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Royal Blood
Royal Blood
Offered by NextDayEntertainment
Price: £9.87

13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Star Debut Release, 25 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Royal Blood (Audio CD)
It's been quite a year for Royal Blood, from forming in Brighton to releasing one of they years most eagerly anticipated debuts, via heavy promotion as one of BBC's Sounds of 2014 and increasingly well received festival sets this summer.

The first thing that hits you when you listen to their music for the first time is the sheer wall of sound that assaults your eardrums. It is hard to believe that this is created by a duo and that they use a drum and bass combination rather than the more usual electric guitar.

Mike Kerrs innovative use of effect pedals and stringing on his bass (not to mention his impressive playing) means that you never feel that anything is lacking from the sound they produce, despite the limitations that their chosen instruments might have presented. Combined with Ben Thatchers powerful drumming, they deliver a unique sonic landscape, albeit one with its roots firmly in the past. This is blues based heavy rock for the 21st century.

The 10 songs presented here are all without exception short and punchy. The production is good, and the performances offer an immediacy often lacking on albums recorded with heavy use of overdubbing. It is easy to listen to this and get a feel for the live sound of the band, as that is what they have strived to capture and largely they have succeeded.

The songs themselves are, in the main, strong and it is easy to imagine many of them going on to feature in the heavy radio airplay that they have already been receiving. Out of the Black, Come on Over and Little Monster have already received promotion prior to the albums release and it is no surprise that they are amongst the stronger tracks here.

But unlike many other albums where beyond the singles all that is offered is filler, there is plenty more here worth listening to. Ten Tonne Skeleton, for example, is a personal favourite.

Any blues based heavy rock album is going to draw comparisons to those from the past, and at places it unsurprisingly sounds Led Zepplin-ish. However, as good as Led Zepplin were, there is more to the history of rock than them, and other influences can clearly be heard, especially (to my mind) Nirvana in places, and inevitably The White Stripes.

My only major criticism is the overall length of the album is on the short side, clocking in at just over 33 minutes. Would it have hurt to include a couple of extra songs to increase the value for money offered? Knowing that the band have other songs in their catalogue that wouldn't have lowered the overall quality means that this is slightly disappointing, although not a major drawback.

Overall, this is a superb debut album and with an unashamed heavy rock sound it's a welcome change from other modern rock music. This makes its a highly recommended purchase.

Thanks Seattle...For Killing My Band and My Dreams
Thanks Seattle...For Killing My Band and My Dreams
Offered by Japan-Select
Price: £23.36

48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Warning - Might not be the Royal Blood you are looking for!, 25 April 2014
Despite the Amazon listing and artist biography, this album is not by the Royal Blood hailing from Brighton, England and formed in 2013.

Rather, this album was recorded back in the early 90s and this Royal Blood consists of Alex Masi, Rocky Newton and Eric Golbach - names you might be familiar with if you are a fan of 80's hair metal.

They were all set to be the next "big thing" (at least in their own minds) when Nirvana and Seattle grunge appeared, changing the musical landscape and leaving their brand of music seeming so last decade pretty much overnight.

If you are a fan of the genre, go ahead and check it out if the mood takes you. However, if you are looking for something by the "new" Royal Blood (and to be honest, I would highly recommend them!) stick to downloading Little Monster and wait a little longer for their debut album to be released.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 24, 2014 11:46 AM BST

Dire Straits - Live In Germany
Dire Straits - Live In Germany

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Original Line-up in Concert, 5 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This, I presume, is an "unofficial" release, and I'll leave the speculation as to how they get away with selling it with regards to copyright laws to others! The packaging and disc printing itself looks amateurish and cheap, which left me fearing the worst when I went to play the DVD. On the whole, however, I needn't have worried.

The picture quality could be described as being passable, and of the level you'd expect from late 70's recording being played on modern equipment. A minor annoyance is how each song is titled on screen, and a meaningless logo in the top right corner throughout. The sound quality on the other hand is excellent, and that is the most important factor here.

This concert was filmed around the time of the release of Communique (their 2nd album) and there is a good selection of tracks from that and their self-titled debut. The stand out tracks are, unsurprisingly, the better known songs such as Sultans of Swing (although why this was performed twice is beyond me!).

It is the lesser known album tracks included here that make it worth buying however. If you want to watch a live performance of Sultans you are already well served with a variety of official releases from later in the bands career. But, Lady Writer, Single Handed Sailor, Water of Love and so on aren't available on other concert films and are provided here. Two non-album tracks are also included but the quality of these is somewhat lower. It is also a delight to see the original 4 piece line up playing together, as by the time Alchemy was recorded two of them had left, and the bands sound had been expanded to include keyboards and saxophone.

In conclusion this DVD fills a gap not served by the official releases, and as such is a worthwhile addition to any fans collection.

Education, Education, Education & War
Education, Education, Education & War
Offered by MusicnMedia
Price: £3.87

26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A return to form.... of sorts., 31 Mar. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It has seemed for the last few years that the Kaiser Chiefs had become a little, well, predictable. An excellent live band, but suffering from the law of diminishing returns when it came to new material. After their excellent debut Employment and it's follow up Yours Truly, Angry Mob, their subsequent offerings have been increasingly disappointing.

With the release of the greatest hits offering Souvenir, you could be forgiving for thinking that would be that and they would shuffle off to be remembered fondly by their fans and those who had enjoyed a sing-a-long at a festival or two. It seems Nick Hodgson (their drummer and the main creative driving force behind the band) agreed, announcing his departure to pursue new projects.

That there is a new Kaiser Chiefs album at all is therefore something of a surprise, and it has been written and recorded by a band who feel they have something to prove - to their former drummer, to the public, and perhaps most of all to themselves.

And prove something they have done, with one or two reservations.

At times the album feels like standard fare for the Kaiser Chiefs (The Factory Gates and Bows and Arrows, for example) and such offerings they have done better previously, although that's not to say these are bad tracks - far from it. But they are no "I Predict A Riot" or "Ruby".

But elsewhere on the album they exhibit a willingness to take risks and try something different. Coming Home is certainly a departure in style for the band, but such safe middle of the road territory is thankfully atypical - in fact, despite being the lead single for the album it feels rather out of place here.

Misery Company is probably the stand out track, featuring a chorus of Rick laughing like some sort of demented Laughing Policeman. Cannons is another strong song, featuring poetry recited by Bill Nighy - not something previously heard on a Kaisers album!

What the album lacks, compared to their earlier efforts, is the strong catchy hooks that launched them to stardom. It is a collection of strong, and in many cases interesting songs but lacking the obvious hits needed to turn a good album into a great one.

But there is no shame in writing a merely "good" album, and it is certainly better than not only their more recent efforts but most other new albums you will hear this year.

Newcomers to the band would be better served by purchasing their first two albums, but to anyone who has already bought those and is wondering if they need another Kaiser Chiefs album in their collection I would say buy this and give it a chance - you will probably be pleasantly surprised.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 10, 2015 7:03 PM BST

Rock of Ages (Blu-ray + UV Copy) [Region Free]
Rock of Ages (Blu-ray + UV Copy) [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Tom Cruise

4.0 out of 5 stars Rock of Ages Blu-ray, 10 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you want a great storyline, I suggest looking elsewhere. If, on the other hand, you want a fun film, a great soundtrack and perhaps a trip down memory lane, then you are in the right place!

A classic this certainly isn't - there are both better films and better musicals out there - but there is enough here to provide some good entertainment and you'll probably find yourself humming some of the songs that you thought you had forgotten about for a few days after watching it.

Indeed, it is the music (alongside some good comedy moments) that make this film, and the musical numbers are strong enough to make you forgive the obvious flaws most of the time.

The picture quality is, as expected, very good, but I found the sound levels to be somewhat annoying. Dialogue seems a lot quieter than the musical numbers meaning either I was struggling to hear what was being said or I was risking annoying the neighbours by belting out rock classics at them.

The theatrical cut works better than the extended edition (both are on the disc), with the longer one seeming to drag in a few places, and includes scenes that are not only not needed but seem to be out of all context with what storyline does exist.

Ultimately, it is the music that makes or breaks this film. If you are a fan of this era and genre I would recommend this film, however if you aren't then it probably isn't the one for you.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show - 35th Anniversary [Blu-Ray] [Digibook] [Reg. ABC]
The Rocky Horror Picture Show - 35th Anniversary [Blu-Ray] [Digibook] [Reg. ABC]
Dvd ~ Tim Curry

4.0 out of 5 stars Dammit Janet! Blu-Ray (Digibook), 10 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you had just made a film, and half of your preview audience walk out, you would be forgiven for thinking that you were in a spot of trouble. You certainly wouldn't be thinking that you had a cult classic on your hands that would still be going strong all these years later.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a film you either love or hate. And, if (like me) you are firmly in the "love" camp then it has never looked as good as it does on blu-ray. Both my partner and myself have seen it more times than we care to remember on TV, VHS and DVD, and upon viewing this version spent most of the film pointing out all the details we could now see that were missing before. It sounds great too, and is definitely a worthwhile upgrade for owners of older copies.

So why only 4 stars?

Well, I opted to purchase the more expensive Digibook version, and to be honest I think I would recommend other people plump for the normal packaging at less than half the cost. The book itself is almost entirely pictorial and not really worth the extra.

AC/DC - Live At Donington [Blu-ray] [2007] [Region Free]
AC/DC - Live At Donington [Blu-ray] [2007] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ AC/DC
Price: £12.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High Voltage Masterclass On Blu-ray, 10 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Once upon a time (is it really so long ago?) I, and many thousands of other people, made my way to Donnington for the annual Monsters of Rock festival, headlined by AC/DC.

I'm sure there must have been people in attendance who were drawn by the headline act, but that certainly that wasn't the case for myself and the people I knew at the time. Second on the bill was Metallica, lower down Queensryche, and the buzz seemed to be about these acts. Certainly not the aging "has beens" with their name at the top of the posters.

On the day I recall Queensryche being as good as hoped for, while Metallica were not quite so, and then we waited for AC/DC with more a feeling of "ok, we're here so may as well see what it is like" then anything that could be described as anticipation.

I include this information not to insult the band, or their fans, but to put what happened next (and what is presented on this release) into some kind of context. Because, what did happen, is they came on to stage and proceeded to deliver an absolute rock n roll masterclass.

They won't ever win any awards for sophistication and innovation, but they have found a formula that works for them and polished to perfection. And, there is definitely a place in the world (and in any self respecting music fans collection) for this type of perfection.

By modern day standards, the show is basic with visual effects limited by the technology of the day to items such as large blow up figures, and (of course) the obligatory cannons. This is an "old fashioned" rock and roll show, and the band give a lesson in how it should be done. The music is tight (overdubbed on this release? I don't know, but I can say I was impressed by how good the band were on the day), and the performance is non stop energy from start to finish.

The audio quality is superb throughout, and the video is somewhere between ok to good due to being rather grainy in places. The show was shot on 35mm film, and this grain would be my only real criticism although it didn't detract from my enjoyment in anyway.

Is the film as good as being there? Well, no concert film can ever manage that, but for those of us that were lucky enough to be so this makes a great reminder of a superb show. And overall, I would have no reservations in recommending this release to everyone else.

Alice Cooper: Theatre of Death: Live at Hammersmith 2009 [Blu-ray] [2010] [Region Free]
Alice Cooper: Theatre of Death: Live at Hammersmith 2009 [Blu-ray] [2010] [Region Free]
Dvd ~ Alice Cooper
Price: £17.35

5.0 out of 5 stars Theatre Of Death Blu-ray, 10 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
It's unlikely, I suppose, that anyone purchasing this won't already be a fan of Alice Cooper and therefore they will already have a good idea what to expect from one of his shows.

If you like his music (and let's face it, what's not to like?) and enjoy his mock-horror performances then the chances are this blu-ray will give you many hours of pleasure. The audio and video are both great, the band are tight and his performance is as good as ever. Indeed, given his age and past indulgences, you might be forgiven to wonder where he finds the energy to carry on touring!

The setlist is a greatest hits of sorts, mainly drawing on his classics but the newer material included stands up well. There are a few treats in the form of lesser performed songs thrown in for good measure, and as someone that has always had a soft spot for his "From The Inside" album the inclusion of two tracks from is certainly an added bonus.

By including not one but four death scenes in the show it becomes something like a "Alices Greatest Deaths" performance and it takes something away from the usual "highlight" towards the end. He has attempted to create a narrative of sorts, for example, after his first death the next sequence is meant to represent him in hell, and how well this works is likely to be a matter of personal opinion. If nothing else, it is a credible attempt to try to do something a little different while sticking to the general format that has served him well over the years.

Downsides? Well, if you are one for bonus features you are likely to be disappointed by the complete lack of them. Not a problem for me, but perhaps it might be for some people.

Overall, if you are a fan, there should be room on your shelf for this release. And, if you aren't but are feeling a little curious, this would serve as a pretty good introduction to his work so why not take a chance?

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