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Mr. S. J. Dutton (England)

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Simon Amstell - Do Nothing Live [DVD]
Simon Amstell - Do Nothing Live [DVD]
Price: £7.00

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For fans of 'Grandma's House' and heartfelt clever stand-up., 9 Dec 2010
This is such a breath of fresh air from the usual 'christmas stand-up' shows available on DVD. First off the extras are fantastic with possibly my favourite comic Tim Key (well worth checking out) giving a very amusing interview with Amstell. The show itself although short is gripping and funny, stories of failed romance and awkwardness "i dont know how to talk to humans", this is intelligent comedy with hardly any discernable punch lines (a good thing as far as i'm concerned). He has an extremely warm and engaging persona, fans of never mind the buzzcocks may be surprised at the content and if you're expecting celebrity gossip and self referential smugness give Ricky Gervais' latest effort a go. This is just lovely.

Somewhere In The Between
Somewhere In The Between
Price: £9.65

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It was worth the wait., 26 Oct 2007
So its finally here, the bands first new material in 4 years, who knows when we can expect a follow up but for now we have this gem to take in.

Let me start off by saying that I have been waiting for this album since late 2004 and I know a lot of people that have waited even longer, here are some of my reasons why it has all been worth it:

The album starts off strong with `We Will Fall Together' a very pleasing build up which kicks off into an incredible horn battle and is instrumental for almost a minute (more of that to come later) this song has greatly developed from the days of when it was simply an intro played at various live shows, the vocals begin and you realise just how far the lead singer (Tomas Kalnoky) has come, the harmonies are to die for and the backup vocals are a brilliant touch and are something that has not been seen so much in previous releases, certain horn parts and sax solos in this song remind me of the great `Squirrel Nut Zippers' a fairly renowned New Jersey based swing band, the influences are definitely present.

Next on the list is `Down, Down, Down to Mephisto's Café', this track like the previous has been seen as a very basic version of what it is today live a few years ago and obviously has changed dramatically, the intro is a sure to be sing-along classic, the song seems to have a very powerful meaning to it, the subject matter being religion, smart and witty lyrics are heard throughout and not to mention very catchy, nothing particularly new or exciting within this song, though it still remains one of my favourites because of the uplifting tune and satirical content.

`Would You Be Impressed?' has been showcased very recently as a song on their U.S support tours, it is lyrically darker than a lot of the album, a lot of minor keys.

`One Foot On The Gas, One Foot In The Grave' opens with a nice relaxing bass line and slow guitar work + vocals, the mellow beginning sets you up nicely for the amazing brief horn solos that bring you into the first verse, this is just a Streetlight trademark, why try anything different when you have songs as good as this, it is also the longest track on the album clocking in at 5:27.

`Watch It Crash' is next which straight off the bat I would compare it to the `Keasbey Nights' classic `Dear Sergio' just with a much darker tone, the chorus to this song is so infectious you will pick most of it up upon first listen, to end the song it has a very `System Of A Down' esque influence to it which is brilliant and is stunningly powerful.

The title track "Somewhere In The Between" is up next, in my opinion I would say they chose the wrong track to end the album, this would have been perfect but to me that doesn't matter in the slightest, this track is stunning, such a departure from the old sound, this shows how much this album is more than just simple `ska-punk' as they are labelled in most cases, as the song goes "This is the anthem", it really is, it almost sounds like a drinking song in the way that the lyrics and melody come across, you will be singing this one for a long time afterwards, the solos at the end of this song are just brilliant, Mike Soprano (trombone) especially deserves credit for his brilliant work on this song, the new guy Matt Stewart (trumpet) definitely is up to par as well.

`Forty Days' is the slowest paced song on the album and is definitely in my top 3 overall, the guitar and bass throughout this song are so off putting (in a good way) then when you are listening to it whilst walking you can't help walk funny, its hilarious, try it!. The maturity in the song writing really shines through and the main horn line is the most fun, innovative thing I may have heard since their previous release, the solos (there are a hell of a lot on this album) are brilliant as usual as well as in my opinion the best part on the album, the guitar solo, its not so much the difficulty of the solo but the stylish and unique guitar tone that it creates, its just so fitting and oh so perfect to the song.

`The Blonde Lead The Blind' is the most peppy and upbeat song on the album, it is impossible not to smile when you hear the brilliant intro horn line which is so playful and original that I'm certain it will be a sure favourite at gigs, the song is very fast and really shows off how effective and important the backup vocals are to this record, to end the song it has a brief moment of tranquillity which really reminds me of the Radiohead song `Creep' (not in a depressing way) it pretty much has the same melody.

`The Receiving End of It All' is yet another very dark toned song about well... Being on the receiving end of everything, it is very fast paced throughout with brilliant harmonies and horn play, the outro is one of my favourite parts of the album and really just shows everyone in the line-up really going for it! It is just perfect.

The final track on the album goes by the name of `What A Wicked Gang Are We' and yet again the comparison to System Of A Down is back, the guitar is very `metal' I use that term loosely as the rest of the song overshadows this, although still maintains that dark aura to the album, it is a shame that this is the shortest song on the album clocking in at 3:23 as I think it could be slightly longer. The gang vocals are just brilliant throughout this and the chorus is yet again so memorable. You can really see that the production value in this album has gone up so much since `Everything Goes Numb' which I don't frankly care if people call `overproduced' this album is essential and Is growing to be my favourite that I own.

The only slight criticism I have is that it is a tad short at 44:36, that being said there are only 10 songs but if you listen to the content every second is worth your possibly long time new Streetlight Manifesto deprived ears :) . I can only hope that this album is received with open arms to the fans and that they appreciate how much blood, sweat and tears I could only imagine has been put into this release.

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