Author Archives: Eric

Mutiny On The Bounty – Trials

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I bet this was a stuttering creation for the guys from Mutiny On The Bounty. Things did not look too good after their guitar virtuoso Luciano Lippis left the band shortly after the release of their first LP Danger Mouth; an album I personally anticipated quite much. A new guitarist was found but he turned out to be a better Scotsman in drinking and dishing out beatings than being a professional musician, from what I heard so far.

But as the proverb says: “An end is a new beginning” and so is Trials, M.O.T.B. second longplayer. With Cédric “Tchiggy” Czaika (a known musician in the Luxembourgish scene) as the new bassist and Clément Delporte pulling the strings, everything seemed to take a new course. So, after an extensive tour with the likes of Coheed and Cambria, Portugal the Man and Franz Ferdinand including an appearance at SXSW in Austin; the timing was right for the next big step and eventually Matt Bayles (who produced Isis, The Fall Of Troy and HORSE The Band) was hired as the producer for Trials.

So; what beauty do we have in Trials? It’s still a mathrockish experience but with more indie rock influences than mathrock/mathcore. I have often drawn comparisons to Minus The Bear when listening to the album, which is not a bad thing or meant in a pejorative way. But considering the big change M.O.T.B underwent from their first LP to Trials I must confess that I initially had my difficulties with the album. I was expecting Danger Mouth #2 with it’s chaotic guitars and light-hearted / carefree songwriting but Trials is a more serious and sombre masterwork, less dancer but more progressive and it requires your whole attention in order to be perceived.

There are killer tunes that totally kick in from the first second you listen to them like Artifacts, Myanmar, Shifting Paradigms or Mapping The Universe (the latter being a mind-blowing experience played live) but there are also tracks that need several attempts to unfold themselves like Candies or Statues. Guess I just miss the light-heartedness of the first album but if one considers the difficulties the collective had after 2 members parted their ways and with all the frustration they must have had to hold together and create something new I guess there was a lot of anger that pushed them in writing these more serious / darkish songs and that is totally understandable and of course acceptable.

Don’t get me wrong. Trials is a very good album. It’s challenging. You will listen to it over and over again in order to accept the change the band underwent. It’s hard to be a musician / music fan nowadays. As a musician you will piss a lot of people off if you release a clone of your previous album and earn a lot of criticism if you do something completely different. And to me, Trials is a logical evolution for Mutiny On The Bounty. There’s no better album as both LPs are completely different and outstanding in their own way. These boys have a promising future ahead and hopefully they will content us with a lot of surprises in the future. I better stop whining that this is no Danger Mouth #2 and love the Trials for what it is. Challenging but not disappointing.

Trash Monday XVIII

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What the fuck is this shit?

No, sersiously; chubby girls need love too. Really. But this is just unbearable! Are Gossip trying to copy Madonna’s “Like A Prayer” video? Is Brace Payne a secret member from SunnO)))? The song is awful and the refrain must be the most annoying thing I have heard in years!

One thing is for sure: Now we all know how Evanescence’s Amy Lee will look like after 10 pregnancies and a high-dosed cortisone therapy. Next!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8mw5i43-uQ]

Trash Monday XV

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Kate Winslet recently said that Céline Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” would make her want to throw up in utter disgust.

I says: “Bitch, please!”
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vId_4r925o]

Enter The Void

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Director: Gaspar Noé

Stars: Nathaniel Brown, Paz de la Huerta, Cyril Roy

“Who else but the French?”

This was my first reaction after watching “Enter The Void” by Gaspar Noé. There was a lot of talk when the movie first came out and a few friends told me about the movie and how cool and great it was and I was eager (kinda) to watch it someday; as I really did not know what the movie was about, except that drugs have an important role in it. Well fuck yeah, a drug movie; something new and completely refreshing, huh?!

There’s Oscar, the main character sitting in his flat in Tokyo, philosophizing about life, death and drugs of course, and after a few moments you dive into Oscar’s drug inflicted nirvana because he smoked asbestos, or what the heck do I know, I’m no drug addict; and what you see in his mind are algae-shaped Winamp-like visualizations.

“FUCK! Not another ‘The Tree Of Life’-like bullshit, oh gosh; NO!”, I was lying in bed and writhing in fear. But it turned out differently than expected. I was relieved that Terrence Malick did not participate on this production.

To resume the story quite shortly, Oscar’s a drug dealer and was separated from his sister, Linda; at a very young age, after their parents died in a brutal car accident.

Eventually he convinced his sister to come and join him to Tokyo, as life down there seems to be carefree. Too bad there’s Oscar’s friend Alex who told him at the police in revenge for having slept with Alex’s mother (former stripper, you would) and after a short chase Oscar gets shot and dies immediately; but his soul floats around Tokyo’s skyline and observes the lifes and destinies of his friends and companions. An oath Oscar took with Linda, as he promised he would never leave her, keeps him from going beyond.

“Enter The Void” attempts to thematize life, death and re-incarnation but fails to convince me. I do not believe in re-incarnation. When you die, your body turns into hummus. Period. There’s no soul that will conquer another body / lifeform whatsoever… but that’s not the movie’s fault if I don’t believe in such sorcery.

The overall darkish atmosphere tries to be over-disturbing with all the neon-lights in Tokyo and the milky-foggish point of vue from Oscar’s soul down to earth is a very tiring experience. Don’t get me wrong; I welcome every director who brings new accents in film making and camera perspectives. But as my former English teacher used to say: “Enough is enough!”. Everything can be overused!

Another point I dislike is the exaggerated perversion and provocation. What’s the point of showing the tragic car accident that killed Oscar’s and Linda’s parents on multiple occasions, with little Linda screaming all her anguish out of her lungs? Why do I have to see how Alex (Oscar’s traitor) sucks dicks to make a living? I mean, you want a tear jerker, Gaspar Noé? Really? Or do you wank at the idea as on how you can shock your audience? This was my opinion after watching the scene with Linda’s abortion and the fetus lying on the kidney dish.

For a minute there, I was expecting a Gang Bros truck coming by with a handful of potent stallions jerking on the fetus and run over it afterwards.

Not because I wanted to see that but because I thought that the movie couldn’t sink any lower…

Movies like this one leave a very bitter aftertaste in my mouth and I cannot say that I liked “Enter The Void”, because I am not into this french over-stylization of violence and perversion. It’s not violence itself in movies that disturbs or disappoints me, but the fact that some directors / filmmakers give more value to shocking scenes than to a flawless / convincing storyline.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRNpSKsBKw8]

Trash Monday XII

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Sometime around 2007, at the headquarters of Iced Earth:

“Yo guys, I just came back from my Egypt vacation and saw ‘A Scanner Darkly’ in the hotelroom! We have to make a videoclip about that experience!”

Attacking space monkeys included …
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x82mPcpBByM]

Trash Monday IX

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Meet Rachael, Olivia, Robin and Roy performing neo-liberal postmodernism before they went to Celebrity Rehab (or the gutter, what the fuck do I know?!)
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ld9ikLYQSWc]

Super Crate Box

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Platform tested: iOS (iPad)

Developed by: Vlambeer

This one is quite simple, guys. 3 different levels, one easy task. Collect as many crates as possible. But beware! 3 different types of enemies will try to impede your crate collecting and each level has got 1 precipice at the bottom that turns your enemies into rabid destroyers, once they have fallen into. And this is the interesting part of the game, as it gets more and more challenging and fast-paced each time a new enemy falls into the precipice. But fortunately, a new collected crate means a new weapon for your character, be it a machinegun, rocket launcher or flamethrower. Let the rampage begin!

There really isn’t much more to add about “Super Crate Box”. It is so simple yet enjoyable to play. The perfect time waster and no-brainer. Just as I like it. Maybe the controls suck a little as it is not possible to play a jump’n run platformer properly on a touchscreen, but it’s manageable.

Go get it on your iOS device now! Vlambeer are a indie-game studio based in the Netherlands and you know you should support indie developers, don’t you?

Grab it while it’s hot! You don’t need your financial consultant’s opinion for this 2 bucks investment. Trust me.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wT3QP9K110U]

(Video is delivered by TouchGamePlay)

Eric

Trash Monday VI

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Were you born in the late 80′s? Have you experienced the Euro-Trash epoch in the mid-90′s? Do you remember? Do you want to reminisce your fond memories of the best music genre there ever was? Here it is, K2 with “Der Berg ruft”.

In case you watch a certain Munich-based TV channel on a daily basis you will probably recognize the sexy background dancer. Music could not have been greater back then. Or, to quote the top comment on youtube: “Breasts, techno, reggae, yodeling and Schlager combined in a piece of art for eternity.”

Der Hosenträger is ma abgerissen! BOOYAH!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r53Ao-Y5_2Q]

Mew – And The Glass Handed Kites

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released: 2005

Label: Red Ink (Rough Trade)

Have you ever listened to an album that was just too much for your musical horizon? And have you ever tried to listen to it again, a few years later; just to figure out that the album is genius and awesomeness in one?

I have!

The first time I listened to Mew’s “And The Glass Handed Kite” my initial reaction was: “What the fuck is this? Transsexual art rock?”. Please bear in mind that I’m no sexual offender; but when I first heard the album back in 2005, the music I mainly listened to was music in the likes of Icelandic post rockers Sigur Rós or songwriter-folk music such as Nick Drake, Vashti Bunyan or Elliott Smith. This album was just too much for me. I was not ready for it.

But praise Allah I’ve got a good memory and I gave the LP a new chance in 2012. And guess what? I’m totally addicted to this album.

The opener “Circuitry Of The Wolf” sounds like prog rock, you expect something like Rush, just to get a knock on the forehead with “Chinaberry Tree”, a dreamy shoegaze pop track that works perfectly with Jonas Bjerre’s high pitched voice. Yes, this is cotton candy dude. But you cannot eat steak all the time, your body craves sweets from time to time. This is the candy shop!

“Why are you looking grave” wakes you up from your sugar-induced slumber with it’s uptempo rhythm and genius melodies. Pop music should most definitely sound like this. Never have I been challenged with such a diversity in songwriting (except when I first listened to The Mars Volta).

And these danish virtuosos are not done yet. This “dreamy-indie-progressive-psychedelic-shoegaze-art-rock” bastard hasn’t unfolded it’s strength yet, just wait for it and expect the unexpected.

“Fox Club” is the exact interlude for the upcoming storm. A minimalistic composition with a gentle synth completing the wall of sound in combination with the reserved vocals. The drums begin. Slow, discrete, fast; FASTER! Are you ready for the best part of the album?

“Apocalypso”‘s alarming guitars remind you of J.R. Ewing but Mew are no band willing to fullfill any emo cliches! Space rock meeting progressive pop it is. The thumping bass and drums in the refrain are only beaten by Bjerre’s vocal genius; most definitely the highlight of the album. This precise refrain makes this band unique, these seconds underline the high quality of Mew’s songwriting.

In “Special” you’ll once more notice the broad sound spectrum of the album. The drums and bass have this slight disco touch and you can’t stop nodding your head and shaking your hips. What is this? Moroder-Disco? Ethereal dance rock? I don’t care; I just can’t get enough of it.

I hope I could give you an insight into this album as I’m not willing to describe any further tracks. You have to listen to it to experience it!

As you might have noticed, I’m completely in love with this masterwork and maybe “The Glass Handed Kites” will flash you as well. If not, perhaps in 7 years time, as it happened to me. Only time can tell.

Disclaimer: Youtube & labels decided to be a pain in the ass and disabled embedding for certain videos. Hail the free world wide web. Pansies…

Mew – The Zookeeper’s Boy (Video)

“You’re just like a giraffe

You have to climb to find its head

But if there’s a glitch, you’re an ostrich

You’ve got your head in the sand”