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Darryn (Salisbury, England.)

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Background Music
Background Music
Price: 12.52

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mindblowing., 16 Oct 2003
This review is from: Background Music (Audio CD)
Really. This is beautiful music. Not beautiful in the fragile, delicate and intricate sense. But beautiful as in intense, poetic and passionate. This is everything you ever want form a hardcore CD. The lyrics are at the forefront of AN's aka the ghost's music, as Wes' words are personal, articulate and amazingly poetic. He uses amazing imagery and word play to create strong pictures in your mind, that combined with his amazingly intense voice - you don't need any more convincing that AN are the real deal. Musically, the guitars buzz and rip without letting up, with the odd breakdown now and again, and the drumming pounds away, and is actually, upon closer listen, very good. If you want raw passion and emotion - look no further. On a trivial note, the artwork, directed by Jake of Converge is nothing short of stunning. Background Music is an all-time classic.

It All Comes Down to This
It All Comes Down to This
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 23.95

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am not a Superhero!, 11 Aug 2003
This is the first review? This CD has been out for years!
Bane are often labelled as hardcore. Firstly, if you're expecting this to be something like Converge, then it's not. Though Aaron #2 is of Converge fame. But anyway...
Bane have their own unique sound, from the drum assault, to Aaron #1's unique voice, to the crisp guitar sound, from the moment you hear a Bane song, you just KNOW it's Bane. They have that sound. Their own sound, something that every band wants but few fail to achieve.
I'm not going to use big words and huge descriptions, just that this is an amazing record, with 10 amazing songs, and an acoustic song to finish it off. You don't like it because it's not hxc enough? Get that finger out. The lyrics are exceptionally well written, and quite personal, as with every Bane release, and their ethics, morals and ideals, and everything the band stands for is amazing.
Some highlights, or recommended downloads:
Can We Start Again (about the scene).
I Once Was Blind.
Struck Down By Me.

Songs of Innocence and of Experience
Songs of Innocence and of Experience
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 4.99

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Shape Of Funk To Come., 11 Aug 2003
First thing I need to get off my chest to people is that, this isn't ska. Not in any shape or form. People seem to get confused to what ska actually is, and it's not 'punks with horns'. Adequate Seven are punks with horns, and not a single ska line is heard within the whole album. You can't skank to it. It's not ska. I usually don't like labels and sub-genres, but Adequate Seven seem to be the orignators of political 'funk-core'. Funky basslines in abundance? Yes. Some amazing horn lines? Yes. All mixed up with politically aware, angry lyrics, the odd dub sounds and some fast, driving hardcore punk, that make you want to put your fist in the air and shout at the top of your lungs? YES! Songs about girls, relationships, heartbreak, shoes, how life sucks? No. Songs about how British Welfare System is fucked up, how Pop Idol is a joke and how we should all unite to progress and for freedom? Yes.
'The Seven' have created one of the most genre-defying sounds I've heard in the last year or so, and maybe only Ye Wiles can rival them in originality. To the songs, there is not a dull moment. There aren't many albums that I can sit through, and never get bored. Maybe Thursday's sophomore and FATA's spellbinding debut on Ferret, but that's about it. There are great albums, which have plenty of good songs but a few as filler, and then there are the classics. I feel this album is a classic. From the slower, funkier, mellow songs like 'Minor Details', the superb 'Grassroots Resisance' and the fantastic closer 'Free The Adequate Seven' to the guitar driven all out funk-core of 'Everybody Hates' and 'No Space', and to mixes of mellow funk parts and punk in the forms of 'Gotta Stay Focused' and 'The State We're In'. Hell, even the instrumentals keep me entertained, and I'm not a fan of instrumentals, but the intro to 'Songs Of Innocence...' and to the start-stop basslines and jazzy horns of of 'Meltdown' make me not to want to reach for the skip button.
The lyrics are very well written, they're not written to thought provoke, ala Thursday, but they're excellent and getting one thing accross: The Message. They do the job, no problems whatsoever. The vocals sound perfectly suited, and sometimes backup vocals and group-shouts are used to emphasise certain points. There's very little singing here. If you're expecting something emo or something from a whiney pop-punk record, you're gonna be dissapointed.
This album is sure to do these things: Make you nod your head, make you want to get out of that chair or off of that bed and jump around, and make you stand up and listen.
HHN have got a real diamond in their hands here, and hopefully Adequate Seven will rise to greatness someday, following in the wake of bands like Capdown who are getting more successful all the time. Adequate Seven are sure to gain many, many fans from this release and rightly so. I await their next release with huge anticipation, but not yet. I still listen to this record all the time and I expect I will do until the next one is out.
Is this the shape of funk to come? Yes.

Smoothing Away the Horrors of Indigestion
Smoothing Away the Horrors of Indigestion
Offered by SourceMediaUK
Price: 8.22

5.0 out of 5 stars "never trust a man in a bumbag...", 11 Aug 2003
Being blown away by seeing them live, naturally, I pre-ordered the album from HHN. Ye Wiles mix up distorted ska lines, choppy punk riffs complemented by a fiddle. Yes, a fiddle. This is what makes the Wiles so great, and unique among the monotonous ska/punk bands of today. 'Cry Wolf' is the first song song to instantly strike a chord with the listener, with a hugely infectious chorus and some awesome lyrics. Which is another highlight with the album - the lyrics are very well written, and another great thing is that they don't try to sound American, they're as English as... something that's very English.
'In Appreciation Of Zoltan Kodaly' starts off with a drum roll intro that bursts into some amazingly insane fiddle work, which breaks down into some more mellow parts mixed up with some dashes of heavy guitars. But that fiddle. That darn fiddle. Every time you listen to this album, you just wait in anticipation for when the next fiddle line kicks in, getting ready to get that foot tapping and that head nodding. Don't expect some mellow violins and strings, in a softer way, but instead some schizophrenic and high pitched squeals that just WORK, I can't explain it. Ye Wiles have made one of the most genre defying albums I've heard this year.
'Rush, Our Faces Follow' is a slower number, with heavy choruses, some jangly ska-like licks and some funky bass-lines.
'If You Don't Catch The Last Train Home It Won't Happen' is awarded the most infectious fiddle work award for the album, with a number that will stick in your head for a long while. Popping into your mind in the middle of the day.. just trying to figure out where that sound is from.. it's annoying you.. because you can't remember.. and then you remember, Ye Wiles of course!
There's alot of start-stop action throughout the songs, but they seem to always mix in with a seemless musical flow that's just so hard to define. Genre defying, yes. You can't put this into any category, it's just damn good music. If you want something different, but like a little ska, a little punk, a little funk, and something highly original which many bands are sure to immitate, you'd be very happy with this. But I guess, this may be an acquired taste, if you're looking for poppy, catchy, melodic ska/punk, this may not be for you but those who discover it's genius will get 10 times more out of it than the money they put into buying it.

So Long, Astoria
So Long, Astoria
Offered by OnlineMusicFilmsGames
Price: 3.40

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I'm taking it back!... I'm taking them all back...", 24 Feb 2003
This review is from: So Long, Astoria (Audio CD)
It's easy to be dissapointed with the first listen of The*Ataris first major label release. It's no 'Blue Skies...', it's no 'End Is..', either. I think peoples expectations will influence their first impressions of this album. But after 5 or so listens, the tracks will slowly start to stand out from each other, each one becomming as memorable as the next. And that's one of the main themes of the album, memories.
"Life is only as good as the memories we make!"...
Kris belts out the start of the chorus with that line on the opening, title track. 'So Long, Astoria', the opening track is one of the first times I have ever had goosebumps listening to a song. It's packed super tight with emotion, after a few listens it explodes into a cacophony of super charged passion, you can hear it in Kris' voice, it gets better with every listen. I loved the not so obvious Goonies reference at the end of the song "I'm taking it back!... I'm taking them all back..." Genius, Kris.
'Takeoffs & Landings' goes back to the roots of the singalong Ataris song structures with the catchiest of hooks and awesome build ups, and the lead single 'In This Diary' which will probably, but hopefully not, be smeared accross MTV, is a pure power-punk-pop fest, with a super charged chorus' and another great sing-a-long hook, make this an instant Ataris classic.
'My Reply' is Kris' response to an Australian fan who wrote him a letter and a poem whilst laying in hospital with a life threatening illness. Live, this sounded great, and I feel they've done a good job with the amped up version, but I feel it could have been a little more emotional and effective with Kris strumming acousitcally, and singing. But still I think they did a good job. 'Unopened Letter To The World' is a trakc about the life and times of the poet Emily Dickenson, and about how artists get their work recognised and appreciated more posthumously, than when they were alive.
'The Saddest Song' is a piano driven ballad where Kris pours his heart out to his daughter, who unfortunately he doesn't get to spend much time with because of being in the band. This is one of Kris Roe's best lyrical pieces and one of the most touching and most touching songs I've ever heard. I can see how easily fans are able to cry whilst hearing this live, and the cries of "Please fooorgive me, I'm sooo sorry.. I will make it up to you..." towards the closure of the track fuels the emotional fire even more, and is truly a sad song.
Things get brighter however, with the next track, 'Summer '79', which has a trademark Ataris melody the whole way through, thouroughly hummable and catchier than a cold in a crowded room.
"The Hero Dies In This One" slows the speed but ups the ante, the guitars pound away during the chorus, and there's a really effective explosion sound just before the chorus which makes you wanna throw the nearest random object against the furthest wall, as Kris screams "Stay who you are!".
The Ataris have always been a very personal band in terms of lyrical content, and you may be happy to hear that 'So Long, Astoria' is probably the most personal album so far.

'Trying To Believe' is one of the brighter gems in the treasure chest, and believe me, all of these songs are pure gold. Another typical Ataris melody and a fantastic chorus and you'll be jumping around your room in no time. You may also be happy to hear Kris screaming his lungs out during the closure of the song, 'Ray...' stylee. Awesome. Let's go punch a wall.
Onto a song your parents will prolly remember, The Ataris shred to bits Don Henley's 'The Boys of Summer', with a phenomenal cover. This sounds like an original Ataris song, it's executed so well. An updated version of 'Radio #2' slightly differs from the original but overal, except for a minor change in lyrics (explosives replaced with guitar), but overall is better and carries the same hugely catchy melody.
'Looking Back On Today' was added by the Ataris after the fans demanded it, and so that's what they got. The song is a huge fan favourite and sounds unbelievable in it's new shiny form. Classic.
'Eight of Nine' closes the album and is a great way to finish off things.
Overall it's two thumbs up to Kris and the Santa Barbara boys, this surpasses the greatness of 'End Is Forever' and 'Anywhere But Here', and rivals the masterpiece that is 'Blue Skies...'.
You won't be dissapointed after you've given it enough time, I give you my word.
Kris is an amazingly nice guy and I was fortunate enough to meet him in London, and they thouroughly deserve everything good they get.

Barbeque Music
Barbeque Music
Price: 8.95

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should I shoot through? Wooooaaaahhhh..., 17 Feb 2003
This review is from: Barbeque Music (Audio CD)
When I first heard this CD, I really didn't like it. The vocals were bad quality, the lyrics didn't appeal to me and the guitars were pretty bad quality.
Then I listenedn to the album about 10 times, and now I totally love it. Every song is so catchy... mixing in some upbeat ska, pop-punk and even some synths and a drum machine to kick things off.
The swtich between vocals is great, add more variation. I prefer Robb's (now of Whitmore) voice, but Dan still has a good voice and I think it suits this albums tone.
The lyrics have more depth than you innitially might think, like Better Off Gay, etc.
It's a shame that Uncle Brian couldn't stay as the original Salisbury foursome, but now we have TWO great bands, Whitmore and Uncle Brian.
The best songs here are.... well, most of them. This is a pure fun, summer album to lift you out of that dark mood.
Highlights are.. 'Dingle', 'Super Powered', '53', 'Better off Gay', 'Shooting Through'.
Great stuff.

Mary Star Of The Sea
Mary Star Of The Sea
Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: 2.77

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hey look, Billy's grown up., 17 Feb 2003
This review is from: Mary Star Of The Sea (Audio CD)
You need to listen to the album.... at least, 8 or 9 times to fully appreciate it.
The first time I listened to it, I thought to myself "This is basically another SMashing Pumpkins record"... But comparisons are always going to be made, especially with Billy Corgan. Over any type of melody, from metal, to acoustic, to electronica, you're always going to be reminded of the Pumpkins. You can't help it. It's Billy Corgan.
But after a number of listens, the hooks and melodies become catchier, the lyrics more comprehendable, each track a little more unique rather than one big sludge of guitared-power pop.
Bass driven melodies like "Endless Summer" will grab you first time, it's a lovely song, rocking guitars, nice hook. "Honestly" took me about... 10 listens to get into, for some reason I couldn't understand why it was chosen to be the lead single. It sounded like a mess of a song... but after a while it became clearer why, I couldn't stop singing the hook, and then I understood WHY that song was released first. "Lyric" is the highlight of the album and to be honest, it sounds like a Smashing Pumpkins song from start to finish. The melody is so obviously something that only Billy Corgan could sing, it's full of emotion, and the build up of guitars is fantastic.
Lyrics are a big part of any Billy Corgan release, and Zwan's debut album is no exception. Although they seem to be alot more simpler and 'happier' than anything from the Pumpkins, hints of Corgan's more mystical lyrics can be found in songs such as "Ride A Black Song", which is driven along by some hugely catchy riffage through the chorus. One of the good things about the album is the guitar melodies.. with three guitarists, you're bombarded from every angle, albeit by a solo or some power chords over the hook. I love the way they step up the heaviness over the hooks... that's one of the things I liked about the album. The title track is the closest thing to the old Smashing Pumpkins rock out moments you'll get here. There are hints of Pumpkins everywhere through various points in the album, but what else would you expect. Billy always sounds great over acoustics, and here there's no exception, for example the beautiful "Of A Broken Heart"...
The thing I noticed most of all about Zwan is that Billy Corgan has modified his songwriting to match his fanbase. Throughout the 90's and even now, the majority of Smashing Pumpkins' songs were depressing, sad, meloncholy, which appealed to teenagers mostly, those depressing teen years of heartbreak and lonelines. But now those teenagers have grown up, and so I think they'd find the new, more 'mature' lyrics something to relate to more.
I would have preferred the guitars to be heavier... and Billy screaming over some songs but hey, I can't have it all. There's also a lack of variety, which was one of the reasons I loved the Pumpkins so..
Also, they didn't include the fantastic "Chrysanthemum", a track they opened with during some of the tours. Recorded in the studio would, and I would have been complete. Let's hope we see it on the next release, which I'm sure there'll be many of.

Rock the Plank
Rock the Plank
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 6.57

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pirate Core!, 25 Jan 2003
This review is from: Rock the Plank (Audio CD)
I don't see what all the fuss about the Caddies 'changeing' is. They havn't changed just because this is a CONCEPT album. They're not gonna be making pirate-core from now on are they, so they havn't changed. How many ska bands would even think up a concept album like this let alone have the balls to RECORD it. That's why the Caddies are so amazing. 'Mary Melody' reminds me of 'Road Rash' for obvious reasons. 'Shaving Your Life' has to be in the top 3 or 4 Caddies songs EVER. Okay, there's less ska influence this time around, but it doens't mean they've changed, it's just because that this is a concept album, you'll see that I'm right when you hear their new album. As far as pirate-core goes, you have the best pirate-core song in 'Weird Beard', although there are only about 3 songs to choose from. If you liked any of the Caddies earlier released you won't be dissapointed, it takes a few listens to get into, but after you'll like it.

Give Blood
Give Blood
Offered by maverick_marketing
Price: 10.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Give more, give everything, give blood!, 25 Jan 2003
This review is from: Give Blood (Audio CD)
What can I say, everyone should buy this CD. I had pretty high expectations, and I was so pleased when they were matched after 'It All Comes Down To This'. Bane stick to the same style as their last two releases, so eloquent and smooth, yet so brutal and emotional. Aaron's growl is just amazing. I was a little worried that they may have watered down their sound and contained a few more soft emo parts... but no, they havn't budged from that awesome sound of 'It All Comes..'. Highlights include a fan tribute i.e 'Speechless'.. and other articulate and beautifully crafted songs such as the 'Sunflowers & Sunsets' and 'Ante Up'. Another track worth mentioning, 'The Big Gundown' starts off so delicately and then explodes into a plethora of crunchy bass and thundering drums... sublime. Aaron's voice is just so good, I can't say it enough.

Smoke the Roach
Smoke the Roach
Offered by winny_records
Price: 8.89

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tell you once I love you, tell you twice to.... la la la la, 21 Jan 2003
This review is from: Smoke the Roach (Audio CD)
The pop-punk/ska hybrid that is Whitmore probably released Moon Ska Europe's best CD to date.. okay well maybe except for Boxing Clever but still... every track is darkly infectious, not the happy 4 chord punk-pop that you're used to but still outdoes the majority of it's competitors, Whitmore have their own unique take on the genre. The variety doesn't stretch very far but it's not a flaw, I prefer albums that keep to the same style throughout with the odd few tracks standing out as different, like say 'Listed'. I love Robb's voice... he doesn't try to sound American and that's a big flaw in the UK ska and punkpop scenes. He has a raw emotion that's hard to put my finger on but I love it. Another thing I like are the small touches, like the cuts and scratches on 'Nine Bar Blues'.. just small things, but they're great. The last song is probably my favourite, but honestly they're all good and will have your toes'a'tappin' and your head'a'boppin'. I don't know why they included news audio from the September 11th WTC attacks, I don't know if it has nay refference to the song, if you know please email me! They were also kinda enough to include, like with most Moon Ska CD's these days a few bonus tracks, a different version of 'Listed' and an acoustic (and live?) version of 'I Am Strong'. I'm glad they broke away from Uncle Brian, although I love them (plus they're from Laverstock(!)), if 2/3 of Whitmore they hadn't have been fed up with Dan and the rest of Uncle B then they would have never released the masterclass that is 'Smoke The Roach'. Jay is such a good drummer, by the way. Go pick it up at your local (good) record store and smoke the roach (not literally, drugs are bad kids!).

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