Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Sense and Sensibility

By Jane Austen
(Novel)



NEILL says:

I must confess, I am only two-thirds of the way through this book. Ordinarily I would of course always wait until completing a novel before reviewing it, in order to be able to form a full, complete and balanced opinion, but frankly I have something to say that will not wait.

Jane Austen rocks fucking hard. Seriously, Jane Austen rocks the motherfucking cock. I can’t remember the last time I was so obsessively gripped with a story, let alone one that revolves around two 18th-century girls of good breeding and refinement and their respective attempts to make a good marriage. As we speak, Willoughby’s just turned back up – that godless fuckbastard, Willoughby! – and I’m finding it considerably difficult to cope with the tension until I find out what the black-hearted ill-born cock-smoker could possibly be after now. After what he did to Marianne! Not to mention the unfortunate young lady in Colonel Barton’s care, Eliza. MotherFUCKER!

I’m considering faking sickness so I can get away from work this afternoon and finish the bastard.

Jesus Christ. Jane Austen. Who knew?

8.9/10

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Some Other Sucker's Parade

by Del Amitri



JAMES says:

Hopes were high for Del Amitri with ‘Some Other Sucker’s Parade. Their last album, ‘Twisted’, had been a critical success (well, I liked it), and they seemed about to make the big push into mediocre but well known MOR rock band. Like Crowded House, maybe. But not quite that big. Anyway, the point is, they didn’t, largely because of this album. ‘Some Other Sucker’s Parade’ isn’t bad, and I’m sure it has it’s fans, but it lacks the edge that made ‘Change Everything’ and ‘Waking Hours’ quite good, I suppose. It just seems to reek a bit too much of middle age desperation, not a good reek by anyone’s standards.

It starts off with ‘Not Where it’s At’, where singer Justin Currie wonders why the kids don’t dig him, and instead are off listening to shouty music. Well, not in so many words he doesn’t, but that’s the general vibe. After that there are about 13 songs which kind of blend into each other. ‘High Times’ has a nice high pitched singing bit, and ‘Medicine’ is memorable for having a line dropped from the single version after Princess Diana died (I could never work out which line could possibly cause any offence. Maybe it was ‘Stupid Junkie Whore/I’m glad you’re dead/Princess Diannnnnnnnna’), but apart from that you put on the album, then it finishes, and nothing really happens in between.

It’s a shame, really, because Del Amitri had the talent to produce something more than this. ‘Nothing Ever Happens’ and ‘Driving with the Brakes On’ are as fine heart-breaking songs as you’ll ever find, and their Scottish World Cup Song ‘Just don’t fuck up quite so badly this time, please, please, do it for wee Timmy’ was a refreshing change. They could write also brilliant lyrics like ‘I turned on a T.V. station and/Lip-read with the sound turned down/It was Pro-Celeb mouth-to-mouth resuscitation/With Esther Rantzen/Playing the one who's drowned’ from ‘You’re Gone’. And Justin Currie inspired me to grow my first pair of sideburns all those years ago. I still get the urge to hear their songs, and one of the first things I did when I got back from honeymoon was listen to a Del Amitri album. Not this one though.

This was basically the point when Del Amitri stopped being a band that you could just about like without embarrassment and instead became some weird wannabe country band with song titles like ‘One More Last Hurrah’ and ‘Last Cheap Shot at the Dream’. Now, the only other person I can find who likes Del Amitri is also a big Wet Wet Wet fan.

Sigh.

5.6/10

www.delamitri.com - Still Going!

Monday, October 11, 2004

You Chose Right The First Time

By DGL and Chris Nicholas
(Comic Book)



NEILL says:

If there’s one thing better than comics, it’s necking a couple of E’s and having sex with Eliza ‘Faith from Buffy’ Dukshu whilst jumping from a fast-moving aeroplane. And if there’s one thing better than that, it’s FREE COMICS!! Especially when they don’t suck. You can imagine then my excitement upon receiving, all the way from the grand old state of Texas in the U. S. of A. a package containing the first couple of issues of ‘You Chose Right The First Time’, a comic which was not only FREE (perks of being a reviewer!) but quite strikingly and comprehensively does not suck.

Y.C.R.T.F.T tells the tale of the impressively-named Lem Bivage, who may be just about the least sympathetic protagonist to ever stink up the pages of a comic. A low-life morally repugnant murderous little shitbag with no principles, courage or apparent sense of personal hygiene, Bivage uneasily inhabits the world of Chicago in the late 60’s, a place of civil unrest, police corruption, perverted gangsters and filthy goddamn punk hippies. One of the chief joys of Y.C.R.T.F.T is how convincingly and entertainingly the creators evoke this messed-up setting. You can almost smell the piss and broken teeth. No, that’s a good thing.

The other chief joy is the art. Artist and co-writer Dave Lamplugh ('DGL') has a vivid blocky ‘woodcut-y’ style, and is not afraid of a pot of black ink. There are moments where the perspective and anatomy can be a little graceless, but these are more than made up for by flourishes of superb inventiveness and originality. There is a sequence in issue one where the art uses a kind of spotlight effect to follow the main character as he loses himself in a crowd that is incredibly effective and just plain damn cool. The cumulative effect of this comic is like reading James Ellroy illustrated by an angry bitter drunken genius. And that's got to be worth a look, right?

8.1/10

Want to read this comic but can’t find it in your local W. H. Smiths? No duh! Contact the creators direct on ycrtft@comic.com and I’m sure they’ll be happy to provide you with ordering details etc.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Having To Wear a Fucking Tie

(I mean to say, what the fuck?)



NEILL says:

It is a testament to the near-superhuman stoical dignity of my spirit that I can adjust to many hardships in life. The early onset of male pattern baldness, living in a country where summer lasts for an average duration of an afternoon, Chris Claremont’s second writing stint on X-men in the late 90’s… these brutalities and more have I endured with an unruffled manly perseverance. But these is one thing to which I fear I can never adjust, and that is wearing a fucking tie.

What the fuck is the point of a tie, anyway? What fucking bright spark at what point in human history decided that the sight of shirt-buttons was so heinously offensive that they must forever hide their shame beneath a long pointy and completely bit of redundant flap of cloth, tied around one’s neck like a fucking leash? Which is precisely what it is; a constant visual and physical reminder that you are a dog, your destiny not your own, working your life away to increase the fortunes of distant masters who very likely are utterly worthless human beings themselves; shit-eating half-brained lunatics whose only lust is for money and power but have neither the imagination nor intelligence to do anything worthwhile with those goods on having achieved them. And probably wear braces.

The only other possible point to a tie is that it provides a convenient means by which to hang oneself from the nearest air-conditioning vent when the realisation of the above becomes too painful.

0.1/10