30 06 2011

As each passing week rolls on we get ever closer to the release of the new Captain America film (my second favourite character and indeed comic, fact fans!) and I have to say I am one excited MAMMA JAMMA (I haven’t a notion who or what a MAMMA JAMMA is, but I bet he/she/it rules). This week Marvel Studios have unleashed the latest trailer for the film and it looks all kinds of aceness.Steve Rogers looks suitably heroic, Peggy Carter is perfectly cast (and extremely easy on the eye balls) and who doesn’t love baddies with giant red skulls? Have a wee watch for yourself below….

‘Dead Horse readers will also be glad to know I plan on rocking my brand new Commander Steve Rogers Tee for the big day (coz clearly I’m THE COOLEST!).


Big Picks Oxegen Special

28 06 2011

Each month in the Big List I write a column dedicated to new and up and coming bands and as it’s festival season once again, I figured I’d reprint the Oxegen special that ran a few months ago.

Big Picks-Oxegen Special

Doing exactly what it says on the tin (or headline in this case) our Big Picks column will present to you three acts that are on the cusp of something special and give you the lowdown on where you can find out more. This month, we take a look at some of the bright young things performing at this year’s Oxegen (


The Naked And Famous

Who are they? Kiwi five-piece the Naked and Famous were included in the BBC’s Sound Of 2011 list and their debut album ‘Passive Me, Aggressive You’ is an electro-pop gem.

What do they sound like? The band call to mind MGMT before they crawled up their own arses and their break-through single ‘Punching In A Dream’ could provide one of Oxegen’s “festival moments.”

Where can I find out more?


Jenny and Johnny

Who are they? Erstwhile Rilo Kiley front-lady Jenny Lewis has teamed up with her main squeeze (and acoustic rock troubadour in his own right) Johnathan Rice for some alt-pop shenanigans and their debut ‘I’m Having Fun Now’ is a great soundtrack for the summer.

Who do they sound like? A heady call and response heavy slice of outsider pop, Jenny and Johnny really assert themselves as one of indie-rock’s power couples with their swooning debut.  

Where can I find out more?



Who are they? Another of the BBC’s so-called Sound Of 2011, Nashville-based Mona peddle a fine line of swaggering rock that’s sure to get many pulses racing this festival season.

What do they sound like? Their self-titled debut is due out in a month’s time, but we’ve had a few exclusive spins and it has hit written all over it (not literally of course, as that would be daft…).

Where can I find out more?

Vreid Metal Hammer Review

27 06 2011

As some regular readers of the blog may know, I review albums every month for Metal Hammer. Here’s a reprint of my verdict on the new Vreid album that was the lead review a few months back.




V is for victory.

It’s a familiar enough tale in the world of metal. A band with a shed-load of promise find their best laid plans scuppered due to an untimely death of a founding member and the rest of the group ultimately spend what’s left of their days limping on, a shadow of their former selves. Norway’s Vreid have put a different spin on this sorry story though, and they’ve actually found themselves emerging stronger after the demise of their singer Valfar in 2004. Back then they were known as Windir, but thanks to a name change and a renewed focus, the four-piece have ended up a much more impressive prospect as a result.

 Their latest salvo V (named after the roman numeral for five and not the much loved space alien show from the 80s) sees the band at the peak of their powers, thanks in no small part to the return of their erstwhile guitarist Strom and their decision to produce the slab of wax at bassist Hvall’s home studio. Featuring nine immaculately recorded tracks, the band have widened their musical scope further than ever before and as well as the tried and tested black and thrash blueprint, the quartet pay tribute to many eras of metal on an album which at times feels as if we’re taking a joyride in Doc Brown’s time-travelling Delorean, as we get to regularly peak into the past and future of the genre, more often than not in the space of the same track.

 Take Fire On The Mountain for example. Opening with some elemental samples, effects-laden keyboards eventually give way to some good old fashioned Bay Area-style riffing, before Vreid throw in some folk chants and acoustic guitars for good measure. It’s a dizzying concoction of sounds that might sound a little too schizophrenic in the hands of some bands, but the four-piece know exactly when to reign things in. The mid-paced, Maiden-y stylings of The Blood Eagle is another gem and features some military drum beats, muscular fretwork and unearthly shrieks and the fantastically named Wolverine Bastards boasts some excellent, melodic guitars too.

The anthemic The Sound Of The River is the pick of the bunch though and its odd time signatures, uncertain tempos and old school folk chants make the track as menacing as a Gary Glitter appearance on Yo Gabba Gabba. However, pretty much everything on their fifth record is a solid affair and by looking back at the past, Vreid have helped create a very bright future indeed. [7]


















Batmobile From Batman Live

15 06 2011

As preparations for the Batman Live UK and Ireland Arena Tour continues to gather pace, I’m getting more than a little bit excited to see the likes of Two Face, Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy up close and personal. Kicking off in Manchester in July 19 and finishing off with four shows at the Odyssey in Belfast in October (full dates are available via it looks like no expense has been spared on the show and I think hiring Young Avengers/Wonder Woman scribe Allan Heinberg to handle scripting duties will turn out to be a masterstroke.

Today they’ve released images of the Batmobile that will be used for the extravaganza and I reckon it looks ace. Have a look and see what you think-

Sticking with Batman Live for a bit, I get a lot of visitors on my blog who want to know what the “Gotham City Seats” are. Basically, the production features a scaled down version of Gotham City right in front of the stage (in addition to the giant video screens and sets and what have you). The stage is like a “T” shape and the Gotham seats are right in front of these buildings, so you’re beside all the action. I’ll stick up a diagram/images from the show once I get ’em.

Why Music Matters-Iron Maiden

15 06 2011

Why Music Matters is a new initiative from EMI that’s intended to promote the importance of music-culturally and policitally. Here’s one of the videos they made that focuses on Iron Maiden.It’s pretty cool.

Up the Irons!

Here’s The Latest In What’s Sure To Be A Very Long Line Of Avengers Posters

14 06 2011

Yep, this latest poster has started floating around the interwebs today and I have to say, I kinda like it.

I wonder if Joss Whedon’s gonna keep the team as it is (Hulk,Cap,Thor,Iron Man,Hawkeye and Black Widow) or if he’s gonna expand it. Hmmmm. I’m sure we’ll all find out soon enough….

Oh Looky Looky

13 06 2011

It’s my big brother’s birthday today.Look what I got him-

For the unenlightened-it’s Cyclonus and it’s drawn by Transformers artist Nick Roche.I think you’ll all agree it looks the business.Thanks to my pals Karen and Ron for helping make this happen.

I also got a Hulk sketch by Glenn Fabry for myself. In retrospect I probably should’ve got something Preacher-related, but fuck it. Hulk is strongest one there is after all.