Sunday, 19 June 2011

Chad VanGaalen - Diaper Island

I've been hanging on to Chad VanGaalen's new release Diaper Island all week and only just got around to writing this review. If you haven't heard it yet, I highly recommend you track down a copy or download a track or two from iTunes.

Diaper Island is definitely one for the grown-ups, with a lo-fi sound reminiscent of the late 60s and early 70s that, for once, seems thoroughly intended. This is no copycat production hanging off the coattails of the glory days; many of the tracks are innovative while containing the kinds of lingering musical strains you might hear on a Hawkwind LP.

Diaper Island (Bonus Track Version) - Chad VanGaalen

Monday, 13 June 2011

Thomas Tantrum live at Night and Day, Manchester, June 11th 2011

Thomas Tantrum, fronted by the eponymous Megan Thomas, released their second album Mad By Moonlight this weekend and the select few discerning enough to be at Night and Day in Manchester on Saturday night were among the first with the chance to get their hands on it.

We reviewed the album at the start of the month and headed down to the venue to see if the Southampton group's live performance could live up to the 85 per cent Mad By Moonlight scored in our assessment.


Monday, 6 June 2011

127 Hours, True Grit, The Fighter, The Adjustment Bureau: June DVD & Blu-ray Round Up

June 6th

127 Hours was the movie Danny Boyle made after his surprise success with Slumdog Millionaire meant that he had the freedom to do as he pleased. An unusual choice perhaps, Boyle didn't take the studio's dollar and make the overblown epic of his dreams (it's hard to truly believe Boyle has such dreams), instead he decided to film the unfilmable true-story of Aron Ralston, a rather arrogant and unlikeable rock climber, forced to reassess his whole attitude to life when a climbing accident leaves him pinned under a boulder for the titular 127 hours.

127 Hours is an uncomfortable watch, it is meant to be. The crucial scene, which most will probably know of, but which I won't give away for those who don't, is near-unbearable, and will have even hardened horror fans squirming in their seats. But helmed by a filmmaker at the top at the very top of his game, and featuring a tour-de-force performance from James Franco as Ralston, this the film is far more than a single gruesome set piece, addressing themes of hubris, hope and redemption.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Thomas Tantrum - Mad By Moonlight, out June 12th

Thomas Tantrum's second album is a delightful devil-may-care collection from the Southampton indie-popsters.

Megan Thomas throws away character-filled vocals like they were pennies into a wishing well, at once a collision of carefully judged drawl and instinctual departure from anything you could write down as sheet music.

It's a mature and self-assured performance that provides a lyrical pivot point around which the backing vocals and instrumanetal support can spin and soar.