Daily Archives: 06/25/2012

Soul Shredder – Support Your Scene!

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Further to my earlier ‘Support Your Scene’ post concerning the local bands we should all try to support, I’ve happened across local Metal band Soul Shredder thanks to the wonders of Google-Fu.

Led by guitarist Stu Gibson, Soul Shredder have a nifty, almost traditional metal sound which I’d compare to Kobra And The Lotus (the band has a female vocalist, Cookie) or 3 Inches Of Blood (the new spin on traditional metal) – the riffs are thick and chunky with excellent solos, the vocals are soaring and melodic and the overall sound blasts along in a punchy and pleasingly dynamic fashion.

“Prepare for Annihilation” has a thrashy chug and great double-bass drum sections, “Kijo” starts with a latter-period, Iron Maiden-esque proggy section before moving into a riff which recalls (in the best way) Hetfield and Hammett riffing from the “Black” album era – they’re both songs that you can listen to on the band’s website as part of their self-titled 2011 EP.

The band are playing in my home city in July as part of the annual “Tram Lines” free music festival – I’d be daft to miss them, and you would be to, if you happen to be in my fair city over the weekend of 20-22nd July 2012.  Of course, given the organisers complete terror of including rock bands in the main line-up (not hipster-friendly enough, it would seem), Soul Shredder are playing out of the main line-up and can be found at West Street Live on Sunday 22nd.

I could bemoan the musical timidity of the organizers, but that’s a subject for another post, perhaps…

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Filed under Blogs, Music, Support Your Scene

Catch-Up TV Caught Out

My wife is a fan of the Kyra Sedgwick crime drama, The Closer, the final series of which is currently unfurling on UK TV.

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All well and good so far.  For reasons connected to long days and tiredness, she missed last Thursday’s episode but rationalised that our cable TV catch-up service would allow her to watch it the next day.  When she came to investigate that possibility the next day, there was no update and no episode to watch.  That state of affairs has continued to today, which is problematic as the catch-up service on our cable only runs for seven days when the next episode is supposed to go up.

My wife could watch the catch-up service on the internet but prefers to watch it on our TV, which I think is understandable – our internet service via cable is usually pretty great unless we want to watch a programme for 40 minutes or so, by which time it becomes so laggy and stuttery that you often can’t watch the end of the show that you started viewing in reasonable quality.  Also, despite what various creative industries seem to want to believe, watching anything on a laptop for a prolonged period of time is bloody annoying and doesn’t approach the experience of seeing the same thing on a decent TV screen.

First world problem? Undoubtedly.  Annoying? Absolutely.  The kind of thing which would drive fans to acquire their TV via routes that broadcasters would prefer we didn’t pursue?  Well, you can see the point of the torrenters when this state of affairs presents itself…

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Filed under Random Notes, TV

“Need for Speed” news blow-out

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It’s been a busy weekend for the “Need for Speed” video games franchise.

As we await the release of a new entry in the franchise this year, “Need for Speed – Most Wanted”, peerless racing game developer Criterion’s VP Alex Ward indicated that the “Need for Speed” series is key to his company’s future.

This is news which will not please my wife, Mrs Rolling Eyeballs, who has completed Criterion’s Burnout Paradise at least 9 times on PS3 and Xbox 360 – it may be her favourite game of all time.

Would these game devs be half-as-eager to eulogize car thieves if they had their own motors nicked?

For the time being, it would seem, we won’t be getting any more “Burnout” games from the developer and will instead be getting the far less interesting “NFS” brand in yearly iterations – I just don’t care about running from cops and having to sit through cheesy, sub-DTV cut scenes with bored, CW show hotties feigning their best, “Maxim” approved sultry poses when I could racing at breakneck speeds around a city with hundreds of challenges to take on.

“Ah-ha!’, you might say, ‘Need For Speed: Most Wanted’ takes that template from the ‘Burnout’ franchise and applies it to the ‘NFS’ brand, making it the best of all possible racing worlds – everyone’s a winner!”  True enough, the E3 footage for the game did seem to suggest that Criterion were doing “Need for Speed” in an open-world city with challenges and the traditional, ‘run-from-the-cops’ gameplay mixed together.  But it wasn’t convincing to my wife or to a lot of “Burnout” fans – from the stuff that I’ve shown her, she feels that it’s neither fish nor avian, and that the hybrid of game styles isn’t something that she wants to play.

She played Criterion’s first “Need for Speed” game for around ten minutes before handing the controller to me and never picking it back up.  Game was traded swiftly thereafter.

In other “Need for Speed” news, DreamWorks have announced that they will be making the film version of the game series, with “Act of Valor” director Scott Waugh choreographing the vehicular mayhem for a 2014 release.  The only possible response to this news is to wonder how it took other studios four or five years to notice that the last few Fast & Furious movies have been getting progressively more popular and that they might like a cut of that action.

It’s almost as though folks in Hollywood wouldn’t know a cheap-to-make, action franchise if they saw one.  There’s none of the sci-fi or fantasy world-building that a “BioShock” or “Skyrim” movie would necessitate and a lot of metal-on-metal, car-flipping action with implausibly good-looking thieves flipping off The Man to appeal to young kids at the multiplex on date night.

Doesn’t that material kind of green-light itself?

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Filed under Films, Gaming