Saturday, 20 December 2008


"Heaven" is a little bland really which is disappointing coming from the legendary Buck-Tick. The song is a quasi-ballad that sounds like a happier "Gensou no Hana" or "Rain". It doesn't really catch the imagination or stay in your head. In fact, it actually becomes a little boring.
The B-side, "Makka na yoru" is better. It has a cool riff and its a faster rockier song that hints at the attitude of old BT.
The single is a pretty mediocre release i'm afraid, a little lacking in ideas and more of a paint-by-numbers BT song. Maybe wait for the album due out in February. It should be better.
Verdict: *** (3/5)

Tuesday, 16 December 2008


Fall Out Boy get bad press from a lot of people. Mostly unfounded. They aren't an emo band, let's get that out of the way. They are more of a glam-rock band. My Chemical Romance are an emo band. Last year's "Infinity on High" was an anthem-packing behemoth. It was hook-laden, instantly memorable song after song. "Folie a Deux", isnt as instantly memorable but there are still some fantastic tracks on here.

The album flows quite well with the arena-rocker "Disloyal Order Of Water Buffaloes" opening proceedings. The lyrics come across strongly right from the off with the line "Nobody Wants To Hear You Sing ABout Tragedy". The song then leads into the next, the single "I Don't Care" which is a solid hit.

The real gems on the album are the unweildly-titled "Headfirst Slide Into Coopestown On A Bad Bet" and "What A Catch, Donnie". The former is a dancey, club anthem in the offing. The second is a grandiose pop ballad with a star-studded sing-along at the end including Elvis Costello.

Its a good album, if not quite up to the standard of the last one. Fall Out Boy are still undeniably catchy rock.

For the iPod Playlist: "Headfirst Slide Into Coopestown On A Bad Bet", "What A Catch, Donnie".

Verdict: **** (4/5)


Duke Special has changed. I remember seeing him play in 2006 on the first date of his five nights at a sold-out Empire in Belfast. The intimacy and showmanship was magical. Two years on and our beloved Vaudevillian piano-man has wandered a little from the trail. The new album, "I Never Thought This Day Would Come" wasn't the album I hopd for: a breath-taking evolution of his previous one. Sure Duke can still craft a catchy tune but the heart was gone. There were no real tear-jerkers, only a constant flow of grating jazz-folk and ska. Duke Special has become a clone of fellow Northern Ireland vaudevillain Black Sookie.
The show opened with a nice rendition of new song "Mockingbird Wish Me Luck" but it descended into ego worshipping as Duke unveiled a self-congratulating backing band (including some ridiculous Dio-looking twat on custom percussion). The best bit was honestly when Duke performed a solo piano version of "Freewheel" (ok he had a guitarist too). It was moving. Then the band performed a cover of The Specials' "Ghost Town". That one song summed up the entire night. Gone is the angst-ridden spectre behind an old piano or accordian, he is now bloated and bathing in the macabre waters of ska. The problem is Duke Special has almost lost touch with the fans. His merchandise didnt fly off the stalls and he constantly reminded us throughout the concert how much he was enjoying himself. No number of guest stars (of which there were many) could distract from a misguided preformance by Duke Special. Ditch the backing band dude. Get back to basics.
Verdict: *** (3/5) - Glimmers of what we love scattered amongst some failed experimentation.


We got free tickets to Pendulum outside Queens Students Union the day of the concert so decided to check them out. The Perth drum n' bassers cooked up a hell of a set that had so much energy and sound that there were many occasions where I found myself laughing in disbelief. These boys know how to put on a show. The crowd was eclectic, mixing emos with chavs in one euphoric, sweating mass of bodies. "Slam", "Tarantula" and "Propane Nightmares" were all performed perfectly and the massive countdown timer before the Encore was inspired.
Great concert but I wonder why there were tickets just being given away. Poor sales? I hope they come back anyway, I'm sure they made a lot of new fans.
Verdict: **** (4/5)