Saturday, 29 August 2009


Noel Gallagher has apparently quit Oasis after 18 years. In a statement released by Noel (I can't say Gallagher because there's two of them), he blamed his decision to leave on his brother Liam. He literally can't work one more day with him. That's as good a reason as I've seen to quit a band and to be fair, it was about time Oasis called it a day. Maybe they'll both be happier this way.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009


"Drummer, pianist and founder of popular rock group X Japan, YOSHIKI, 43, flew in by helicopter to watch his “Team Yoshiki & Dome Project” car in the Super GT Series race at Suzuka Circuit on Sunday.

YOSHIKI was wearing a neck brace and had his left arm in plaster, following surgery in late July in the U.S. on a slipped disc in his spine. He revealed that he would have to get the disc replaced within the next three years, and that if nerve damage in his arm did not heal in the next two years, then it would be permanent. He said doctors cautioned him on his drumming practice which will resume next month, telling him not to raise his arms too high, not to twist his body left and right, and not to use anything heavier than one kilogram."

(Cont.) "After watching his team car come in fourth, YOSHIKI then went to Ise Shrine, also in Mie Prefecture, and prayed for a recovery in his health. YOSHIKI also revealed that he has prepared his will given the risks involved with his spinal injuries, and that nearly one quarter of his assets will be used for the benefit of his long-term fans. "

So no more X Japan concerts in 2009 *muffled scream of rage*. I read a damning editorial over at and I have to say, it's hard not to be a little disenchanted with X Japan right now. Obviously health problems are unavoidable in Yoshiki's case and we hope he makes a speedy recovery but there are serious problems with X Japan's management.

There have been around a dozen cancellations or postponements of concerts in the past two years. Almost twice as much cancellations as actual successful perfromances. That is shocking.

Remember the Madison Square Garden gig? Cancelled. Remember Paris? Cancelled 3 TIMES!
China? Cancelled. Korea? Cancelled. Even frickin' Osaka got cancelled. It's a debacle and frankly when your concerts are nothing more than 9 songs dragged out over 3 hours it's shameful. X Japan should sit down and look at their dvds from Blue Blood and Jealousy era. Fuck Dahlia. By that time they were barely a band. I'm talking everything before Art of Life. They should increase the song count and get rid of the bullshit. No-one wants a friggin fashion show as an encore.

The Greatest Hits cd? Yoshiki said it SHOULD be out by the end of the year. He said this in both 2007 and 2008. I.V. is finished. Without You should be finished and Jade is apparently finished too. Why can't they release a damn cd given that the rest of the disc will be made up of PREVIOUSLY RELEASED MATERIAL.

Then Heath royally fucked up by holding out for a pay rise. He will forever be tarnished by that.
Also getting on everyone's nerves is X Japan's complete inability to LET HIDE REST IN PEACE! But i won't get into that.

Return to your roots X JAPAN before your legacy is tarnished forever.


Terrifying. Absolutely fucking brilliant. The new single from the Biff is a monster. It explodes into action with a killer riff reminding us exactly how good Biffy Clyro can be at rocking your socks off. Most interesting is the string accompaniment at the end which follows the chugging, sludgy riffs into the kind of rythym-shifting math rock chunkiness that Tool would be proud of. As Zane Lowe put it, "Did they just invent Symphonic Scottish Hard-Core?". If this single is anything to go by, the new album, out October, is going to be fantastic and 2009 will belong to Biffy Clyro. 'Mon the Biff.

Verdict: ***** (5/5)

Monday, 24 August 2009



I was actually hopeful this time. I guess I should have suspected this after the announcement on August 3rd that Yoshiki had undergone another surgery for a pinched nerve in his spine and honestly, if he needs the time to recover then I say postpone the concert as long as necessary but Yoshiki: just for the sake of the fans, don't announce any more concerts or make any promises until you are 100% certain you can fulfil them because the World Tour has regrettably become a farce. That said, I still can't wait to see my favourite band and with the addition of Sugizo on guitar it should be awesome.

Get well soon Yoshiki.


Another solid rocker from the magnum man. Its got a good pounding riff and a typical Gackt chorus. Basically all you need to know. I just wish he would announce a new album (with new unreleased songs). I have a big problem with all these single releases. It's a very cynical marketing ploy to get as much money as possible from an album's worth of material. For that I'm knocking a star off what is really a four-star song.
Verdict: *** (3/5)

Friday, 21 August 2009


I quite like this! It's got a very chunky riff and the quasi-growl vocals accompanying the guitar punches in the bridge are awesome. I'm still on the fence about girugämesh's placement of poppy choruses in otherwise dark pounding songs. It seems a little cynical and radio-orientated but I guess if MUCC can get away with it, why not giru?

Suiren, the b-side, further likens the new girugämesh to MUCC. It's a disco beat song like MUCC'S "Fuzz" and "Oz". It's a good b-side and in a way i'm warming to girugämesh again after a brief period of meh-ness. Plus check out the cool little solo at the end of Suiren. Good times.

Verdict: **** (4/5)

Friday, 14 August 2009


The father of the electric guitar died August 13th from complications arising from pneumonia.
As expected everyone from Slash to Sambora has been paying tribute to one of the most important men in music history.

Les Paul
June 9, 1915–August 13, 2009

Monday, 10 August 2009


Japanese symphonic metal band Versailles announced yesterday (August 9th) via their Official Website that bassist Jasmine You has passed away. It had been known that he had health problems and would be taking a break from the band in order to recuperate but it would seem that these problems have indeed proved overwhelming. The cause of death is still however unconfirmed as the band are awaiting consent from Jasmine You's family before publishing details. Versailles have postponed all band activities indefinitely, as they try to cope with this tragic loss.

My thoughts and prayers are with the family of Jasmine You, his friends, bandmates and fans.

Thursday, 6 August 2009


Not really feeling it. "Ignorance" is punchy but tuneless and too similar to other Paramore songs notably "Emergency" and "Fences". Maybe I expected more melody given that their last single was the impressive "Decode". The new album "Brand New Eyes" is out at the end of September and I'm sure there will be better songs on it. As it stands, a mixed return for the band.

Verdict: ** (2/5)

Wednesday, 5 August 2009



Radiohead's new single is a tribute to the late Harry Patch who died recently, the last English survivor of World War I. The song is an orchestral piece arranged by Johnny Greenwood with vocals by Thom Yorke and it's very pretty. It's a moving tribute, if not spectacular, softly moving between moods with swells of strings and a large helping of nostalgia. It reminds me of a happier "Longing ~ Setsubou no yoru" by X Japan.

It is available to download now from the Official Radiohead website for £1 but it should be noted however that all proceeds go to the Royal British Legion. Hence i haven't bought it. I don't get this move by Radiohead. Couldn't they have picked a charity thast looks after veterans or something rather than fund the British war machine? Radiohead fans have to support the British army if they want to download the song. Sorry boys. Not for me thanks.

Verdict: *** (3/5)

Tuesday, 4 August 2009


Jack White's latest band is another authentic blues rock juggernaut. The songs are edgy, raw and sexy. White takes a backseat, literally, behind the drums handing vocal duties over to Alison Mosshart of the Kills who's voice is very similar to White's. His gifted hand is everywhere though. From the droning "Hang You From The Heavens" to the cascading distorted riff of "Treat Me Like Your Mother", it's a Jack White album through and through.
There's a nice Dylan cover in the form of New Pony but really most tracks are memorable. They ooze authentic Americana. It's born and bred dustbowl. A jewel in the dirt. The only complaints are really that some songs get lost in the mix, failing to stand out amongst the real gems. Third Man Records has another excellent band on its books now. The Dead Weather are better than The Raconteurs and seemingly far more than a side-project for the multi-talented White.
For the iPod Playlist: "Treat Me Like Your Mother", "Will There be Enough Water".
Verdict: **** (4/5)


Riceboy Sleeps is an exercise both in subtlety and opulence. Stripping away the grandiose build ups and climaxes of the traditional Sigur Ros formula, the band's frontman Jonsi and his boyfriend have created an ambient album with all the flavour but little of the melody of the parent band. It's like Sigur Ros sleeping.
Riceboy Sleeps is a very deep album. You could probably listen to it for weeks and discover something new with every listen. And yet its barely an album at all, more a whisper of music, a hint of what's under the surface. In this respect its very beautiful. There's no point mentioning specific tracks because the album should be heard as one continuous piece, although Boy 1904 notably features the last ever recording of a castrati singer.
The problem with Jonsi & Alex is that they have been left pretty much alone to make the album how they saw fit and it suffers from a lack of outside criticism. Most tracks are over 7 minutes, sometimes unnecessarily so.
I don't really know how to criticise the album though. For every complaint that it lacks direction, the arguement can be made that it's not meant to have a direction. Aimlessness may very well be the goal of these two Icelandic lovers.
Speaking of which, the inaccessability of the album to the casual listener hints at a very personal album. It could very much be a love letter. At worst, its purely masturbatory.
Verdict: *** (3/5) - Self-indulgent but with glimmers of genius.


“DIM” is the sound of a band finding their sound. After the relative disappointment of 2007’s “Stacked Rubbish”, it’s good to see that instead of copying its scattergun approach of clashing styles and moods; “DIM” is much more thematically unified, stronger in identity and a gripping show of force from a band more confident in their abilities.
There is almost an hour of music here, peppered with brief interludes to give the listener a respite from an otherwise dark and bleak album. Previous singles “Guren” and “Leech” appear here in altered form, re-recorded and remixed whilst their most recent release, “Distress and Coma” remains unchanged, as does B-side “Headache Man”. The new version of “Guren” features more prominent acoustic guitar and slightly altered vocals and sounds stronger here than it did a year ago. By contrast, “Leech” redux is slightly robbed of its bite by a dull mix that numbs the guitars. It is unfortunate that the band felt the need to change this song as it was perfectly fine in its original form.
Of the new songs, “The Invisible Wall” stands out as a highlight with its pounding riff and driving rhythm, but the true star of the show is “13Stairs[-]1”. Gloriously pulsating and snarling through its slow burner opening, the song then thunders into a grinding head-banger. Positioned perfectly as the tenth track on the album, it manages to keep things interesting rather than allow itself to drift into the mid-album lull that plagued “Stacked Rubbish”. It sounds completely different from anything the GazettE has tried before and it will go down as one of the best songs in their catalogue. “In The Middle of Chaos” will divide fans with its very Western power chord structure but the album ends a little too typically with a fast heavy song (in this case “Ogre”) and an eerie but heavy slow song (“Dim Scene” - doing exactly what previous closers “Taion” and “Chizuru” did better). It’s a minor complaint in what is an impressive comeback from the jewel in the PSC crown. We will see if the GazettE can maintain this high standard with the single “Before I Decay”, due for release this October.
For the iPod playlist: "The Invisible Wall" "13Stairs[-]1"
Verdict: **** (4/5)