The Dark Knight Rises

Superhero trilogy concluder lives up to the hype

The Dark Knight Rises was always destined to be a great film, with the build up from Batman Begins (2005) and The Dark Knight (2008), there had to be an amazing conclusion to the trilogy.

I can definitely say that this is the film everyone has been waiting for, it is two hours and forty minutes of non-stop action with a gripping storyline that you will not want to go to the toilet in the cinema and miss a minute of.

The story centres once again around billionaire Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) who is living in exile after the death of Harvey Dent, however the rise of supervillain, Bane (Tom Hardy), makes it impossible for Batman to stay hidden any longer. The caped crusader, with a little help from Catwoman (Anne Hathaway), realises that he must bring down Bane before he causes complete havoc and destruction over Gotham City.

The film stars some of the greatest names in Hollywood: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Tom Hardy, Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Cillian Murphy and Gary Oldman, and it is safe to say that every actor gave their utmost best into their characters, I don’t believe there was a faulty character throughout the film. The best through my eyes were Tom Hardy and Joseph Gordon-Levitt who committed to their roles so well and made them feel so realistic.

Being more of a fan of the Batman comics rather than the films, I was slightly sceptical about whether it would live up to the hype, also Christian Bale is an actor who I loathe in films (excluding American Psycho) and that gave me another reason not to be attracted to this picture. After watching The Dark Knight Rises though I now know what all the hype was about, it is a brilliant film, and even Christian Bale wasn’t too bad throughout.

Tom Hardy’s role of Bane is incredible, he really makes you feel like this character is pure evil, and every other aspect of him; the mask, the voice, the muscles, creates a psychotic villain which is made scarier by the fact that he could actually be real.

Like with Inception, Christopher Nolan has brought another epic masterpiece to the cinema which has been enjoyed by all, comic and new fans alike.

Evarose New EP Update

Oxfordshire quartet set to release new EP.

The four melodic pop rock girls from Barnbury have been hard at work recording their new EP, which is ready to be released in August.

When talking to music magazine ‘Rock Sound’ Evarose front woman, Dannika Webber explains “with this EP coming up, it feels like we’re doing things properly”, and with that they are also beginning to get more noticed in aspects such as touring, as the girls are on tour in September/October supporting ‘Straight Lines’.

The band, which is made up of Dannika Webber (vocals), Imogen Leslie (guitar), Connie Raitt (bass) and Robyn Griffith (drums), released their début EP, Creation Divide, in 2011. Which although only containing five songs, it was quite the powerful pop rock record which got the band’s feet warmed up, and grabbed a following of fans in the process. It contained emotive lyrics and stylish riffs which created songs that would not leave your head for days.

When describing what Evarose are made of, Dannika Webber says “we write good old pop rock songs. There’s a bit of girl power in there, too.” With the EP “the EP is quite focused on frustration and the uncertainty of general life.”

Evarose have already given us a taste of what is to come on the new self-released EP with two music videos, Best Left Alone and Change.

The EP ‘Elements’, is out on August 6th.

 

The Gaslight Anthem Album Update

New Jersey band prepare to release new album.

As the quartet get ready to release their fourth album, Handwritten, the thought on every fans mind will be whether or not it will be an even bigger album than their 2008 début, ‘The 59 Sound’.

“I want every record we do to be better than the last in my ears”says front man Brian Fallon when talking to music magazine Rock Sound “otherwise what’s the fucking point of doing this?”

‘The 59 Sound’ showed what these guys were really made of, it had everything; hooking choruses, an excellence in guitar playing, emotionally provoked lyrics and mixed together with blues rock and Brian Fallon’s soothing country style voice, it made one heck of a record.

However with ‘Handwritten’ they have put their heart and soul into the record “we just made something that feels like the record I was trying to make” explains Fallon “and the songs I was always trying to play live.” He goes on to talk about how the album relates to him “that’s where I saw myself when we made ‘Handwritten’: on a stage, there are up-tempo songs and there are down-tempo songs, and this fits my vision of who I am in my own head.”

The band, completed by Alex Rosamilia (guitar), Alex Levine (bass) and Benny Horowitz (drums), have already released two music videos for songs from the album, .45 and Handwritten. The latter being made into a short film about music being passed down from one person to another. ‘.45’, a song about not being with the person you love, is by far one of the most powerful songs by the band, and definitely their most powerful video, as it shows the energy which these guys put into their music.

“These songs were always meant to be found by us and I don’t know if it’s the greatest record ever, but it fits well with us, and I like it.” explains Fallon “life is pretty good right now.”

The album ‘Handwritten is out on July 23 through mercury.

 

The Amazing Spiderman

Spiderman film franchise gets a healthy reboot.

When first hearing that Marvel were deciding to reinvent the character of Spiderman on to the screen, I was slightly outraged as he is my favourite character in the Marvel universe, and I assumed that we were getting another Batman fiasco, were every 10 years the character is reinvented by another director. However with ‘The Amazing Spiderman’, a title taken from one of the many Spiderman comic books, the film attempts to stick to the original storyline more than in director, Sam Raimi’s Spiderman, rather than using Mary Jane Watson as the damsel, it is Gwen Stacey who has the female role, such as was in the original comic book storyline.

The story, once again, focuses on quiet nerd Peter Parker, played by Andrew Garfield, who is accidentally bitten by a genetically enhanced spider and gains the powers of spidey-sense, durability, god-like strength and the ability to climb walls. However in this film once again we are taken back to the comic book to him actually creating web shooters rather than having webs himself. Parker becomes Spiderman and also gains his high school crush, Gwen Stacey, played by Emma Stone. However this is a superhero film, and where would a film like this be without a super villain, Rhys Ifans takes on the role of Doctor Curt Conners, a classic Spiderman character, who is assigned the task of regrowing creatures limbs by using reptilian DNA, but when threatened to be fired he tests it on himself and becomes ‘The Lizard’.

The fight sequences are great and quite amusing at times, as Parker’s teenage humour is added in, although they do seem to have more CGI added into them. Now I know that it is impossible to film a fight between Spiderman and The Lizard without using CGI, but I think that Sam Raimi’s films did it so much better because it looked more realistic.

Andrew Garfield does do a great job when taking on the role, as the audience are given a different version of Parker than when Tobey Maguire played him, in the original three films he seemed to be more nerdy and not confident at all such as in the original comic books and many others which followed, but in The Amazing Spiderman Garfield plays him like (and I’m sure only the people who have read this comic book will know what I’m talking about) Peter Parker from the ‘Ultimate Spiderman’ comic books, where he is more confident and had a wittier attitude.

The chemistry between Garfield and Stone is great because they play the characters so well, saying that there may be too many scenes through out the film which show them falling in love, it was sort of the the same in Spiderman 3 with all the scenes showing Parker becoming a different person, but they brought that film back with him taking on Venom, Sandman and Green Goblin 2. There are many children who love Spiderman and will be going to see this film and I think I speak for all of them when I say that we want to see Spiderman kicking some ass, not mushy love scenes.

Some of the camera angles and backgrounds in this film are great, especially in the last scene. What I found to be really well done though was the variation between the camera being a point of view shot to when the camera is following him whilst he is swinging, I was hoping they would follow him with the camera as that was one of my favourite aspects of the original films.

The Amazing Spiderman was directed by Marc Webb who is also famous for directing the 2009 film, 500 Days Of Summer and ‘Waiting’, which was a music video for Green day. It was written by James Vanderbilt who also wrote the screenplays for films; Zodiac and Welcome To The Jungle.

I could attempt to pick faults out of the film all day such as; why have they changed the suit so much, why does is his identity given away to basically everyone and where is J. Jonah. Jameson the editor of ‘The Daily Bugle’, one of the greatest characters in the Spiderman universe, but I only pick these faults because I loved the original films and thought that Tobey Maguire did an amazing job as Spiderman. At the end of the day the storyline was gripping and does hopefully hold out for a sequel, which I hope includes the villains Rhino or Carnage.

If you are a Spiderman fan, go see this film.

Long Live The Struggle – The King Blues

Ska-punk rockers sign off with final album.

The King Blues have always been a band who have given the people a voice, and have made their listeners think about their lives and how they can change the world around them. That is why it is so hard to say goodbye to a band who have made such an impact on the music industry, however The King Blues have given their fans one more record to officially say goodbye.

Just the title, Long Live The Struggle, indicates the band still have the same views which they had when they started, and although they have tried to help out the work-a-day average person in the constant ‘struggle’ against the government and police forces, there is still much more work to be done.

0001751855_500Being their final album, this should be a record which grabs the listener and makes them listen, however opening song ‘We Are What We Own’, as thought-provoking as it is, it doesn’t feel as powerful as 2010’s ‘Punk and Poetry’ album’s opener, ‘Last Of The Dreamers. The song starts the album off in a different feel, where as ‘Punk and Poetry’ made the listener think deeply about the lyrics, this makes you feel more chilled out.

The King Blues stick to their usual fashion of jumping into a heart-pounding second song as ‘We Are The Future’ kicks in, an inspiring track which will give you the urge to dance and scream the chorus “we are the future” with Jonny ‘Itch’ Fox, TKB’s, front man. The song also shows off the rapping talents of ‘Itch’, as ‘The Futures Not What It Used To Be’ did on ‘Punk and Poetry’. It also gives us a slight screaming side to ‘Itch’ which has not been witnessed before, it gives a feel of more passion going into the song.

Third song, ‘Modern Life Has Let Me Down’, is by far the strongest track on the album, we are given the classic King Blues riffing throughout the chorus mixed in with an odd telephone dialling sound. This song definitely offers everything great about the band, a catchy chorus, strong lyrics, a massive breakdown and brilliant gang vocals; put together it creates a song which depicts an average man giving the world the middle finger.

‘Wasted Words’ is the first slow song on the album, and it features the bands keyboardist, Josie Dobson’s vocals. Although the lyrics give you the right feel for the song, it seems as if it is missing something, being the first time we really get to hear Dobson’s vocals, it’s a shame that this is a chorus which you listen to just so that you can hear another verse.

The album shows different aspects of the band, mainly in ‘Can’t Bring Me Down’ which features Letlive. vocalist Jason Butler, who provided a scream aspect for the chorus. Although scream bands are getting themselves more known, it appears out-of-place on a King Blues album. ‘Tear Us Apart’ brings us back to classic reggae King Blues, as ‘Itch’ plays out the rhythm on his signature ukulele whilst singing about how “even love” can tear two people apart.

THEKINGBLUES_210211_021As this is the band’s last album, they try to offer something different, and song ‘This Is My Home’ is a peculiar track as it is based on a man, ‘Itch’, and his wife, who is portrayed by Dobson, that are in the middle of the London riots. The man is trying to get home to his wife and the entire song is through the perspective of a phone call, which the band pull off well as it gives more of a realistic sense to the song. The track also provides the listener with a much more powerful chorus from Josie Dobson, which shows off her vocal talent.

The album then becomes powerful again with ‘Power To The People’, the song throws us a chorus which relates to all of us who have ever been defaced by the government, it tells us the message that we are the ones with power.

As the album ends with track ‘Keep The Faith’, although a strong song, it leaves us wanting more and as ‘Itch’ and the band chant out “keep the faith” it is obvious that they are talking to their fans.

With the band calling it quits because as ‘Itch’ puts it “we feel we have taken things as far as they can go” the world is a much darker place…now who will be the voice of the people?

Long Live The Struggle is out now.

Listen to: Modern Life Has Let Me Down, This Is My Home and Keep The Faith.

The Full Track-Listing is as Follows:

We Are What We Own

We Are The Future

Modern Life Has Let Me Down

Wasted Words

Can’t Bring Me Down feat. Jason Aalon Butler

Tear Us Apart

This Is My Home

Booted Out Of Hell feat. Tim Armstrong

Power To The People

Walking Away

When The Revolution Comes

Keep The Faith

Green Day New Album Update

The time has come once again for Green Day, one of the worlds greatest punk rock bands, to deliver the world another helping of their album masterpieces, the last one being 21st Century Breakdown in 2009.

This is great news for avid Green Day fans who have stuck with the band through the three-chord rock riffery which was Dookie (1994) up to their rock operas American Idiot (2004) and 21st Century Breakdown. However not only are the band delivering a new album, they are giving us three!

The band claimed to have written fragments of around 70 songs, and out of these, 36 have made it on to the albums, which are named Uno!, Dos! and Tre!, the latter being named after the band’s drummer, Tre Cool.

Lead singer, Billie Joe Armstrong, recently tweeted; “UNO!, DOS!, TRE! FINISHED!” insinuating that the band had officially finished writing the albums, which were produced by Rob Cavallo who has worked on all their albums from Dookie onwards, except 21st Century Breakdown.

We have been told that in the albums the band have tried to go back to their original punk roots as they were on Dookie, but not leaving behind the sound which they have created, it will be “somewhere between AC/DC and early Beatles” says Billie Joe Armstrong.

The band, which consists of: Billie Joe Armstrong-Lead Vocals and Guitar, Mike Dirnt- Vocals and Bass and Tre Cool-Vocals and Drums, have said that ‘Uno!’ is as “getting in the mood to party”. With ‘Dos!’ “you’re at the party”, while “you’re cleaning up the mess” with ‘Tre!’.

The albums will be released in this order: Uno! On September 24th, Dos! On November 13th and Tre! On January 15th, with the first single from Uno!, called ‘Oh Love’, being released on July 16th.

The track listing for the album is as follows:
1. Nuclear Family
2. Stay The Night
3. Carpe Diem
4. Let Yourself Go
5. Kill The DJ
6. Fell For You
7. Loss Of Control
8. Troublemaker
9. Angel Blue
10. Sweet 16
11. Rusty James
12. Oh Love

The album artwork of the three albums has been released:

UNO!

DOS!

TRE!