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heideroosjes

heideroosjes

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Reviews written

since 01/12/2000

92

Samsung E800 24/05/2005

The Monica Bellucci Of The Phone World

Samsung E800 You know you've stepped across a right little gem when you slide the phone open and it makes a Star Trek like noise, and proceeds to do another similar sound upon closure (you can change the sound or turn it off). Although I myself aren't a fan of the popular series I am happy to accept the novelties that the show seems to have brought into out technological lives…. and especially onto this phone. So why the Monica Bellucci of the phone world, I hear you ask? Well, like the aforementioned Italian beauty; it is sexy; it will leave you drooling; and, if I could have sex with it, I would. In all seriousness, however, and stepping aside from my evidently testosterone driven madness which has probably alienated the female readers at such an early stage, it's a damn fine phone that in all my selfishness, I wish only I could own: let me tell you more. Having tracked this phone for a while on the Samsung international website, waiting patiently for Orange to admit it to their league of upgrade available phones, it finally arrived and, through the seemingly devious ploy of telling Orange I was thinking of quitting (now the only way to get what you want with companies), the phone arrived on my doorstep for a zero sum. Looking at the fact that it costs £280 sim-free from The Carphone Warehouse, I think it's a pretty good deal. Otherwise this phone is more than worth the £280 to pay for its unattached services, which is the way I'd quite like my Bellucci…(unattached that is, for I am ...

thetrainline.com 22/05/2005

As simple as...

thetrainline.com Thetrainline is a site I have used on many occasions. In fact, it is my preferred method of purchasing train tickets due to the simplicity of the operation and remoteness of my village, with the nearest town railway station unable to sell tickets. The option then remains to purchase tickets on the train when it arrives, which I am happy to do on shorter journeys but somehow having a long-distance ticket in your hand before you step onto the train gives a feeling of relaxation and assuredness. This review will look at thetrainline site, from its general look to the efficacy of the ordering system, whilst also venturing slightly into the newer services provided by the site since its inception. -Main Site Thetrainline loads promptly and ease of navigation is aided by clear menu structures and a reasonably uncluttered mains screen. The main function of the site is to find train times and book tickets accordingly. In my experience it certainly does this without a problem. I have heard stories, when sat on trains, of the system having failed, or tickets having turned up late, yet this has never happened to me. From what it seems, the train conductors appear informed of the situation and, thus, accept reference numbers, which gives confidence in using this service even if it does, occasionally, fail in part. The site uses a familiar colour scheme: light blue, light green and aqua and this is how it has been for as far back as I can remember. Although I feel this is not ...

Irreversible (DVD) 21/05/2005

Le Temps Détruit Tout

Irreversible (DVD) I rarely get a chance to write a film review due to what I perceive as the complexity of the task. My usual music reviews are done on a musical and lyrical level, whereas with films we remove the lyrical, replace it with the dialogue and add menu systems, cinematography as well as the acting performances: in essence, we could write an essay on an individual film. From the outset, when the DVD has been loaded into the player, one realises this film is intended to set itself apart from others. The copyright warning, rather static on most DVDs is, here, alive. It twists a little from side to side before the menu finally loads. The menu is partially animated, with the options moving slightly, some of the letters reversed and with the occasional flicker. I have chosen to review the film before detailing the menu options and what happens once those options are selected. Suffice it to say, this is the part most people will be interested in. -Film Irreversible: not reversible or alterable. That is where the ingenuity lies in this film. The title suggests that we cannot reverse something, yet the film is presented in that way: a single day in reverse chronological order, revealing the events leading up to a specific action. Personally I really like this type of film; it intrigues throughout as we aim to discover what the reasons behind such a heinous outburst of violence, disclosing more evidence of how far humans will go to seek revenge. It is at these points where human ...

Camino - Small Victory (A) 17/05/2005

Slowly going the way of the...

Camino - Small Victory (A) I am continuously stunned by the depth of the Ciao catalogue at the moment....and pleased that I can introduce more bands that no one will have heard of into people's lives, even if for a short minute or so... I have been to gigs that start in such a way that I have stood in awe; my jaw-dropped to terra firma as the early notes ring out across the venue. Far be it from a physical disability that might otherwise leave my chin as a mere remnant on my face but the start to A Small Victory's El Camino has just that very same effect on me, so much so that it has warranted replay ever since its arrival, albeit restricted to those rooms that have been thoughtfully carpeted for such an occasion. California-based Lobster Records appears to be releasing a fair amount at the moment, including quality debuts from previously unknown bands: El Camino fits into that frame as it stands as A Small Victory's full-length unveiling, after The Pieces We Keep EP (2003). From the small town of Buford, North-east of Atlanta, Georgia; Mark Walker (vocals); Luke Bareis (guitar); Danny Song (guitar); John Addington (bass); and Zack Bareis (drums) give us ten tracks which can generally be defined as moderately catchy American punk rock. It is always important to start strongly on an album but it should, ideally, be good throughout. El Camino falls outside this desired format as it becomes a little tiring halfway through, after the aforementioned start in the amazing Limousines And Cheap Cigars ...

Charity. Burns. Green - Days Like These 15/05/2005

Charity.Burns.Green

Charity. Burns. Green - Days Like These Citing Radiohead, Incubus and Coldplay, within the booklet, as bands the listener should tune into, it becomes clear, even without listening to a note, where the band's influences will lie. These influences are indeed clear to be seen right from the very start in Charity Burns Green; using Incubus-styled vocals that sound as if they are reaching out to a distant object, attempting to draw it nearer. The result of this is a record that with the punkier guitaring sounds very much like emo, in the vein of Boy Sets Fire, but without the harder, screaming vocals, nor the foibles that we often find in that type of music. Yet, these influences do not define the album. It quite happily has its own sound and a good one at that. Coming together as friends at the local high school in Vineland, New Jersey, it is rare to find six musicians in one band, but that is the exact number at which Days Like These stands. The six; Angel Santiago (vocals); Brad Harrison (guitar/vocals); Derrick Miller (guitar/sounds); Mark Hooven (bass); Ron Segers (drums/percussion); and, interestingly, Chris Applegate on keyboard, piano and organ have crafted a solid album, another remarkable addition to the Lobster Records portfolio. Chris initially appears to figure much less on Charity Burns Green than his fellow band members but the addition of these clavier instruments actually adds a dynamic to the sections where it is present, even if it is difficult to pick up singularly. Turning to a couple of high ...

Above the City - Smoke or Fire 04/05/2005

No Smoke Without Fire....or so it seems

Above the City - Smoke or Fire Smoke Or Fire came together in Boston, New England in 1998 and released When The Battery Dies as a nine track EP in 2000 on Gunboat Records. Moving in 2002 to Richmond, Virginia to concentrate on music without the expectations of those living in the city where the famous Harvard University is located and where living costs are high, the move south is represented on the album, Above The City, in Goodbye To Boston where the obvious frustrations of living in such a place torment day after day. The band was later renamed from its original Jericho to its present name after an Australian Christian-rock band of the same name threatened to bring the law into the equation: perhaps not the liturgy one might have expected. Now signed to Fat Wreck Chords, which speaks volumes, the band consists of; Ken Gurley (bass); Joe McMahon (guitar, vocals); Jeremy Cochran (guitar); and Nick Maggiore (drums). At times sounding heavily like the UK's own Vanilla Pod, a positive one must add, Smoke Or Fire start poorly in California's Burning but this soon turns out to be an aberration on Above The City as the song recovers immediately to leave the album free to impress. Similar to Florida's Hot Water Music but more aggressively punk than the post-hardcore label that people have attempted to attach to Smoke Or Fire's music, Above The City coalesces many an energetic track with the rare slower song (the acoustic Cryin' Shame) and therefore reenergises and calms all in one effort. Introducing a ...

Amazon.co.uk 03/05/2005

Trip down the Amazon.

Amazon.co.uk ****Update of one of my first ever reviews on this site**** Amazon is probably one of the best known shopping sites on the Internet. As the first real e-commerce site I used I was fascinated at the items they stocked and the savings I could make over some highstreet stores at the time. A few years on and that pretty much remains true. Their stock has been expanded and their prices remain better than offline, yet newer, more interesting internet retailers have begun to chip away at that podium upon which Amazon has proudly sat. On with the review... {If I have forgotten to list anything here please let me know} Look of the site: Looking at the Amazon site it is nothing special. The American one has just been updated slightly in an attempt to make it sleeker. The UK site will probably follow suit as it has not had a dramatic makeover since its inception. Despite looking as it has done over the years, it is perhaps the customary look of Amazon that increases its success. You know, when you've shopped there once, what to expect next time - something inexperienced internet shoppers look for: stability. The only thing that gets on my nerves is the fact that the Starlogic DVD player creeps up on almost every page…I don't want this product!!! The colour scheme Amazon use is soft on the eye: pale shades of yellow and blue work well with the dark text and may even relax the user - clever marketing in my opinion. Categories: The categories on Amazon work well: ...

On - Staring Back 27/04/2005

At a glance...

On - Staring Back Staring Back originally formed in 1997 in Santa Barbara, California and returns with a re-release on Lobster Records of the 12-track 2002 record On. The second full-lengther, following debut Many Will Play (2001) and The Mean Streets of Goleta EP (1999), appears aimed at the European market in view of the anticipated release of a new studio album this year. The quintet now stands as; Jason Bradley (vocals); Ryan Mendez (guitar); Vic Breen (bass); Gavin Miller (drums); and Greg Griesser (guitar), the latter having replaced original guitarist Matt Evans long after this record was made. A regular on the 2002 and 2004 Vans' Warped Tour Staring Back immediately grabs the listener's attention in one of the best guitaring intros to a punk album in opening track Version 2.0. As a result of this kairotic moment, within minutes of having started, On asserts itself; becoming a force to be reckoned with; one that punches away favourably in intrepid fashion. Backed up all along by some strong, often mitrailleuse drumming, the album continues further with sharp, clean guitaring all the way through, demonstrated to good effect in the riffs in Haunted and the forceful guitars in X.Out. The music becomes especially melodic in Note To Self, which is the general style of the vocals on this record and, occasionally the guitars. Introducing catchy segments in Invite Only Staring Back has aimed On at the modern punk market but we must not forget the harder power chords and general guitaring ...

Live in a Dive (Live Recording) - Lagwagon 25/04/2005

Dive into the live....

Live in a Dive (Live Recording) - Lagwagon Southern California's Lagwagon formed in 1990, originally under the name Section 8 and boasts the fact that the band was the first to be signed to the now famous Fat Wreck label, debuting with Duh in 1992. Despite early changes to the line-up, currently Lagwagon stand as five; Joey (vocals); Flip (guitar); Jesse (bass); Leon (guitar); Dave (drums). Their so-cal brand of punk rock continues to be the inspiration for kids today, or at least inspired from bands who themselves were impressed with Lagwagon years ago. It is ironic that Fat Wreck chose Hollywood as the location for their next instalment of the Live in a Dive series, the 7th to be exact. More appropriately, however, may be Lagwagon as the label's choice to play that venue, a band befitting of any venue, anywhere in the world. Having seen Lagwagon live, having been disappointed with the unenergetic performance and a tendency for the songs to all sound similar, it made sense to expect much of the same on this live record but surprisingly Lagwagon almost seem to play up to the fact that their performance is being recorded, or did I just catch them on a bad day. Recorded over a year and a half ago on two separate occasions at Hollywood's House of Blues venue, the Live in a Dive album certainly is a collection of Lagwagon's best material to date, combining the old and the new, and includes previously unreleased track The Chemist amongst the 22 songs. It includes all the old favourites, those tracks that made Fat Wreck ...

Black Snow - Mikhail Bulgakov 18/04/2005

The snow has been tarnished by the colour of blood

Black Snow - Mikhail Bulgakov For those interested in Bulgakov history, my other Bulgakov review reveals his life, albeit as a short introduction. I will therefore spare those who have already read the history the monotony of reading it a second time. Onwards therefore… we have much to discuss… Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita stands at the forefront of Russian and world literature but isn't the great master's only recognised work. There are many, including A Country Doctor's Notebook that may not have quite the same magic as Bulgakov's most famous work but, despite their lack of mysticism (apart from The Fatal Eggs) are relative to Bulgakov's life and his experiences and make compelling reading nonetheless. Black Snow is probably the most intriguing of Bulgakov's other texts. Often referred to as A Theatrical Novel, it is a satire, based on his experiences of the Moscow Theatre, where he worked for a while, and the Theatre's director, Stanislavsky, who he found to be a difficult fellow to work with. Stanislavsky had created a 'method' of acting, which many actors embraced wholeheartedly, yet the great writer did not as it interfered with the way in which his play had been written. In the novel the 'method' is paralleled and articulated as a destructive piece. The clever way in which Bulgakov, as in The Master and Margarita where he depicted Stalin's behaviour within the devil's character (Woland), depicts his former employer, albeit in a less abstract manner, is testament to this ...

To the Nines - Only Crime 16/04/2005

Listen to the voice of persuasion...

To the Nines - Only Crime Only Crime is: Russ Rankin, Zach Blair, Aaron Dalbec, Doni Blair and Bill Stevenson Having recently interviews Russ, one realises the magnificence of this album, which entertains on a personal level through emotion and makes complete, worldly sense.... a credit to excellent songwriting. The Review: With Russ Rankin (Good Riddance) on vocals and Bill Stevenson (Descendents, All, Black Flag) on drums one cannot ignore the talent emanating from this band. Sensing a deceleration in his band's existence, Rankin wanted to continue his music and, after forming Creep Division with bassists, Chuck Platt (Good Riddance) and Craig Ahead (Sick Of It All), Only Crime was conceived. Rankin brings over the same distinct gravelly voice that we have come to admire in Good Riddance but this time the synonymous political lyrics have been heavily reduced, now replaced with personal reflection and social observation. Yet, Rankin has vowed to retain a level of political diatribe and is displayed in title track, To The Nines: "Once upon a time I believed I could change the world, but I was wrong"; after all he is an advocate of getting to know your country better in order to criticise it more deeply. The hardcore elements are plain to see and are matched by a melodious mélange of vocals and guitars in Sedated and Fallen Idols. Aggression has been brought in, setting Only Crime aside as a different entity to Stevenson's Black Flag, an entity lacking none of the passion or resolve ...

Exile in Oblivion - Strung Out 18/03/2005

Exiled... Hardly!!!

Exile in Oblivion - Strung Out Formed in 1992, Strung Out is one of Southern California’s longest running punk bands and having been one of Fat Wreck Chord’s first signings they are continually going from strength to strength. Consisting of Jason (vocals), Jordan (drums), Rob (guitar), Jake (guitar) and Chris (bass), Exile in Oblivion is Strung Out’s best effort to date and follows on splendidly from the 2002 release An American Paradox. This time round the album is more polished than previous releases, with quality running almost throughout. Always lyrically impeccable, Strung Out have, in Exile in Oblivion, provided nothing to detract from this great compliment. Mention of Lucifer and vampires adds a dark and meaningful edge to what is essentially melodic punk with a twist and explores the band’s understanding of mystery within the complex reality of the world within which we live. Commencing with a short introduction of 50s or 60s-esque female vocals, the album is soon kick-started by Analog, moving into the excellent tracks (Blueprint Of The Fall and Katatonia) before reverting to the more subdued and melodic ‘core’ of the album. Never Speak Again rescues the album after this passive milieu but is short-lived as Strung Out grapple with a mixture of good and bad refrains, most obvious in Scarlet. Exile in Oblivion returns to punk rock as it is now known in the final two tracks, ending this further chapter in the band’s continued story on a moderately high note. One can always guarantee ...

Still Not Getting Any... - Simple Plan 13/03/2005

It Ain't Getting Any Simpler...

Still Not Getting Any... - Simple Plan Having burst onto the scene in 2002 with their debut album No Pads, No Helmets, Just Balls, Montreal’s Simple Plan finally return with Still Not Getting Any, an album that takes off from where its predecessor departed and reinforces the band’s commitment to indulgent, catchy, pop-edged punk rock. It was in fact a Nofx/Face to Face concert that gave the inspiration behind Simple Plan’s music, due to the accessibility to youth of the punk scene and the lack of façade, away from other, more pretentious, scenes that give little chance to growing talent. Simple Plan consists of Pierre Bouvier (vocals), Chuck Comeau (Drums), David Desrosiers (Bass, Vocals), Sebastien Lefebvre (Guitar, Vocals), and Jeff Stinco (Guitar). The quintet has been on the Vans Warped Tour for the last 3 years, an accolade in itself if you put the near 2 million debut American album sales aside for a moment. These successes have no doubt contributed to the addition of Bob Rock (N.B. Metallica’s ‘Black Album’, Motley Crue’s ‘Doctor Feelgood’) as album producer this time round. Still Not Getting Any includes the bouncy tracks Shut Up and Jump before the album flows into the middle section and then unexpectedly moves into a heart-rending finale of One and Untitled, using both the beauty of violins and piano to convey additional emotion. It also digs at society’s obsession with vanity in Crazy whilst addressing as many contemporary issues, including cosmetic surgery, as established foibles of man’s ...

Definitive Act - Tsunami Bomb 28/02/2005

The Power of the Tsunami Bomb

Definitive Act - Tsunami Bomb Formed late 90s in Petaluma, Northern California and discovered by AFI bassist Hunter Bergman, Tsunami Bomb have built on a passion for music and on the successes that have given them Warped Tour appearances in the recent past. The Definitive Act is the first record to be produced since the band’s popularity exploded, giving them the chance to prove themselves once again and continue to attract from a wide audience. Often described as fun, creepy, pirate pop punk (due unfortunately to one raucous 7“ release), one immediately recognises in Tsunami Bomb the overtones of a drawn voice and dirty sounding guitars that may have gone some way towards this peculiar portrayal. Having introduced the vague beginnings of metal into their punk music, especially in end track Jigsaw, on new album The Definitive Act, Tsunami Bomb provide a purposeful album, full of catchy yet roughened tracks that allow the listener to enjoy music without feeling duped into feeling something that visibly isn’t there. Never having habituated myself with female fronted punk bands; save The Distillers and Tilt, not for any particular reason other than the unpalatable forced vocals, lead singer, Agent ‘M’, yes she does go by that name, of Tsunami Bomb provides a distinctly different sound altogether: more melodious and a lot sharper. These melodic vocals, along with having signed to the commercial Kung Fu Records (home to The Ataris, Alkaline Trio and, more markedly, The Vandals) may be why this band has ...

Live in a Dive (Live Recording) - Subhumans 23/10/2004

Head on down to Subvert City...

Live in a Dive (Live Recording) - Subhumans The Subhumans are the first band not on the Fat Wreck label to have been invited to record for their 'Live In A Dive' record series and are also the first with the original credentials and pedigree of a punk band. Originally formed in 1980, out of the backlash of the Sex Pistols, the Subhumans were based in Warminster, Wiltshire, and always offered quality political antagonism alongside their gritty vocals and guitars. Having gone through several personnel changes throughout their early years, the Subhumans return with a collection of 25 past releases, plus one new song, all recently recorded live at the Showcase Theatre in Corona, California, in true punk style: this is a collection of songs, punk at heart and just too damn real for its own good! Live records always carry with them a kind of magic that ordinary records quite often fail to capture, especially in the punk scene. 'Live In A Dive' is no exception; it oozes energy and venom, whilst making political statements that seem just as adept and appropriate today as they ever were. ' This Year’s War' speaks about the Iraq War: “There’s war in the headlines, war in the heads, of the leaders who feed us til we’re overfed. We’re not hungry anymore for your diet of war, malnutrition for the global poor”. It deconstructs the reasons for war and provides justifications as to why we shouldn’t let politicians take us down the road “leading straight to the heart, of capitalism and market chains, that supply the demand ...
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