Thursday 27 December 2007

Bits and pieces

Firstly, I have decided to do away with the (rather garish) green layout and went for this instead.

A couple of my reviews are now up on the Xtaster website, with more to come (as soon as someone releases something worth checking out). (9 Black Alps) (Idiot Pilot)

Christmas was rather nice, although I got lots of pairs of socks. My sister got a remote controlled plane which is refusing to take off, and neither of us are sure what "trim" is (nothing appears to happen when either trim button is pressed) so I shall have to seek help regarding that.

Sadly, I have a Mechanics exam the first week back, and attempted a past paper today. How depressing that I have to revise over the Christmas holiday!

And finally, The Share Exchange is in existence. So clicky click and get Estilo some hits.

Argh, just remembered I have to write a presentation about a work of art for General Studies. How rubbish.

Thursday 13 December 2007

Estilo! is the website of the Young Enterprise company Estilo. We are in the process of creating a site that will help young people aged 14 - 18 learn more about finance, in particular the stock market. So check out our company site :)

Saturday 17 November 2007

2007 is nearly over...

2007 is nearly over…
…and a ton of bands have broken up! British alt rockers yourcodenameis:milo went on an indefinite hiatus back in August. Vocalist Paul Mullen was reported as having joined The Automatic in October, following the departure of keyboardist/vocalist Alex Pennie. Although it is a disappointment that ycni:m won’t be making any more music for now, Mullen joining The Automatic will most likely result in a fantastic sophomore album from the band.

Experimental band The Blood Brothers announced their break up in November, after 10 years of making music together, which resulted in five albums being released, among various singles and EPs. Their individual style will be a hard gap to fill. Philadelphians Hot Cross, soon after releasing the fantastic Risk Revival decided to cancel their US tour and quit making music together. This happened in July, less than a month after their second album was released.

The list of bands that broke up, or went on hiatus this year is rather long, but 2007 also had some great albums released. January saw the release of the Mercury Music Prize winning debut album by Klaxons, Myths of the Near Future. An innovative record fuelling the “nu-rave” scene (although the band claim that this is simply “a joke that’s got out of hand”), this is an album you really ought to check out if you enjoy the singles.

Fall Out Boy returned in February with Infinity on High, an album that spawned the hit singles This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race and (the bizarrely titled) Thnks fr the Mmrs. Although not to everyone’s taste, it must be said that the band have a brilliant ability to create great pop songs. This ability is shared by Kaiser Chiefs, who released Yours Truly, Angry Mob in the same month, which was an excellent follow up to their debut album.

In March, former Ash guitarist Charlotte Hatherley, a new “rockier” Idlewild, and the crazy Enter Shikari, who seem to have fused hardcore with dance music, all released albums. Not many people seem to pay Charlotte much attention these days, but The Deep Blue showcases her song writing talents very well. Make Another World resulted in a fair amount of criticism for Idlewild, but the album is not necessarily deserving of this. The band has written some excellent songs. After generating a lot of press attention, possibly because they appeared to be hardcore’s answer to nu-rave, Enter Shikari’s Take To The Skies lived up to expectations and is…mind-blowing, whether or not you’re a fan of the music.

The second album from Arctic Monkeys was also released in April, entitled Favourite Worst Nightmare. Quirkier than their debut record, there are some truly outstanding songs on this album, including Teddy Picker (released as a single on the 3rd December). In May, Welsh rockers Funeral for a Friend released their third album, Tales Don’t Tell Themselves, a concept album about a fisherman.

June saw the release of Puzzle by Biffy Clyro, who have suddenly shot to popularity after remaining relatively unknown for the past few years. Fans of this band should check out Reuben, whose third album, In Nothing We Trust was released in the same month. The recent single Deadly Lethal Ninja Assassin features ex-Million Dead frontman Frank Turner, whose first solo album was released all the way back in January, and titled Sleep Is For The Week.

Ash shocked everyone by releasing their last album in July. Twilight of the Innocents is going to be the last complete album that the band members will record, as they have decided to embrace the digital age and release more singles more often, rather than a few albums over a long period of time.

August…High School Musical 2: The Soundtrack, anyone? Didn’t think so. Moving on swiftly, Foo Fighters latest album, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, came out in September. In addition, Wolves by Idiot Pilot was also released. Dashboard Confessional, made famous by Vindicated, showed a folkier edge in latest album The Shade of Poison Trees, released in October, and definitely worth checking out. This month also saw Jack Peñate’s first album, Matinee appear (finally!). Let’s hope that next year is as full of great music as this year was.

Songs to check out:
yourcodenameis:milo ft. The Automatic - The Trapeze Artist
The Blood Brothers – Camouflage, Camouflage
Hot Cross – Turncoat Revolution
Klaxons – Isle of Her
Fall Out Boy – The Take Over, the Breaks Over
Kaiser Chiefs – Highroyds
Charlotte Hatherley – Behave
Idlewild – If It Takes Your Home
Enter Shikari – Anything Can Happen In The Next Half Hour…
Arctic Monkeys – Brianstorm
Funeral for a Friend – Out Of Reach
Biffy Clyro – Who’s Got A Match?
Reuben – We’re All Going Home In An Ambulance
Frank Turner – Back In The Day
Ash – Twilight of the Innocents
Foo Fighters – The Pretender
Idiot Pilot – Planted In The Dark
Dashboard Confessional – These Bones
Jack Peñate – Second, Minute or Hour

Wednesday 24 October 2007

Thrice and Saves the Day

I figured I may as well stick my reviews up here. You can check out older ones here.

Thrice - The Alchemy Index: Vol I & II

The Alchemy Index is a four-disc concept album, with each disc representing Fire, Water, Earth or Air. There are only six tracks on each disc, but the album is being released in two sets, each containing two of the volumes. The first set, containing Fire and Water was released in October 2007, while the second set will be released in April 2008. The band members have said that Fire will be the most familiar to fans of the band. It is certainly a lot heavier than Water, and certainly an epic collection of songs. Water is far more ambient, featuring calmer tracks that are quiet and more melodic. The first collection is certainly a must for anyone who is a fan of band, and well worth buying if you’re looking for an introduction to Thrice. While the songs may not be catchy, radio-friendly tunes, they have been constructed with great skill and are definitely worth checking out.

Saves the Day - Under the Boards

Under the Boards struck me as being quite a melancholy record. There are poppier moments, such as the tracks Radio and Can’t Stay the Same, yet these have a poignant undertone to them. Frontman Chris Conley stated that the album “is an expression of…reflection and remorse”, which can certainly be heard on all 13 of the tracks. The album is composed excellently, with energetic tracks such as Bye Bye Baby and slower moments such as Turning Over in My Tomb fitting together perfectly. It is difficult to choose a stand out track as all the songs are brilliant. A superb follow up to Sound The Alarm, checking this out is a must if your tastes fall into the categories of rock, pop and punk.

Sunday 21 October 2007

What is wrong with people

Plastic bags:
Don't you just hate when people in stores say "would you like a bag for that?" all smiley, and when you say "yes", they suddenly glare at you? If it annoys them so much that I'm not environmentally conscious, then they shouldn't have offered a bag in the first place! Do they expect me to carry my gigantic Dykeenies <3 You shopping bag everywhere or something? And those paper bags they have in Primark, they break all the time. If you're going to switch to a more "environmentally conscious" method of transporting goods, then at least make sure it's up to the job.

The Simpsons:
I was just watching that delightful episode on C4 about Apu's arranged marriage. You know, the one where Homer storms in to sabotage the wedding dressed up as Ganesh, in the belief that Apu wants the wedding stopped. Except...he did storm in, but it then suddenly cut to something else. Did they cut out his speech about being Lord Ganesh on the grounds of it being religiously offensive or something? Or was it just a mistake? In addition, why are the episodes being shown ten years old? I can remember watching them the first time round on BBC2 back in the day. (Actually those were probably repeats too since I don't think I was even in Britain in 1997.)

Now there was something else that ridiculously annoyed me which I wanted to write about, but sadly I have forgotten it.

Music recommendation: Blackhole - a band featuring Frank Carter's (of Gallows) brother on vocals!

Monday 11 June 2007

Episode 03

Here's the third episode, in which I show my disgust for the 2012 Olympics logo, celebrities getting special treatment from the prison system and exams.

No Thanks Episode Three.mp3

Sites that may or may not be useful for this episode:

The frightful logo can be seen in all its glory here.
The Ting Tings are located here.

Sunday 3 June 2007

Episode 02

Here's the second episode, in which children's books, Welsh music and exams are mentioned.

No Thanks Episode Two.mp3

I'm going to start linking to "useful sites", so here goes:

The website for Joshua Wright, author of Plotless, Pointless, Pathetic can be found here.
The graffiti artist Bansky can be found here.
And finally, Hell Is For Heroes live here.

Sunday 27 May 2007

Episode 01

Here's the first episode, in which I talk about neon, yobs and American Idol, among other things.

No Thanks Episode One.mp3

No, Thanks Mate! The Not So Insane Ramblings Of Me

This is my new podcast. My old one is the Burn Your Youth podcast. You can check out the four episodes I created here:

First episode coming up!