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A. B. Kennedy (UK)

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We Are One
We Are One
Offered by ReNew Entertainment
Price: £11.50

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What a BLAST !, 18 Oct. 2012
This review is from: We Are One (Audio CD)
First off - this definitely isn't a 5 star album. There are a few clunkers on here, particularly the montage track 'Shut Up' and the confused instrumental 'Water Drum' However.......the good stuff on here is absolutely brilliant! Opener 'We Are One' blasts off the launch pad with a fabulously heavy riff that (if you get a chance to see them live - and I hope everyone does) will have you leaping around. Second track 'Mothership' follows in the same vein, with a great wee chorus. And so it goes on. The overall sound of the album is very guitar based, loads of raw energy. Ron's vocals on some of the tracks are very Calvert-like - in a good way. And the support provided by bass and drums are solid and inventive. Yes, one of the tracks sounds very reminiscent of Spirit of the Age, but then it veers off into it's own space.

The Hawklords don't need to trade off the back of Hawkwind's name. Based on the strength of this album, and the experience of seeing them play much of this CD live - they can more than hold their own as a stand alone band. I just hope they keep it together, as I can't wait for their next record! Long live the Lords!

Halloween Hootenanny
Halloween Hootenanny

4.0 out of 5 stars Gather Round Creeps and Gather Round Ghouls..., 2 July 2010
This review is from: Halloween Hootenanny (Audio CD)
This is a great CD of surf / rockabilly / instrumental / garage (and a little bit of mambo) to rock the graveyard slime from your petrified bones. It suitably opens with a spooky invitation from Zacherle (a kind of Lon Chaney a la Phantom of the Opera lookalike) to come and join his Halloween Hootenanny. Then the festering festivities take off with Rob Zombie and the Ghastly Ones. And they don't really let up until the end of the album. Most of the bands on the CD were new to me, although a few I did recognise (Rev. Horton, Rocket from the Crypt, the Bomboras). If you're the same, then don't let this put you off, because some of the best tracks come from the 'less familiar' names. The Swingin' Neckbreakers deliver a fantastically rockin track with 'No Costume No Candy', Dead Elvi's 'The Creature Stole My Surfboard' drips with surf guitar and slimy seaweed, and Los Straitjackets version of the Munsters theme would get even the youngest of demons grooving. Even the slightly corny cover of 'Sinister Purpose' by Zacherle, backed by Southern Culture, with more Moo-hahaha laughs than you could shake a voodoo stick at, is just on the right side of cheese. It'll certainly raise a smile on your pale sallow lips.

Hats off to the fiends at Zombie a Go Go for pulling this record together! If you love images of Bela and Boris, Black Lagoons and mist filled tombs, and are thinking of what to listen to on your way to the next zombie dance - then look no further.....


Nice 'N' Greasy
Nice 'N' Greasy
Price: £9.79

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Close But No Cigar, 28 Oct. 2009
This review is from: Nice 'N' Greasy (Audio CD)
After taking a chance on the Chris Farlowe fronted Made in England and absolutely loving it, I had high hopes for Nice and Greasy. The atrocious album cover had always put me off in the past, easily vying with Uriah Heep's Salisbury and Black Sabbath's Sabotage for worst 70's rock cover of all time. But like those albums I wanted Nice and Greasy's sleeve to be concealing a real rock gem. Sadly, I have to say that it doesn't quite hit the mark.

It's no stinker by any means. New guitarist Johnny Mandala is the first 'real' guitarist that Vincent Crane had had to work with on a Rooster album, and you can hear the way he manages to fill many of the spaces in Vincent's songs with fabulous solos and bridges. And Chris Farlowe is just as good as he was on Made in England. But it's in the song selection that the album falls short. It's too much of a ragbag of different styles that just don't amount to enough to my ears.

Opener All Across the Country is a surprising bluesy number that doesn't sit well as an Atomic Rooster number. Then comes Save Me which is a re-recording of an earlier Rooster song, but done with lots of horns and a heavy soul vide. Not bad but certainly not necessary. (I never think it's a good sign when any band start re-recording their own songs). Voodoo in You is a cover version - mid paced - and one I initially discounted, although with repeated listening I'm starting to warm nicely to it. The first track that I really loved is the next one, Goodbye Planet Earth. A song written by Mandala, and one that I can't really hear Vincent playing on actually which is quite strange, but it has a great repetitive riff that sticks to your brain cells. The remaining 4 tracks, which include the instrumental Ear in the Snow, again just aren't memorable enough to stay with you after the album finishes.

It's a shame that the band weren't able to maybe take more time to construct a really strong album to go out on. You can certainly hear the quality of the musicianship employed on all the tracks. And it's not a bad album. It's just not as great as the previous Rooster catalogue.

Rodan [DVD] [1956] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Rodan [DVD] [1956] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Offered by BOASOA Dvds
Price: £49.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If You Go Down To The Mine Today You're Sure For A Big Surprise.., 26 Jun. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Rating 3.5
This is a pretty nifty addition to your Japanese monster movie collection. The first of the Toho monster movies to be filmed in colour, it starts off with some stock footage of Americans tempting the wrath of mother nature with some more of their pesky atomic bomb tests. It then cuts to a small mining village where the owners of the mine have concerns that Shaft Number 8 may be going a bit too deep into the earth for its own good. Sure enough, before you can say 'giant-man-eating-caterpillar-monsters', the bodies of some of the miners start to appear, horribly mutilated by creatures unknown. The large bugs make their appearance (very effectively it has to be said), resulting in the poor old military being summoned. Much fighting and machine gun fire later, a cave-in traps one of the men who has the misfortune to find himself trapped in a massive cavern with two hatching eggs....Dun Dun Duuun!!!

As monster movies go, this scoots along at a fair old pace, never leaving you twiddling your thumbs for the next bit of action to take place. The Rodan monsters look great, when they finally make their entrance half way through the film. And the marauding bugs at the start are a real treat.

The thing that probably lets it down most, and is probably no reflection on the original film, is the English dubbing and voice-over. I'd love to see this with sub-titles but unfortunately the option isn't available on this version of the DVD.

A definite 'must view' for lovers of Japanese monster movies, only slightly let down in my opinion by the dubbing.

Godzilla Vs Gigan [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Godzilla Vs Gigan [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Barren Years, 25 Jun. 2009
I'm a massive Godzilla fan; (for some reason I feel the need to justify to you, the reader, what I'm about to say...) but this film is truly one of the low points in the Godzilla series. The DVD cover gives the promise of a film that's never delivered. It's quite clear when you watch it that the money just wasn't there - the suits look tired, the city models look very wobbly, and the civilians and soldiers are quite obviously dolls being put to death under a blow torch!

Things must have been looking very worrying for any future Godzilla films around that time. However Toho miraculously managed to get their act together for Godzilla v Mechagodzilla, and then trumped it magnificantly with Terror of Mechagodzilla.

If you're new to Godzilla films, please promise me you won't start with this one, as you'll never watch another again!

Godzilla Vs the Sea Monster [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Godzilla Vs the Sea Monster [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Godzilla V a Giant Prawn, 23 Jun. 2009
I love this film, but if you are new to the Godzilla series, I wouldn't want you to approach this expecting the world's greatest movie. Godzilla doesn't really feature that heavily in the film itself, until towards the end when he gets to tangle with Ebirah - the giant prawn. Most of the action centres around a group of guys who find themselves stranded on a South Pacific island, run by the shady Red Bamboo army, whos nefarious intentions seem to have eluded me, but who hold the native islanders as slaves to manufacture the liquid repelant required to safely sail from the island without Ebirah making shish kebabs out of them. In desperation our plucky heroes resort to awakening the slumbering Godzilla so that he will create maximum damage to the Red Bamboo, flambe Ebirah, and allow them to escape. Hurrah!

Approach with a big smile on your face and you'll have lots of fun.

Made In England
Made In England

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As Fantastically Morose As Ever!, 12 May 2009
This review is from: Made In England (Audio CD)
I've been a big fan of the first three Atomic Rooster albums for a long time now, but I've always shyed away from Made in England. Perhaps it was the plain album sleeve, or the number of times I hear the words 'soul' and 'funk' banded about. Whatever the reason, I threw caution to the wind and in time honoured record buying tradition, took a gamble. And I'm now kicking myself for not having bought this years ago!

Anyone nervous about what this album might sound like, should set those fears to one side. This is most definitely 100% an Atomic Rooster album, with Vincent Crane's hammond and piano all over this. With titles like 'Time Take My Life', 'I Don't Know What Went Wrong', and 'People You Can't Trust', don't go expecting a James Brown Soul Revue. Vincent is as morose as ever, and lets be honest, that's very much a part of the whole Rooster sound.

And as for Chris Farlowe's vocals, for me he falls into that excellent 70's category of singers that you either love or hate. In no way does he have a 'normal' vocal style - but then that's why so many people love Roger Chapman, Peter Hammill, even Steve Jollife. Chris warbles and wails like a man possessed. Perhaps his take on Rooster's 'Devil's Answer' isn't the best interpretation in the world. But it's certainly his own.

The only serious banana skin on the whole album for me is 'Space Cowboy'. The title's naff, and the song's not really much better. I was just relieved that they managed to avoid shouting a Yee Haa half way through.

I'm now looking forward to taking another gamble on 'Nice and Greasy'. If it's any where near as enjoyable as 'Made in England' then it'll be money well spent.

Baron Blood [DVD]
Baron Blood [DVD]

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Bit of Gothic by Numbers, 20 Mar. 2009
This review is from: Baron Blood [DVD] (DVD)
I'm a big Mario Bava fan, but I'd struggle to rate this film as a masterpiece, especially when compared to his earlier films such as Blood and Black Lace or Black Sabbath. I've probably got two main gripes about the film. Firstly, there just aren't enough stand out scenes in my mind. The best is when Elke Sommer is being chased through the fog filled streets by the Baron. It's very reminiscent of Vincent Price in the House of Wax, and it creates an excellent sense of suspense and fear. The backdrop of the film, set in an actual Austrian castle, adds a great deal of Gothic weight to the proceedings, and Bava uses his surroundings well. But the formulaic story just lets him down. My second, and probably more significant issue is with the use of Joseph Cotton as the Baron. He just feels too much like a lovable uncle, to be effective as the reanimated face of evil incarnate. (He was great in Dr Phibes when he was the victim of the sinister Vincent Price, and indeed, you could easily imagine Vincent Price making a great Baron Blood.) Here he just doesn't cut the satanic mustard in my book.

If, like me, you're a big Bava fan then this film is certainly worth seeing the once. However it's not one that I'll find myself reaching for again very soon.

Into The Labyrinth
Into The Labyrinth

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars And the Band Played On - Rejoice!, 28 Jan. 2009
This review is from: Into The Labyrinth (Audio CD)
Hark; I hear the sound of distant Gregorian chants, the tolling of a bell, a call to ride valiantly into battle - swords held high...Rejoice...it must be a new Saxon album! And indeed it is. Yes, Saxon are back once more, with another incredibly strong album to add to their list of recent releases. It's not as full on heavy metal as Lionheart was, and it's not as Euro-power metal as Inner Sanctum, it's kind of somewhere in between. The tracks flit to an extent between the two camps. Where you'll have a full on track like Sweeney Todd, it'll be followed by the more anthemic Valley of the Kings. Crime of Passion is packed with thrashy riffs, and then comes the power metal of Voice. To my mind, the mix works really well. Then there's a track like Slow Lane Blues which must be a new classic in the making. Or the closing Coming Home which is miles better than I ever hoped to imagine. I'm not a fan of bands re-recording their own material, and Coming Home was only released in it's own right a few years ago. But the guitars on this track are amazing. In fact, the level of musicianship throughout this album is absolutely top drawer.

Will this album pull in any new fans? Maybe not. But if you've been a fan in the past, and let Saxon pass you by for the last decade or so, then this is a brilliant introduction to the sort of thing you've been missing.

The Best Of Godzilla 1954-1975 OST
The Best Of Godzilla 1954-1975 OST
Price: £16.24

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Monster Movie Essential, 15 Jan. 2009
This is just fantastic! If you're a big fan of the Great Rubbery One then this is an essential purchase. It covers 15 different Godzilla films from the 1954 original, all the way up to the Terror of Mechagodzilla in 1975. There are 5 different composers featured on the CD, which makes the music featured much more diverse than you might imagine. Naturally Akira Ifukube makes more appearances than anyone else. And his score for the first movie makes a number of different appearances, in various forms, throughout the period covered. However none of his scores sounds repetative. Each one is very unique to the film it accompanied. Then there's the fantastic beat style music used for some of the 1960's movies that stands up better than the films they appeared in. There's loads of Ghidorah roars and weird alien space craft effects included for good measure as well.

As I say, if you're a big fan of the early films then you'll love this CD. Now, where did I put that VHS copy of Destroy All Monsters...?

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