Thursday, 13 December 2007

Albums of the Year and other jazz...

Yep, that time of year. always fun I guess. And as usual, I guess I'll find an absolute gem from this year in 6 months time which missed the list. Typical. Anyway, in reverse order:

10: POISON THE WELL - Versions

A gap of four years, 2 less full time members and an apparent does of Country music, it seems. Ever heard raw, brutal riffage underpinned by a banjo? You have now. An unexpected, intense joy.

9: THE SOUNDS - Dying to Say this to you

Scandinavia does it again. Danceable pop rock magic coated with synths and sleek punky guitars, and beefed up with some sultry "up yours" vocals from the loevly Maja. Sureferosa's crown could be nabbed.

8: ARCADE FIRE - Neon Bible

A lesson on how to make sweeping subtle rock with a slight dose of the kitchen sink. Equally uplifting and melancholy, Neon Bible is many things, none of them bad.

7: SHINY TOY GUNS - We Are Pilots

Or Version 3, having been reproduced a couple of times. Leftovers from 2006, Shiny Toy Guns are that rare beast of pop groups: Anthemic and catchy and downright sleazy and filthy. If there's any justice, the Mrs would be easily seduced by those dark riffs and elctronic throbs.

6: DEVIL SOLD HIS SOUL - A Fragile Hope

It's not often that dark apocolyptical riffage can sometimes sound so uplifting, but it's more than evidence here. The youthful UK bunch drag a sound from the depths of hell and light it with a heavenly fire. It rages and envelopes the soul and you may cry with joy.


Here's another bunch who love that kitchen sink, but love brutal old skool metal riffage. Grunts and growls collide with blastbeats, jazzy interludes and the occasional acordian. Plus, this is downright accessible.

4. MUNICIPAL WASTE - The Art of Partying

Like Zombies? Beer? Dirty, fast slammin, frash metal? No? You will now. Fun is on the cards in this Wasteland, and no one escapes the food brawl. Or the beer pressure, or the general party-til-you-puke headbanging frenzy. Lighten up, you boring bastard.

3. PORCUPINE TREE - Fear of Blank Planet

The geek will inherit the eart. Especially if some downright scary riffs can be put to beautiful melodies and soaring vocals. Not to forget the ambient touches and intricate drumming. Did we also forget musicianship?

2. BIFFY CLYRO - Puzzle

Rock. It's good, and you know it. And this is good, very good. Catch, anthemic, and just so easy. Puzzle just oozes simplicity, as well as a canny knack to give it some welly as much as just caress those guitars. Melody is wasted these days, and Puzzle makes up for it

1. JIMMY EAT WORLD - Chase This Light

There was a time where emo was not used without outside of "emocore" and Jimmy were Kings. To be fair, they still are. Chase This Light should be a friendsly addition to a wondrous back catalogue that oozed love, despair, pain, anger and all that other human stuff. On evidence of this, they're happy, really happy, and combined with the powerful rock of their past, it's a majestic comeback. This is the kind of album you truly fall in love with, the kind where life is good and nothing can change your mind. The fact it's the top of this list unexpectedly roves that.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

alllllo, Daaaaave...

It's interesting what a handful of miles and a rich area does to differentiate towns.

Epsom: practically Sarf Lahndahn, innit, students, foreigners, more students, pretentiousness, etc.

Redhill: old people, bored people, boarded up pubs, new developments that will be lived in by people who will actually hate the town but gloat about their accommodation's conevenience....

actually, that last bit could be me. but to be fair, it's not as bad as I remember. Whilst I didn't grow up in posho Reigate exactly, (I hailed from the supremely middle-lower class enviorons of Wood'atch, awright), there was still a noticable difference between the Gate and the Hill. You felt safe in Reigate, you wanted to pack heat in Redhill. As it is, it's just a town like any other. Which is a shame. I would've liked to have witnessed at least one gunfight in a tearoom this week.

Anyways, still updating my net duties down the library. got up early on a saturday morning purely to do so, thus getting the shopping done promptly too. may actually get to watch Footy Focus at this rate.

even with all the xmas shenanigans upcoming, it will still be fairly chilled compared to the last mental month. I'm all settled, no house worries, my ace new computers up and running, albeit without sound, my new housmate's cool, so yes. all good.

not a bad week either. no sooner had I settled in thean I was straight up to Northampton on a coach to see my old housemate's new house (her own, damn her!) and support my mate's band debut gig supporting theSTART. wonderful, wait 6 years for a band to tour over here, then I see them twice with the added bonus of a hyper mate playing beneath them. Shame bugger all turned up, useless apathetic non-London folk. still, impromptu roadie duties allowed me to say hi to main act, which was nice as singer Aimee has permeated my dreams since I was 17....use your loaf. so yes, even after a bit of maturity and the ability to hold back and just have a normal conversation with these band types I like, I still fall into shy fanboy mode when I meet certain ones. Her hug when I said her last band was my first gig didn't do my nerves any favours...

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Where's the blinking scissors?

So, I'm in. new gaff in Redhill. not as bad as I remember, so long as I don't venture into town at night.

no net at the house, but should sort that out sharpish.

I'm surrounded by boxes and cursing my decision not to blow my hard-earned cash on ale and hookers every weekend, and instead partake in pastimes that require holding on to stuff. Damn you, Stan Lee!

Still, moving in day was fund and not stressful at all. and no that wasn't sarcasm.

right, Sinsburys. wish me luck!

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes, innit.

As I recover from what was a pitifully rubbish football day, although my under-achieving 5-a-side bunch (admit it, Penfold, we are!) could give England a lesson methinks, I look to the future, and look back at what was probably a disappointing year at the bungalow domestically. Ok, the near-constant rain didn't help, but numerous other factors just seem to be too obvious in their non-occurances. Oh, and there is the question of company, which I'll get back to when I'm settled in the new gaff.

Ah, yes, the new gaff, resplendant in it's Victorian brownstone glory in the shadow of two ruddy great gas towers. Kidding, aside, nice place, bigt double room and a relaxed landlord who would rather just keep Estate Agents out of the mix. (I think I'm in love). Yup, don't get us started on those bastard swines of whores.

The new gaff, as it shall forever be known with all it's symbolic awesomeness, will see my physog next week and hopefully the 'net by Christmas. And, yay, an allegedly wonderful chippy lies within 10 minutes walk.

Until then, there will be a week of tidying, boxing, goodbyes, good riddances, and tea brewed via saucepans. How Marxist.

So yes, I will do my best to update goings on here but intermittently possibly. If all goes according to plan , I may have had my way with an LA-based rockstar I've fancied since I was 17. And when I say my way, I mean a peck on the cheek and a photo with bad light. Ahem.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Wasted Opportunity

I've just done my first big virus scan for way too long. Yep, I know, but surely the point of having virus-killer and super-router is to keep them out in the first place.

Anyways, one big scan later and I find out I had a minor Trojan Horse hidden away...for a few months. It's ok, it's gone now.

Not once during that time was my bank account hacked, my paypal abused or swedish porn kindly ordered on my behalf on my online shop accounts. And all my e-mails fine.

Now, what is the point of sneaking into my house and not nicking anything?


Sunday, 28 October 2007

Every day is like Sunday.

Sod it, let's keep it simple. It's not as if there's a rulebook on how to start your first blog. If there is, then nuts to it anyway. It's probably a load of geek-pretentious old twaddle.

The weather.


Come on, fair's fair. You have to agree. A thoroughly moist summer followed by an nice autum is always a bit rubbish, especially when that autumn gets even nicer briefly when my mate from the OC flies back home after 6 months having missed a scorher. Of course, it's still a scorcher there, albeit a life-threatening one, but not in her region, thank the Lord.

But does it continue over here? nuh-uh. You can blame me for that as I have been off work. Halfway through a fortnight off, a fortnight where I should have been joining our Californian cousins were it not for the announcement that we have to shift out of our digs in a month. Four times in as many years, and still that elusive mortgage gets pulled further from my grasp. Pah. Keep your middle-class stability, thank you very much. "prayforacrashprayforacrash..."

So no work again this week, but trying to divide my time between having a clear out and getting some illustration done. The first week was a bit useless in those terms. Plenty of sleep though. Sleep is good.