All posts by Clown Magazine

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Arcade Messiah – III – Album Review

Arcade Messiah III

Arcade Messiah certainly has a powerful message without uttering a word, let alone sing a multitudes of words – in their third instrumental album III.

The music is powerful heavy to hard rock and the themes are of destruction to our earth, which by going by the name of the group equates to the ‘arcade’ element of our world and lives. Though together with ‘Messiah’ makes it quite scary and sinisterism could enter the fray.

The list of tracks makes sense as you enter a journey of explosive power with Revolver and then you’re bombarded further and have to make sure you’re not overrun in Citadel.

Then if you think the intensity is still going for maximum overload you are blessed with Deliverance, which is a very mellow and soft melodic piece of music to start of with! Things get heated and tries to calm-down midway but doesn’t really. It is if their is a battle within the world or even within ourselves and the mindful electrical waves never seem to want calmness.

Life Clock seems to continue the theme of life and you get periods within the composition of a ‘tick-tock’ lull, but then as life gets upset the music kicks-off again.

The heaviest track on III is Black Tree. This track is full of heavy metal guitar work that even among the dampened chords being played are thunderous doom and darkness.

Once again entering a period of softness and more of a tranquil tune is the last track Sanctuary. The music is more involved and the drumming is busy until the end.

III is available through Bandcamp.

 

Glasgow Coma Scale -Enter Oblivion – Album Review

Glasgow Coma Scale

Glasgow Coma Scale new album Enter Oblivion has a wide stereo spectrum to the seven instrumental tracks.

The background to this latest release is interesting as parts of the album were recorded some time ago and have formed the basic foundation for new compositions and ideas to enhance and develop this album as a whole.

Glasgow Coma Scale have made this album very complete and when you listen to the tracks they sound fresh and nothing sounds out of place, which is hard to do both musically and sonically if using material recorded some time ago.

What really hooks you is the melody of each track – some with heavy rock guitars, others with jangly soft pop guitars; but the greatest point to really pull this album apart from most music out there, are the pieces of sounds that move in synchronisation with the guitars that really adds that special finesse quality to each track.

There are not many albums that grip you on the first listen as what Glasgow Coma Scale have produced in Enter Oblivion.

Tracks:

  1. Sonda
  2. Southern Cross
  3. Northern Wastes
  4. Venice Calling
  5. Ghost Not Found
  6. Silent Bird
  7. Birthland

Enter Oblivion is available through Fluttery Records [many different options so best page to see the best option for you].

 

Sir. O -Forever + a Day – Album Review

sir-o-forever-a-day

Sir. O has released his debut album Forever + a Day, which has an overall grown-up sound since he released the single Please Stop Talking that features on the album.

The type of music Sir. O is making falls into two categories which are either expansive and loud – some examples are the single Please Stop Talking, Lost – while on the flipside he can produce mellower and quieter tracks like Stay, Comeback and Fighting.

The songs are sketches of how someone observes people around themselves, while other songs are more introverted and seems more personal especially in friendships and in relationships like in the cruel let-down song Three Words, You’re Out Of Tune, Someone Your Thinking Of, and the killer song that is so true to a lot of people in I Can Let Go Of Everything (But You), and Something Is Missing.

Forever Plus A Day has its own space as it’s a classically waving your hands-up in the air and flowing to the orchestral chorus moments in this feel-good song.

Sir. O has a nice way of writing his songs and saying it more poetically whether the lyrics is dealing with happiness, sadness or even being pretty hurtful or cruel, though you have to think slightly more than in straight-talk, which once understood a smile will break-out on your face.

The last track is Glimmer Of Hope which says Sir. O has gone through the turmoil of life’s experiences whether the observer or in the midsts of it, this song is more happier and positive.

Forever + a Day is available through iTunes

 

Sound & Chaos – Documentary Review

martin-bisi-sound-chaos

Sound and Chaos: The Story of BC Studio

When the underground music scene was bubbling under the weight of commercial pop music Martin Bisi helped set-up a studio that encompassed his vision of a creative space where the sound was paramount rather than the visualisation of the increasing influence of the music video.

With the financial backing of Brian Eno who worked on his album On Land at this newly formed recording space called BC Studio in Brooklyn, New York.

Another important person who helped to form BC Studio was music producer Bill Laswell.

If you think that BC Studio would-be something catering for the underground; strange noises of advant-garde sounds or loud brash punk-rock, you will be surprised that legendary keyboardist Hebbie Hancock recorded his hit Rockit at BC Studio.

Even Africa Bambaataa laid-down his roots through BC Studio.

Though other acts to record there under the direction of Martin Bisi and Bill Laswell were Sonic Youth, John Zorn, White Zombie, Boss Hog and countless others.

Something we forget in the modern digital age is the fact that BC Studio became the music studio in Brooklyn and afar to cut ones teeth, though this took many frustrating years. The outcome however was the making of Martin Bisi and Bill Laswell as well respected music producers, who were both to become quite simply ahead of their times.

Martin Bisi and Bill Laswell are musicians in their own right and continue to not only produce and record music of artists and bands, but actually record their own music and play live throughout the year.

Check out the official website for screenings [due to gathering interest globally their will be more].

Purchase or rent through Amazon – Google Play – VHX.

Defy the Ocean – EP Review

Defy The Ocean - Myopic [Clown Magazine]Defy the Ocean has released another EP called Myopic.

The music is a combination of fast thrash like in Neolithic, or the slowish doomsayer groove in Invaders.

The last two songs The Hunter has a loose and mis-stepped beats structure, while The Tide has a nice mellow introduction and is probably the lead track on the EP, considering it is just over ten minutes long.

Myopic is available @ Bandcamp

The Place Beyond The Pines – Film Review

The Place Beyond The Pines

The Place Beyond The Pines is an excellent gritty independent American film focussing on real-life rather than the usual Hollywood blockbuster fairy tales.

Luke [Ryan Gosling] is a mid-twenties young man trying to put his life together after having a good youthful time and now trying to get his old girlfriend back Romina [Eva Mendes] whom he genuinely loves.

Unbeknownst to Luke he has become a father and this gives him more incentives to reconcile with Romina and have a solid family unit. Unfortunately she has moved on and is in another relationship with another man and this creates more tension in Luke’s mind.

Luke cannot accept she has moved on and even though she didn’t tell him he had become a father he naturally cannot accept another man looking after his child.

As Luke is new in town he hasn’t got a lot going for him, but as a very good and competent motorcyclists he decides to rob banks after his new employer Robin Van Der Hook [Ben Mendelsohn] the owner of a mechanical car repair garage reveals that he used to rob banks in order to get by years ago and suggests this to Luke so he can help fund his child’s life, and in a way reconnect in a relationship with Romina.

The film is intense and despite Luke’s mistakes you feel that Romina should give him another chance, though her new man naturally would feel deeply unhappy with that decision.

Another aspect of the film that pushes the boundaries is the focus on race and as we know America still has deep divisions with racial problems. So the fact that Romina is Hispanic, her new man Kofi Kancam [Mahershala Ali] is black and Luke is white from a working class background, it is quite a mixture that in some parts of America wouldn’t accept.

It doesn’t take many bank robberies before the local police start to investigate and try and apprehend this criminal. Corruption is rife in the local police and police officer Avery Cross [Bradley Cooper] who wants to solve these series of bank robberies in order to get promoted and clean-up his patch is on Luke’s back.

The film captures this three way battle; Luke wanting to prove to Romina that he’s a changed grown man, Romina rejecting his advances and doesn’t want anything to do with him and Avery who is desperate to get Luke and move-up the ranks fast.

The film portrays a side of America we don’t often see, the under privileged, the day to day getting through life, but this film grabs these social issues many experience, not just in America.

Kill The Messenger – Film Review

Kill The Messenger

Kill The Messenger is based on a true story about the American government who were exposed in dealing with the importation of cocaine to help fund the CIA’s operation in Nicaragua, Central America.

Gary Webb [Jeremy Renner] a Pulitzer Prize award winning journalist with the Mercury News Tribute blows the lid of this scandal after a meeting with the wife of drug dealer Norwin Meneses who was due to face trail. She gave Gary Webb a transcribed document from the US Department of State conversion about these cocaine deals on behalf of the CIA operation in the Central American country.

Since the fall of the Cuban President Fulgencio Batista’s rule in 1959, which led to Castro and the Communist gaining power, American foreign policy was to quash any communist uprising or socialist political parties from gaining power in basically America’s backyard.

During the 80’s Communism or extreme left views was gaining power in Nicaragua and America decided that they had to be stopped, so through the CIA the political parties and paramilitary groups most famously The Contras were funded to fight the Marxist Sandinistas regime. To help fund these expensive anti-Communist operations and projects they needed some serious money. Americans thirst for cocaine had skyrocketed since the late 60s and 70s that it would make the vast amounts required to keep Communism and the old Soviet Union [USSR] from gaining any more land in the Americas, as Cuba was more than enough held in Communist hands and supported by arch-rivals the Soviet Union now Russia.

Unfortunately while Gary Webb thought he had a story of mass public importance and credibility, taking on the American government especially the CIA was to have a disastrous effect not only on his career but also on his family.

The American government sought to discredit him and his documents of the CIA and American government’s involvement in importing millions of dollars of cocaine in its pursuit of fighting communism in Nicaragua.

While this tactic worked against Gary Webb, it was years later that the truth eventually came out about the CIA’s involvement in cocaine trafficking in a 400 page CIA report acknowledging their involvement and operations at that time in Nicaragua.

Gary Webb wrote a series of published articles about his findings, which eventually was made into a book called Dark Alliance: The CIA, The Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion.

Nick Schou wrote Kill The Messenger: How The CIA’s Crack-Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb, which this film is based on.