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theone&only (Nottingham, Notts United Kingdom)

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Tragic Idol
Tragic Idol
Price: £8.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My album of 2012. Make it yours too!, 8 July 2012
This review is from: Tragic Idol (Audio CD)
I have been away from PL for a while so was very interested to hear what they'd been up to since I last listened. To begin with I'll be honest....I was worried. Where have the haunting, gothic piano melodies gone? And the catchy choruses? On first listen this album sounded like a halestorm of crushing doom riffs with shouting over the top. No! Things soon start to make sense however. Yes, the riffs are HUGE slabs of death-o-rama but its not long before the great songwriting starts to rear its head. OK, so the hulking beast of heaviness has replaced the pianos and melodies but this album still has tunes, diversity, groove and power. Its just that this time when Greg (Macintosh - gtr) and Nick (Holmes - vocals) sat down to write these songs it sounds like they were about the almighty RIFF as opposed to well worn chord sequences. Even though I am a fan of the 'Draconian Times' and 'One Second' days I think this is my album of the year so far. The production is super tight and punchy and the record doesn't let up for a second from start to finish. It's bludgeoning in a listenable way, something I have a problem with when it comes to a lot of extreme metal bands because they are unable to write good tunes. No such problem here! I thought I had grown out of having albums that soundtrack my life at my age but Tragic Icon will be blasting out of my speakers for a LONG time I reckon! It's difficult to make 'classic' albums these days so I can't award PL 5 stars but as piece of art in the realm of modern metal, this is near perfect.


This Is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl
This Is a Call: The Life and Times of Dave Grohl
by Paul Brannigan
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A top book about a top man!, 4 Jan. 2012
First thing you see when you look at the cover is not the title of the book, it's not a picture of the subject or the name of the author. It's a great big quote relating to Kurt Cobain's death! What a weird way to show a Dave Grohl biog off to the public! Dave has been trying to shake off his Nirvana past for so long now he eventually did it the right way - by shutting his mouth and letting the music do the talking and now this book goes and does this to him before you've even opened it!

Thankfully, the inside of the book is more enticing than the outside, I'm glad to report. There is an awful lot of detail on Dave's past and background and the more we get through his story, the less information we are given, so if you are a Foo's fan who wants to find out more about their hero - great book. If you are a Scream/Nirvana fan who wants to know more about the Foo Fighters, you'll probably be left feeling a little cheated. Still, some excellent research has gone into this book, Paul Brannigan's depth on the subject of punk rock is awesome and made me want to go buy a record player and a load of old punk records, the enthusiasm for the subject is that enticing. Brannigan also lets us into truths about Foo's albums, reporting that 4th record 'One by One' has only 4 good tunes on it, which is what I thought all along, now I know I'm not the only one! Well written, moderate in it's praise it lets Dave's story do the talking, along with plenty of quotes and narration from Dave's associates and friends. His story is so fascinating you will want to read this fine book in one sitting. A top read about a top bloke and his rise to legendary status.


Th1rt3en
Th1rt3en
Offered by DVDMAX-UK
Price: £7.39

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Megadeth are back!, 1 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Th1rt3en (Audio CD)
I've been a lifelong fan of the 'Deth, well until Mustaine started swapping members left right and centre which removed a lot of the magic. Thirt3en has restored my faith however! The band are showing that they still have something to prove, unlike Metallica who have nothing to show, apart from the fact that they are smug millionaires who can do as they please. Megadeth have done the opposite and got hungry again. Previous album 'Endgame' and Dave Mustaine's recent biography show that the band are trying to claim their place in metal history by force rather than sitting around waiting for the Rock n Roll hall of Fame to come knocking. This record pummels you in the face from the word Go!
Opener 'Sudden Death' is riff-tastic in it's tight deadliness and also shows that Shawn Drover must be one of the best drummers on Earth! Seriously, he is up there with the guy out of Mastodon or Joey from the 'Knot and has rejuvenated the band to their most fullest of potentialisms. From here on in its obvious the band are going for the jugular, each song is tight, well written and executed with a great sing/shout-along metal chorus. The addition of Producer Johnny K who does some writing also on the album really has helped them pull their best tricks and licks out and being a muso myself I sat there in awe at the greatness of some of the riffs, just like I did in 1990 woth 'Holy Wars'. The return of David Ellefson and the resurrection of older songs written by the 'definitive' line-up (when Marty and Nick were in the band) should have fans salivating, and they didn't disappoint either.
'Public Enemy No 1' was a bit of a weird choice for the big comeback single, kicking off with a verse riff that sounds like something Iron Maiden would do but 'Whose Life (Is it anyway?) and 'We The People' more than make up for this, the latter with it's call to arms of 'In greed we trust/In revolution we die!' Great stuff.

The more I listened the more I began to get the impression that the opening salvo of 5 songs were the albums best bits and it was beginning to tail off but once I got into it more, songs like 'Wrecker' and 'Deadly Nightshade' began to shine. This is 'Deth's most impressive album in a long, long time in my humble opinion. I'd be proud to play this to all those young kids who think the shouty metalcore crap of today is leaving older bands in the dust. Nope! Megadeth are showing they still have what it takes, let's hope they keep their eyes on the quality control and make more top notch thrash like this! Excellent record!


Finelines
Finelines
Price: £9.05

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 years on...., 15 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Finelines (Audio CD)
..... and this album is still incredible. I recently rediscovered them when going through my old CD's. I guess because they havent done much since this debut I kinda forgot about them but now i'm back on being hooked. It's not often you can call rock music words like 'gorgeous', 'spellbinding' and 'wintery melancholy powerful' but this albnum is just that! The other good thing is that, unlike yank bands like Smashing Pumpkins, My Vitriol avoid being too angsty or artsy for the sake of it - they just rock out and this is the result. It still manages to be no-frills power rock at its heart, you can tell by the way the songwriting still has some naivete to it and lacks development in some areas. But thats not an insult - in this case its good! It means the band aren't overthinking things, they just play. I would say though that the first 8-9 songs are great and then they tail off a bit but that may be because the first tunes are so awesomely inspiring you don't need them all! : )

10 years on and they still had the formula just right to my ears, it is one of the best debut rock albums of all time, it certainly kicks the c%^p out of 'Generation terrorists' or 'Frogstomp' - two other rock debuts that were heralded at the time but now in the cold light of day are nothing special. My Vitriol why oh why did you slow down your career and end up playing Guilfest??! You should be on top of the World by now. Sort it out!!


Jazz Essentials
Jazz Essentials
Price: £48.73

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good place to start at a bargain price!, 7 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Jazz Essentials (Audio CD)
Not being an afficionado of jazz means I have to start somewhere so I bought this 4 CD collection as a place to start. All the greats are featured - Miles, Monk, Parker, Coltrane etc as well as loads of others and more than once for most of them. There are some live performances mixed in here too. Quality wise, certain songs sound faint and badly recorded but thats because they are the original recordings and it made a change to have to have to strain to listen to music rather than have it blast your face off the way it does these days!

As I said, I'm no jazz expert but this seems like a pretty good place to start. Its a challenge for me to listen to a whole CD in one go at the moment as I struggle to enjoy the genre but 4 CD's for the price of one means this purchase as a whole is a bargain!


Gone Tomorrow: (Jack Reacher 13)
Gone Tomorrow: (Jack Reacher 13)
by Lee Child
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

5.0 out of 5 stars New tricks from an old dog!, 14 Oct. 2011
Both Lee Child and his hero Jack Reacher seem to have been complacent recently. We had a run of excellent books, (One Shot, The Hard Way, Bad Luck & Trouble) but then as always happens, the spell is broken by the duffers (Nothing To Lose).
Mr Child has enough of a dedicated fanbase to do as he pleases and this time around he has chosen to shake things up a bit. Reacher is thrust into the World of political espionage this time around, and it makes for a fascinating read. More than once as he crosses the wrong people he is told of the powers of modern urban warfare - that is the ability of super serious National Security forces to make people disappear in the light of 9/11 and Jack himself admits early on that getting in trouble with the beauraucrats these days just isn't worth it.
The plot is impressive right from the off, I've read this book a good few times now and am only just starting to realise all the little nuances of detail on offer. It is quite simply staggering the amount of research and thought that has gone on here. Whether it's the Red Army's political commissars, Delta missions in Afghanistan, modern politics, the geography of New York I can only assume that Child has some great researchers helping him or is some sort of walking encyclopedia!

And don't worry action fans! None of this great storytelling has come at the expense of dished out justice, Reacher style. This is one of the most action packed Reacher books EVER as he puts noses out of joint (figuratively and literally) as he tries to solve the mystery of an apparent suicide with connections to a Senator.

This is one of those Reacher books you might find hard to get used to due to Child's usual amount of detail and the fact that its all in the first person (which is rare), but persevere and you'll find this to be one of the most compelling and bloody in the series. Welcome back, Lee - let's have more like this one!


Bond Remastered - Tomorrow Never Dies (1-disc) [DVD] [1997]
Bond Remastered - Tomorrow Never Dies (1-disc) [DVD] [1997]
Dvd ~ Pierce Brosnan
Offered by FILMNIGHT
Price: £3.45

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Likeable but not a classic, 27 Sept. 2011
Have you ever noticed how this Bond film seems to be on TV way more than any of the others?? I guess they had to sell this one off cheap to the TV companies! It's an enjoyable film though, don't get me wrong. Brosnan makes a great Bond, really it's a shame they didn't re-boot the franchise when he came along, that way he could have made a classic which this is most definately not.

What it does have though is some fantastic action and set pieces like the chase through Hong Kong on a motorbike while chased by a helicopter, a daring escape from a car park and the final battle aboard a stealth boat that matches the old Moore days for finales. The bad guys are good too, you just have to ignore Jonathan Pryce's campness and cheesy dialogue. Michelle Yeoh does a good job as Bond's opposite in the Chinese Intelligence, it's a bit of a shame though that these days, Bond films have to have a Bond girl that's as strong and resourceful as our hero as it takes the focus off Bond a bit. I think that's the main problem with modern Bond films - the makers used to carve their own path and be leaders in the World of film-making. Now they have so many people watching what their next move will be, they have to round off the edges and make it all politically correct and play the game that other film-makers adhere to. It's a shame really, but they still have their unique inventiveness at the heart of what they do - see Bond's latest car for instance!

I have warmed to this film a bit more recently, I didn't like it when it first came out for the reasons above but it's not at all bad it's just not as good as 'Goldeneye' or 'The World Is Not Enough'.


California
California
Offered by positivenoise
Price: £9.28

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing record!, 21 Sept. 2011
This review is from: California (Audio CD)
Of course, you have to be the kind of person who can listen to music for what it is without the need to 'get' it until it can be enjoyed fully. An album for reviewers who only have limited time and word space this is not. It takes a while to digest but on first listen that digestion is eased by songs like opener 'Sweet Charity' with it's chilled hawaiaan mood and closing key change. 'Retrovertigo' is one of the greatest pop songs of all time, or at least it would be if the charts recognised good music. Elsewhere Patton's sense of humour and playfulness pervade in lyrics like 'From the skyscrapers/down to the submarines' in 'Air Conditioned Nightmare' and the countdown to a heart attack at the end of 'Pink Cigarette'.
This is better than their other albums as it is more grown up and focussed but it still manages to blend humour and tastelessness to perfection that lesser songwriters couldn't hope to achieve. The death metal interlude in closer 'Goodbye Sober Day' is all the evidence you need!
As a swansong this album is a crying shame as it points towards the genius that this band could have gone to had they stayed together. But on the other hand, it goes to show how fragile something so evocatively brilliant can be so if you miss them, at least you have 3 great albums to remember them by!


D'Addario EXL110 XL Nickel Wound Regular Light  (.010-.046) Electric Guitar Strings
D'Addario EXL110 XL Nickel Wound Regular Light (.010-.046) Electric Guitar Strings
Price: £5.54

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 17 Sept. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Like the bass strings, these sound bright and what's more - they stay sounding that way for longer than my usual brand. They are able to handle my experiments with altered tunings well and purchasing off Amazon is still cheaper than going to my local music shop. Sorry shop, but until you learn to compete with the internet on price, I think we have a winner!


Sony NWZE464B.CEW Series 8GB Walkman - Black
Sony NWZE464B.CEW Series 8GB Walkman - Black

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sony have done it again!, 12 Sept. 2011
I received one of these as a birthday gift recently. In the age of i-pods and such-like, the humble mp3 player needs a few tricks up its sleeve to survive and this recent(ish)addition to the Sony canon is no exception.
On opening the box, the player certainly looks the part in it's black casing with large screen and large, easy-to-use buttons.
I found syncing it up to my PC virtually impossible however. The software is equipped for Windows 7, despite the packaging saying its compatible with most Microsoft O/S's. Not true. Luckily, I know a bit about computers and was able to execute the set-up manually but it was a pain. Neither was the unit compatible with my Windows Media player (v9) which meant an update to a newer, less user friendly version, rather than the one I liked.

Once I got past these troubles and gave it a good charging, dragging and dropping your songs, photos, lyrics and videos is easy enough although again, I still had trouble with syncing the files (but this might have been more to do with my inexperience with the new media player than the unit itself).
Sound quality is fantastic and it is user friendly, again with a few niggles though. To turn it off you hold down the button for 2 seconds but to turn it on you only have to touch any button lightly. This is not good as I have found it in my pocket merrily playing away 3 hours later! Build quality is good - this bad-boy isn't going to break if you drop it, although I can't see the screen staying scratch-free for long! The ability to add and view photos seems unnecessary to me - that's what cameras are for (!) but there you go!

Overall, this is a good product with a nice sound and user friendly. I am not convinced it is worth that price tag when you can get devices these days that will do a lot more for not much more money but if you just want to listen to music, you could do far worse. Sony have done it again!


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