The Queen is Dead

9 04 2009

Well this week I spent a bit of time in Manchester and I finally made it to Salford Lads Club. For years Smiths fans have travelled there to recreate the famous photo and now I have too. Sadly they wouldn’t let us into the building (something to do with some anti-kiddie fiddling law-though I hasten to add I’m not on a sex offender’s list!) but it didn’t matter as it’s what’s on the outside that counts.

AU Review of Crooked Timber

9 04 2009

Therapy? Crooked Timber

(DR2 Records)

Reviewer: Edwin McFee

On paper, ‘Crooked Timber’ really shouldn’t work as a record. For starters it’s referred to as frontman Andy Cairns’ “mid-life crisis” album. Secondly, it features a ten minute long instrumental (‘Magic Mountain’) and thirdly it’s the band’s 12th record in the band’s 20year history. All in all, the signs are pointing to the alley marked “indulgent,” right? Wrong. You see Therapy? are at their best with their backs to the wall and when they’re making music for the sheer joy of it and ‘Crooked Timber’ has “fuck you” written all over it.

Over the course of ten tracks, the band sound venomous, ripping into each song with wild abandon. Album opener ‘the Head That Tried to Strangle Itself’ is as sinister as the title suggests, ‘Enjoy the Struggle’ sounds like the spiritual sibling to ‘Ten Year Plan’ and the title track sees the band experiment with atmosphere and phrasing, rather than just bludgeoning us over the head with gargantuous guitar riffs.

‘Crooked Timber’ is the sound of a band finally at home with themselves. Ten years ago they probably wouldn’t have had the stones to put ‘Magic Mountain’ on an album for fear of alienating their fans, but their new found confidence and (dare we say it) maturity means that from here on out, anything is possible in Therapy? land. In short, ‘Crooked Timber’ is one of the most exciting albums the band have ever made. If this is what happens when you have a mid-life crisis, then we can’t wait until we have ours too.


Download: ‘Enjoy the Struggle,’ Exiles,’ ‘I Told You I Was Ill.’

For Fans Of: Husker Du, Helmet, Zeke

DVD Reviews 2

9 04 2009

More DVD reviews from the latest Big List. Check it.

DVD Reviews

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

If, like this writer, you consider computer animated films to be the work of the horn-headed dark lord from down under (no, not Paul Hogan) then no doubt the arrival of Madagascar 2 will make you all a-quiver (and not in a good way). Telling the story of a bunch of marooned animals who hatch a plan to escape to Africa, this Ben Stiller, Chris Rock and that bloke who was “on a break” with Jennifer Aniston in Friends helmed vehicle is forgettable at best and relies too much on the “cutesy” penguins for their jokes. I like a penguin as much as the next bloke, but two hours of them is enough to drive anyone mad.


Transporter 3

Ah, just what the world needs, another Transporter film where everyone’s favourite slaphead hardman Jason Statham blows shit up and looks tough. Grrr. This third installment of the “epic” trilogy (we only joke because we care) once again uses the theme of transporting things to the criminal underworld, only this time, Frank Martin (Statham) is electronically tagged and his life depends on getting his package to his clients before the bald man go boom-boom. Yikes! This film is perfect fodder for a Friday night in that it’s ultimately brainless, but is still good fun watching men get their asses handed to them.


Gavin & Stacey: Christmas Special

Released just in time for the Yuletime season (errr, wait….it isn’t Crimbo???) this DVD features the Christmas special of the much loved BBC3 series Gavin & Stacey. For those who have yet to see the sit-com, the series revolves around the story of two lovebirds-one from Billericay in England and the other from Barry Island in Wales. They get married, the parents go a bit doo-lally, Stacey turns into a moaner and the fat bloke (James Corden) gets his moobs out at the drop of a hat. This Xmas themed episode sees the two families (the West’s and the Shipman’s-see what they did there?) celebrate the season by having dinner together in England. While the special isn’t up to the high standard of the previous two series, it’s still worth is for Uncle Bryn (Rob Brydon) who steals every scene he’s in.



Based on the books by Stephanie Meyer that sent millions of teenagers batty for vampires, Twilight has been described as Harry Potter with fangs. In this writer’s opinion that’s a little unfair though, as Twilight owes more to Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Mills and Boon than to JK Rowling’s world of wands and wizardry. For the uninitiated, the film tells the story of social misfit Bella who falls in love with the fangless, but still slightly blood thirsty vamp Edward. Even though he’s sworn off plasma for life, once his new squeeze gives him new feelings in the nether regions, he finds that she’s also reawakened his passion for neck biting. While Twilight may be a little cheesy, it is one of the few modern vampire films that doesn’t suck.


Max Payne

Based on a computer game (just like all the best films….) Max Payne stars former underwear model Marky Mark Wahlberg in the lead role. Basically what you get for two hours is some old school “maverick cop” action with Marky trying his best to hunt down those responsible for the murder of his family. It’s not the most original of plots, but hey, it beats watching a Murder She Wrote box set (which is also out this month folks) any day of the week.