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Reviews Written by
D. Boyles "danjamboy" (UK)

Page: 1
Ecoegg Laundry Egg Holder, White
Ecoegg Laundry Egg Holder, White
Price: £3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ecoegg Laundry Egg Holder with Suction Mount, 28 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
What you get:

Ecoegg Cup Holder with Suction Mount
You don't get the Ecoegg displayed in the picture (it may seem obvious, but for clarity I've mentioned it!)

This is a simple holder designed to fit the Ecoegg which you can purchase separately, and I have also reviewed.
The holder has holes in the bottom to aid in drainage and provide air circulation to naturally dry the mineral balls in the Ecoegg. For this simple reason, you may want to place the holder over a sink or an area which is easily dry-able. In truth, I have found this not to be an issue as a washing cycle with a spin will dry your Ecoegg satisfactorily.
The suction mount is adequate for the purpose and will attach to most flat and non-porous surfaces such as fridges, tiles, metal sides of household goods, washing machines and tumble dryers etc

It's not a necessity to have this for your Ecoegg, the drying process would naturally occur even if the egg was left laid on a surface. It does assist in moving the egg out of the way for less clutter.

Anker Astro Slim3 6000mAh Ultra-Slim Portable Charger ?External Battery Power Bank with Built-in Micro USB Cable for USB Devices (Black)
Anker Astro Slim3 6000mAh Ultra-Slim Portable Charger ?External Battery Power Bank with Built-in Micro USB Cable for USB Devices (Black)

5.0 out of 5 stars Charger for iPhone 5, 28 Aug. 2013
Many other reviewers have stated the pros (and possible cons) of this device. All I will say is it does what it states, provides two decent charges on my iPhone 5 and also charges a whole host of other devices, electric cigarette, slow iPad charge (because of output amp) - other anker products do this at the correct rate so this is not a negative - powers my USB plasma ball, basically anything that's 5v up to 1A! Good product as I expected it to be.

De'Longhi Compact Dehumidifier with ECC DES16E, 16 L
De'Longhi Compact Dehumidifier with ECC DES16E, 16 L
Price: £160.97

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Noisy, 14 Jan. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Purchased this order to combat humid air in my flat. According to the specifications this had a low noise output of 39db. I must have had a faulty item as this was hardly any quieter than my eBac which is rated as 44db. It also developed an annoying rattle after a couple of hours. Have arranged a collection. Can't say any more than that as I had it for such little time!

The Weirding
The Weirding
Price: £10.75

4.0 out of 5 stars Astra's debut album a big surprise!, 11 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Weirding (Audio CD)
Astra's debut album from the San Diego based band is certainly one of the best albums from 2009.
In 78 minutes, they manage to create an outstanding, quintessentially English album, with influences from practically every 70's symphonic progressive rock band, and the real treat is that they manage to produce it in a "retro" package that remains original in terms of writing and performance.

From the opening chimes of the very Yes-like "Rising of the Black Sun", the album moves on to the title track, with more than a hint of Hawkwind and Black Sabbath. The vocals immediately evoke Pink Floyd.
The standout tracks are "Silent Sleep", "The River Under", "Broken Glass" - a beautiful ballad which also manages to sound rather Beatle-ish and the incredibly haunting "Dawning of Ophiuchus".

If there is a weak point to this album, the epic 17 minute "Ouroboros" does have a tendency to meander. On one hand, the band did produce this album and the services of a producer may have helped to reign this in.
However, the magic of the album is in the guys being able to have a little more freedom over the sound and the track is certainly not a bad one. It's just not up to the high standard set by the rest of the album.

If you are into 70's symphonic progressive rock, give this a serious listen.

The Whirlwind
The Whirlwind
Price: £12.35

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars And the forecast is ....... mostly cloudy, 30 Mar. 2010
This review is from: The Whirlwind (Audio CD)
Transatlantic, the progressive rock "supergroup" comprised of Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater), Pete Trewavas (Marillion), Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings) and Neal Morse (ex-Spock's Beard), have reunited after a 7 year hiatus, andThe Whirlwind is the product of an intense recording session held in Nashville in April.

The album itself was born out of a 45 minute track called "The Whirlwind" that Neal Morse had already written. The other guys came in and added their bits and pieces to the mix and the full 77 minute track was born.
The song comprises of 12 parts and offers the same complexity and style of their previous albums "SMTP:e" and "Bridge Across Forever"
The lyrics of the album are generally of Neal Morse's Christian making and can at times appear a little preachy, however, it is important to note that the same could be said of Transatlantic's first two albums. It's only now we realise the significance of those lyrics to Morse, considering the last 7 years of his solo output, but I don't think it detracts too much from the album.

Stolt and Trewavas are well represented on this album in their ideas. The fantastic "A Man Can Feel" and "Out of the Night" have Stolt on lead vocals, and seem to be written by him or certainly more his than the others whilst Portney's and Trewavas' rich background vocals add layers to the sound.
"Rose Coloured Glasses" is a lovely ballad by Morse, superbly written and produced - it is the kind of continuous high quality output we have come to expect and see from him.

So why only 3 stars? Well, later I'll explain a little more on this, but there is very little that is added to this album which distinguishes it from the first two. If anything, the first two albums had a lot of dynamics and the break-up of the album into separate songs (I mean actual songs compared to parts) helps to reset the counter, as it were, and start again. Because of the continuous nature of this album, it seems a bit repetitive and the band seem happy just to let it do that. "Dancing with Eternal Glory", although a nice ballad, is a good example of this. I actually want the album to end half way through the track even though the reprise hasn't yet started! It's not that it is a bad song, or album for that matter, but because you know what is coming, you really can't be bothered to get there!
To have 4 musicians of such quality who with their respective bands have produced some of the most innovative progressive rock albums of all time, can leave them open to greater criticism and I would say that this is the weakest of the 3 studio albums they have released so far.

Individual songs, as well as the overall feel of the album, can have an effect on star ratings for me. This is certainly emphasised in the song "Is It Really Happening?"
This album would have been rated lower had it not been for the absolute brilliance and dexterity of this song. It is a magnificent full band performance.
Despite the reminder of the album, the band present some of their best playing in this song. Portnoy's drumsticks are probably a blur, as must Roine's fingers over the fretboard. I was slightly dubious over the tempo increase towards the end of the song, however after a few weeks worth of listening, it works well.
Naturally, the whole album would have pushed the boundaries to be this good throughout, but it really does pale in comparison.
Obviously, I can't give 3 and a half stars on Amazon so bearing in mind there is one amazing track, a couple of good tracks and the rest so so, I have given this 3 stars.

If you are new to Transatlantic, the best album I feel they have released is Bridge Across Forever.

The Incident
The Incident
Offered by the_record_factory
Price: £9.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Incidentally brilliant but still no "In Absentia", 23 Mar. 2010
This review is from: The Incident (Audio CD)
I was slightly worried by the latest release from Porcupine Tree. Having liked them from the beginning with "On The Sunday of Life", and seeing the development from the psychedelic through to the progressive, it was obvious that the band's newly adopted heavier style was pretty much here to stay. I wasn't over-awed by their last release "Fear of a Blank Planet" and "Deadwing", whilst a decent release, hadn't matched the brilliance of "In Absentia". In my opinion, nothing has touched that album, and my other favourites "Stupid Dream" and "Signify"

Enter "The Incident" and the album which Colin Edwin, bassist, said would "encompass not only their latest heavier elements" but would also "return to the classic older PT sound".

A car crash and its effect on those involved provide the concept for the album with the traditional melancholy and angrier, heavier interludes that we have seen more often in the last 4 albums.

"Time Flies", the 12 minute epic of the album, harks back to the older styles of Porcupine Tree that we know and love. The much softer acoustic guitar work during the verses and the catchy strident chorus' are interspersed with a magnificent Floydy section where Wilson really lets rip with a solo. Indeed, there are a number of tracks which could easily fit on the "Signify"/"Stupid Dream" era of albums. The shorter songs "Great Expectations", "Kneel and Disconnect" and "Your Unpleasant Family" are fantastic examples of this. We're even treated to the ambient and abstract in "Yellow Windows ..." and "Occam's Razor"

To remark on Edwin's comments, it does feel like a much more "encompassing" album all-round. But, it wasn't what I expected in terms of being a complete return to that classic late 90's - early 2000 sound, if you can pigeon hole the era in that way. To me "In Absentia" offered that bridge between the heavier sounds later relied upon and the traditional proggier elements. It also added that commercialist aspect to their music, without putting people off.

Those who manage to get their hands on the Special Edition of "The Incident" with the extra 4 tracks are in for a treat. Gavin Harrison really creates the most unusual, brilliant piece of drumming on "Bonnie The Cat", and "Remember Me Lover" and "Black Dahlia" come full circle by offering a bit of everything from all the styles we have seen on this album, and probably all they have done in the past too!

Overall, and I don't mean to harp on about it, I cannot be as excited about this album as I was by "In Absentia" but I think it is a definite improvement on "Fear of a Blank Planet" and probably "Deadwing" too. I can't give this release 3.5 stars on Amazon, but on the other hand, I think it is worth more than 3 stars as you just cannot fault Steven Wilson's brilliance of song crafting and production. So 4 it is.

Price: £13.93

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Frequency resonates at the highest level, 27 Feb. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Frequency (Audio CD)
IQ need little introduction to those of the progressive rock persuasion. They, amongst Pendragon, Marillion, Jadis and Twelfth Night to name but a few, were responsible for the resurgence of prog in the 80's and are still going strong today.

Many of these bands were classified using the "neo-progressive" tag, which I think in a lot of respects is slightly unfair. Sure, many of these bands use instrumentation that was common for the 70's greats such as Genesis and Yes, but they also bring a more modern melodic edge to the music that in some ways lacked in the symphonic epics of those bands.

IQ's latest release "Frequency" sees a line up change for the band. Martin Orford, founding member and keyboard player leaves after 26 years to be replaced by Mark Westworth (ex-Darwin's Radio) and Paul Cook, drummer for 23 years is replaced by Andy Edwards.

"Frequency" carries on the heavier elements that made up "Dark Matter", however the album is slightly more balanced in its concept and timings of songs. The title track opens with a sample of radio distortion and communication, before thundering in with a full band performance. The track has easily got to be one of the most sublime from the IQ catalogue, and it doesn't stop here!
"Life Support" features a great solo from Westworth, and the guitar is "Hackett"-esque in Mike Holmes' performance.
The two epics of the album "Stronger Than Friction" and "The Province" both contain classic IQ structure and writing. There is a lot we have heard before, and "The Province" dually obliges the "Apocalypse in 9/8" sound that we heard from "Harvest of Souls" on the album "Dark Matter." However, it is that good I'm sure most will be willing to overlook the comparisons. Peter Nicholls' voice always improves with age and is ideally suited, whether on a heavier track or a softer ballad.

The biggest surprise comes from the shorter songs "One Fatal Mistake" and "Closer" - both incredibly emotional love songs in their own right. IQ have written shorter ballads before, but none of this quality and depth.

If there is a weak point on the album, it's "Ryker Skies", but only because it doesn't quite live up to the brilliance of the rest of the album. On any other, it would have shone through.
Overall, this is just as good as "Dark Matter" and "Seventh House" and trounces releases such as "Subterranea" - an album I have never liked - and the bands classic 90's release "Ever"

However, leaving things on a slightly negative note, why on earth was Martin Orford not credited on this release? Although Mark's playing is, in my opinion, just as impressive, it is well documented that Martin wrote the majority of keyboard parts for this album. No matter how un-amicable a breakup, there is no excuse for this, and I can imagine Martin is feeling pretty annoyed after 26 years with a band that he helped form. This takes nothing away from IQ as a band, and shouldn't detract from one of the best albums they have released, but does slightly tarnish what should have been Martin's swansong.

Anno Domini High Definition (Special Edition)
Anno Domini High Definition (Special Edition)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Riverside stops flowing, 26 Feb. 2010
Riverside are well known in the progressive rock and metal industry for their Floydy textures and crunching arrangements, but most will be surprised by the band's latest album "Anno Domini High Definition" which has taken a slightly heavier twist.

You would be forgiven for thinking that the Polish band would have adopted many ideas from their contemporaries Porcupine Tree, Opeth and Dream Theatre, but they have built on the classic "Rapid Eye Movement" and "Lunatic Soul" to form a very coherent and recognisable sound.

The album opens with the scorching "Hyperactive", the shortest piece on the album, with a simple piano introduction and quickly builds to a crescendo of keyboards and guitars. Immediately, the drums are more noticeable than on previous releases and help drive the music forward through changing time signatures and lighter and darker passages.
For me the second track "Driven to Distraction" is a little repetitive, however "Egoist Hedonist" follows up with some of the best moments of the album, diving and rising with some amazing drumming and guitar work.

"Left Out" could have been brilliant and initially it is. The opening guitar and vocals followed by a beautiful, yet slightly predictable, guitar solo are soothing and offer some respite from the heavier first half of the album. Indeed, this is the more recognisable Riverside sound. But after building up with the recurring melody for the first 6 minutes of the 11 minute song, it all dies down and the song doesn't seem to know where to go. You are made to feel there is something huge coming at the end, but it never arrives and the following song "Hybrid Times", all 12 minutes of it, does nothing to restore the fact that this album could have been so much better than it is.

I honestly think that a lot of people will be turned off by the heavier aspects of this album, although it is hard to deny that the production is simply superb compared to that of their previous releases.

Price: £10.57

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars OSI's latest offering fails, 25 Feb. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Blood (Audio CD)
You may think it slightly unfair of me to review a band that I have heard very little of. I'm sure those OSI fans out there won't share my comments on this, the band's 2009 album.

Having got into the International Prog Rock Show, I was in the mood to obtain some of the stuff which most people won't have heard of. Blood appeared in both the reviewers Top 20 for the year and having already listened to Porcupine Tree - The Incident, IQ - Frequency and Transatlantic's latest epic The Whirlwind, all registering pretty high on the scale, I was sure to find something in there.

Blood promised a lot. The ex-Dream Theatre keyboardist Kevin Moore and Jim Matheos, guitarist for Fates Warning, were joined by Gavin Harrison - drummer for Porcupine Tree.
Mikael Akerfeldt, singer for legendary prog/death metal band Opeth sings on one of the tracks "Stockholm"

In my opinion, the album sits fairly in the middle of the prog metal camp but doesn't really deliver on most aspects. The vocals, fairly droll in comparison to those of Mikael's, accompany fairly lifeless instrumentation. The commerciality of False Start and The Escape Artist, to name a couple, help pickup the album, but even I struggle to see how this reached No. 3 of Top 20 albums for 2009, even though this is again, one person's opinion.

Where I have to congratulate OSI, is on the selection of Gavin Harrison for drummer. His timing and overall prowess make this album worth a listen at least. His interpretation of the music gives a bit of get up and go.

I'm sure OSI have released better material. Hearing "Go" from their 2006 album, Free, I can hear some beautiful harmonies and some wonderful keyboard work, but Blood never comes close to this.
A purchase for those OSI fans only - those who came across this album by chance would do better looking at Riverside's latest offering for something different.

Offered by best_value_entertainment
Price: £14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Marbled Band, 8 May 2004
This review is from: Marbles (Audio CD)
Well, I had to admit. It was a long wait. Was it worth it? Listen and find out. Like the admired reviewer before me, the 2 CD set is definetly the one to get. Over-indulgent? I don't think so, they certainly are keeping their fans happy which is the thing that so few bands do these days. And to see You're gone in the Top 10 was a show of the mochery the charts have become these days, fans buying multiple copies of the CD single so they could see Marillion in the Top 10 is an innovative idea.
On to the album anyhow: a mix of melodic rock - sublime. Those who own every Marillion album will see the band change that little bit more with every album. So start at Script of a Jesters Tear and end up at Marbles - and you will wonder how the hell they did it! Marbles however combines many of the styles that Marillion have encompassed over the years. There is a bit of prog, there's some nice ballads and the heartfelt lyrics of Hogarth just melt you. He even, without knowing it, nods at Fish in some of the tracks, but does not try to emulate him. For that would be disastrous. To simply compare the singers is not worthwhile. They each have their own qualities and each, in my opinion, are just as good as each other.
Stand out tracks are: The Only Unforgettable Thing, Fantastic Place, Ocean Cloud, Angelina and Don't Hurt Yourself.
It's great to see the band still doing their thing!

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