The Diary Of A Pre-Teen Scene Queen

Joey's Reviews

Linkin Park: What I've Done

When Linkin Park told their readers in Kerrang! to expect a mixture of stadium rock anthems, punky Clash-like sing alongs and a few slower numbers on their album, I was looking forward to hearing how their "new sound" was going to be, especially since their past albums have been incredibly frustrating, generic and poppy. However, what can you expect from a band with massive sales and chart success (with nearly every single they released at the top of the charts); they're not going to change their music since they're rolling in the cash.

Instead of Clash-like melodies they've got that same whiny voice, but they now lack the variation between the rapper and the whiny one to give the song just a little bit of bite, instead having the full blown whiny one singing melodies we've heard many times before. Nothing's new with this band, and we all still know that they're capable of writing the same songs over and over again. The single version of "What I've Done" comes with the video as well, and it's not much better than the song; in it they attempt to tackle environmental, political and poverty crisis issues with flashing images and horrific clips from different problems around the world, but somehow it doesn't seem to make an impact as all the clips are about different issues and problems in the world and they don't tie into each other, and you start to wonder what the fucking video is actually about!

More whiny pop-generated tunes from a predictable annoying band that haven't changed a bit, apart from now that the rapper doesn't rap anymore, they've lost their only edge they had, becoming just another plastic genetically modified pop band.

What I've done? They may well ask, you've pissed up your music career that's what you've done!

The Answer: Be what you want

The Answer's aim is try to bring back good old hard rock. Laudable aim, but somehow it just doesn't work. The anthemic and somewhat agitating single "Be What You Want" is the "slow, stadium power ballad" song on "the answers" new album, packed with the usual ego-boosting lyrics about being what you want and whom you want. I have nothing against it, (in fact that's what rock n roll is all about, isn't it, being who you are, being an individual and having a good time), but it gets boring when bands sing about it too much. The band themselves aren't that exciting either as their songs lack substance and melody and tend to drift off into self-indulgent rock n roll masturbation, wanking the same melodies that AC/DC wanked once before.

You might as well listen to some drunken middle aged men doing ac/dc karaoke at the local pub. (Or should that be AD/HD? Ed)

The Khe Sanh Approach: Bricks

Bloc Party on their underground way to an indie shop to buy the latest Subways release is one way of describing "The Khe Sanh Approach", but then descriptions of them could be endless as they have the talent to fuse any folksy junk with a dirty indie backing without making it sound tedious, experimentally boring or emotionally tiresome. They still possess a hard rock edge, giving them an upbeat buzz to their eclectic tunes. I recommend this for anyone who wants to try something different instead of the samey bands the media produce.

Mindflow: Mind Over Body

Mind over body? Yes I think we've heard that one before, many a time, never judge a person by their looks, isn't that just an unwritten law that everyone (apart from the superficial) abide by now!

Mindflow obviously have a record company with a lot of money as their promotional C.D comes with stickers, a "Mindflow" comic, a laminated colourful press releases and a Mindlfow mouse mat! Well thanks for the mouse mat as I needed that, but the music and every other piece of tat you've put in the promotional leaflet is complete bull. Imagine Power Metal meets Dungeons and Dragons accompanied by some cheesy eighties keyboard, and you'd get Mindflow!

Not being too negative (really? Ed), the thing I do like is the way they've incorporated a bit of their native Brazilian drum music into the cheesy metal and it works quite well. Bands like these give metal a name for just being noisy rough music with a cheesy element of epic fantasy, but it can be so much more than that, so go Poison someone else Mindflow!

Ascendia: The Diary Of A Pre-Teen Scene Queen

Ascendia have matured much more since their last set of recordings, as we see from the powerful hook-laden entry "Don't you know" entering with a hammering start before dawning into a clean sounding verse and then the all-out chorus which climaxes with the an epic pentatonic twiddle and some two handed guitar tapping, reminiscent to the days of Eddie Van Halen; tapping is a true god-like guitar technique(I beg to differ - 3 chord Ed). The album also ends with the song "We Are Cool But We're Not Scene" which is annoyingly good, a guilty pleasure I would call it as the lyrics are the usual concoction that many "emo" bands comprise, but the song is just so very catchy and the variation between the tempos and the styles in the verse and choruses, interludes etc make the song more than what the usual "emo" band can produce. The e.p consists of many danceable sing-alongs with true melody, yet managing to add their own twist, they may sound like most of the other bands around at the moment but they're still fucking good!!!!!


The Psychotic Reaction: Rumble

Simple playful tunes for the simple minded, somehow these tunes sound like something in-between The Rakes and The Proclaimers theme tune sung by Bill and Ben. This may sound perfect for some people (which people? Ed) but I find it boring and too plain, the songs aren't even catchy. The opening track is a "Proclaimers" type sing-along with generic words and a poppy disappointing chorus to go with it, this leads into an instrumental song with a keyboard that sounds like a children's xylophone. The Psychotic Reaction produce songs for the plain, and Psychotic really isn't the word to describe their bouncy simple tunes - "The Unreactive" is more the word for them.

Kaiser Chefs: Everything is Average Nowadays

Following up from Kaiser Chiefs impressive debut single "Ruby" is this anthemic faster second single "Everything Is Average Nowadays". The introduction to the song is pumping and catchy with all the ingredients to make a typical Kaiser Chiefs number, but with a little added edge, as the Kaiser Chiefs have become more rock based - they even have a bit at the end where the chorus changes key similar to 'classic' rock songs, such as Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer". So the Kaiser Chiefs aren't just a bunch of old men trying to appeal to the younger audience, they have actually established themselves as an original rock band.

Brinkman: I Wish

The single comes in a cardboard sleeve with the original "HMV" dog logo above the c.d and HIS MASTERS VOICE written in big bold letters above, while the c.d itself is in the design of a vinyl record. This meant that I didn't really know what to expect with this record, apart from perhaps an advertisement for HMV? I wondered if perhaps they'd gone back to their old logo and style to make it more authentic! But the c.d is of a band called "Brinkman" who at first appeared to be a country band with one bluesy riff, but actually turned out to be a talented, mellow, relaxed indie band with a hint of The Kooks stirred in. The single is a catchy relaxing poppy song that is guaranteed to be a hit - it seems like Brinkman will have a lot to bark about in their music life if they continue to produce songs like this!

Mr Happy Chainsaw: The Mr Happy Chainsaw e.p

Judging by the name I thought this band was going to be a hard metal group, but boy was I wrong. Their songs are upbeat and vibrant and filled with pop-punk energy and catchy choruses, the energy in the e.p is very hyperactive, addictive and attractive - you can just tell that they'd be brilliant live! They also have all the required ingredients that every pop-punk band should have, including samey lyrics about ex-girlfriends and love. However their humorous buzzing melodies can agitate the piss out off you from just listening to this e.p as background music. The songs mostly sound the same and there is hardly any variation between the sounds and tempos used in each one; also the lead singer tends to deliberately attempt and American accent for the songs to try and sound like the great late pop-punk bands such as Blink 182 and Bowling For Soup. Unfortunately for him, there is still a hint of Essex Boy in it which makes it slightly incongruous.

Avril Lavigne: The Best Damn Thing

No Avril we don't want to hear your clichéd pop groves,
Spewing out the stereos and causing a catalyst,
Of samey, predictable tunes by Canadians like you,
Your narcissism and your cult following of mentalists,
Watching your everlasting musical feud,
Trying to write a tune as catchy as "Complicated",
Failing and shitting out a collection of playground rhymes,
With a mix of lyrics that are grammatically incorrect,
The Choruses sound like frustrated little girls chanting….

The Minstrels: Our Cruel Demise

The first song "Dove into my Heart" sheds some much needed light onto this album, like a haunted Simon and Garfunkel classic, before leading into a bunch of dark, depressing, sombre, never-ending songs about love, betrayal, addiction and death, making this album a purely unpleasant experience. An album of dreary, dull, dark folk songs with a hint of Placebo's twisted vocals droning on top like a broken chime in F flat, which doesn't seem radio friendly to the ear one bit. Except maybe Zane Lowe perhaps, cos he puts any old shit on his radio show!


Manic Street Preachers: Send Away The Tigers

When Rosey said that the Manic Street Preachers new album sounded more like their old stuff, catchy and energetic, I thought "no chance!", as their releases have all been depressing, mournful boy band songs full of melancholy, but Manic Street Preachers have returned to making the passionate, fast, rock tunes that they are best known and loved for. The entry track to the album "Send Away The Tigers" is a beautiful, clichéd song full of melody and vocal harmonies with a tune-twisting solo that could have been done by Slash. Other gems on this record include the damn catchy single "Your Love Alone Is Not Enough", reminiscent of classic single "Little Baby Nothing" with the entwining harmonies between the female and male singer on it making the song pure bliss; the enchanting "Indian Summer" sounds like a mix between the pop of The Beautiful South and the dramatic tuneful message of "If You Tolerate This Then Your Children Will Be Next" while "Winterlovers/working class hero" provides a glam-rock-Brit-pop-punk-stadium-sing along ending to the album . Overall this is an impressive true rock album which shows The Manics in their true light, and there is not one shady moment to it, making it a pure Manics experience.

If the Manics are capable of producing such a glamorous album in their older years then I cant wait to hear what they've got in store for us in the next year or so.

The Manic Street Preachers are born again!


Joey Eyebank Ramone