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Teknik Titan Heavy Duty Large Operator Chair Home Office
Teknik Titan Heavy Duty Large Operator Chair Home Office
Offered by Office Needs
Price: £178.08

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really sturdy and comfortable, 12 Aug 2013
Sadly my long serving office chair died last month, and ever since I have been on an arduous quest for a new one, involving a couple of failed purchases. Most notably a piece of utter garbage manufactured by Eliza Tinsley here at Amazon that I sent back 24 hours later. I was so mad at its ineptitudes that I wrote a very bitter review for it and posted it on the site!

After much searching, and abandoning my notion of buying a budget chair, I found this one, it's awesome, and worth every penny. The difference in build quality in comparison to the others I tried is stark. Instead of horrible cheap plastic, this chair has a sturdy tubular steel frame. You can actually lean back in this chair without the back falling off! (If that sounds like something that should be a given...go try an Eliza Tinsley chair and enjoy your spectacular collapse when the arms sunder in two and it catapults you to the floor).

The components all slot together easily enough, although a torsion wrench is helpful for tightening the bolts. All the component parts feel refined, well machined and satisfyingly heavy. The padding...there is so much padding, and it's comfortable even for really long periods of sitting. Maybe this chair is not for you if you want something that looks pretty, but it really is the ultimate triumph of function over form. It's comfort that's going to last me for decades.


Eliza Tinsley High Back PU Executive Armchair 1007PU/BK
Eliza Tinsley High Back PU Executive Armchair 1007PU/BK

1.0 out of 5 stars Cheap lousy piece of <expletive redacted>, 9 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Don't be lured in by the price folks, this right here is garbage, and Amazon should be ashamed that they are selling it.

So it arrives in a battered, sellotaped carton that looks like it has been opened before...no doubt the last customer foolish enough to order this chair took one look at the parts therein and decided to send it back. I am going to be following suit! Salt rubbed into the wound of this annoyance by the fact this is ironically dubbed 'Certified Frustration-Free Packaging'. Ohhhh bad start.

The manufacturing standard is of the lowest order, the parts are made of the cheapest quality material conceivable and are machined very crudely. For instance there is a bracket that connects the base of the seat to the Gas Lift piston, and the customer has to attach it using 4 bolts. My product was so badly machined that the 4 holes in the bracket did not align with the 4 sockets in the base of the seat. I had to laboriously file the edges of the bracket to allow the bolts to fit... the tolerance was out by about half a centimetre, pretty staggering.

The plastic covering for the seat itself is that horrible cheap smelly polyurethane and somewhat mystifyingly is attached to the chair itself via a zipper, the handles for which have been snapped off. The product description for this part of the chair says it is 'stylish'... The only metaphor I can contrive for just how inaccurate that claim is, would be an estate agent describing a broom closet as 'spacious'. It's ugly, it's coarse, it's cheap.

So to summate; I spent about 1 hour building it, 1 minute sitting in it, and going forward 1 week trying to get my money back from Amazon.


Antec Three Hundred Gaming ATX Solid Metal Construction Case - Black
Antec Three Hundred Gaming ATX Solid Metal Construction Case - Black
Price: £49.66

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Functional and Superbly priced., 20 April 2010
I recently purchased this case for my first self-build. It's spacious inside with plenty of space for cable management and larger graphics cards (Fits my 5870 easily). The build quality is superb as you would expect with Antec, the looks are understated and not at all gaudy, and I had no trouble creating a good airflow that keeps it cool, even with my overclocked system.

The power supply will be located in the base of the case once you have installed one, meaning most PSUs will be installed upside down. Thus the PSU fan itself will be venting up towards the exhaust, which is conducive to good airflow.

A few tiny warnings:
The housings for extra fans at the front of the case are made out of simple metal, and so are prone to vibration if you have the fans at high RPM, I remedied this with a bit of foam padding.

The two Tricool fans supplied with the case only have 4-pin molex power supplies, and will not work with a fan controller unit unless you chop the wires and affix a 3-pin connector (using a converter will only confuse the fan controller). To be honest, you are best off replacing them altogether with fans that have a better CFM, for my rig in this case, I did have to purchase 6 new fans.

If you plan to attach a fan to the side vent as an intake, you'll need to get an air filter for it really.

If you want to spend less than £50 on a case, without sacrificing quality, this one is ideal.


Paper Crown King
Paper Crown King
Price: £11.68

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The guitars are back" says David Line...., 13 Sep 2006
This review is from: Paper Crown King (Audio CD)
A collapsed lung forced David Line to tone down the vocals on Seafood's last album 'As The Cry Flows' and pushed drummer/singer Caroline Banks into a more prominent role, such that their sound represented quite a departure for the band. The quieter dynamics and soft male/female vocal harmonies meant tracks such as 'I dreamt we Ruled the Sun' sounded like Slowcore supremos Low or Ida; something that I liked very much.

But as Line belts out "Don't forget you are living" on the brlliant new single and second track 'Signal Sparks', it is immediately obvious that both lungs are now present and correct and thus Seafood are back to their strident best. The guitars are back too: 'Between the Noise Pt 2' sounds like it was lifted from the more raucous moments of first album Surviving the Quiet and the trend continues on 'Little Pieces' which features heavily distorted vocals and guitar with even a bit of a guitar solo thrown in at the end.

Seafood have not eschewed their quiet influences altogether though, and this new album seems to strike a neat balance between the two contrasting styles that they have previously adopted. The delicate 'Awkward Ghost' is a lovely little acoustic lament, and laid-back album closer 'How you Gonna Live Without Me' features Banks on sole vocal duty. Perhaps however, standout track 'Tide and Times' demonstrates the combination of styles best, starting out gently with a little picked melody and a wispy falsetto before the guitars build and build to a great crescendo. It sounds almost apocalyptic, indeed "Bathe me in flames" goes the refrain; you could be forgiven for thinking you were listening to the fantastic Aerogramme or even Hope of the States.

Title track 'Paper Crown King' is a completely different proposition. With its jangling guitars and lines like "Keep these home fires burning", it seems to verge dangerously upon country music, and I'm not so sure it's a something Seafood do convincingly. However it seems to be the only blemish on an otherwise excellent return to form.


Von Brigdi
Von Brigdi

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vonbrigdi is Icelandic for disappointment, which couldn't be further from the truth..., 25 July 2006
This review is from: Von Brigdi (Audio CD)
To ardent fans of bands, remix albums present an awkward conundrum. Usually drawing upon much-loved and lauded original material, the obscure laptop-types come in, sometimes converting masterpieces into abhorrent noise (see Raz Mesinai's mangling of the epic, genre defining Com? On Mono's remix album 'New York Soundtracks') and sometimes producing sublime extensions and reappraisals of the originals (see JK Broadrick's brilliant treatment of Hym on Isis' 'Oceanic: Remixes and Reinterpretations').

And so to Von Brigdi - a leftfield electronica remake of leftfield electronica; you could be forgiven for thinking that it would be a combination with absolutely no chance of success. The original Von was a sprawling piece of minimalism, the lush swathes of strings and bowed guitars that have become so synonymous with Sigur Rós appearing only in small patches amidst laid back loops and barren synth soundscapes. The record owed more to avant-garde luminaries Stars of the Lid and Brian Eno than people approaching their early work retrospectively might expect. Most remixes seem to dismantle songs, and rebuild them again as mere spectres of the originals. Starting with songs of such fragile ambience, that rely on subtle nuance and in places silence, it seemed an obvious problem to me that this album would be nothing more than a series of quirky pieces of programming. It seems irrelevant to point out that in fact, Von is quite easily Sigur Rós' second best album behind ( ) - (which critics described as difficult! Pah!), especially if like me you dislike the more mainstream facets of Agętis Byrjun and recent pop-fest Takk...

But remarkably Von Brigdi is fantastic. Instead of messing around with acres of white-noise and samples, the artists behind the remixes have condensed the original material of Von to wonderful effect - only two of the tracks here stray beyond the 6 minute mark in total contrast to Von itself.

Many of the names making remixes for this album are decent artists in their own right, and as you would expect the quality is high throughout therefore. Ilo, Múm and GusGus are all signed to the now famous (and inaccurately named) Bad Taste label that first signed Sigur Rós. Both versions of 'Myrkur' are excellent, and different enough from each other to keep it interesting as are the two versions of 'Syndir Gušs' that open the album. If there are any criticisms to be made, it is just that the album isn't that cohesive, especially evidenced by the fact that nobody has been bothered to sequence the tracks properly - lumping the two versions of 'Myrkur' and 'Syndir Gušs' next to each other. However as a remix album, that is something that can hardly be expected.

The standout track is the album's final track, a expansion the band themselves made of 'Leit aš Lífi.' Skittish beats that sound like they belong on an Aphex Twin album and a super bassline that could be Rothko plodding away, are combined with Jónsi's beautiful falsetto. It really is top notch. So go on, throw out your copy of Takk... Instead buy this and the original Von, and get into the first chapter in the career of this brilliant band. Combining far more genres than future releases have dared, and using some dark themes and imagery that have since been tempered, the Von albums are definitely deserving of your time.


Oceanic: Remixes/Reinterpretations
Oceanic: Remixes/Reinterpretations
Price: £10.81

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You can't go wrong, It's Isis after all..., 21 July 2005
B0007NMJCW Isis - Oceanic Remixes/Interpretations

I have to admit I was tentative buying this album, the only other band I like that I can remember releasing remixes is Radiohead, on Com Lag, the B-side compilation. There are two on there, one of which is abysmal (Christian Vogel's mangling of Myxomatosis) and one which is superb (Four Tet's sprucing up of Scatter Brain). What if I got two entire CDs of dodgy remixes? What would I do with nearly two hours of potentially Vogeltastic drivel? Happily I needn't have worried, because not only is this record a must-purchase for Isis completists, but for anyone who enjoyed the masterpiece that was Oceanic. In fact that was another reason why I was nervous about buying this album, that it would somehow desecrate the brilliance of Oceanic, I mean I was scared to buy Panopticon in case it failed to match its predecessor. Anyway I was wrong to have my doubts, as both Panopticon and this reappraisal of Oceanic are superb. These so-called Remixes/Interpretations were first released as a series of vinyl EPs on Hydrahead a while back now. For this release the four EPs have been collated and repackaged quite beautifully as a double album.
James Plotkin's take on 'The Other' instantly stands out as a highlight, it manages to sound as if it is drowning somewhere in the depths of the sea: fitting as drowning is a key theme on the original album. When Ayal Naor's fantastic combination of 'False Light' and 'Carry' initially explodes, it is instantly somehow more visceral than Isis' own recording, yet later thanks to the inclusion of some female vocals manages to sound very chilled too. The Venetian Snares also add new female vocals to stunning effect, they sound haunting, perhaps even like the dangerous song of a Siren. That said, the best song on the two discs is without doubt JK Broadrick's 'Hym'. The Jesu frontman has toured extensively with Isis and is a close friend of the band, clearly he could not afford to make a hash of it. This 15 minute-epic does not disappoint, blending richly layered, almost choral, vocals (very Jesu), incredibly heavy riffery in the middle section (much heavier than the original), and sparse chill-out at the end.
I could be wrong here, but perhaps in a past life Mike Patton was a hyena. Not because he smells, has manky fur, or laughs uncontrollably for prolonged periods of time (although they are likely traits). No it is because he seems borderline-insane, and would quite happily gnaw off your arm and then repeatedly swing it against, I don't know, say a wildebeest, if he thought it'd make an 'interesting' sound. You need to listen to his crazed version of 'Maritime' to understand what I mean, but the novelty value of a song that finishes with a lightning sitar solo, and then a gong crash, especially when compared to the austerity of the original song, makes it a worthy inclusion. DJ Speedranch also taps into the world of crazy sampling to slightly more bemusing effect, starting his version of 'Carry' as he does with the nursery rhyme Humpty-Dumpty.
It would be somewhat libellous to suggest exactly what Thomas Köner had for breakfast before he spent ten minutes (it really can't have been much longer) destroying one of the finest songs on the original Oceanic, whatever he ate, it certainly wasn't conducive to the production of decent music. His version of 'Hym' is over 6 minutes of the most unimaginable boredom. This is not ambience, or even mood music, no, Fennesz, Tim Hecker, and Teledebugnosis show how that delicate art is mastered with their remakes of Weight, Carry and Maritime respectively. The 6 minutes of Köner's sorry offering are comprised entirely of helicopter noises, sped up talking, and one (how I wish I was exaggerating) chord. However it is the sole blight on a varied and inspired set of interpretations that collectively do exactly what a good remix album should: remind you why the original material was so brilliant in the first place.


War All the Time
War All the Time
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £9.30

3.0 out of 5 stars Lacklustre third album, 12 Aug 2004
This review is from: War All the Time (Audio CD)
Thursday - War All The Time - B0000CC7HB
A common criticism levelled at bands on their second or third album is that their sound has stagnated; their music has become merely formulaic. Apparently it is requisite for a band to reinvent their style every time they wish to release an LP. There are wonderful examples of bands moving their sound 'forward'; none of the brilliant Cave In's records sound remotely alike and Cursive's admission of Gretta Cohn (a Cellist) to their ranks was nothing short of inspirational. However some bands like Thrice have enjoyed continued critical acclaim without drastically changing their output, so it is wrong to say (as magazines such as Kerrang! did) that 'War All The Time' is a poor album because of its similarity to their previous full-length. Indeed one would surely consider it beneficial to be graced with an album reminiscent of 'Full Collapse'. It was a consistently brilliant album: 'Paris in Flames' featured spoken refrains that sounded so much like At the Drive-In, 'Cross Out The Eyes' provided a gripping rage that veered towards hardcore music and 'How Long Is The Night?' & 'Standing on the Edge of Summer' were perfect sing-along dystopian anthems. The fact that 'War All The Time' is nothing revolutionary does not make it a bad album. However it isn't a great album, and despite some cracking tracks, it is hard to avoid feeling that this album is like a low-calorie version of 'Full Collapse', 'Half Collapse' if you will.
As anyone who has heard Thursday live will testify, their presence onstage is enormous. Vocalist Geoff Rickly swings his microphone like a man possessed, whilst guitars screech and drums pound. On 'Full Collapse' it really seemed like all of Thursday's vivacity had been retained in the recording process, it wasn't raw and infectious in the way some post-hardcore can be, but it was nonetheless powerful. It is difficult to say where 'War All The Time' seems to lose this vitality. With the addition of Andrew Everding, a pianist, Thursday have clearly attempted to refine their sound, but to be honest the only impact seems to be that their intensity has been diluted. This is clearly exemplified by 'This Song Brought to You By A Falling Bomb'. It is squeezed between arguably the two finest tracks on the album, and it is perfectly 'nice' with its melancholic piano and whispered vocals, but it seems totally out of place, and detracts from the indisputable brilliance of 'Asleep In The Chapel' and 'Steps Ascending'. Elsewhere Thursday seem to be lacking too, the rather trite 'Signals Over The Air' is their weakest single to date, 'M. Shepard' and 'Between Rupture and Rapture' are really rather nondescript. It was hard to pick stand-out tracks on Thursday's last album, because of the continuous quality, but here the few tracks that are of high class really stand out, suggesting perhaps that 'War All The Time' suffers from an overdose of 'filler'.
Rickly remains one of the finest lyricists in modern rock. He shares the talent of songwriters like Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie) of being able to paint the most vivid of pictures with the most laconic use of words. In 'Steps Ascending' Rickly's account of losing his best friend never ceases to sound emotive, as the Bukowski referencing album title infers, each of these tracks sound like poetry set to music, although there is nothing here to match the beauty of 'Where the Circle Ends' from their first LP, 'Waiting'. The music video for the title track was banned in the US and although Rickly doesn't admit to any anti-governmental messages in the track discussion on [...] a frustration with US politics underlies a great deal of the anger in 'War All The Time'. It's certainly refreshing to Thursday attempt social comments for a change. However Rickly's words are more suited to poetry than politics, and sound rather hollow in comparison to anything written by the likes of Frank Turner (Million Dead).
'War All The Time' is a flawed album, but don't be put off, it is still immensely listenable and well worth purchasing. If you can somehow overlook the fact that every song here sounds similar to a previously-released Thursday song, then you'll love 'War All The Time' (indeed as I at first did). However an album has to be something special to deserve five stars and 'War All The Time', as good as it is, is not special. To end with a rather Jeremy Clarkson-esque pun: their last album collapsed spectacularly, this one feels more like it has been carefully dismantled.


War All The Time
War All The Time

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Horrendously average third album..., 11 Aug 2004
This review is from: War All The Time (Audio CD)
Thursday - War All The Time - B0000CC7HB
A common criticism levelled at bands on their second or third album is that their sound has stagnated; their music has become merely formulaic. Apparently it is requisite for a band to reinvent their style every time they wish to release an LP. There are wonderful examples of bands moving their sound 'forward'; none of the brilliant Cave In's records sound remotely alike and Cursive's admission of Gretta Cohn (a Cellist) to their ranks was nothing short of inspirational. However some bands like Thrice have enjoyed continued critical acclaim without drastically changing their output, so it is wrong to say (as magazines such as Kerrang! did) that 'War All The Time' is a poor album because of its similarity to their previous full-length. Indeed one would surely consider it beneficial to be graced with an album reminiscent of 'Full Collapse'. It was a consistently brilliant album: 'Paris in Flames' featured spoken refrains that sounded so much like At the Drive-In, 'Cross Out The Eyes' provided a gripping rage that veered towards hardcore music and 'How Long Is The Night?' & 'Standing on the Edge of Summer' were perfect sing-along dystopian anthems. The fact that 'War All The Time' is nothing revolutionary does not make it a bad album. However it isn't a great album, and despite some cracking tracks, it is hard to avoid feeling that this album is like a low-calorie version of 'Full Collapse', 'Half Collapse' if you will.
As anyone who has heard Thursday live will testify, their presence onstage is enormous. Vocalist Geoff Rickly swings his microphone like a man possessed, whilst guitars screech and drums pound. On 'Full Collapse' it really seemed like all of Thursday's vivacity had been retained in the recording process, it wasn't raw and infectious in the way some post-hardcore can be, but it was nonetheless powerful. It is difficult to say where 'War All The Time' seems to lose this vitality. With the addition of Andrew Everding, a pianist, Thursday have clearly attempted to refine their sound, but to be honest the only impact seems to be that their intensity has been diluted. This is clearly exemplified by 'This Song Bought to You By A Falling Bomb'. It is squeezed between arguably the two finest tracks on the album, and it is perfectly 'nice' with its melancholic piano and whispered vocals, but it seems totally out of place, and detracts from the indisputable brilliance of 'Asleep In The Chapel' and 'Steps Ascending'. Elsewhere Thursday seem to be lacking too, the rather trite 'Signals Over The Air' is their weakest single to date, 'M. Shepard' and 'Between Rupture and Rapture' are really rather nondescript. It was hard to pick stand-out tracks on Thursday's last album, because of the continuous quality, but here the few tracks that are of high class really stand out, suggesting perhaps that 'War All The Time' suffers from an overdose of 'filler'.
Rickly remains one of the finest lyricists in modern rock. He shares the talent of songwriters like Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie) of being able to paint the most vivid of pictures with the most laconic use of words. In 'Steps Ascending' Rickly's account of losing his best friend never ceases to sound emotive, as the Bukowski referencing album title infers, each of these tracks sound like poetry set to music, although there is nothing here to match the beauty of 'Where the Circle Ends' from their first LP, 'Waiting'. The music video for the title track was banned in the US and although Rickly doesn't admit to any anti-governmental messages in the track discussion on [...] a frustration with US politics underlies a great deal of the anger in 'War All The Time'. It's certainly refreshing to Thursday attempt social comments for a change. However Rickly's words are more suited to poetry than politics, and sound rather hollow in comparison to anything written by the likes of Frank Turner (Million Dead).
'War All The Time' is a flawed album, but don't be put off, it is still immensely listenable and well worth purchasing. If you can somehow overlook the fact that every song here sounds similar to a previously-released Thursday song, then you'll love 'War All The Time' (indeed as I at first did). However an album has to be something special to deserve five stars and 'War All The Time', as good as it is, is not special. To end with a rather Jeremy Clarkson-esque pun: their last album collapsed spectacularly, this one feels more like it has been carefully dismantled.


Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge
Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £4.44

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No 'difficult' second album problems here..., 14 July 2004
B00025ETIW - Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge - My Chemical Romance
Geoff Rickly, frontman of Thursday, mixed My Chemical Romance's debut LP, and without wanting to sound overtly cynical, their almost instant recognition was perhaps attributable to Rickly. Nevertheless 'I Bought you my Bullets...' was a fine album in its own right: raw, angry and energetic.
Thursday's last release, 'War All the Time', exhibited many of the flaws endemic to the whole post-hardcore genre, there were certainly some excellent tracks such as 'Steps Ascending', 'Marches and Manoeuvres' and 'Asleep In the Chapel', but on the whole, the album was too-refined: a somewhat diluted version of the masterpiece that was 'Full Collapse'. However with their sophomore effort, My Chemical Romance have managed to avoid the trap that Thursday fell-into: the production on 'Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge' is brilliantly, and quite deliberately crude, the songs still brim with persistent energy and the lyrics are sinister and engaging.
It is to their great credit that My Chemical Romance manage to sound effervescent without sounding 'poppy' enough to alienate hardcore fans. There are as many screams as sing-along choruses, and they even manage some impressive axe-work too on 'Thank You For The Venom'. Sitting on the fence can be a dangerous tactic, but here it works nicely, the more accessible moments mitigate the cathartic riffs, the frenetic tempos and Gerard Way's semi-screaming.
Despite the seemingly mandatory inclusion of a slower song ('The Ghost Of You'), and a short interlude song, (imaginatively titled 'Interlude'), the album maintains a high quality throughout. 'I'm Not Okay (I Promise)' tears along at a crazy pace, which becomes almost metaphoric for the borderline-insane lyrical content. Like Thursday, the lyrics are a non-stop barrage of vivid poetic images (despite Way's protestation "Sister, I'm not much a poet, but a criminal"): 'Cemetery Drive' is at once morbid and compelling, 'You Know What They Do to Guys Like Us in Prison' conjures dark sketches of crime scenes and album opener 'Helena' is a tear-stained obituary. It's all very stylised and, for want of a better word, rather arty. But brushing aside album sleeves and words, My Chemical Romance have produced a blistering post-hardcore record.
'Three Cheers...' breathes life into what is rapidly becoming a tiresome and bromidic genre. My Chemical Romance's coarseness and dynamism will help to ensure they are not labelled as pretenders to the Emo throne, and at least on a vocal level they sound more like a good old fashioned hardcore-punk band rather than would-be bandwagoneers. Any fears of a bigger label pacifying their sound have clearly been allayed, and we can only hope that their future output is of comparable quality.


The Ugly Organ
The Ugly Organ
Price: £13.55

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite their best, but still fantastic..., 12 July 2004
This review is from: The Ugly Organ (Audio CD)
B00007KVNS Cursive - The Ugly Organ
The best post-hardcore music was undoubtedly made in the early 1990s, before the word "Emo" became bandied about like some contagious disease. Bands like Quicksand, Fugazi and Drive Like Jehu were far too busy making incendiary rock music with pained, howling lyrics to worry about which genre they fitted into. The music was certainly emotional, but barely-tempered rage was prevalent, rather than the melancholic dirge selling millions at the moment. People complained when the music scene was swamped by Nu-Metal, then Garage Rock. Now Emo is clearly the fashionable musical styling. Frustratingly Cursive are categorised as Emo - but the difference between them and their contemporaries is stark. How many bands feature a Cellist as a permanent member?
Cursive are a class apart from the current crop of Emo bands, indeed it is a travesty to compare them. Tim Kasher's raw, but passionate vocals are reminiscent of legends such as Cedric Bixler Zavala (ex-At The Drive-In) from post-Hardcore's halcyon days, and the often scintillating accompaniment, from what is surely one of the best rhythm sections in Rock music today, completes a perfect line-up. Thankfully Cursive manage not to sound derivative at any point. Song length varies greatly from the short, edgy 'Some Red Handed Sleight of Hand', to the spiralling, ten-minute-epic that is 'Staying Alive'. The final track is comfortably the finest on the album, building up to a chiming, pulsing crescendo before it lapses into a gospel refrain. Unabashedly bombastic, but nonetheless brilliant.
If 'Domestica' documented the demise of Kasher's marriage, 'The Ugly Organ' is the soundtrack to the aftermath. Self-consolation is a theme running through many of the songs, with Kasher assuring himself that "The worst is over" in more than one instance. The lush timbre of the cello adds an otherwise unattainable sophistication to Kasher's confessionals. Make no mistake though; 'The Ugly Organ' has a dark side too, and again the cellist must take the plaudits. 'Harold Weathervein' could so easily be the backing music to a horror movie with its schizophrenic strings; 'Butcher the Song' and 'Bloody Murderer' overflow with latent frustration. It is so refreshing to see a band reinvent their style by the addition of a rather unusual instrument, especially when the result is as good as this.
In fairness 'The Ugly Organ' is probably not Cursive's finest LP. In places the quality matches the standard set on 'The Storms of Early Summer: Semantics of Song': songs such as 'Sierra', 'Art Is Hard' and the songs I mentioned above all shine. However there are weaker songs and some unnecessary interludes detract from the album as a whole. 'A Gentleman Caller' misses the mark despite its highbrow Tennessee Williams referencing, and urgent rhythms, and the short instrumentals: 'The Ugly Organist' and 'Herald! Frankenstein' serve only to aggravate. However there are six or seven songs here that alone warrant the asking price, so dare to listen to something mildly diverting for a change.


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