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

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Rip it Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984
Rip it Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984
by Simon Reynolds
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.08

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A critical read no a forgotten period., 12 July 2006
If the post punk period fills the reader with visions of bouffant hair cuts and silly trousers, prepare to have your eyes and ears (once you've bought a few key records) opened to a critical period in music, far more creative than punk.

One could say that without punk, post punk wouldn't exist. But against punks raw and ready back drop, post punk suddenly exploded into life bringing hundreds of new ideas to the studio almost without bounds.

Bands rediscovered the synthesizer, distorted their guitars and drums and combined it with the ferosity of punk, and created the art based sounds that fuelled the imagination of John Peel and his like for years. The guitars were stripped down and bands rediscovered an artistic license which allowed them to create soundscapes unimaginable during the early 70's.

To put it into context, punk gave us the Ramones, Pistols, Buzzcocks and one or two other punk gave us, Gang of Four, PiL, Slits, Black Flag, Husker Du, Killing Joke, Magazine, Wire, Talking Heads, Sonic Youth, Minutemen and too many more to mention, before it gave us a new pop movement that contained the likes of ABC, Frankie and others.

If you like music in any form and wonder what happened after punk, somehow believing that it was the end of modern music. Read this....I guarantee you're lost years and hungry ears will love you for it.

Louden Up Now
Louden Up Now
Price: £11.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The spiritual sons of ACR, 7 July 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Louden Up Now (Audio CD)
I'm surprised there's no other reviews of this great record, so I shall do my best to do it justice.

Musically this sits nicely amongst the funky early works of A Certain Ratio and to a degree, Gang Of Four. Right from the first track you get the feeling that this isn't a straight forward listening experience, intense arrangements sit on top of pumelling rhythms that carry the listener through the work.

There's a good line in political lyric here, but in a way, the vocals become part of the overall funkiness of this band. Having seen them live, I can say that they transmit their energies much better on stage than on the record, however, don't let that put you off.

This is a wonderful CD, in spite of the extended nature of the songs, not a second is wasted in excess musicianship. It's funky, danceable and yet thought provoking stuff.

Spiritual sons of A Certain Ratio? Yes, but certainly not in a derisory way.

Nashville Skyline
Nashville Skyline
Price: £5.04

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Dylan classic, 29 Jun. 2006
This review is from: Nashville Skyline (Audio CD)
It might be hard to believe, that Dylan could write another bunch of classic tunes, this time in a country style, but that's exactly what he did on this record.

The best thing about it is the concise, pop/country nature of the record that simply does what it's supposed to do, deliver quality pop tunes with his usual lyrical dexterity. There's a tremendous comment from Johnny Cash on the sleevnotes that says all you need to about Dylan. A master at work.

Gilles Peterson In Africa
Gilles Peterson In Africa
Offered by groove_temple
Price: £20.65

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A subtle introduction to the music of africa, 29 Jun. 2006
I bought this as it was highly reduced in price and what a bargain. It's a feast of grooves, good feeling vibes and earthly rhythms that will totally transform any views you may have that African music is for the musical elite only, it's amazing and I'd have no hesitation in saying BUY THIS NOW!

One Way Ticket To Hell ... And Back
One Way Ticket To Hell ... And Back
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.69

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's not perfect, but it's still darn good, 14 Mar. 2006
Following on from Permission to Land was always going to be a thankless task. A band that was loved across the board suddenly became a target of derision and scorn for no discernable reason other than their popularity. How very British.
Taking time to make the follow up was wise and the results are great. An album full of quality tunes, basically uplifting pop rock will keep the Darkness as a band who will always put a smile on your face when you've tired of the constant misery pouring out from your radio.
Fans of AC/DC and Queen should look no further than this in looking for a great rock record with tunes, brilliant musicianship, a great voice and uplifting attitude.
In todays world, we still need the Darkness and awful lot.

Tell Me No Lies: Investigative Journalism and its Triumphs
Tell Me No Lies: Investigative Journalism and its Triumphs
by John Pilger
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.59

47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most important book of a generation, 14 Mar. 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A collection of the best works of investigative journalism from the past 60 years curated by John Pilger, arguably the best of them all.
Starting from the Second World War and a report on the aftermath of Hiroshima, through various takes on Vietnam, Iraq and other areas of terrible injsutices around the world, the book is brilliantly edited and written.
From a personal perspective I would say it is the most essential, important and terrifying book I've ever read highlighting the terrifying power held in a very few hands and the complete disregard of human suffering meted out by the corrupt regimes of the world. It engenders a feeling of intense rage, yet fills the reader with a desire to do something about it.
It should be on a school syllabus to wake up the minds of a generation who may feel helpless by a lack of quality information on how life is being controlled.

The Astronaut Dismantles Hal
The Astronaut Dismantles Hal
Offered by nagiry
Price: £8.15

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars please make this band famous, 26 Jan. 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The follow up to Amplifier sees the band stick to their original direction, but find room for a slightly more tuneful approach. You stil have a similar formula of longish complex tunes which float along with crunching riffs and power chords aplenty, but there seems slightly more bite on this release.
Quite why this band has not reached an enormous audience is a crime. There's some true originality here, great tunes, wonderful playing and the possibility to play stadiums.
If you've not heard of them, imagine a cross between Rush, Radiohead and Doves with a dose of Swans thrown in for grey edge, but really there is no one doing what Amplifier are doing at the moment and for that alone, you should but this record as soon as possible.

First Impressions Of Earth
First Impressions Of Earth
Offered by Assai-uk
Price: £7.89

1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Is this it? Definitely not, 26 Jan. 2006
I've listened through this album, read the reviews and can only surmise that once you're a Strokes fan you can no longer objectively comment on their output.
This, to me is a very lazy piece of work. The core Strokes elements are there pretty tight song construction, decent tunes, but no more than that. They change direction in places a bit, but I think, to disasterous effect.
They still have promise, but when you've heard the Arctic Monkeys new record and compare it with this you'll understand what a poor piece of work this is.
Very dissapointing.

Uptight Tonight: The Ultimate 60s Garage Collection
Uptight Tonight: The Ultimate 60s Garage Collection
Price: £10.50

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The true origins of 70's punk, 26 Jan. 2006
I first came across this album via a review in the Metro, it suggested short, sharp rock with attitude and boy does it deliver.
From these bands came the Stooges, The White Stripes, The Ramones and virtually all of the best 70's punk. The focus is on tight tunes, great songs, sung with venom and bite. Broken love, going out, drinking and generally causing mayhem is where we're at here and the effect is first rate.
The accompanying booklet provides a myriad of detail on the bands featured and this in itself provides fascinating reading. But, the key is the music. Stick this on when you've a few friends round, grab a few drinks and watch, the effect will be startling.
An essential purchase.

Laugh? I Nearly Bought One!
Laugh? I Nearly Bought One!
Price: £5.99

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A sample of a standard bearing British Band, 13 Jan. 2006
I write this to contradict that of our friend from the Czech republic and give this record some of the gravity it deserves.
OK, commercially Killing Joke never achieved the sales of some of their contemporaries, but in terms of importance, this album serves to bring you examples of why they were as important as PIL, Gang Of Four and a number of other undersold bands of the day.
You may well be better served buying their individual albums, expecially the first three superb releases, but this should serve you if you just want to dip your toe in their icy dark water.
From the abrasive beginnings, Killing Joke went on a journey into some dark and wonderful places. From the searing 'The Wait', Wardance' and 'Requiem' onwards through 'Empire Song' you feel unsettled yet drawn into their world of terrifying reality.
It's worthy of note to understand that without Killing Joke, there would be no NIN, 'Come as you are' would never have been written (hear Eighties) and many of Depeche Modes darkest moments could not have taken shape.
These tracks well and truly stand the test of time. If you're not convinced, buy it, then the recent 25th anniversary live album and enter their world. You will not be dissapointed.

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