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since 20/12/2000


I Get Wet - Andrew W.K. 29/10/2001

We do what we like and we like what we do

I Get Wet - Andrew W.K. Hair Metal: If there is a term that conjures up more loathing in the mind of a rock fan from the early 90's onwards, it's that. Spearheaded by outfits like Motley Crue and Poison, it ruled the 80's rock scene until bands like Nirvana and Faith No More arrived and began to sound it's death-knell. But be warned, for it's disciples didn't go away, they merely waited for a messiah to come. And at last he has come, (looking not a little like Jesus, it has to be said) and his name is: Andrew W.K. Hailing from New York City, Andrew W.K. (standing for alternatively: White Killer, Want Kicks, or Women Kum) has been going for a year now, releasing two EPs on independent label BULB. These EPs were charmingly entitled “Party ‘Til You Puke” and “Girls Own Juice”, and contained a high-energy throwback to the rock musicof the late 80s. That’s right boys and girls * gasp * Hair Metal! On the strength of these EPs, he was signed to Island Records, and began work on his debut album “I Get Wet”, due out on the 12th of November 2001. Preceding it is the single “Party Hard”, which is currently receiving heavy rotation on MTV2 and Radio One. The single is, at once utterly exhilarating and utterly moronic. Sounding like a fuzzed-up, industrialised and lobotomised version of the old Cheap Trick template, complete with a bone-headed chorus, which I will now relate for you: “Let’s get a party goin’ ...

Lynx Deodorant Spray 26/10/2001

Good smells and good prices

Lynx Deodorant Spray It’s only in the past few years that I’ve had to bother looking seriously at deodorants. Before that time, Christmas seemed to deliver unto me a limitless supply of what I referred to as “smelly stuff” from my extended family. I also began to realise that using it on occasion seemed to be a good idea, something that escaped my notice in my early teenage years. Therefore I was forced to go to the supermarket and spend some of my hard earned dough on this stuff, and, not knowing better, I went with a brand I knew quite well, Lynx. It seemed a cut above a lot of cheaper brands, and the smell, as I remembered was nice without being either feminine or too overpowering. I’m gonna digress for a second and speak about deodorising, because from what I’ve smelt, a lot of boys and young me seem to either do too little or too much. Deodorant isn’t perfume, and shouldn’t be used like that, as too much is as bad as none at all. I generally find a short spray at each of the “danger areas” (armpits and groin generally) followed by a light spray over the torso tends to work fine. Using it like that generally helps me stay fresh without choking everyone in my immediate vicinity. But anyway, Lynx has been around for donkeys, they frequently update the range of fragrances, but they tend to have a choice of five on the go at any one time. The fragrances are themselves are aromatic, but not overpowering unless used to excess. ...

Member Advice on Hairstyles 26/10/2001

Is the Mullet the new Flares

Member Advice on Hairstyles Ah, the mullet, that most maligned of hairdos. Beloved of Ice Hockey Players, Rednecks and AC/DC fans alike, and derided by everyone else, the mullet was an important part of the 1980’s culture. The term “mullet” was first coined by rappers The Beastie Boys to describe a variety of hairstyles that combined short top and front cut with a long flowing back. In isolation, it doesn’t seem like a bad idea, the advantages of long hair without ever having to worry about it getting in your eyes, in your mouth or up your nose. Unsurprisingly it caught on big time, particularly amongst sports stars, rock stars and their emulators. Sports stars found they could have long, flowing locks without ever worrying about their vision being obscured at a critical moment. For Rock stars, meanwhile, it seems to have been a more aesthetic choice, but god only knows why. That was until taste stepped in. The Beasties wrote and article about mullets in their “Grand Royale” magazine, as well as the song “Mullethead”. They made it fashionable to Mullet-bash, leading to may great icons beating a quick path to the barbers. There are countless websites on the subject, lots of ironic memorabilia, and even a few books on the subject. It’s acquired a slew of nicknames from the witty (Ape Drape), to the obvious (Poodle Cut) to the downright obscure (Guido?). I’ve had a friend admit to me recently that they used to sport one. I was told ...

Toxicity - System Of A Down 26/09/2001

Insanity and Melody

Toxicity - System Of A Down System Of A Down have been around for a few years now, first appearing on the international scene with their self-titled 1998 debut. That album was an explosion of different styles with an almost punk anger, like Mr Bungle jamming with the Dead Kennedys. On this, their second album, they have continued very much in this mould, mixing Jazz, Rock, Punk and Middle-Eastern Folk music into an innovative and unique style. The album is a little short, at just over 41 minutes for 14 tracks, but the quality and intensity within is blinding. The track listing is as follows: 1. Prison Song 2. Needles 3. Deer Dance 4. Jet Pilot 5. X 6. Chop Suey! 7. Bounce 8. Forest 9. ATWA 10. Science 11. Shimmy 12. Toxicity 13. Psycho 14. Aerials “Prison Song” opens up with a stop-start guitar riff and whispered vocals, before kicking into the main riff. From there we shift into the verse, where Vocalist Serj rants about America’s draconian drug policies, whilst guitarist Daron parodies “gangsta” attitudes, before they go onto claim that the US Government is financed by drug money. As a backing to this lyrical tirade, the band shift time and style at the drop of a hat. All in all, a shockingly good introduction and a good indication of what is to come. Track two, “Needles” is a little more of the same, the band switch between musical styles, whilst Serj seems to sing about addiction, comparing it to a parasite. This gives us one of ...

All Killer, No Filler - Sum 41 25/09/2001

Sum Killer Sum Filler

All Killer, No Filler - Sum 41 All Killer No Filler - Sum41 Say kids, are y'all ready for the next big thing? Canadian Pop-Punk types Sum41 may well be it. Current Video "Fat Lip/Pain for Pleasure" is on heavy M2 rotation, sounding like a collision between Blink182, The Beastie Boys and... Iron Madien? Yep, after the main track, catchy little Rap/Punk/Pop excursion "Fat Lip" has finished, we are treated to "Pain For Pleasure", a minute and a half of pure Old School Metal worship. That's all very well, but can the boys deliver an album to match up to this potential breakthrough track? Well the album in question, the confidently entitled "All Killer, No Filler" possesses no moments to match the-aformetioned double onslaught, but it dies come close a couple of times. The track listing is as follows: 1: Introduction To Destruction 2: Nothing On My Back 3: Never Wake Up 4: Fat Lip 5: Rhythms 6: Motivation 7: In too Deep 8: Summer 9: Handle This 10: Crazy Amanda Bunkface 11: All She's Got 12: Heart Attack 13: Pain For Pleasure "Introduction To Destruction" kicks things of. A gravelly voice apes Vincent Price's classic intro to Iron Madien's "Number of the Beast". From there, we dive straight into "Nothing On My Back", a great piece of Blink 182-esque Punk pop, well-written and infectious, a potential hit if it's ever released. "Never Wake Up" kinda spoils the mood somewhat, being an atrocious little sub-one minute hardcore bash with a melodic chorus. However, "Fat Lip" causes me to ...

Iowa (Parental Advisory) [PA] - Slipknot 13/09/2001

SlipKnot Roolz

Iowa (Parental Advisory) [PA] - Slipknot Ok, My attempt at irony in the title aside, I have to confess I enjoyed this album. Before I go into a description of the album, I suppose I’d better introduce the band. Slipknot are currently the biggest Metal Band on the planet. Their self-titled second album was released in 1999 and has sold millions of copies. The band appear live in matching boiler suits, their faces covered by fright masks, and musically, they play an intense, angst-ridden variation of the popular Nu-Metal Sound. Given the massive commercial success of their self-titled last album, it would have been easy for Slipknot to “do a Metallica” and release a more mainstream, but less satisfying album. Instead, the 18-legged Iowa Hate Machine decided to release an album that ups the ante considerably. It’s faster and heavier in place than the last album, but also more measured in places. “[515]” is first up; there’s not much to say here, it’s a minute of screaming set to a dull electronic throb. It goes on for just long enough that, as you reach for the skip button on your CD player, the next track begins. Track 2, “People = Sh*t” is where the album proper begins. Opening with more anguished screaming and blast-beats that belong more on a Cradle Of Filth record, Vocalist Corey Taylor’s first utterance sums up the track perfectly: “Here we go again, motherf***er!” Brutal and focussed, you really couldn’t ask for a better ...

Scream Dracula Scream - Rocket From The Crypt 06/09/2001

Young Livers Rule Tonight

Scream Dracula Scream - Rocket From The Crypt RFTC- Scream, Dracula, Scream! Ah this album brings back memories! I got it just after I’d seen the band play live in October ‘96, and it didn’t leave my CD player for a month following that. For the uninitiated, Rocket From The Crypt (hereafter, RFTC), were (and still are) the coolest punk n’ roll band in the world. Attired in matching bowling shirts and quiffs and possessed of the best horn section this side of James Brown, they both looked and sounded impressive on stage. The question I had at that time was; would they live up to the same standard on record? I wasn’t disappointed. Each song is a party waiting to happen, the de rigeur pounding drums and snarling guitars topped off with call-and-response gang vocals and powerful horns. No one can claim that main man Speedo is the world’s greatest singer, but he delivers bucket loads of attitude and charisma to each well-crafted ditty. The resulting mixture is like a collision between between Areosmith and James Brown in a Brylcream factory. The track listing is as follows: 1. Middle 2. Born In '69 3. On A Rope 4. Young Livers 5. Drop Out 6. Used 7. Ball Lightning 8. Fat Lip 9. Suit City 10. Heater Hands 11. Misbeaten 12. Come See, Come Saw 13. Salt Future 14. Burnt Alive As opening salvos go “Middle” is up there with the best. Pounding drums and gang vocals lead us through a minute and a half of sheer punk fury, not so much “warming ...

Director's Cut - Fantômas 04/09/2001

Strange, Beautiful Music

Director's Cut - Fantômas On paper, Fantomas seem to be my ultimate band. A “Supergroup” composed of some of avant-garde rock’s leading names: Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr Bungle), Buzz Osborne (The Melvins), Trevor Dunn (Mr Bungle) and Dave Lombardo (Slayer, Grip Inc). However, upon listening to their first album, I found it somewhat disappointing. 30 tracks of non-linear noise, sounding to all the world like Napalm Death had been asked to contribute incidental music to a David Lynch film. It was music I could appreciate, but I didn’t enjoy it. That said though, when their next album “The Directors Cut” was announced as an album of movie soundtrack covers, I was intrigued. After I got it, I was hooked again! The track listing is as follows: 01. The Godfather 02. Der Golem 03. Experiment In Terror 04. One Step Beyond 05. Night Of The Hunter 06. Cape Fear 07. Rosemary's Baby 08. The Devil Rides Out 09. Spider Baby 10. The Omen (Ave Satani) 11. Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer 12. Vendetta 13. (six second of silence, guess the band are superstitious) 14. Investigation Of A Citizen Above Suspicion 15. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me 16. Charade “The Godfather” did not build up my hopes. After a quiet intro, the band kick in full thrash metal mode. This itself isn’t too bad, but Patton, possibly one of rock’s greatest vocalists reduces himself to the same yelping and burping delivery he did in the first ...

Rated R - Queens of the Stone Age 04/09/2001

Restricted to Everyone, Everywhere

Rated R - Queens of the Stone Age Queens of the Stone Age: Rated ‘R’ Updated 05.09.2001, (cos my original version was crap.) Wow. This album is something else. At the moment, with rock music seemingly in the grip of endless Nu Metal and Pop-Punk clones, this is an album that truly pushes the boundaries of the rock music genre. The band themselves are something of a collective, based around Josh Homme (Vocals, Guitar) and Nick Oliveri (Vocals, Bass), with numerous guest musicians. Homme and Oliveri were both formerly of Desert Rock gods Kyuss, although Oliveri has also spent time with punk nutters The Dwarves, under the moniker Rex Everything. If you’ve listened to both bands, you may have some idea of what to expect, elephantine guitars, snaking bass and warped punk “attitood”. Whilst all these elements are present on the debut, there’s also a whole lot more to this album, and, indeed the band than their CVs would indicate. The track listing is as follows: 1. Feel Good Hit Of The Summer 2. The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret 3. Leg Of Lamb 4. Auto Pilot 5. Better Living Through Chemistry 6. Monsters In The Parasol 7. Quick And To The Pointless 8. In The Fade 9. Tension Head 10. Lightning Song 11. I Think I Lost My Headache “Feel Good…” is the perfect opener, a solid bass bludgeon over a lyric comprised of a list of pharmaceuticals. This seems to be, more than anything, a sly dig at the “Stoner Rock” genre that ...

Southern Harmony And Musical Companion, The - Black Crowes 21/08/2001

Think you're in heaven

Southern Harmony And Musical Companion, The - Black Crowes This has to stand as one of the best albums by this band. The album itself is a heady mixture of Retro-Rock, Rhythm ‘n’ Blues, and Gospel music. Headed by brothers Chris (vocals) and Rich (guitar) Robinson, this band try to out-Stone The Rolling Stones, and more often than not they succeed. Whilst the Rolling Stones are the most obvious influence to this album, Chris’s vocal style recalls a more soulful Robert Plant, and the organ and female backing vocals add an almost-gospel edge to the music. Kicking things off is “Sting Me”, a ballsy little uptempo rocker. The guitars and piano jam off each other in the background whilst Chris duels backing vocalists Barbara and Joy. It’s a stirring start, assuring the listener that, whilst their influences are distinctly retro, they have the energy and exuberance of youth behind them. After that, we have “Remedy”, slightly more measured than the opening salvo, Chris lets the girls carry the meat of the chorus, whilst he jams off the spaces. There’s a lot going on instrumentally in this band (2 guitars, bass, drums and keys), but whilst the music never fails to be interesting, it also never overpowers or takes focus away from the song itself. From there we go into “Thorn In My Pride”, taking the pressure a little further off the pedal, and letting the band explore their even more soulful side. The band jam some more behind Chris’s sublime vocals, and the ...

Weezer (Green Album) - Weezer 20/08/2001

Come on and hit me

Weezer (Green Album) - Weezer As I’ve previously stated, I loved Weezer’s self-titled debut album, but I missed the 1996 follow-up “Pinkerton”, and, as the band dissolved following that album, I never really thought too much more about them. Then, earlier this year, they reformed and released another self-titled album. Every critic claimed it was a work of genius, and suddenly, I found myself digging out the first album for a few nostalgia spins. Still wary, I bought “Hash Pipe”, the first single from the album, and on the strength of that song, I bought the album. I’m sorry to admit it, but I found the album was slightly disappointing. To be fair, though, The Green Album had some pretty big shoes to fill. The first album is, in terms of emotive song writing, up there with Nirvana’s finest work. It also possessed a professional musicianship that only served to enhance the quality of the music within, without ever playing to the musician’s egos. Whilst this level of both musical ability and taste remains, the song writing is somehow “flatter” in many places of this album than on the first album. This is still an album that leaves many current bands eating Weezer’s dust, but the band have proven they can do better. Opener “Don’t Let Go” starts the album strongly enough. A beautiful little love song, with sweeping vocal harmonies tied to some buzzsaw guitars. It’s a great song, one that the Blink 182 ...

Angel Dust - Faith No More 03/08/2001

Damn Near Essential

Angel Dust - Faith No More I have to admit it; it took me a long time to get into Faith No More. When I was first getting into rock, I found the more immediate thrills of Metallica or Nirvana to be more appealing, it wasn’t until my late teens that I started to give this band the time it was due. When I did get into them, however, this was the first album I got. It still stands as a personal favourite, more in depth than their earlier, funkier efforts, but still with Jim Martin on guitar, this represents Faith No More’s transition from funk metallers ala The Red Hot Chilli Peppers into the genuinely eclectic outfit they became. Most of the tracks on this album see vocal god Mike Patton sing in the first person, but as a completely different character, thus sidestepping the tired old “singer’s got issues” debate. Behind him, the band attempt to mix up various styles, whilst Jim Martin sticks resolutely to a style of playing firmly rooted in Black Sabbath/Slayer-style metal. To call the end result chaotic would be an understatement. Land of Sunshine “You are an angel searching for a land of sunshine/ Fortune is smiling upon you” Here, Mr Patton seems to take on the role of observer, watching someone slowly succumb to the rigors and indignities of old age. Behind him the band are as funky as anything of preceding album “The Real Thing”, but Patton’s vocals transcend that album’s annoying nasal qualities and half-assed raps, ...

Weezer (Blue Album) - Weezer 10/07/2001

Pop rock perfection

Weezer (Blue Album) - Weezer Weezer are experiencing something of a welcome resurgence of late. Not only have they just released their third, untitled, album, called variously (and imaginatively) “The Green Album” or “Weezer 2001”. This 1994 album is however, where it all began. The ten tracks within contain some of the most consummate pop rock ever written, and this album’s influence can still be found today, with may modern acts like the Deftones and Green Day falling over themselves to name check this groups as an influence. The songs within rock hard, whilst never sacrificing melody, and always displaying a raw, emotive vulnerability. If you get the chance, listen to this album, and then you’ll begin to realise what a shallow joke modern “Geek Rock” bands like Wheatus or Nerf Herder are. First track up, we have “My Name Is Jonas”, where a brief acoustic intro gives way to massive power chords, which back, but never swamp the verse. It’s a great song, which a lot of lesser bands would kill for, but there’s a lot better to come. Track two is “No One Else”, a song about a boy being unable to overcome his own jealousy. Once again, massive guitars, and beautiful vocal harmonies grace this track, as well as a sublime guitar solo. All this goes to show that not only can the band sing well, and write good songs, they are also skilled musicians, which, is sadly rare these days. Next up we have “The World ...

Kerrang! The Album - Various Artists 09/07/2001

Nu Metal 101

Kerrang! The Album - Various Artists If you’ve been listening to the radio over the last few months, you’ll find that mainstream radio is embracing more and more of the so-called “Nu Metal” bands. Bands like Papa Roach, Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit have all had repeated chart success in recent time, exposing several pop fans to a (slightly) harder edge alternative. Picking up on this trend, the UK’s biggest mainstream rock magazine, Kerrang, has released this CD compilation featuring most of the main names in the business, along with a few lesser lights and rising stars. I’ll get this out the way at the moment; I’m not the biggest Nu Metal fan on the planet. I like some of it, but a lot of it just makes me cringe. Must be getting old, huh?J However, there is some good stuff on the album if you’re prepared to dig. The album itself is a 39-track, 2-CD compilation, which retails for only slightly more than a normal CD (I paid £15) for mine. The track listing is as follows: Disc 01 01 Limp Bizkit: My Generation 02: Puddle Of Mudd: Control 03: Deftones: Back To School (Mini Maggit) 04: Wheatus: Teenage Dirtbag 05: Feeder: Buck Rogers 06: Filter: Hey Man, Nice Shot. 07: Bloodhound Gang: The Ballad of Chasey Lain 08: Ash: Burn, Baby, Burn 09: My Vitriol: Always Your Way 10: Raging Speedhorn: The Gush 11: The Step Kings: Inbalance 12: Vacant Stare: Come’ Face Up 13: Kittie: Charlotte 14: Vast: Free 15: (hep) Planet Earth: Killin’ ...

Lara Croft - Tomb Raider (DVD) 06/07/2001

Jolie does Temple of Doom

Lara Croft - Tomb Raider (DVD) OK, I have to admit it: I went into this movie with low (shallow?) expectations. I wasn’t disappointed. For those of you who don’t know, this is a movie based on the highly successful “Tomb Raider” computer game series, featuring pneumatic cyber-babe Lara Croft. Having never played any of the games, I can’t comment on their plots, but, as far as I can tell, it involves and improbably-proportioned woman running, jumping and shooting her way around various ancient tombs and temples. Obviously, the film version wasn’t going to be Hamlet. What we have instead is a decent action movie with a rather pretty protagonist (the wonderful Angelina Jolie), some good stunts, and a plot you could fit on a chewing gum wrapper. The plot revolves around a race across the globe to retrieve the parts of a mystic triangle. Once assembled, the triangle will give it’s possessor the ability to control time. Lara wants to use this power to save her father, who was killed sixteen years ago, whereas the Illuminati (big bad guy conspiracy), want to use the power to take over the world or something (their motivation never seems to develop beyond “power for powers sake”). The plot, however, is just a backdrop for a series of stunts and breath-taking set pieces. Unlike “The Mummy Returns”, “Tomb Raider” relies more on stunts than CGI effects, and we’re treated to an array of fight and action sequences which would ...
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