Vanian is singing brilliantly, the tunes are superb with lots of variation with poppy numbers like Diamonds and A Nation Fit for Hero's, to the closing psych wig out which in spite of lasting over 10 minutes makes perfect sense.

It's an album that bears plenty of repeats, as it borne witness by the myriad of times I've played it over and over.

If you have the urge then buy it, you will not be dissappointed.

My Shit Life So Far
My Shit Life So Far
by Frankie Boyle
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly funny, 9 Mar. 2010
This review is from: My Shit Life So Far (Hardcover)
I started reading this book on Monday and two days later am done, having nearly thrown up, cried and cringed at the humour in here.

If you know and love Frankie Boyle from Mock The Week, then this will suit you perfectly. It rattles along at a rare old pace although I must confess he balances out the factual stuff with tangential shifts into sheer force 10 comedy.

As ever, his opinions are not for the faint hearted, but frankly what on earth would you be reading this book for if you are easily offended or someone keen on balancing out opinion in some kind of liberal nirvana? Frankie merely casts his eye on things that are personal to him and delivers his opinion.

You may not agree with all, but I dare say he couldn't give two stuffs either way.

Put simply, this is the funniest book I have ever read in my life. It is so good it should form part of the curriculum and then perhaps we might actually speak up when things are as rubbish as they are right now.

Not Available
Not Available
Offered by rbmbooks
Price: £43.90

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars experiMENTALISM, 9 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Not Available (Audio CD)
This is one those albums that is almost impossible to make any form of rational review of.

Not Available is my first Residents record having been fascinated for years by their bizarre image and secretive existence. As far as I know little is known of who the band really are which fuels the fascination.

Musically it sits in a Beefheartian / Can world, leftfield in the extreme, with none of the 'normal' song structure types observed. As someone says it's a movement, a mini opera of sorts, but goodness only knows what on earth is going on at its heart. Either way it's a beautiful avant garde curiosity which is certainly well worthy of investigation by those who like having their musical mind expanded.

8 Way Santa
8 Way Santa
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: £24.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grunges forgotten hero's, 6 Mar. 2010
This review is from: 8 Way Santa (Audio CD)
The third part of the real grunge spearhead that also included Mudhoney and Nirvana, Tad were definitely at the heavy end of the spectrum.

Kicking off their career with an album called Gods Balls kind of summed up the potential for a thick heavy sound with a vocalist that sounded like he could shred flesh with his distinctive delivery.

8 way santa was their third album and followed on from the Steve Albini produced mini lp Salt Lick. It was a slightly more commercial affair with superb songs from 1 - 13. I was going to use the words poppier songs but that's nowhere near the mark, commercial is the best phrase.

Tad's future was assured as the real kings of grunge.... heavy, backwater boys with a crushing sound, great tunes and a phenomenal live sound. Nothing would stand in their way.... apart from a legal action for using a picture of a couple without permission and producing a song that was to become the signature single called 'Jack Pepsi' since retitled 'Jack' which described what happens when you take out a 4x4 on a frozen lake with you and your friend loaded on JD and cola.... IT's a briliant track, but Pepsi didn't like the fact that they'd not been asked and had the track banned. So ended Tad's chances of making it big and they were thrown off into the wilderness.

The follow up album Inhaler was fantastic too, but it was all too late.

Still in this album you have a real cornerstone of the grunge era. Do not hesitate, buy straight away!

Price: £11.36

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very welcome reissue, 6 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Force (Audio CD)
A Certain Ratio left the Curtisesque vocals of their first two albums behind with this album which has now been reissued with some juicy rarities, specifically the B side Inside, which was a fave of mine and a track that has been worn away on the 12" of Mickey Way.

It's a strong, consistent record with a much more poppy feel than their early work, but still with that slightly sparse sound that made them as outstanding a contributor to indie funk as 23 Skidoo in my book. Unless I'm mistaken Corrine Drewery appears on one track as guest vocalist....

A great ACR album and one that I'll definitely be buying on CD as my vinyl is just about defunkt.

by Susan Fletcher
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful hostorical document of a shamful act., 5 Mar. 2010
This review is from: Corrag (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There are plenty of reviews already in place of this book which have outlined the plot, so I wont go into too much detail.

In short it is a documentary of sorts of an individual who bore witness to an horrific slaughter of a highland clan during the 17th century in Glencoe. It describes her (Corrags') life in great detail and works backwards from her commencement of her story told whilst incarcerated in a makeshift prison awaiting execution by fire for the crime of being a witch.

During this period the term witch seems to be used for any woman who spoke her mind in contravention of the thinking of either the church or the government of the day.

As a whole the book is completely enchanting, it starts off at a leisurely place as we gain an understanding of what makes Corrag tick, the teachings of her mother to lover herself and every living thing that surrounds her. She is a small, diminutive character but fall of wonder and spirit and I found myself quickly falling for her love of nature and her belief that there is good in everyone and everything.

As the book gains pace I found a real emotional attachment with Corrags plight and was transported to her small cell, where she recounted the horrendous acts of the massacre and her love for Alisdair, the son of the maclain, the head of the clan MacDonald. It is an unremitting love, which she knows cannot survive, yet is all the more pure for it.

It's a beautiful book in every way, I treasured every page and took my time in reaching it's beautiful ending. It is not a rip roaring adventure, instead it's a lovely study of the plight of an independent woman in this most difficult of times. A really lovely read that I'd recommend to anyone. The fact that it is based on a true story also makes it an educational experience too!

Price: £0.79

5.0 out of 5 stars classic chk chk chk, 4 Mar. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Instinct (MP3 Download)
This is one of the best of the Warp bands, live they are totally untouchable and on record they do know how to write a superb dance tune, of which this is a cracker.

Brilliant stuff

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