Sunday, 28 February 2016

The Soundtrack To My Thoughts.

  A shark needs to keep moving forward constantly, because if it doesn't have water flowing through its gills, it gets a bad case of death.
  My need for new music isn't quite that critical -  but I do have to have fresh sounds to keep me going.  I never want to be in the position where I'm  only listening to the same things I was listening to last week, last month, last year...
 When that happens, I might as well get a cardigan with "I'm old and have no soul" embroidered across the back.

  So here's some songs I discovered recently and I've had on heavy rotation all week. It's an interesting mix so I hope you lovely people like 'em too.
 I'm not going to claim expert knowledge on any of these bands but I did a wee bit of research to give some thumbnail notes.

Grace - Fire of London (1980)

  In the same way that Heavy Metal had a bit of a rethink, post Punk, and came back with a stronger, punchier sound, something similar happened to Prog Rock.  The early 80s saw a new generation of bands that pared down the instrumental noodling and trippy lyrics in favour of choppy, rockier songs about modern life and modern society.  Marillion are the obvious example but Stoke band Grace got out of the gate first, releasing an album in 1979. .
  Sadly Grace would split up after this single and a live album but got back together in 1988. I remember them advertising regular shows in Stoke at the end of the 1980s, so I'm a bit annoyed that i didn't check them out earlier. 

  For people of my generation the subject matter of "Fire Of London" will click immediately.  One of the things I don't miss about the 1980s is the nagging worry that somebody somewhere would hit a big red button and set silos doors opening. 
  The song is a catchy but passionate description of worried survivors huddled in a bunker that Ian Anderson might have written if he was  younger and a little scared.

Helion Prime - Apollo (The Eagle  Has Landed) 2016

  This band got my attention as soon as I saw the Cd cover.
 Spacemen battling Space Dinosaurs...In Space!
I demand that somebody make this a movie right the hell now!

  There's not enough good female fronted Power Metal bands about. There's definitely not enough Female Fronted Power Metal bands around with a SciFi theme and as it turns out, this Sacramento band deliver the goods. I don't think a Power Metal band has got me this excited in ages. Can I get away with describing them as the SF Yin to Seven Kingdom's fantasy-styled Yang? 

 The song is fast-paced, singalong Power Metal with some great vocals. I particularly like the cunning deployment of backing vocals in key spots. It works really well and is a definite enhancement to proceedings.

Band homepage here: so go check them out. 

 The next track I found by accident when I was looking for something else entirely.

Promises - Baby It's You (1978)

  Promises were a Canadian pop-rock band composed of brothers Jed and Benny Knaer and their sister Leslie and remain unknown in Canada, the USA and Britain.  Elsewhere it's a different story. 1978 single "Baby it's You" was a big hit in the Germany, Australia and South Africa with the video clip being a particular favourite in Australia, where it made a lot of teenage boys very happy.
Picture sourced from - which also has the lyrics.

   Since co-vocalist/synthmeister Benny spends the entire vid sans shirt, there might have been some happy teenage girls too.  (Seriously. There's a few different clips floating around Youtube and Benny is resolutely shirtless in every single one.) 
   Promises were unable to follow up their hit and imploded in 1981, with Leslie moving on to rockier territory with Precious Metal and continues to record and perform to this day.  Here's her homepage.

The song.  Starts off with Benny on synth and vocals before sis Leslie storms in with a belter of chorus. Try this for a mental image:  Styx indulging in their wimpier side before a fired up Suzi Quatro kicks the door in from the next room to hijack the chorus. Definitely one of Youtube's hidden gems.    

  I will mention in passing that this is a duet between Brother and Sister so I wonder if that ever got uncomfortable. 

Ghost - He Is (2015)

   In theory Sweden's Ghost should be one of many, many Metal gimmick bands that plug away on the festival and club circuit. A bunch of faceless ghouls fronted by an undead pope?  Who's going to to take that seriously.  I know I didn't until I actually checked out their music and discovered that Papa Emeritus III and minions produce 70s-tinged Heavy/Prog rock with oodles of dynamics and subtle Occult leanings. 
  No wonder they've been such a massive success and even been on The Late Show

The song.   "He is" is a downright pretty song  until you realise who they're singing about. Did I mention that this band are into the Occult.  

  To finish, I'm going to share with you a song I keep coming back to for all the wrong reasons.

  Every single song on this page is something that made me go "Wow. What is this?" and hit the refresh button because I had to hear it again
. This one is more "What The Fuck Is This?" and repeated because I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

 Watch the video and see what I mean. Be warned. This is bizarrely hypnotic.

Darkeys And The Keys - Pulli Pulli (2013)

Welcome to the Weird part of Youtube. 

That's all folks. 

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Cheapo DVD Review: National Lampoon's TV - The Movie (2006)

"TV The Movie is a celebration of the ever-increasing ridiculousness of society a reflected through the televisions in your living room...Who are we trying to kid? we just wanted to break a lot of shit, throw Steve-o off a building and show some chicks naked...."

 You know what, I'm going to stop typing now.

 There is more blurb than that but we've already established the key points and I just cannot be bothered anymore.

  Try and imagine a cross between Movie 43 written by 21 year olds trying to be edgy and the more obnoxious moments of Jackass.  

  You just felt a moment of pure horror, didn't you?

Well I had to sit through 80 minutes of this shit.

 Between the excruciating attempts at parody, the overlong sequence of Steve-O getting wasted and some skateboard tricks thrown in for the sheer hell of it, TV The Movie is an unholy, unfunny, unpleasant mess that left me feeling in need of a shower.

How much did I pay for this: £1
Was it worth it?  If you've read this far down, do you even need to ask?  Avoid at all costs.  

That's all folks. 

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Beyonce Gets Metallised.

  Lords Of the Trident describe themselves as The Most Metal Band On Earth. I'm sure Manowar and Judas Priest might argue with them there, but the Wisconsin 5-piece are a consistent source of musical goodies, with a sense of fun that's sometime lacking in Metal today.

 And just because they could, Fang Von Wrathenstein and his merry men have decided to cover Beyonce's "Diva" complete with shot-for-shot video remake.  check it out.

Can we get these guys on the next Grammies? I live in hope.

Band website here:

Sunday, 21 February 2016

The Metal Project: Angels of Metal

You know what I haven't done in ages?  (Besides make a post without typos...) 
I haven't done a Metal Project post with an alphabetical theme. 

So what the hell. Today's collection of songs is brought to you by the letter "A

Abadon - Heavy Metal (Ecuador 2004)

(Maidenesque Trad Metal)

Honour to: Jamdres War

Alaska - Voice Of The Metal God (Netherlands 1984)

(Doomier end of the NWOBHM - except Dutch.)

Honour to: heavymetaller1978

Alcoholocaust - Supremo Heavy Metal Negro (Portugal  2008)

(Frantic, uncouth Thrash)

Honour to: ThrashMetalPT

Angel Sword - Heavy Metal Night (Finland 2015)

(If you like Early 80s Eurometal then you might dig this lot.)

Honour to: Angel Sword

Antacid - Heavy Metal (Malaysia 2003)

(Fuzzed up Thrash)

Honour to: 666Speedhell

Arma - Satanik Metal Punk Commando (Brazil 2015)

(Buzzsaw metalpunk)

Honour to: Arma MPDS

Artazia - Metal Rose (USA 1986)

(If you like old-school US Heavy Metal, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. )

Athena - Metalforce (Turkey 1991)

(Thrash - sound quality isn't great but the band had promise)


Azrael - Death Metal (USA 1987)

(More like Speed Metal if truth be told.)

Honour to: MetalAvenger78

If you liked any of these, please check out the channels I linked to.
I could not do what I do without those guys doing what they do.
So send them some love and support.

That's all folks.  

Monday, 15 February 2016

Cheapo DVD Review: Raiders Of The Lost Shark (2015)

Reviewing the finest DVDs CEX and Poundland  have to offer. 

  Can we take it as read that the DVD cover and blurb were pulled out of somebody's ass and bear no resemblance to the actual film?   You OK with that?  Fine. Let's move on to the review. 

The story: Shark in a lake. It eats people. The end. 

  I started getting a bad feeling about this film within about the first ten minutes. "Hmm." I thought. "That bit of water that's clearly not ocean looks kinda familiar. And I've noticed that the cast all seem to have a way with certain vowel-sounds that's not American...."

  That's when it hit me. I'm watching another Canadian shark movie. Aw Crap.

 The last one of those I watched was Jurassic Shark. I reviewed it HERE but if you don't want to read the full review, here's the TL:DR version.  Jurassic Shark is shite. 

  I don't know if "Raiders.." is by the same people but I do know that the shark animator from that film ended up in this one. 

 The shark from Jurassic Shark
 And his twin brother from "Raiders..."

  Now I'm not suggesting that the producers reused shark footage from another film.....

 Well yes I am actually.  It's that blatant. 

  I'm also going to state for the record that this is one of the better bits of  digital FX.  Some of the other shots would get laughed out of a high school class project. 

   I can sort of admire the producers for getting this film made on what was clearly a shoestring budget. I can also give them props for trying to slip in some humour to grease the axles.  This was never going to work as a serious shark movie, so why not go down the tongue-in-cheek route?  That's worked really well for The Asylum after all. 

  The Asylum might have pulled this off. These guys don't. 

  The SFX are bad, the storyline may have been written out on the back of an envelope and suffers from a bad dose of silliness towards the end, the music was provided by a fifth-rate, hair metal, bar band (possibly paid in biscuits and gravy), the acting is....difficult to be positive about... and the humour falls flat. 

  Oh, guess how they finally dispose of the shark?  Have you seen any Stupid Shark Movies from the last ten years? Any at all?  
 Well, "Raiders.." uses the exact same method as every SSM ever.  God dammit, people. get some new ideas.  

How much did I pay for this movie: £5
Was it worth it?    When I bought the DVD  knew I was going to hate myself afterwards. I just didn't think it would be this much. 

Screenshot time. 

 "Hello. Let me give you a quick infodump on Megalodons and my theory that they might still be alive. There aren't any Megalodons in this movie so I don't know why I'm saying this.  No, I don't wear a bikini at any point in this film."

This is the most people you will see onscreen at the same time. 

"I'm going to wade into water that I know has a shark in it because somebody told me to. What could possibly go wrong?"

"Ooh that looked painful.  Not such a great idea then."

Gillian McKeith is making movies now? 

It's not a proper shark movie without a slightly insane Grizzled Sea Dog. 

"It was a shark that took my hand."

"Err...But you still have both of your hands..."


 That's actual dialogue from the movie. 
I don't think I get Canadian humour. 

A topless Qubecois makes the most of her short scene.
I'm confidently expecting Google Image Search to give me more hits from this than everything I've written in the last six months. 

And this girl has just realised she's a blonde...
 in a bikini...
 in a shark movie. 
She might as well just smear herself in BBQ sauce and leap into the sea shouting "Yoohoo. Sharkey-sharkey-sharkey! Eat me! 

That's all folks. 

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Heavy Metal Cover Girls - Made In Japan

  In my last "Cover Girls" feature I looked at some artwork that was inspired by Japan's great gift to the world: Anime. Which got me thinking.  While I'm in the neighborhood, so to speak, why not look at something else that seems to be unique to Japan.

  When I say "Female Metal Vocalist" what's the image you get inside your head? Close your eyes for a second and let it come to you.
  Depending on the sort of Metal you listen to, what popped up was either the classic Rock look - jeans, leather, spandex, studs - or what seems to have become the uniform for Symphonic/Gothic Metal vocalists these days -formal gowns and corsets.

  Of course the Japanese would have to do things a little differently, wouldn't they?

 Step this way and let me show you what I mean.

 Mary's Blood - Bloody Palace (2015)

Sticking fairly close to the Metal template so far.  Lots of Black which is always very metal.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Heavy Metal Cover Girls...Anime style

  Hello and welcome to my semi-regular look at Heavy Metal album covers that eschew demons, vikings and bloodshed in favour of pretty girls.
 (Although you frequently do get album covers starring pretty girls that just happen to be demons, vikings or running amok with a chainsaw. And I've posted enough of them to prove it )

  Today's post is going to feature a slightly different approach to the Cover Girl, courtesy of a nation that has their own unique take on graphic design.

  In Japan Manga/Anime is a big, big thing. Naturally some of that bleeds into album covers as well.

  You know, 2 years ago I'd never have believed that the words "Cute"  and "Metal" would ever appear in the same sentence. Then Babymetal happened.  Japan really is a strange place... 

  Alieson - World's End (2009)

  She's a vampire, isn't she? 
I just get this "Cute - but lethal vibe of her."
I think it's the Gothic Lolita outfit.
That and the glowing red eyes. 

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