Friday 29 March 2019

Album Review: BACKYARD BABIES - Silver & Gold

Backyard Babies - Silver & Gold

01. Good Morning Midnight
02. Simple Being Sold
03. Shovin‘ Rocks
04. Ragged Flag
05. Yes To All No
06. Bad Seeds
07. 44 Undead
08. Sliver And Gold
09. A Day Late In My Dollar Shorts
10. Laugh Now Cry Later

Thursday 28 March 2019

Album Review: BATTLE BEAST - No More Hollywood Endings

Battle Beast - No More Hollywood Endings

01. Unbroken
02. No More Hollywood Endings
03. Eden
04. Unfairy Tales
05. Endless Summer
06. The Hero
07. Piece Of Me
08. I Wish
09. Raise Your Fists
10. The Golden Horde
11. World On Fire
12. Bent And Broken (Bonus Track)
13. My Last Dream (Bonus Track)


Tuesday 26 March 2019

Movie Review: THE DIRT (2019)

The Dirt

This movie has been in the pipeline for years, ever since the runaway success of the book. It almost felt surreal to finally be watching it. What was really cool was that it launched on Netflix last Friday, and all of my 'Metal' friends all seemed to be watching it at the same time. It was like being a kid in the 80's, when we all came into school on the Monday and talked about some film or TV show that we'd watched over the weekend!

Anyway, having read The Dirt a few years ago, the movie is an excellent adaptation. Naturally, a lot had been barely touched upon or omitted altogether as there was too much to fit into a single movie. 

I think it's important when reviewing a movie like this to remember that it's just that. It's not a documentary, it's a film designed to entertain. Due to the volume of source material, the pacing, and the character development, a few things clearly had to be changed to make the story work in this context. The timeline is more than a little sketchy, and there are a few untruths that will annoy a few die-hard Motley Crue fans.

I was expecting The Dirt to be an over-the-top Sex Drugs n' Rock n' Roll film veering a little too much into the realms of cheesy clichés, kinda like American Satan (read my review here) but without the supernatural element. It is very much that, but had some real depth in places that made it a more credible piece of work and saved it from being superficial trash.

I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed The Dirt. The actors were really convincing and some of the scenes and sets had been lovingly re-created from original photos and video footage. The film was fast-paced, really funny in places, and ultimately made the four reprobate band members quite endearing, despite their never-ending list of flaws.

The movie certainly did tackle some of the darkness and tragedy that plagued the band at certain points in their career. They stated in the press that the film wouldn't shy away from these issues, but that's only a half-truth. For example, there's the scene where Tommy Lee punches his fiancée in the face on the tour bus. I'm not sure what the real-life events were, but in the movie, she's only focussed on a matter of minutes before the punch and not at all afterwards. She's demonised to a ridiculous degree, fucking Nicki Sixx behind Tommy's back moments before meeting his parents, referring to Tommy's mother as a cunt several times, them stabbing Tommy in the back with a pen. When Tommy loses it and punches her, there isn't a single viewer who wouldn't have thought that the character deserved it. It's a little uncomfortable considering that this is 'based on a true story', and it's highly unlikely that this is an accurate representation of what really happened.

In addition, Vince Neil's car crash scene where Hanoi Rocks' drummer Razzle is killed is pretty horrific as it should be. I was pleased that it was mentioned that there were two other people in critical condition. Sometimes these other victims aren't mentioned in the music press as though only rock stars count. However, although the film mentioned the ludicrously short jail sentence Vince received, it didn't explain why. When the law doesn't apply to the rich and famous in the same way it does to ordinary folk, people get pissed off and I think the writers of the film didn't want to vilify Vince's character too much by telling the whole truth. In fairness, it would have been a shit film if the viewer started to hate the main characters, and the screenplay was tweaked a few times to ensure that Motley Crue always bounced back as the flawed but loveable heroes they clearly want to be perceived as.

One thing that did piss me off a little was how the John Corabi era was glossed over as some mistake, and their first show was reminiscent of Spinal Tap supporting the puppet show. For the few seconds John was in it, he was portrayed as boring and crap. In reality, John was in the band for 5 years and the self-titled Motley Crue album not only scored 5 K's in Kerrang!, but is still revered by many fans as the best album they ever did. John saved their career through the Grunge years and he's rewarded by being made to look like a bell-end. The fact that the band signed off on the script shows the lack of respect for a guy that used to be their friend.

My above criticisms aren't that major really. As I said before, it's just a film. A story based on some truth with plenty of entertaining fantasy filling in the gaps, helping Motley Crue to be remembered the way they'd like to be remembered, and taking the fans on an unforgettable roller-coaster ride.

Now let's wait for Guns n' Roses to announce that they're making a movie like this too!


Tuesday 19 March 2019

Album Review: QUEENSRŸCHE - The Verdict

01. Blood Of The Levant
02. Man The Machine
03. Light-Years
04. Inside Out
05. Propaganda Fashion
06. Dark Reverie
07. Bent
08. Inner Unrest
09. Launder The Conscience
10. Portrait

Monday 18 March 2019

Album Review: A PALE HORSE NAMED DEATH - When The World Becomes Undone

A Pale Horse Named Death - When The World Becomes Undone

01. As It Begins
02. When The World Becomes Undone
03. Love The Ones You Hate
04. Fell In My Hole
05. Succumbing To The Event Horizon
06. Vultures
07. End Of Days
08. The Woods
09. We All Break Down
10. Lay With The Wicked
11. Splinters
12. Dreams Of The End
13. Closure


Wednesday 13 March 2019

Album Review: IN FLAMES - I, The Mask

In Flames - I, The Mask

01. Voices
02. I, The Mask
03. Call My Name
04. I Am Above
05. Follow Me
06. (This Is Our) House
07. We Will Remember
08. In This Life
09. Burn
10. Deep Inside
11. All The Pain
12. Stay With Me
13. Not Alone (Bonus Track)

Tuesday 12 March 2019

Album Review: BEAST IN BLACK - From Hell With Love

Beast In Black - From Hell With Love

01. Cry Out For A Hero
02. From Hell With Love
03. Sweet True Lies
04. Repentless
05. Die By The Blade
06. Oceandeep
07. Unlimited Sin
08. True Believer
09. This Is War
10. Heart Of Steel
11. No Surrender
12. Killed By Death (Motorhead cover)
13. No Easy Way Out (Robert Tepper cover)


Sunday 10 March 2019

Movie Review: LORDS OF CHAOS (2018)

Out of all of Metal's subgenres, none has quite the high volume of utter cunts as the Black Metal scene. As a teenager, I remember the reports of the church burnings and murders, and how this scene sky-rocketed from nowhere as edgy teens embraced their inner nihilist after being easily impressed by the violence, racism, homophobia and general intolerance being purveyed by a handful of assholes in Norway.

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past thirty years, you will probably be familiar with the infamous story that Lords Of Chaos is based upon. In short, Øystein "Euronymous" Aarseth, founder of Mayhem and arguably the inventor of True Norwegian Black Metal, is obsessed with being in the most evil band in the world. He is involved in a few church burnings along with his mates, and eventually gets stabbed to death by his former bass player and Burzum main-man Varg Vikernes. Oh, and before that, original Mayhem singer Dead blows his brains out, and Faust (from Emperor) stabs a gay man to death in some bushes. Fun true fact: Faust stabbed the man thirty-seven times as well as repeatedly kicking him in the head. He only served nine years in jail before being released.

As expected, many Black Metal fans worldwide have condemned this movie as inaccurate. However, with so many varying accounts of the story, everyone seems to have their own truth. Having done a bit of research, the script seems to be way more accurate than many Black Metal cry-babies believe. Sorry, but Varg Vikernes was a murderous Nazi sympathising scumbag, and he is depicted as the knob he is in real life. Having said that, this is a movie and there will always be some creativity and bending of the truth in order to make the story work in this context. After all, Lords Of Chaos is not a documentary.

Director Jonas Åkerlund, who incidentally used to play drums for Bathory, has done a fantastic job, especially with his attention to detail. Some of the real-life photos and locations from that era are replicated incredibly well. I was a little put off by the use of American actors instead of Norwegian ones, but in fairness, they are excellent, particularly Rory Culkin, whose depiction of Euronymous shows the character's vulnerable side as well as the vile qualities he was known for. The film accurately shows the geeky, awkward and immature side of these young men. As the viewer, you feel yourself being dragged further down the rabbit hole as their attempts to shock and convey an image of authentic evil, get out of hand as they continually try to impress and compete with one another.

I thoroughly enjoyed Lord Of Chaos. It had a good balance of humour and unsettling darkness, as well as being a perfectly paced, beautifully filmed, and overall well-made film. It has also given the Black Metal scene some mainstream attention, which I'm sure will enrage genre purists and gatekeepers everywhere. Such sweet tears.


Saturday 9 March 2019

Album Review: HERMAN FRANK - Fight The Fear

Herman Frank - Fight The Fear

01. Until The End
02. Fear
03. Terror
04. Sinners
05. Hatred
06. Hail & Row
07. Hitman
08. Stay Down
09. Rock You
10. Don't Cross The Line
11. Are You Ready
12. Wings Of Destiny
13. Waiting For The Night
14. Lost In Heaven

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