Wednesday, 27 June 2012


So. Survival. 

I just don't know. 

It has several things that make it distinctly Muse; a few badass riffs, ridiculously grand orchestral-nicity, and the inimitable vocal stylings of Mr Matthew Bellamy. These are good things, but yet, I'm not sure. It's very Queen in several places, and it seems to me to lack a little coherence.

I'm basing this post on literally one listen to the song, and on the whole I'm not 100% convinced. It still, to me, sounds a bit The Resistance, when I (and I think a lot of people) were hoping for Absolution meets Origin Of Symmetry, I personally don't entirely think it's quite there. But hey, it's perfectly suited for the Olympics, as it is now the theme song, and further listens may bring with them more insight. So for now, I rate it 7/10. 

n.b. I realise this is like the 3rd consecutive Muse-themed post. Not deliberate, I've been working ridiculous hours the last few days and this is the only news I care about atm. There is the new Gallows song as well that I'll listen to soon.

Monday, 25 June 2012


I always forget how good Muse's first album is. I've been on a bit of a Muse hype this afternoon because of my new tattoo (do tell me if I go on about it), and then I remembered I was going to see them in October and got all excited and listened to Absolution absurdly loudly when I was alone in the house, 'singing' all the way. 

Several albums later, including last but most definitely not least (such is the point of this post) Showbiz, I remembered how good the album actually is. When I've thought about it before, its always been 'an ok album, not their best, but with a few good tracks.' Then I realise that, when I list those good tracks to myself, that they make up three-quarters of the album, and that the rest is still awesome. Dare I say it, its better than The Resistance.

I've got a notion I've already done a post to this effect, but meh. Plz Muuse, we can haz moar noo moosics?


There's a lot of skin in that photo, but at least there's no nipple. Only just.

After many years of waiting/mustering up enough courage, I went and got a bit of the Absolution artwork indelibly inked on my shoulder. I love it and could not be happier.

People decry band tattoos (and tattoos in general) largely on the basis of something like "well, you won't always like the band, so what's the point? You'll just regret it." These people clearly do not understand Musers. Absolution is my favourite album of all time. It was the album that got me into rock - I had never heard a single song by them, but I'd heard the album existed because I'd heard Muse referred to on Radio 1 (I thought it was spelt Mews for crying out loud). So I bought it, loved it, bought more Muse, fell irreversibly in love with them, and here I am now, still just as mad about them - when I found out I had tickets, I squealed like a small child and couldn't sleep for 3 hours. 

But more than my adoration of the Devonshire gods, they inspired me so much musically - I wouldn't be half as good at the bass as I am now were it not for them (I'm so modest, I know). But seriously, learning Muse songs taught me so much technique that I owe them a lot. 

In summary, I owe the band an awful lot. Inspiration on a musical level, overwhelming happiness on the 2-soon-3 times I have seen them, appreciation of rock music which opened the floodgates to the wealth of random crap I listen to now - I don't think I'll ever regret it. Even if, in later life, it doesn't mean as much to me as it does now, I can look back and remember the period in my life when it was important. Besides, it's my first - there's sentiment to that too. 

Final note: if you're getting tattoos done in the Norwich area, go to Factotum Body Mods. They did mine, and the place is brilliant.

Saturday, 23 June 2012


I've begun the long and drawn-out process of tidying my room so I can start packing, as I move out of my Norwich house in a week. Which makes me sad.

While digging through my stuff, I came across a few CDs that I'd been given to review, and I thought to myself; I'd already intended to do a giveaway, so why not add these into the bargain? So it is now, in effect, a Japanese Voyeurs Giveaway Now With Other CDs That Aren't Japanese Voyeurs But Are Still Good.

My question to you is the devilish: What is the name of Japanese Voyeurs' first and only album?

The prize is:

  • Japanese Voyeurs 'B-Sides & Rarities' 40/250 - a 10 track album, one of only 250 ever made, containing bonus unreleased songs by the band, celebrating their too-brief existence after their split in March.
  • Japanese Voyeurs 'Slimeball Comics' Volume Four
  • Japanese Voyeurs 'Yolk Tour' Winter 2011 Tour Poster - again, part of a limited run of hand-drawn posters for their tour last October/November. It's a B&W photocopy that the band sent out to fans with the view that fans could colour them in as desired, but as they sent 2 I have a spare.
  • The Horrible Crowes 'Elsie' - debut album by the side-project of The Gaslight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon and his guitar tech Ian Perkins. My favourite album of last year, read the 5* review I wrote for SoundNorfolk for it here.
  • Deaf Havana 'Fools & Worthless Liars' album sampler - 5 tracks from their excellent album, read my review here.
  • Four Year Strong 'Stuck In The Middle' single - read my review here.
Ok, I think that's everything. I might add things to it if/as I find them, but please share this around to anyone who would appreciate it, I want this to work! I will love you for sharing it. Send your answers with your name to (don't spam me) and I will pick a winner in 3 weeks' time, on Sunday 15th July. x


I made that, just to claim a quick copyright. Give me some credit if you share it.

Me and my housemate Dom have had this theory for a while, ever since we heard Watch The Throne. On tracks such as Ni**as In Paris, Ye's vocals are somewhat baa-like.

"She said Ye can we get married at the maaaaaaaaaaaaaall..." and "Got my ni**as in Paris and they going gorillas...haaaaaah?"

Listen to the song. Particularly the official video (don't watch it if you have photo-sensitive epilepsy. It has full-blown warnings at the start of the video), which is a live recording of the song. Kanye's singing live is awful, and even more akin to his woolly ovine brethren. Observe:

Thursday, 21 June 2012


I just read a story on NME about Mr West Esquire, talking about his upcoming album Cruel Summer, which is a compilation of songs by artists on 'Ye's label G.O.O.D. This article also mentioned that he apparently has plans for a new solo release that incorporates mostly animal and jungle noises. Right. 

It got me thinking - what happened? I like a lot of styles of music, and I have no shame in saying that Late Registration, his second album, is one of my favourite albums, and one of the first rap albums I got into. I've only been vaguely aware that since then, he's become a bit of a tool. The infamous Taylor Swift incident, a few questionably weird songs and videos, and all his other award show muck-ups. There's also the most recent rap album I've got into, his Jay-Z collab Watch The Throne - his lyrics in that are...weird. Misogynistic and just plain strange in places (case and point: in Ni**as In Paris, the line "...what she order? Fish filet...").

I accept that I don't know everything about him or a lot of his music, but as a more casual observer, he just seems to have gone off on a massive life tangent. And this alleged new album direction could work. I don't think it will, but I'm open. But given how much I love Late Registration, I'm left wondering why he's gone on this apparent tangent.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012


I might as well.

I've started up a second blog that caters (ha) to the foodie in me, about my exploits as Norwich's most enigmatic and handsome vegetarian. Or maybe it's just so I can post about the more interesting food I make that I think looks cool. Yeah, the latter.

Anywho, you can find my culinary adventures at It's still sort of under construction; i.e. it's live, but I'm still working on adjusting how it looks. The main thing is that I post things there and share my unholy wondrous culinary vegecreations with y'all.

Bon appetit.

Sunday, 17 June 2012


This is such a shame to see, I'm absolutely gutted for the band and I hope they recover what was stolen. The band use a lot of different types of guitar, many custom-made, and these were sadly robbed from them while on tour in America. There's only so much we can do here in England, but keep an eye on eBay and the like to help try and recover these stunning guitars. 

Friday, 15 June 2012


I actually hate Steel Panther, whose lyrics grace this title. And I don't agree with the sentiment, as I like lots of different kinds of music. But, over the last couple of days, I've had a bit of a revelation, or even a reaffirmation, of something: I want to make metal.

It's mainly come as a result of my ever-increasing love of Mastodon; watching The Workhorse Chronicles (which Brent curiously spends most of in the shower...), a documentary of their early years/formation and beyond, as well as makings-of of their various albums - I've realised it's something I really want to do. 

For years, I've had this quasi-dream of being in a band, initially spurred by my then-recent discovery of Muse, and the Hullabaloo DVD specifically - watching that was incredible, and seeing/hearing the crowd react with such fervent adoration to each different song - you just get the idea that for some of the crowd, that would have been one of the greatest nights of their lives. The thought that if I were in a band, playing music to people that they enjoyed, would be stunning. 

When I first picked up a bass, it was largely because I, like many people around that age in Year 10 or something, wanted to start a band with my friends. Two were already accomplished musicians - drummer, guitarist: check - another laid first claim to a second guitar and volunteered for vocal duties, which left me with bass. Not that I care any more, I love it. For several reasons: lack of skill, not really knowing what we were doing, and minimal practices because we were never all available at the same time, nothing happened. But, spurred by my love of Muse, I persevered with learning bass, holding Chris Wolstenholme (as I still do) as my God of Bass. I can play a fair amount of their songs now, too many some might suggest. Meh. 

More recently, I had a little bit of a 'hypothetical band role crisis' - namely, started practising that potentially voice-ruining practice of screamed/growled vocals, and kind of put my desire to be bassist in a band to one side as I had fun teaching myself how to growl. I can't sing, for one thing (I could learn, but...). I was thinking about the possibility of fronting a metalcore-y type band., so I auditioned for a punk band, which was the first time I'd ever done vocals in front of people (other than Simon and some other people when I was drunk), but I realised that it wasn't quite the type of music I wanted to be part of., so again, nothing happened.

Which brings us neatly round to the present. I'm in love with Mastodon, in which Troy is both bassist and vocalist - can you see the light bulb of inspiration pop on above my head? I've been learning more complicated bass tracks, trying to at least speak and play at the same time with a view to emulating Troy's vocal style, and randomly writing probably quite poor riffs with blatant disregard for standard time signatures, which to be fair I know the sum of bugger-all about anyway.

I've emerged from my metaphorical tunnel of not-knowing-what-I'm-doing-at-all-with-my-life to moving on into the light at the end of said tunnel. Or are they just train headlights?

Thursday, 14 June 2012


I was watching the trailer for The 2nd Law, Muse's new album, which I've talked about here. It's divided opinion massively, from what I've seen, in so much as it appears that Muse are now incorporating dubstep into their sound. But there was a comment on the video that I thought sums everything up perfectly;

"People criticize when a band's style of music stay the same, but they also criticize when they change, so what can they do? Muse is a band that love experimentation, so yes they are far from their original music style, but they are right to evolve. If you're a Muse fan, you'll understand it." (Youtube user madlois1)

This person has hit the nail on the head. The very essence of music, as I see it, is to experiment, to push the boat out and make something truly unique that will stand the test of time and really stay in people's heads, so that later they'll look back and say "wow, they were brave and really went out on a limb to create something special, and it worked, even if they didn't entirely know what they were doing".

 If you stick to a standard formula, things might become generically popular, but it doesn't make them stand out. Most of my favourite bands are incredible because they push the limits of what people might expect from that band, and it breaks down the barriers of 'genre'. Bands such as Enter Shikari, Mastodon, Rolo Tomassi, Pink Floyd - they're all distinctive because they don't stick to a set formula. Each of those bands, just as examples, have songs in their respective repertoires that sound like they could have been written by different bands altogether, and that is what will help them last the test of time. 

Take Mastodon - I've spent too much time over the last day watching some of their 'making-of' documentary films about their albums, and it's really interesting to hear from them how in some songs, they really didn't know what they were doing, but just went with stuff because it sounded cool. It resulted in some of their best work. The song Creature Lives from The Hunter; the first time I heard it, I was just like "wut?". Listen to it, then listen to something like Blood And Thunder from Leviathan. Could be different bands. But Creature Lives is my favourite song from that album, because it's just...epic. And it's things like that that have made Mastodon into one of the world's finest metal bands, because they stand out and aren't afraid to be unique and unusual. 

So back to my original point, regarding Muse. People may criticise, but I would say that they don't truly respect and appreciate the band's vision, their willingness to remove themselves from their comfort zone so that they can make something that's never been heard before, to blend genres and make something undefinable that really holds its own as being truly unique. 

The root of inherently great music is to do what the hell you like, not to worry about a definition, and above all, be different. Because it's fun, too. 

Keep your eyes peeled, because I'm going to try something new soon, a giveaway...if you like Japanese Voyeurs then it will be of particular interest. But I haven't actually considered how it's going to work yet.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012


For those of you that don't know, I slappa da bass in my spare time, and at times obsessively learn Muse bass riffs. I do other stuff too, a lot of Mastodon, as one of my other favourite bands ever. And so I have decided to take on the behemoth 11-minute-long The Czar, from Crack The Skye. I've attempted it before, but it's so long that I kept forgetting... Wish me luck.

I intend to purchase a webcam of decent quality (any recommendations?) in the near future to film myself playing, to then upload onto Youtube, so watch this space. I may even have a few drinks and crack out some vocal covers too - I do a very good metal growl when I try to. I've scared the crap out of my dad when he came home to me covering  The Devil Wears Prada's Sassafrass...

UPDATE: 4:06PM - Learnt that mother. A lot of it just comes down to improv really, which is the fun part of playing bass.


I've just been having a dig around in my laptop's folders to try and create some order out of the general chaos they're in, and I stumbled upon this gem.

In keeping with my current Muse-adoration because they allocated me some tickets for their upcoming show in Madrid on October 22 (do tell me if I go on about it), here be Fury, live from the Royal Albert Hall in 2008 in support of Teenage Cancer Trust.

IMO, this is one of Muse's best songs, and too-oft forgotten I think, being as it's a B-side (from the Sing For Absolution single/bonus track on Absolution's re-release). Enjoy.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012


I'm going to see Muse for the third time.


Ahem. Anyone going to Madrid as well on October 22?


Why, Muse, why? 

"We have been overwhelmed with the response. All applicants will be notified by email on Tuesday 12th June."


It is fair to say that if I don't, then I'll just get on it when tickets go on general sale on the 14th. 


Has anyone actually got any? Let me know. x


Ones in metal, you must understand. Or rather, the '_____core' subgenres of metal. Metal/jazz/deathcore, they all have some (mostly) heavy-ass breakdowns in them. It's really very easy to do generic breakdowns; far too many are 


Using the lowest open string and maybe the first fret on occasions, just to spice things up a little bit. I think it's fair to say that a lot of the better known/respected _____core bands do actually do these well, which is why they are so good - if they were too generic, then they wouldn't garner much popularity or credibility as metal acts. A band I think have impressively worked themselves out of the generic breakdown rut is Bring Me The Horizon - to compare them across their 3 albums, I think they've got steadily better. From the brainless chug-filled Count Your Blessings, to the more rounded, developed sound of Suicide Season, to the superb There Is A Hell... While they've still got breakdowns, not every song in SS/TIAH... feels the need to descend to it. 

I digressed ever so slightly there. My bad. Anyway, there are a few bands that do them fantastically, such as The Devil Wears Prada, but my absolute favourite breakdown by any band I've ever heard is from Boneyards by Parkway Drive. There are a few dotted around the song, but the one at the very end; "There's blood IN THE WATER" at 2:50 - I love it. It's one of the best bits of growled vocals I've ever heard, and it leads into that powerful breakdown, it's sick.

Also check out the Zombie EP by TDWP, that's great.

Monday, 11 June 2012


It is, as many people speculated, a greatest hits/best-of/whatever you wish to call it.

Suitably grim artwork, I'd say. But, on top of the best-of audio album, there's the (sic)nesses DVD chronicling their headlining spot at Download 2009. Tracklisting for each is as follows:
  1. (sic)
  2. Eyeless
  3. Wait And Bleed
  4. Spit It Out
  5. Surfacing
  6. People = Shit
  7. Disasterpiece
  8. Left Behind
  9. My Plague (New Abuse remix)
  10. The Heretic Anthem (live)
  11. Purity (live)
  12. Pulse Of The Maggots
  13. Duality
  14. Before I Forget
  15. Vermilion
  16. Sulfur
  17. Psychosocial
  18. Dead Memories
  19. Snuff
(sic)nesses Live From The Download Festival 2009
  1. (sic)
  2. Eyeless
  3. Wait And Bleed
  4. Get This
  5. Before I Forget
  6. Sulfur
  7. The Blister Exists
  8. Dead Memories
  9. Left Behind
  10. Disasterpiece
  11. Vermilion
  12. Everything Ends
  13. Psychosocial
  14. Duality
  15. People = Shit
  16. Surfacing
  17. Spit It Out
Well...meh. Everything there is awesome, and I might have to get (sic)nesses on its own, but I, like many 'Knot fans, have all the songs on the album, so I don't see a great deal of point in getting Antennas To Hell, except to say that I've got it...I was hoping for some oooold stuff, demos and the like. Kinda disappointed, to be honest. 

R.I.P. Paul Gray

Sunday, 10 June 2012


Thanks Enrique Iglesias. Sadly though, this post has nothing to do with Henry Churches or his general genre of music, but it is about phases, namely, phases in musical taste/preference.

I go through different phases on pretty much a weekly basis - sometimes, I'm all over Jay-Z/Kanye's Watch The Throne album (which I do love, just not for its lyrical content); other times, it's the likes of Lana del Rey, Clare Maguire, Marina & The Diamonds. Currently, it's heavy/death metal. The first time I've strayed into the death metal territory, but I have TV show Metalocalypse to thank for that, for easing me into it.

A band I've just discovered (who aren't death metal), who I've instantly fallen in love with after just one track are French metallers Gojira, who I've discovered to be epic. So I ask you readers, if you know of any good heavy metal type bands, tell me about them! Below is the song that made me fall in love with Gojira, L'Enfant Sauvage - if you've never listened to them before, hopefully you can share in my new-found love of them!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012


Some of you may be familiar with the Adult Swim TV series Metalocalypse. Most of you, I'll wager, are not: It's an animated show about fictional death metal band Dethklok, who are the world's most popular band, have an economy bigger than Belgium, and may or may not be at the centre of some apocalyptic conspiracy.

I'm addicted to the show - the episodes are only 10 minutes (seasons 1,2 and 4, anyway. 3 is 20 minutes), so it's incredibly easy to knock back 3 episodes in a row, which shows, as I cruised into season 4 last night after only about 2 weeks of watching the show. It's a macabre, blacker than black comedy about this inept-at-everything-except-death-metal quintet, and Mark Hamill plays their manager. Yes, Luke Skywalker.

The thing that's most impressive about it is that the writers, Brendon Small and Tommy Blacha, not only voice the show, but they do the music too. They write some epic yet tongue-in-cheek melodic death metal that's actually good. 2 albums' worth, I might add. So if you watch any episodes, whenever the band are playing, that's really been done, vocals and all, by the writers. And they tour and all, not actually taking on the personas of the band members, but just playing with session musicians, playing Dethklok's songs. It's fantastic.

Anyway, enough from me, here's a bit of Dethklok - an episode and some music.


Disclaimer: it's not a full song, but in fact an album trailer. And Muse's new album appears to be called...


Watch the trailer and judge for yourself. It starts all Butterflies & Hurricanes/Exogenesis Part 1, then wham. Dubstep. Kinda Enter Shikari-esque. I AM SO CONFUSED. I trust them wholeheartedly, and I think that if they can bring the difficult-to-do-well genre in with every other sound/genre they use, it will be incredible. I don't know how they'll incorporate it, or whether this trailer is just epic trolololing, and I'm not going to judge this new album on a shade over 2 minutes of sound, but what it comes down to is...


But anyway, watch and judge.

n.b. Album's out September, by the way.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012


This just in!

2 bits of news from WATO;

  1. Lead vocalist Dan Brown has left the band. In an official statement, the band have said: "It is with much regret that we announce the departure of vocalist Dan Brown from We Are The Ocean. Dan has been our best friend and band member for over five years now. However, throughout the demoing and recording of our new album, we have been faced with the difficult realisation that the band's and Dan's creative futures are not the same.

    Dan and the band had a meeting recently where Dan agreed that his passion lies behind the scenes as a manager, as opposed to musically. We felt we would be doing him, ourselves and, most importantly, you our fans a massive disservice if we did not acknowledge this fact immediately.

    Dan will always be a part of the We Are The Ocean family. We wouldn't be where we are without Dan's contribution, commitment and drive.

    Our new album is nearly finished and we can honestly say it will be our best to date. As a four piece, we are now extremely excited about what the future holds for us. We intend to keep delivering the best music we possibly can. See you at Download!"
  2. They have a new song out, which you can listen to below, entitled Bleed. many ways I'm not surprised to see Dan leaving the band - his vocal style has changed a great deal from their early EP days, and has mellowed considerably as the band's sound has developed, and maybe it's a case of that just not being a direction he wanted to go in. It'll be good to see him still involved managerially though. 
In terms of the song, I really liked it, and I'm now looking forward to the new album. Their previous one just wasn't as good as Cutting Our Teeth, which was a brilliant debut, and I lost interest in them after the second record. But they're sounding good (to me) again, and who knows, maybe they'll go the way of Deaf Havana and make it really big after losing the scream-type vocalist?

Sunday, 3 June 2012


For this Diamond Jubilee, I thought I'd share some of my enduring favourite British rock anthems, for a musical tribute to Liz II. Have a great few days of celebration, or whatever you're choosing to do!


Hey, that rhymes. Check out my mad skillz. Ahem.

September 10th is the date for the diaries, chaps and chapettes, when Coexist shall be released to the world. They've said it's a separate entity to xx, and shows a progression and evolution in their sound rather than just "trying to make the first album again". Club/dance music has also been highlighted as an influence on the new record - hopefully it won't be some generic beats, Jamie is a talented producer so fingers crossed.

I, for one, am very excited to hear some of their new stuff, I love their first album - its a beautifully mellow piece collection of songs. So as soon as any snippets of new songs appear on my radar I shall be all over them. x

Saturday, 2 June 2012


So, this mysterious Antennas To Hell business. For those of you yet to come across this, the 'Knot have released 2 teaser/trailer type affairs, each focussing on one band member - so far, #0 (Sid), and #1 (Joey). *Disclaimer - they start REALLY loudly. Just to warns you. 

Both with the message in the description: Antennas To Hell, coming 7/17/2012 (July 17th to those of us confused by American dating systems). What is it, I hear you ask? 

I don't know.

I can think of 2 things: Corey tweeted the other day that "... I believe 7.17.12 is when the Slipknot greatest hits album drops.", so that's the most likely outcome. Or, basing things entirely on the soundtracks to the videos, some form of remix album. I'm hoping for option A, maybe with some demos n tings? Por favor.