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Issue 10

15/6/06

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NIGHTWISH

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CHUCK LIDDELL B*MOVIE HEROES WWE DIVA MARIA!

MIKE LODER

SCOTT STAPP A BAND APART

ULTRAVIOLET A STUDY IN SCARLET

GOO GOO DOLLS EYES WIDE OPEN

PLUS:

BUCKCHERRY STAY ALIVE BREED 77

LIVE LOVE SHINES ON

THE REBIRTH OF A

THE ANSWER ✪ IMPERIAL VIPERS THE HILLS HAVE EYES - EXCLUSIVE!

LEGEND! MONSTERS OF ROCK FESTIVAL SPECIAL!

ISSUE 10 2006 £3.40

A WARPED MIND PRODUCTION

06 9 771740 638006


Issue 10

15/6/06

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Issue 10

16/6/06

NIGHTWISH

11:51 am

CHUCK LIDDELL-

FONY

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B*MOVIE HEROES WWE DIVA MARIA!

JUSTIFIED!

ULTRAVIOLET A STUDY IN SCARLET

GOO GOO DOLLS EYES WIDE OPEN

PLUS:

BUCKCHERRY STAY ALIVE BREED 77

LIVE LOVE SHINES ON

THE REBIRTH OF A

MIKE LODER ✪ IMPERIAL VIPERS THE HILLS HAVE EYES - EXCLUSIVE!

LEGEND! ISSUE 10 2006 £3.40

A WARPED MIND PRODUCTION

MONSTERS OF ROCK FESTIVAL SPECIAL!

06 9 771740 638006

Cover Photography: Clay Patrick McBride Cover Design: JPDS Issue 10 ✪ 2006 Burn Magazine PO Box 350, Dover, Kent CT17 0WF U.K. www.burnmag.co.uk

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dye

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ISSN: 1740-6382

The Cartel: El Diablo ✪ Sion Smith editor@burnmag.co.uk Deputy Editor/Reviews Editor ✪ Kahn Johnson kahn@burnmag.co.uk Movies Editor ✪ Mike Shaw mike@burnmag.co.uk Live Editor/Staff Writer ✪ Andy Lye andy@burnmag.co.uk News Editor ✪ Kristian Barford kristian@burnmag.co.uk Radio/Clubs Editor ✪ JJ Haggar radio@burnmag.co.uk Games Editor ✪ John McMeiken games@burnmag.co.uk Staff Writer ✪ Louise Steggals louise@burnmag.co.uk Staff Writer ✪ Seb Willett seb@burnmag.co.uk Design

✪ JPDS, Sion Smith

Photography Crue: Chiaki Nozu, Wayne Herrschaft, Dijana Capan, Duncan Bryceland, Andrew Lopez-Calvete, Zen Inoya, Mick Rockster.

Contributors: Roger Lotring, Sharon Edge, Chrissie Miller, Graham Finney, Simon Gausden, Lynne Malkin, Katie Roberts, Duncan Bryceland, James Machin, Tom Canning, David Lillywhite, Ida Langsam, Vikki Roberts, Joe Matera, Paul Acres, Julia Collins, Jim Machin, Johnny Messias, Natalie Li, Nick Cullen, Nick Madeira, Chris Denham, Owen Williams, Marc Shapiro, Andrew Bennet, Lucy Vachell, Bill Long, Sarah Mae Williams, Alex Cullen, Levte Lyton, Beren Neale, Paul Acres, Julia Collins

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Fuckin’ A Chief! Where’s my raincoat? Tommy Lee

SCOTT STAPP

It’s funny what people are into. Not funny haha, but funny peculiar. Here we all are, essentially a big ‘gang’ of metalheads, all here for the same thing. To listen to some loud guitars, hear some great tunes, watch some great movies etc... What happens when you’re not doing those things though? Are you an engineer? An estate agent? Work in a bar? A thought crossed my mind this week (I lost the remote, forgive me!). Let’s suppose Zakk Wylde is your hero and he’s the most important thing in your life. Let’s suppose that you happen to work in the bar that Zakk walks into that evening. That makes you the most important person in Zakk’s life at that moment in time right? Or maybe you’re that estate agent who works in what you believe to be shit town when Brad Pitt walks in the door looking for a house. I don’t know what’s sent me down this road but these are good and valid thoughts so I thought I’d commit them to paper for prosperity. Putting this issue together, I noticed something REALLY strange on the cover. That space between Phil Collen and Joe Elliot... it kind of looks like the letter U don’t you think? that’s symbollic of somebody with too much time on their hands. And see the way that Sav is leaning in there? There’s more to it than just trying not to be left out of the picture. Welcome to the great Def Leppard conspiracy! “They’re shit! They sold out! They’re old!” Yeah? No, they’re none of those things and besides, what have you done lately that made 65 million people want to buy your thing huh? People just love to knock success and tarnish it with the selling out brush. Let me tell you, the only person who never sold out is the one who does something for himself and never tells or shows it to anybody. Selling out is not the big evil everybody thinks it is. Did you have dreams of playing for England but somehow ended up being a cab driver? That’s selling yourself short, but it’s not selling out! We all need to make a living. Being successful is the whole fucking point surely! You can still keep your integrity but just because you sell a shitload of your stuff and make millions of people happy... that’s not a bad thing!

Published by: Warped Mind

Distributed by Worldwide Magazines © Burn Magazine 2006 While we take every possible care, we cannot be held responsible for the information herein. Burn Magazine may not be reproduced without the written permission of the publishers. Letters, particularly those submitted by email are welcome but we can only reply through the letters pages of the magazine. Burn Magazine recognises all copyrights and we seriously attempt to credit all material. If we have used and/or credited some of your material incorrectly, please contact us and we will do our best to rectify the error. All information contained herein is for informative/entertainment purposes only and is correct at time of going to press to the best of our knowledge. Can’t find Burn in your newsagents? Buy it somewhere else - or hassle your newsagent, or just get it online. All very simple really.

✪ Look after the place people! One life, one planet. Money where your mouth is time. Burn is printed of recycled paper wherever possible (apart from the cover which sucks when you do that!). May the Goddess have mercy on your soul, but when you’ve no further need for the mag, recycle it. You know it makes sense.

B U R N M A G A Z I N E | w w w. b u r n m a g . c o . u k

why rock the BOAT, when the you can

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15/6/06

3:19 pm

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66 DEF LEPPARD: ROCKING IN THE FREE WORLD

40 LIVE: I CAN SEE MY HOUSE FROM HERE..

46 SCOTT STAPP: TAKING THE POWER BACK

04

62: ULTRAVIOLET: CLASSY CHICKS IN CATSUITS?

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Issue 10

15/6/06

3:20 pm

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44 ANOTHER EXCUSE TO PRINT SOME PICS OF ROCK CHICKS

58 GOO GOO DOLLS

18 YOU REALLY DON’T WANT TO CROSS THIS MAN...

34 BUCKCHERRY: GET ALL SENTIMENTAL

season one

Episode 10 the “Fuck Yeah!” issue 28 BREED 77: BLOOD BROTHERS

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17/6/06

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Cool From The Wire Delivering only the news that will fit on the page! In the great spirit of being in New York City... crack open a few Budweisers, watch a man stick a power-drill up his nose, marvel at how much Joey Ramone was loved, kick back and let your photographer do all the work! Welcome to the 2006 Joey Ramone Birthday Bash! If you can’t figure out what’s going on here and who’s who, legend is at the bottom of the opposite page.

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17/6/06

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Cool From The Wire Newtons Law

THUNDER UNDERGROUND Words: Andy Lye

Protégé is a word bandied about all to easily these days. Hell, under current definitions I could probably categorise my cat as one (no one gets run over as well as he does). But occasionally, someone comes along fitting of the title - step forward Newton Faulkner. Just 21, Newton is a guitar player who prefers playing songs, a man who describes himself as an acoustic Eddie Van Halen without the spandex, a guy who got a date with Radio 2 just days after being spotted playing at Ronnie Scotts. The little fucker's likeable as well, which I'm sure is against the rules. "It's quite fun being called a protégé," Newton chuckles. "It's not bad. I don't pay attention to it though." His modesty is one of the things that really shines through, as does the quality of his playing on his debut EP Full Fat. Bastards only been playing for six years as well. Did we mention he's played at a party for Jimmy Page? "It sounds more than it was," insists Newton, playing it down. "He didn't even see me play! Basically I was playing somewhere, doing some Led Zep stuff, and his kids heard it and really liked it. They bought my CD and played t to Mr and Mrs Page." Next thing you know, he's being invited to The Dark One's summer solstice - but that's how things seem to have been happening for the boy from Surrey. Take his Radio 2 gig for example… "The Johnny Walker show was good fun," Newton says. "He saw me playing at Ronnie Scotts - I was on the show two days later, playing in a room to the controller of Radio 2!" With the EP now out, a busy summer is lined up while we wait for the proposed summer release of his debut album. Dates at Guilfest and The Cambridge Folk Festival are bookended by a variety of dates in and around London, plus Nottingham's Riverside Festival. For more information, checkout his myspace at officialnewtonfaulkner.

What ho! It’s my turn! Scared? So, what’s going on in London that’s heavy? Well, to be honest, not a great deal. Nearly every heavy band that starts up these days seems to thinking singing isn’t a top priority and makes no effort to find a front-man that can, in fact, sing. If any such bands are reading now, here’s a vital piece of information: playing guitar like Shadows Fall does not mean you’re a melodic band. If you’re screaming your damned nuts off completely unintelligibly, the fact that the band occasionally break into a well-structured guitar melody doesn’t hide a thing. You still can’t sing. So kindly stop. So where does that leave us? Well, ultimately it leaves us with a small collection of bands that sit reasonably evenly in two categories: Black Label Society styled southern-tinged heavy metal, and classic 80s hard rock. In column A you might catch the likes of Head-On ripping up some little London club, or supporting someone like Fozzy or Skid Row at the Mean Fiddler, or our latest little ‘discovery’, the magnificent Cavalar, often seen handing out fliers outside the Astoria. Their new record, As A Metal of Fact, absolutely crushes all the Shadows Fall or Bullet For My Valentine copy-acts, with crushing riffs, sublime melodies, searing solos and power-house vocals. You can understand the lyrics to boot! What more could you want? I’ve yet to catch the guys in action, but I have every intention of doing so at the first opportunity and I advise any self-respecting fan of real metal to do the same. In column B, our ‘80s rock protagonists, the likes of Arrows Lounge and The Renegade Playboys can be found pretty regularly around London. Arrows Lounge I’ve yet to see, but their current EP shows an incredible level of song-writing ability. The Playboys I caught not so long ago supporting Skid Row at Camden’s Electric Ballroom (‘80s nostalgia trip, anyone?) and they impressed me enough in the space of about three songs to check out their EP. I can tell you this was not a mistake. They’ve got absolutely everything, including big party-rock choruses that will appeal to fans of anyone from Bryan Adams to Ratt and back again. So there we have it for this month. All is not lost. There are still bands emerging that can both play and sing, and they don’t all sound like Franz Ferdinand! Now I appreciate that the return of Guns N’ Roses and the summer festival season will mean many people ignoring the underground in favour of spending big money, but if you get a chance to catch some of these smaller bands on their way through, make sure you take it. You never know how long they’ll be there, and they’ll almost certainly give you a better show than the last band you spent 30 quid to see did!

www.jukebo.cx

Joey Ramones 2006 Birthday Bash. 1. Mindless Self Indulgence 2. Tyler Fyre of Tyler Fyre's Lucky Devil Circus Sideshow 3. Mike Peters of The Alarm and Mickey Leigh 4. Harry Slash of The Slashtones 5. The Star Spangles Bass player, Nick Price 6. Ian Wilson of The Star Spangles 7. The Philistine's Ray McVeigh trying to tell us something 8. Joey Lanz of The Bullys 9. Mick Stitch of The Threads All pics: Wayne Herrschaft

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Cool From The Wire pod-hell The Rules: 1. Set your mp3 player to shuffle mode. 2. List the first 5 songs that come up. 3. No cheating. Sion: (ipod shuffle) 1. Laughing Man in the Devil Mask - Iommi/Rollins 2. Lateralus - Tool 3. Last Bastard in Heaven - Silver Ginger 5 4. Kerosene - Brother Kane 5. Just Like Heaven - The Cure

Kahn: (ipod shuffle) 1. Joe Perry - Ten Years 2. Pink - Don't Let Me Get Me 3. Scissor Sisters - Better Luck 4. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Animal Bar 5. B*Movie Heroes - Intro

JJ: (ipod shuffle) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

The Leaving Song Pt II - AFI The Road - The Alarm New York Groove - Hello Eye Of The Tiger - Survivor Nothing Else Matters - Metallica

John: (Sony NW-HD1) 1. Basket Case- Green Day 2. Pappa's Got a Brand New BagL.A.Guns 3. Captain Hi-Top- Mother Love Bone 4. Look at You- Warrior Soul 5. Nine While Nine- The Sisters of Mercy

Chiaki: (ipod) 1. Dirt - Alice In Chains 2. Luxuria - The Tea Party 3. Goodnight / Too Long Awake Idlewild 4. Too Late For Tears - Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow 5. Blind Faith- Dream Theater

Sharon: (Sony Walkman 1g) 1. Manuskript - Espresso 2. Transplants - Down in Oakland 3. Kylie Minogue (oops!) - Can't Start Giving you Up 4. Quinn - There is a light 5. Manuskript - The man who saved the world

Chrissie: (Creative Zen) 1. Black Label Society - Heart of Gold 2. The Quireboys - Devil Of A Man 3. HIM - The Funeral of Hearts 4. The Dogs D'Amour - Last Bandit 5. The Haunted - Liquid Burns

Ida: (Apple ipod) 1. Close - The Alarm 2. Goodbye Girl - Squeeze 3. I'm Just A Singer (In A Rock And Roll Band) - Moody Blues 4. On Live, In Sadness - Jason Mraz 5. One Half the World - Zachery Oberzan

Do you feel lucky punk? Here’s an interesting proposition for you. Picture this: you’re in a band, you’ve got some songs, your live shows are well populated, you’re at the stage where you think you’re ready for a deal. Imagine sticking yourself right in the middle of a win/win scenario. The Rock Star Lottery might be just what you’re looking for. The web based competition runs along the same lines as X-Factor except your judged by your fans online and make no mistake, it can be brutal. We’ve been watching the site since it’s inception and the talent pool on the leader board is frightening, so we tracked down the instigator of RSL and quizzed him to death over it... “People love to moan, but no-one has the stones to actually get up and do something. And that is because a small band doesn't really believe they have a voice. The Pop Idols and X Factors of the world have opened up a format that the public are familiar with, so I kind of did a turnaround on their format. Kind of like using their own weapons against them...” “We're being used as a kind of myspace 2 - specifically for musicians and their fans, and the exposure the bands have been getting has been phenomenal.” There’s no limit to the amount of bands that can enter. Nor is it exclusive to the UK - one look at the board will show you bands from South Africa, USA, Scandinavia... and there’s some stiff competition there - and so there should be. On the line is a contract worth a £1.5 million: “We're being used as a kind of MySpace 2 - specifically for musicians and their fans, and the exposure the bands have been getting has been phenomenal.” It’s all above board - you can read up on the terms and conditions on the site, but just as importantly, you only have to look at the amount of votes some of the bands on there already have. The majority of those are new fans. Yesterday, these bands were invisible to the majority of people - now they have new fans, and yes, we’ve found plenty on there to throw into the Sinners Inc blender. This is no flash in the pan either. “An RSL competition, from start to finish, runs for about 18 months (That's when the profits get dished out), but a new comp starts every 12 months. That means there will always be something fresh on the site. We're also becoming a scouting ground for A&R types and it's very likely that some of the entrants will get snapped up before the competition is over.” To get yourself in the frame as a band, check out the competition on there and put your money where your mouth is, as far as we can see, there’s nothing to lose whatsoever - just fans to gain! If you’re not in a band, fear not! There’s plenty of action, tactical voting and bitching in the forums... it’s pretty good fun. Voting costs next to nothing and God only knows what will happen next. To be honest... it’s up to you! Check it out at www.rockstarlottery.com and get in on the action!

Win one of 5 video ipods!

Seb: (ipod) 1. American Head Charge - Pushing The Envelope 2. Fear Factory - Pisschrist 3. Slayer - Dittohead 4. Rage Against The Machine Wake Up 5. Dropkick Murphys - The Auld Triangle

Bruce Lee is dead? Who’s this guy then...

Deaths July 20 - Bruce Lee, world famous martial artist and actor, dies by "misadventure". Official reports indicate a cerebral edema, brought on by an allergic reaction to painkillers - but many people believe he was murdered for giving away ancient martial arts secrets. General July 25 - Soviet Mars 5 space probe launched. July 28 - Watkins Glen Summer Jam, a massive rock festival featuring The Grateful Dead, The Allmans Brothers Band and The Band play to 600,000 fans. Album Releases ✪ Pink Floyd release magnum opus The Dark Side Of The Moon. Rumours circulate that the album was written to perfectly sychronise with 1939 film The Wizard Of Oz, and despite convincing evidence, all band members deny this claim. ✪ Alice Cooper releases Billion Dollar Babies, and it goes on to become the band's biggest hit. ✪ New York Dolls release their self-titled album: it is received well by both the public and critics, but sales are comparatively low. ✪ Queen release their self-titled debut. ✪ Black Sabbath release Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, and it goes on to reportedly save their career.

Coventry Club in New York. ✪ January 14 - Elvis Presley performs a televised

Congratulations to Hayley then, who’s the first winner of absolutely jack shit, but she should at least feel satisfied that she came up with a better selection than Sharon. That was bad shit girl!

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Births March 1 - Ryan Peake, Nickelback's second guitarist. April 4 - Ominous magician David Blaine. July 15 - John Dolmayan, SOAD drummer. July 25 - Dani Filth August 8 - Controversy-magnet Scott Stapp (ex-Creed). November 3 - Slipknot's guitarist, Mick Thompson. November 8 - Corey Taylor, (Stone Sour), is born.

Other Nonsense

I’m Back - Dope I, Zombie - White Zombie I Love You - HIM I Got One For Ya - Kid Rock Hurricane - Bush

If you want to be a random reader with a list, send your top 5 in to podlist@burnmag.co.uk No cheating!

This month, it’s time to play guess the year! Remember, don’t phone, nobody cares...

✪ January 30 - KISS perform their first concert at the

Random Reader: Hayley Briers, Sheffield 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Life On Mars

That’s right - next issue in a text competition, we’re giving away 5 video ipods - not only that but when you get one, it will be loaded with stacks of tracks, possibly even albums from some of our favourite bands - signed and unsigned! Be nice...

concert, which is watched by over a billion people worldwide. ✪ March - Legendary rock club CBGB's opens. ✪ July 23rd - David Bowie performs for the last time as Ziggy Stardust in Hammersmith. ✪ AC/DC form and perform their first gig on New Years Eve. ✪ Eurovision 1973 is hosted and won by Luxembourg. Terry Wogan quips that the floor manager requested the audience remain seated during all performances, otherwise they risked being shot by security forces. ✪ January 9th - DI Sam Tyler mysteriously time travels from 2006 to this year. Tyler was last seen on January 27th, still present in the 1970s. His fate is currently unknown, but evidence points to future stories of his activites being broadcast in early 2007.

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Cool From The Wire DC Comics go all “24” on us as Batwoman returns as a lesbian! Comic book heroine Batwoman is to make a comeback! Fifty years after she first graced the pages of a comic book, Batwoman is to return to the world of superheroes - as a lesbian socialite, currently being secretly redesigned by the one and only Alex Ross! Batwomwill return as a "lipstick lesbian" who moonlights as a crime fighter, a DC Comics spokesman has confirmed. Batwoman - real name Kathy Kane - will appear in 52, a year-long DC Comics publication that began this month. In her latest incarnation, she is a rich socialite who has a romantic history with another 52 character, ex-police detective Renee Montoya. 52 will be published in the UK as a graphic novel by Titan Books in 2007. The series is set in a world in which established superheroes like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman no longer play a part. (Ed’s note: better still, it appears that Vic Sage, pictured bottom right, returns as The Question... let’s wait and see...) The new-look Batwoman is just one of a wave of ethnically and sexually diverse characters entering the DC Comics universe. Others include Mexican teenager Blue Beetle - who replaces the character's previous white incarnation and the Great Ten, a government-sponsored team of Chinese superheroes. Regular characters Firestorm and The Atom, meanwhile, have been reinvented as black and Asian heroes respectively. The characters are part of a wider effort to broaden the make-up of comic-book creations in line with society as a whole. Batwoman, who first appeared in July 1956, has not been seen since September 1979 when she was killed by the League of Assassins and the Bronze Tiger.

Each issue of 52 will take place in a very close approximation of real-time, so yes, each issue will cover a full week (though not necessarily every DAY of a given week). For instance, when it's Father's Day, that will be reflected in 52. And 52 isn’t justlimited to American holidays. There’s a date book full of international holidays that will be referred to when appropriate. From the DC Comics Newsdesk

BURNT OFFERINGS:

We only do this in order to clear our heads of the accumulated knowledge of a month in the trenches. It’s rough out there people. SION I may overdose on this: Hype. More like this please: the BBC box set of Life on Mars, Disco Ensemble, Michael Marshall’s Straw Men series, Kiss merch, sun and Planet Rock and shows with Jonathon Ross presenting. A fucking lot less of this: Genre descriptions - I have ears thankyou. Absolutely none of this: Big Brother. One day, I might: clean out a bunch of crap CDs that I hide in the back of the car. In an emergency: light up, screw the lid off a Bud and stroke chin in a thoughtful manner... then call Mike.

KAHN I may overdose on this: What have you got? More like this please: B*Movie Heroes, Luxembourg, SSM, Live, FA Cup Finals A fucking lot less of this: Big Brother, Undercut, French doctors, the world's obsession with one man's foot

MIKE I may overdose on this: Coheed and Cambria. Yeah I'm late, so what? More like this please: Mark Millar's Wanted A fucking lot less of this: The Farrelly Brothers and their crap

Absolutely none of this: Seizures which leave you holed up in your hotel room for the entire weekend

Absolutely none of this: Big fucking Brother. If I wanted to listen to the nonsensical shit of a bunch of cunts, I'd do overtime. (Cheers bud. Regards, the rest of us...)

One day, I might: Lead a simple, uncomplicated life

One day, I might: Take over the world. So be nice.

In an emergency: DON'T PANIC

In an emergency: Pull this lever. No, not that. Ah... I seem to have made a mess of my chinos. (Chinos! Revenge is sweet. More regards...)

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JJ I may overdose on this: Angels and Airwaves, Raconteurs, RHCP, AFI, Taking Back Sunday, Lost Prophets, 36 Crazyfists - all fuckin' killer!

JOHN I may overdose on this: Playing The Elder Scrolls IV:Oblivion...30 hours of gameplay and no end in sight, will review it if i ever finish it!

More like this please: Rodrigo Y Gabrielle live, great organisation, fantastic sound, helpful security, amazing performance, outstanding crowd participation, the way all gigs should be!

More like this please: Clever & addictive games for the Nintendo DS & Sunshine!

A fucking lot less of this: Bitching about what is good or bad. What is rock.. is this really metal? Strength is not in division but in solidarity! Absolutely none of this: Opinions (see above). The reason it's in Burn is 'cause it is. Deal with it or fuck off! One day, I might: Wake up and give a fuck! In an emergency: Call me an ambulance!

A fucking lot less of this: Shitty weather and shitty England World Cup songs(I'snt one enough!) Absolutely none of this: Big Brother One day, I might: Grow old gracfully(yeah right!) In an emergency: I find panic & Jack Daniels to be helpful!

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20 INCREDIBLY DUMB QUESTIONS

And there’s none more dumb than our esteemed Deputy Dumb to ask them. As if by magic, this issue Mr Johnson has tracked down Naked Beggers and Cinderella bassist Eric Brittingham. Where do we find them? natural playing drummers I’ve had the pleasure of working with. You’ve got a gun, one bullet, and you’re locked in a room with George Bush and Paris Hilton. Who gets it? ME! Is it true you once said Kip Winger was the best bassist you’d ever seen, because he could clap along with the audience while still ‘playing’ bass? Well, I don’t recall saying that, but it sounds like something I would say. Kip is actually a very good bassist but, back then, I think he was more concerned with the performance. I can only afford to download three songs this month – which Beggers’ tracks should I choose? Ain’t Your Mama, Nothing But Trouble, and Lullaby.

So what’s it like being in a band with the Mrs? It actually is working out great. I started out working with Inga by producing demos for her and Kris. Eventually, I got more involved and played with them live. We, somehow, seem to keep our personal life and the band separate. You’ve clearly got a love of the blues. What is it that keeps you playing them? I like a lot of styles of music, but I’ve always liked to play what I am most influenced by. Have you ever begged, naked or otherwise? I’m married - of course I have to beg! Jeff’s not a bad guitarist, is he? I love the way he plays, that’s why I brought him into Naked Beggars. We recently played a show which Cinderella’s ex-manager came out to see. He asked me why Jeff never played like that with Cinderella! I think it’s because we all have such freedom to be artistically creative in this band.

this summer to celebrate the 20th anniversary of our first album. We’ll be out with Poison, who are also celebrating their 20th. Cinderella has been touring every couple of years since we regrouped in 1998. Spit what out? Whatcha wanna say… lol When can we expect to see Naked Beggers in the UK? We would love to play there! We’ve gotten so many fans from there asking the same question. Currently, Jeff is unable to acquire a passport due to some legal issues, but as soon as he gets them resolved, we will definitely start planning a tour there. What happened to the blonde hair? The blond hair went grey! I used to dye it black before Cinderella, and thought I’d try it again. I liked it and I’ve kept it black for the past six years.

What do you blame for the demise of decent rock music? For what its worth, the editor blames Kurt Cobain! I think decent rock music is still out there, the music industry has just been busy spoon-feeding crap to the people.

How easy is it to balance management and actually being in the band? It’s not. I sometimes feel as if everyone thinks I’m a tyrant. It’s difficult to try and keep on even terms with my band mates and tell them what or what not to do.

When was the last time you were naked? An hour ago.

Shawn your drummer was playing clubs at the age of five. That’s no way to bring up a child, surely? His father is a drummer also, so he grew up in that environment. Shawn is one of the most

Are Cinderella still knocking about? Yes. We are planning to go on tour, in the U.S., 010

Two women in the band? Are you mad? I must be mad. Inga, alone, is 1) a singer, 2) a woman, and 3) my wife. That’s a hat trick of misery right there! Seriously though, adding Kristine in the band was actually a big plus. Her and Inga get along great together and kind of create a balance to the band. Why did Fred Coury never play on the Cinderella albums? He played all the drums on the Heartbreak Station record. Fred was hired after we had recorded the first album and didn’t have enough studio experience when we started Long Cold Winter. We had parted ways with Fred before recording the Still Climbing album. Who would win a fight between a cow and a sheep? I don’t know, or care, but I’m sure it would be pretty fucking boring to watch. What’s more important to you, commercial success or artistic freedom? If you don’t have artistic freedom, then there’s no reason to play. If you’re doing this for the money, you would be an idiot. There are far more easier and profitable businesses to be involved in. Who and what would you take if you could plan for being stranded on a desert island? I would take an endless supply of beer, water, and food. I’d also take Inga along to keep me company and, if I ran out of food, I could eat her.

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Words, as ever: Andy Lye

Sinners Inc.

Round four of our monthly look at the World’s best unsigned talent. After a thoroughly metal feature last month we’re going to take a look at some serious rock this time. You know the deal, get out there and check ‘em out...

DAYDREAMER (SWITZERLAND) The Swiss rock revolution continues. Don’t look at me like that. I know what I’m talking about. With stalwarts Krokus and Gotthard still going strong, and new breed Pure Inc. making significant waves in the hard rock World, Switzerland is becoming a serious place for rock music. Daydreamer, essentially, have the riffs of a classic metal band with the catchy vocal melodies and keyboard lines of a 70s hard rock band. Think UFO, only heavy. They’re unsigned at the moment, but that shouldn’t last long given the strength of their demo EP. Drummer Boris de Roche on the completion of the band’s forthcoming debut album: “We can’t wait to force everyone violently to listen to it and buy the fucking thing! I think we’re all very curious and can’t wait to see what happens with the album. We’re very proud of our music and exhausted at the same time. It’s taken a lot of time and energy out of us, but now we realize that it was worth the frustration and pain in the ass and that we’ve created something special.” Although they say they’re a heavy rock/metal band, the four tracks on their self-titled CD demonstrate many different styles that could all be expanded upon with the full-length release. Please Don’t Send Me Away has a heavy main riff and a classic hard rock sing-a-long chorus, while Brighter Days ventures more into UFO territory, Slaves of Our Fantasy is more of a power metal ballad with soaring vocals (Jean 012

Marc Viller) and keyboards (Biagio Aeberhard). The excellent guitar work (Peter Berger) moves effortlessly between delicate acoustic arpeggios, to heavy riffing to sublime solos over constantly tight rhythms (Alain Schwaller, bass and Boris on drums). Daydreamer’s variety and ability to craft memorable, meaningful songs is certain to win them fans in many different areas of rock music, and with the right exposure, I can’t see anything stopping them.

THE RENEGADE PLAYBOYS (ENGLAND) Glam-lovin’ hard rockers Renegade Playboys make absolutely no secret of the fact that they love good ol’ fashioned leather and big hair rock

n’ fuckin’ roll. And if we’re all honest, we all do too! They have songs for every setting, from the slightly cheesy pomp-rock (Bad Girlz/24 Hour Bitch), to heavy riffs (For Heaven’s Sake), to searing solos (all of them!) and everything in between. The one common denominator with all of their tracks is this ‘80s party rock chorus that comes out of nowhere every time. Genius! Guitarist Dave: “We aim to revitalise the classic rock sound bringing back anthemic choruses and high energy riffing. By combining this with modern influences, ideas and dynamics we’ll pull rock music by its long hair, kicking and screaming into the 21st century.” Vocalist ‘Crash’: “We want to bring everyone together through our music. Rockers, metallers, goths, emo kids, screamo kids, emo kids who aren’t emo or screamo, they’re “hardcore man”! Hip-hoppers, chavs, jazz aficionados, rastas, Indian yogis, samurai masters, alien life forms and maybe even normal people... if we can!” Unfortunately, the Renegade Playboys have recently split up, following the departure of Lebanese drummer Mayhem. But that doesn’t mean you can’t pick up a copy of their EP for a measly fiver and hope that they get back together soon. Where can I hear more? Samples of all the songs from Daydreamer’s self-titled EP are available on their website at www.daydreamer-band.ch Equally, samples of several Renegade Playboys songs are available on their website www.therenegadeplayboys.co.uk. Daydreamer’s EP is available for purchase from some external online stores linked from the band’s site, and the Playboys EP is available directly from the band themselves via their online store. Got it? Good.

Left: Renegade Playboys Up top: Daydreamer

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STAND UP FOR...

Hell On Wheels We at Burn like comics. We also like comedy. So when a comedian says he’s written a comic we have to have a sniff around. Tom Canning spent some time with Mike Loder to talk about Jessica...

If you haven’t heard of Mike Loder before, where have you been? Probably the same place I have, but that doesn’t matter anymore. Although not a major player in the world of British comedy, Auckland comic Mike Loder has been touring Fringe festivals and cities for about 10 years building up a reputation as one of his native New Zealand’s most originally funny

comedians. “I got into comedy in a really straight forwardly easy way,” he explains. “I heard some adverts for an open mic night one day, thought I would have a crack at it, had a crack and just really enjoyed it. It just seemed like one of the hand-to-glove moments when it felt like I was doing the right thing.”

Er... yeah. Hard life this stand-up comedy lark

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With a style that blends the comic book geekiness of Kevin Smith with a bitter and anticorporate twist, it’s easy to see who Mike’s comedy influences are. “I guess the idol that it’s very popular to say nowadays is Bill Hicks, but I genuinely love Bill Hicks for the fearlessness and the elegance of his material. Any comic that can create an elegant joke deserves recognition and he deserves a lot.” Having been touring and writing material for the last 10 years, Mike has been to many places and played many audiences, but was there one moment in his career that stuck out? “Oh God, the worst experience I’ve had was in the male charity strip thing. I said to the organisers that I would go on before the strippers came and did their thing and they went ‘yep, sure.’ So I said, ‘No, seriously, before,’ which I did, but after all the husbands of the wives in the audience got on stage and did it, so I had hundreds of women basically chanting ‘Get your cock out now!’ which as you can imagine was hurtful...”

me their top fives or whatever, and I just started going through the genres. Then one day I decided that I just wanted to have a play with it. “A lot of the work I’m doing at the moment is just playing with the characters and the genres. Truth is, I just want to die with a bookshelf with different things, ranging from a serious play to a sci-fi porno.” So what happens in the comic then? “Ooo.. I can’t tell you that! It’s a very complex story, involving wheelchair-bound assassins, kids with guns, government organisations, religion and the obligatory corrupt corporate mandates making money out of everything. Essentially, it’s a very black comedy, as that’s kinda me, so I try to apply it to most of the stuff I do. Style wise, I think it’s probably closer to cinematography than anything else. Before I started on this, a lot of people recommended that style to me.” He’s certainly right about dark comedy, the first comic from the Comma Cut series focuses on Laura a wheelchair assassin who is hired to

It’s just kind of tricky as I’m in a wheelchair and the Tube wasn’t invented for cripples. With his comedy career flourishing in the land of the kiwi (he was awarded the prestigious New Zealand Comedy Guild Male Comedian of the Year 2003 award don’t you know), has he got any plans to get on a plane for a stupid number of hours and visit us in England? “It’s just kind of tricky as I’m in a wheelchair and the Tube wasn’t invented for cripples, so it’s just a matter of practicalities. It’s unfortunate as around the year 2000 I got to exactly where I wanted to be and was ready to start touring and then ended up in a wheelchair which was very frustrating. I can’t complain though as I’ve got radio shows at the moment and it’s allowed me to knock out all those little projects you always say you would do when you’re touring.” Talking of little projects, the conversation turns to Mike’s comics Jessica, and the side project Comma Cut. “The comic book is a bit of an offshoot, which I’m really enjoying at the moment,” he says. “First thing I’ve been really excited about in a long while, so the plan is to produce shit, until I become less shit. It came about due to one of those out of those weird things. My friends were all into comics but I’ve never been into them. Then I just picked one up one day, Preacher I think it was, really enjoyed it, and then my friends started recommending

kill a rapist. So with his comics hitting mainstream attention, has Mike Loder put any thought into converting his comics into films yet, a la X-men or Spiderman and if so, who would he cast to play Laura, or Jessica? “Oh, easy. That would be me. I’m a comedian, I can wear a dress. I don’t know to be honest. Probably someone who held my glance for too long at the audition. I wouldn’t get involved in that sort of thing. Essentially, I’m a writer, so I’d leave it up to other people to sort that out. I don’t want to be known as a jack of all trades.” As the bleeps started sounding on my payphone-call to New Zealand, I had just a few moments to ask Mike Loder one last question. On his website, www.mikeloder.com, he credits himself as telling the first joke of the new millennium. “My girlfriend found a lump on my breast. It was me. (Dudum Tsch).” Very good Mike, but what was the second joke of the new millennium “I have no idea, nobody ever remembers the second joke.” Fair point. Ask at your nearest comic book emporium about Mike Loder’s comics, Jessica or Comma Cut. You can also buy Mike Loder stand-up CDs and other things Loder-related at www.mikeloder.com.

Shooting

Shit

Favourite Film Fight Club. It came out at a very strange time of my life. Last CD you bought/listened to: I’m currently listening The Dandy Warhol’s third album currently. I’m just really enjoying them sounding fresh. (That’s a bit faggy... you were doing brilliantly until then Drop me a line - I’ll sort you out! Ed.) If you could be a comic book character, who would you be: I don’t know my comic book characters to tell you the truth. Oh hang on, what’s that one? Film just made out of it, The Punisher. I remember I had just watched Punisher and then the day after I saw this gay drama thing which the lead bloke also starred in and he was just strutting down the street and then next minute and he’s kissing a guy, that’s I was thinking that’s just wrong. I’m not judging him but now whenever I see Punisher and he’s standing next to someone I get worried he’s just going to stroke his face or something. If you had the chance to, how would you kill Aussie toss-wad Steve Irwin: It would have to be by animal, as he needs some justice. I think a cat, a big cat as they don’t just kill they sort of bat them around a bit as well. I’m thinking a leopard. A lot of leopards. An under-used method of killing. What was it like to be pulled around by a load of bikini wearing girls: It was fun but also stressful because some of them were very, very, very dim. There’s a clip on the bonus features of the CD where one of them sort of slips and the others just push her along. They weren’t the brightest of God’s creatures but some of them are expanding into chestular modelling and a career and good for them. Was it a one off, or do you have some kind of contract with them: Unfortunately it was a one off, but next time I’m thinking of being pulled along by 50 Irish dancers.

HOT NEWS: (AKA MIKE LODER PIECE TOO SHORT FILLER!) Rooster will be celebrating the release of their second album “Circles and Satellites” by playing a one-off show at London’s Scala on July 24th ’06. Tickets go on sale on June 16th and are available from www.gigsandtours.com. Prices are £12.50 and doors are at 7 pm.

the Shepherd’s Bush Empire at the end of a sold out UK tour. The new album is produced by Matt Wallace (Faith No More, Maroon 5), and marks a more sophisticated sound from their debut, but is still full of killer pop rock tunes!

The band’s last appearances in London was at

The first single from the album, “Home”, is

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released on July 10th, the video is already up to No. 4 on the Box, and received over 70 plays last week across the music channels. The single is on both Radio 1 and Capital playlists. So it’s going to do rather well! Look out for the band on TOTP, GMTV, T4 and Popworld over the next few weeks.

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waltham www.walthamtheband.com

Fast Times Need a slice of feel good action? Wish that bands still made records that made you feel good without having to think too hard about it? The remedy: the debut album from Waltham. Honestly, one listen and you’ll be down at the body shop with an oxy torch to cut the roof off. I haven’t spoken to Frank in about a year or so. Back then, they were stoked about the pending release of the album and were hoping to get over here to show off their wares on the back of a decent support slot. Hundreds of names were bandied around until, with a little push and nudge here and there, they scored the support on the recent 3 Doors Down tour. At first I didn’t think it would work - but it was exactly the order of the day. All they needed was a headline band who had songs with a chorus in order to play to the right kind of audience and it worked. Tonight, the guys looked a bit stunned after the show, but then I suppose you would having just come in from Amsterdam - those stories will stay off the record - and then playing in London. We kind of take it for granted but for bands in the US, it still remains as some kind of Holy Land that marks a certain phase in a bands lifetime. What the hell else have you been doing since then - apart from getting yourselves loaded on the Continent? “How the fuck am I supposed to remember earlier than yesterday! (See above reason I guess). Man, it’s a good job Boston ain’t like that otherwise we’d never get anything done! “We’ve been doing some local shows in support of the album, but mostly we’ve been hanging about writing some new songs and waiting for this tour to happen! It’s interesting times at the moment because our record company have just been acquired by a major. We’re hoping that there will be some money there for the future and that this little tour of Europe will be a forerunner of a bigger plan.” If the response from the largely enthusiastic crowd tonight is anything to go by, it would be a harsh world indeed if it wasn’t followed up on. I’m looking forward to airing a couple of new songs and, well, it’s hard to put your finger on it but it’s just so damn exciting to be out of your own country and playing to people that we’ve never seen before. We’re gonna go out there and we’re gonna do what we do best. If tonight is anything like last night, then it will be a riot. Man, those guys really got into it in a big way.” And what about the future bossman? “Well, I’m hooked! Now we’ve had a taste of life on then road and I mean the real road, not touring in your home state, I want to get back here as soon as possible. The album is selling pretty well, I think it’s now a matter of hitting the road, especially here in Europe and playing to as many people as possible with as many bands that we can support in the next year - by which time, we should have another album on the go. It would be cool to do some shows on our own too to get a handle on what was going on, but it’s all good man.” Is it possible to write outside of the summer? “Er, yeah, but it sure comes a hell of a lot easier when it’s summer! Somehow it just gets the whole band in the right frame of mind for getting into our groove - truthfully, maybe we shouldn’t bother trying until it is summer - just hit the road when it’s cold then knuckle down when it starts getting warmer. Hey it fucking works for me and I don’t hear any of the other guys arguing!” Waltham are a band of the people. A blue collar band in much the same way as Bon Jovi where when they booted up way back when. I see no reason why they shouldn’t follow in their footsteps. They’ve got more than enough hooks, the band ethos is similar and with a major support slot, I can see it taking off like a rocket. That’s why we’re doing our bit here... no point in crying about it later if you don’t put your money where your mouth is when it counts. SS

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FROM THE CRYPT... Each month David Lillywhite takes a look at a classic DVD that you really should have in your collection:

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984) Directed by: Wes Craven When scholars look back upon the 20th century, there will be several contenders for the moment that humanity reached its lowest ebb. Right up there along genocide and cosplayers, a sure-fire contender is the moment that the mainstream conscience embraced Freddy Krueger as an anti-hero. Just ask The Fatboys who rapped lyrical on the seminal Are You Ready For Freddy? about the “cool as ice” child molester who not only kidnapped his young victims but brutally maimed and eventually killed them. This aspect to Krueger’s personality was somewhat overlooked not only by industry executives who couldn’t wait to slap Freddy’s image on all manner of lame tieins but audiences who accepted a relentless stream of inferior sequels. Having become a caricature by his fifth outing, when he wasn’t being plastered on the side of a lunchbox, Fred Krueger began life as a far more horrific creation, conceived by writer and director Wes Craven as the personification of pure evil in the original A Nightmare on Elm Street. Up until the release of the film in 1984, New Line Cinema had been very much just a distribution company chiefly responsible for putting out films in colleges across America. The Elm Street script had been circulating around Hollywood for some time but there had been no takers until the fledgling studio decided to dip its toes into the water. A Nightmare on Elm Street was an instant success, taking in over $25 million in the US alone and as a result, ensuring the financial safety of New Line. It went on to become one of the largest independent studios in America until it was gobbled up by the Time Warner entity. “What if the bogeyman was made flesh?” The answer came in the form of Fred Krueger, an horrifically scarred serial killer who inherited the ability on his death to invade the dreams of his victims and slaughter them there on the premise that if the mind dies, the body can’t function. Although Krueger’s back story was 018

subsequently sent spiralling by the later entries in the franchise, at its canonical best, Krueger was burned alive by the parents of the Elm Street children after being acquitted of his crimes on a technicality and it was the children of those parents that Fred returned to kill as retribution. Later christened “the bastard son of a hundred maniacs” in Part 3 (1987) (which Craven returned to script after the lacklustre Freddy’s Revenge (1985) with which he had no involvement), Fred’s modus operandi was using a razor-fingered glove on his right hand which he predictably used to slash his way across countless dreamscapes. He eventually found his way to Nancy (Heather Lagenkamp), who kept alive long enough to fight back. The seeds of A Nightmare on Elm Street were sown in a series of articles over the course of a year-and-a-half that the director had seen in The LA Times. Several South-East Asian teenagers who had arrived in the US were reported to have died following traumatic nightmares. As Craven recounts on the DVD commentary, a third child had stayed awake for about a week after those initial deaths convinced something was in his dreams and going to kill him. After taking sleeping tablets, he later awoke screaming, went silent and promptly died. It’s not unfair to say that A Nightmare on Elm Street revitalised a genre that at the time was at something of a nadir. After the success of Halloween (1978) and Friday The 13th (1980), horror had become staid and mired in formulaic slasher films. Craven provided not just lashings of simple gore but did so smartly with an inventive eye. Nightmare is full of set-piece sequences setting the film apart not only from its genre roots but also from its franchise stablemates by not bathing any of the dreams in technicolor. There’s the infamous bedroom scene sees Fred’s first screen victim Tina hurled savagely across four corners of a bedroom while smeared disturbingly in blood as her killer slays her. Johnny Depp exits in brutal red, pulled down into his bed before a torrent of blood

woeful television series). At the very least in this first film Englund essays Fred as his creator intended: a nightmarish monster. In Krueger, Craven had created something iconic. Krueger is the archetypical bogeyman and Englund’s performance plays within this parameter without descending into parody. Witness Freddy’s first chase sequence, in which he never travels with the grace and sleek he would later gain. Here, Fred is that evil creature that children think lurks under their bed. Throughout the film, Krueger is constantly masked by shadow and our imagination fills in the rest as we glimpse that charred skin. But as the box office receipts grew with the franchise, so Freddy’s make-up became simpler and more stream-lined. In short, more acceptable to a younger demographic. By The Dream Child (1989), Krueger wasn’t really scaring anyone. Back in 1984, the more primitive make-up meant Krueger really did look like an animated body of burnt flesh and as a result was far more effective for it. Pieces of skin, would could easily have been a technical limitation or budgetary constraint, limply hung off of Freddy’s face. Krueger was arguably never more terrifying than he was in the original A Nightmare on Elm Street. Krueger didn’t have to crack a witty one-liner; the tense silences, eerie musical cues and foreboding imagery did a lot of the work needed to establish the grim presence of the character. At this point in the franchise’s history, the razorfingered glove was a grisly tool for death rather than a trademark to be serviced at every opportunity. It is this subtlety running throughout what might have been an otherwise more sensationalist horror film that was missed from subsequent instalments. The climax is a fitting example of this, where Fred meets his end (until the next time). Already having to contend with a villain bordering on the all-powerful, Craven has Nancy confront Krueger armed with just steely resolve, taking back all the power she has given him during the course of the film as she no longer fears him. It

As Craven recounts on the DVD commentary, a third child had stayed awake for about a week after those initial deaths convinced something was in his dreams and going to kill him. After taking sleeping tablets, he later awoke screaming, went silent and promptly died... explodes upwards and outwards across a ceiling in surreal fashion. There are also our heroine’s flirtations with the dream demon. Fred emerges fleetingly from an apparently solid wall looking over Nancy as she sleeps in a subtle, atmospheric effect devoid of CGI which just shows that Krueger’s there. And then later during bath-time, a creeping hand appears somewhat suggestively from between Nancy’s legs as she dozes off. Fred’s omnipotence is given an added potency from these moments as Craven blurs the line between when and where Fred can appear. A Nightmare on Elm Street wouldn’t of course be what it is without the presence of Robert Englund who played Freddy in all six Elm Street films, including New Nightmare (1994) and Freddy vs Jason (2004) (not to mention a

is a bold move that opts not for the traditional gruesome revenge on the killer but a smarter resolution adhering to the rules in play. Viewed with this perspective, Krueger’s end is no weak pay-off but a triumph of vision over convention. From birthing a fedora-wearing dream fiend to rescuing a minor league studio and making it into a player, A Nightmare on Elm Street has become not only one of the benchmarks by which later horror films have been measured. Fortunately the endless succession of derivatives following in its wake have all been testament to the fact that only the un-neutered Krueger will do. All together now: “One, two Freddy’s coming for you.... ”

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FIGHT DVD EXCLUSIVE: CHUCK LIDDELL WWW.FIGHTDVD.CO.UK

e’s the man that every man wants to be able to fight like. Shit, I even know some women who want to be able to fight like that too. Chuck Liddell is at the top of his game right now - those who follow UFC on Bravo out here will know him well and will have sat with their mouths open as he and Randy Couture recently went head to head to settle the burning question of who was the better fighter for the third time in row. This time around Chuck’s head was in the right place at the right time, and although Randy has nothing to prove to anybody, it was painfully obvious that Chuck’s time had come. “It was a good fight - y’know Randy and I are good friends, great friends, but we’re both professional fighters too, so all of that goes out of the window the minute you step into the cage.”

H

CHUCK LIDDELL

That must be strange, beating the crap out of your friend so badly - I understand training with your buddies and getting roughed up, but there’s roughed up and there’s roughed up! “It’s not so bad. So long as nobody is cheating and turning in a 110% effort, you leave the ring with nothing but respect for your opponents. It’s tough out there, but it’s what I do. It’s not like I’m going to turn around one day and suddenly become a real estate agent or something.” Do you see yourself quitting the game any time soon? “No. Not at all. I still have a lot to accomplish. I’m not even thinking about getting out of the game, but the day that I do, I’ll still be there behind the scenes working in the school, training...” The game has changed recently too. It was always constantly evolving but this year alone, has seen some great developments in the sport. It used to be that everybody figured they needed training in Brazilian Ju-Jitsu to get anywhere in the sport, but with Liddell being the consummate stand up-knock down fighter, the rules have changed again, so that now, fighters are coming to the ring armed with not only BJJ skills but have also been training more with their hands. “I much prefer stand up fighting. Once you go to the ground with a grappler, you can be down

there for the round. It’s not the way I like to fight. That’s my background but I like stand-up and so does the crowd - it’s just more exciting all round.” There was a time when it looked as though the UFC were going to embrace some of the WWE show tactics but then it just as quickly seemed to back off from it. Is that about right or am I making things up that don’t exist? “It’s become a much purer sport lately. Fighters like Tito (Ortiz) are more able to work that entertainment side of things but I think people just like to see two quality fighters square off to see who has the edge on that day. I guess it could go down that road but I don;t think it will - not with UFC anyhow. We’ve all worked to long and too hard to make it into something that it’s not.” Whether you like it or not, people are flooding to UFC on the TV and it constantly plays to a sold out arena that’s jammed with celebrity. Over here, cage fighting in the UK is just starting to pick up on the gauntlet that’s been throw down. Next issue, we’re going to check out one of the events to see just how far it’s come and we catch up with James Thompson and Brad Pickett in their respective rings. UFC 57: Liddell/Couture 3 is reviewed in Fight Club on page 90.

Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture tactically batter each other to a pulp. Inset: Cometh the moment...

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stay alive: horrorteria Fred, Velma, Daphne and Shaggy look for clues.

Owen Williams takes a look at new horror Stay Alive... but will you want to while watching it? Hollywood’s relationship with videogames has so far been somewhat dysfunctional. For every half-decent collision between the two - and those are rare - there are many more catastrophes like The Rock in Doom and the Bob Hoskins’ shameful Super Mario Bros. Videogames, with their increasingly sophisticated graphical environments, narratives and user-involving action would seem like an obvious plunder-source for the movies, but so far that marriage has rarely worked. Adaptations of games, it seems, are not the way to go. Maybe it’s time for a new approach? Enter writer-director William Brent Bell and writer-producer Matthew Peterman, the creative team behind Stay Alive (which thankfully has nothing to do with John Travolta or the Bee Gees). “Matt and I had felt for a long time that teen audiences were truly ready for a movie using a videogame as a story engine, but it took awhile 020

to convince other people,” explains Bell. “It’s something no one’s really done this way before. In this day and age, when games are so rich with story and characters, it really made sense to us to bring the two forms together. Movies and games each have their own way of telling stories, but the marriage of the two is something we really believed in, something that we felt like we understood and could turn into a powerful experience.” The movie involves a killer videogame - in the literal sense, inspired by survival-horror classics like the Resident Evil and Silent Hill series. The fictional game Stay Alive is an historical murdermystery set in New Orleans, an advance copy of which falls into the hands of a demographically selected (goth, nerd, skatepunk, with names like Swink and October) group of gamers whose lives do not last beyond the deaths of their onscreen characters. Is one of the gamers responsible, or is it something to do with the actual game? As both the threat and paranoia grow, the play turns deadly serious and the gamers must turn their cyber-survival skills to unravelling a real-life mystery with far higher

stakes than a “game over” message. As a narrative concept Stay Alive has its precedents. Rona Jaffe’s 1982 novel Mazes and Monsters (adapted as a TV movie starring a very young Tom Hanks) tells a similar story of dangerous obsession and delusion using a Dungeons and Dragons-style roleplay game as its catalyst, and John Carpenter’s 1997 film In the Mouth of Madness uses a Stephen Kingtype bestselling novel in a similar fashion. The eighth film in the Hellraiser series, Hellworld, also treads the territory, as does the internet shocker FearDotCom. The difference here however, is in the film’s detailed and intricate engagement with its thoroughly thought-out gaming counterpart: “In designing the game, we basically took what games are able to do right now and multiplied that by three,” says Peterman. “What you see in this movie is probably what games will really be like in just a few years. We went to the edge of what people in the gaming industry expect will be possible.” Bell adds: “We had a lot of fun because we were able to really play around with time and space, to break all the usual rules. At times in w w w. b u r n m a g . c o . u k | B U R N M A G A Z I N E


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the story, reality is mirroring the game and at other times the game is mirroring reality and then the two converge together to make this fusion type world that was fantastic to imagine and not like anything else we’d ever seen. It could also get very scary, even for us.” Adding to the atmosphere are the New Orleans locations, bringing a swampgothic historical frisson to the up-to-date digital proceedings (production wrapped before Hurricane Katrina). “New Orleans is such an old, atmospheric city and it has this whole history of spells and curses and vampire legends, so it was definitely the best town in America for the story,” says Bell. “I think it’s a place that also mirrors the motif of marrying the old with the new. In New Orleans, you’ve got the rust and the peeling paint and the thick fog in the air and the vibe of this very old place, and then you’ve got gamer kids playing the most modern video games.” “This city has such a history of ghosts and hauntings and voodoo,” explains star John Foster, “being surrounded by that really helped us to get in the mood. It’s easy to get completely into the mindset when you’re shooting in cemeteries and old mansions.” Stay Alive is released in the UK on June 16.

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Meanwhile, those meddling kids miss out on where the real action is...

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is the new this is thethis new shit.

shit.

this is the new shit. this is the new shit.

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IMPERIAL VIPERS Every now and then, there seems to be a resurgence on the shores of this country when a huge swathe (good word!) of bands filters out, each and every one of them bringing another dimension to the heritage we used to have. The last big one seems so long ago now that it was almost in another lifetime that the UK gave us Dogs D’Amour, The Quireboys, Tigertailz, Thunder.. the list is pretty extensive - even though all are still in active service in some form or other. Today we find ourselves in an equally excellent place: The Glitterati, Roadstar, The Answer, Imperial Vipers.. and all bringing something new to the table. It always seems wrong to say ‘new band’ in these situation because you’re probably looking at four years of your life having passed by before anybody is taking notice of you. Vipers’ vocalist Ash is cool about it all though – he’s kind of geared up for the fact that this how they will be perceived – and with the release of their debut, it’s a landmark that will move them along from that place pretty quickly. The bands’ success so far is down to two things: great songs and an invaluable work ethic that’s seen them go from one end of the country to the other. “It’s been a good time. When you finally get

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your focus together and start feeling that you’re getting somewhere, it changes everything and it makes you work harder and want to be as great as you possibly can, because you can start to smell it happen! “I love every minute of it, you know there’s little sacrifices to be made along the way like not having that extra beer because it screws your voice up, and I’m sure the sacrifices will get bigger, but that’s what we’re here for.” Is the band looking to get out on the back of a bigger tour to spread the word a little more efficiently? “Sure, there’s some talk of things happening later in the year, but right now we’re concentrating on our own dates. After a while you start to see familiar faces in different places around the country, so people are obviously starting to follow us around. We’ve had a good year - next year it would be nice to have hit the festival circuit but we’ll see what happens with that.” Is the internet treating you well? “Yes, definitely. It works relentlessly for you while you’re out doing something else! MySpace has changed the rules for everybody... Doesn’t it worry you that, let’s say for instance your average ‘kid’ - because we all still like to call fans ‘kids’ - has what I like to call an ‘internet attention span’. Let’s say they want to check out your band and they’re hooked into

the web all day long and they use their PC as their stereo. On those grounds, they can just hit MySpace or your official site and listen to you without ever buying an album - or even worse, are you cutting your own throat by allowing them to use your own tools against you! “I’m not so sure. A lot of bands have said it and I think it’s true that so long as you’re not cheating anybody by writing a couple of good songs and following it up with a pile of crap, the majority of fans will willingly fork out for your album because it’s still cool to own the real deal when it comes to the things that really matter to you. “If you’re just going to knock out a couple of tracks and hope for the best when it comes to the rest of it, then it probably serves you right don’t you think!” Good point. What’s with the Guns n Roses brush that you get tarnished with. “I don’t always know what to make of that! It depends where the reference is coming from. Sometimes I think it’s because there’s five of us and we have the same kind of set up. We certainly have the same influences and the band themselves are obviously a big influence. “I’d never compare ourselves to them though not yet anyway! It’s always nice to be aligned with a decent band though - it’s better than somebody saying that you’re like a band that sold about ten copies of their album and suck!”

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b*movie heroes www.bmovieheroes.co.uk

Neil takes baths, they’ve only been on their label for six months, cult isn’t a spelling mistake and they’ve all still got day jobs. Kahn Johnson samples life with B*Movie Heroes… Things aren’t off to an auspicious start. Two hours after I think Neil Phillips (guitarist/singer of B*Movie Heroes) should have called me, I find out that a) I should have called him, and b) I don’t have his number. Problems solved, I get him out of the bath. I call back later. Second attempt, and he’s on answer phone. It turns out, when he phones me back, he was on a train going through a tunnel, so we do the interview as he heads to work. Rock stars, eh? A new album (Calibrate, reviewed elsewhere in this issue) on the shelves, a tour with My Ruin under their belts and now their own tour

with My Ruin!” Not the most obvious billing, style-wise, surely? “I was a bit nervous,” admits Neil, “there were a lot of metal fans there! “But we went down really well. My Ruin really loved it as well!” It’s not hard to see why when you consider that the material on Calibrate is actually surprisingly heavy, credit for which is being handed in part to producer Joe Gibb). “We were definitely a lot lighter on the first album. It wasn’t a conscious decision to get heavier, but after touring and touring, it just naturally happened. We’re in a really comfortable place as a band as well, we’re playing a lot better. “Our producer out a rawness, we’re a lot more riffy this time around. We certainly didn’t picture that when we went in the studio!” Riffy. What a great word. Must make a note to use it more in every day conversation. But I digress.

“We’re very lucky that we’ve managed to get jobs where our bosses are cool about us having time off,” admits Neil. “The long plan is to give up our day jobs, obviously, but after the last time when our agent booked us on a three month tour for the debut… “We ended up living on £2/3 a day! We’re not doing that again!” This time, having learnt some valuable lessons, the guys seem to have more of a strategy in mind. With Undergroove behind them, and a video in the can (the excellent My Apology), the path looks a bit smoother for the band someone described recently as the biggest cult band

“We ended up living on £2/3 a day! We’re not doing that again!” underway, life is about to get very busy for one of the finest exponents of harmony-laden rock music this country has produced in years. Named after an afternoon spent watching “crappy Godzilla films”, B*Movie Heroes (completed by drummer Scott Garrett, bassist/singer Russ Carlin and guitarist/singer Dean McCreadie) have blossomed into one of the most exciting bands these ears have had the pleasure to be subjected to in a while. And it’s all happening fast! Neil explains: “We signed to Undergroove in late December and were in the studio by January! And then we went out on the road 024

Having nailed the album and wowed the metal fraternity, it’s time to hit the road and spread the word some more. Or it would be, if dates didn’t get cancelled. At the time of speaking, Neil and the gang have done a grand total of one date. In Plymouth. With Exeter getting re-scheduled and Yeovil getting binned, the lads have had the pleasure of a 400 mile round trip from their Worcester base for the pleasure of an hour or so on stage! Still, nothing worth having comes easily. It’s just a good job they all have understanding bosses.

around (“not sure we’re big enough to be a cult,” laughs Neil, dismissing my query as to whether ‘cult’ was a spelling mistake). “We need airplay,” admits Neil, “and some good supports.” Here’s hoping someone at Radio 1 has their ears switched on. Calibrate is out now and is reviewed on page 74. w w w. b u r n m a g . c o . u k | B U R N M A G A Z I N E


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ian gillan www.iangillan.com

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ian gillan www.iangillan.com his year marks Deep Purple front-man Ian Gillan’s 40th year as a recording artist. A landmark not many achieve. Most are certainly no longer actively recording and touring 40 years after they started. But one of rock’s most revered and respected singers is still touring the World with Deep Purple and is about to embark on a gruelling schedule that many younger bands would struggle to maintain. But, of course, Ian has done much more than just the one band in his illustrious career, and in another Burn exclusive Ian checks in from the “Jurassic Coast” of Devon to recount the events of recording his remarkable new 40th Anniversary CD. “About 18 months ago, I was having a chat with my manager and he said “Look, you’ve been singing now for about 400 years, it’s about time you did an anniversary record.” I thought that was a good idea, so I started burning some CDs, you know, in the way of like compilation stuff with the originals, and I realised quite quickly that this wasn’t going to work. First of all there was no Episode Six or Javelins stuff that was suitable, or available, and secondly all the stuff sounded so jarringly uncomfortable in context, on the same album. I know it can all be remastered and everything, but it just didn’t gel. That’s when the idea of doing the remakes came up, and I just had this idea of ‘Gillan’s Inn’, you know with the bar and the stage set up with all the gear there and just inviting mates in to jam on some songs.” So that’s what he’s done. Ian’s new album, entitled Gillan’s Inn, is a collection of rerecorded versions of thirteen tracks from his entire career, spanning Deep Purple, Episode Six (ish), Black Sabbath, the Ian Gillan Band/Gillan and his solo albums plus one brand new song. And when you’ve got the mates Ian Gillan’s got, you can make one hell of a record. “I sent a few emails and made a few phone calls. Got immediate response from Joe Elliott (Def Leppard), Joe Satriani, Tony Iommi and

perform with Episode Six. I couldn’t find an Episode Six track, because it was basically a six-part harmony band, so nothing they recorded really would fit, even if it was rearranged or whatever. I was going through some old BBC tapes and I heard I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight, which was a thundering arrangement and I thought “that’s the one. That’s gonna work.” So we did the bed-track, and we had this accordionist come along, so it immediately took on a zydeco kind of feel. Then we got Mickey Lee Soule [ex-Elf] and the solos were bloody amazing. Then I had a flash in my mind, years ago I was playing football in Dublin at Lansdowne Road; a charity match with Joe Elliott and a few others, and we went for a

drink that night and got locked into this local pub. There was a little stage there with this microphone, and it was just the landlord and his family, and we just jammed on it for about

Ian’s career. A much more successful method than your standard remastered compilation of stuff you already own. “The idea of doing them live I think brings a sense of ‘right now’ to the whole proceedings. And because they’re all together on the same record, yes it does give a good picture. I mean, I love hearing No Laughing In Heaven and Unchain Your Brain alongside When A Blind Man Cries and I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight. To me it misses out some elements. It misses out the big production numbers. I didn’t want to do things like Demon Driver or Child In Time or any of those… well, I haven’t sung Child In Time for a long time, it puts me in the hospital these days, I haven’t done it for fifteen years. Even when I was a kid I used to not be able to sing for a week. But I chose numbers with fairly uncomplicated arrangements, exactly as you would if people were just getting up to jam. They would be familiar with the song and join in. Satriani played Unchain Your Brain; the solo he had one run through in the studio, he’d never heard it before, and I said “well, there’s a bit more on the outro Joe, if you wouldn’t mind playing that?” He said “oh yeah,” “Do you wanna hear it?” “No, no just let it roll.” So I cued him in and that was it. The first take on the outro was some of the most stunning guitar playing of that genre I’ve ever heard, and he just did it, as if it was jamming on stage, it was just perfect.” Ian is also embracing new technology with this landmark record by releasing it exclusively in DualDisc format, with the DVD side containing bonus tracks, making of films, bootleg video footage (Deep Purple with Joe Satriani) and pictures galore. “I’m sick to death of these broken bits of plastic that they sell CDs in. I used to have so much joy when I’d get a vinyl album, a gatefold album and I’d turn the pages and see all the candid photographs and all the anecdotes from the recording studio and poems and pictures

“The first take on the outro was some of the most stunning guitar playing of that genre I’ve ever heard, and he just did it, as if it was jamming on stage, it was just perfect.” – Ian on Joe Satriani’s contribution Lordy (Jon Lord, original Deep Purple keyboard player) and it was very encouraging. We did the bed-tracks with live vocals and just transposed one musician at a time into this thing and it worked out great. It was the most joyful, well equally the most joyful album I’ve ever made, to one or two others.” In fact only Queen’s Brian May was unavailable to contribute (“he was up to his eyeballs with the Queen thing with Paul Rodgers and said he just couldn’t take his eye off the ball there”). Not a bad line-up to come and jam on some of the best songs in rock. The question was, of course, fitting the right musicians to the right tracks. Occasionally that was an easy task: “Obviously I wanted Tony Iommi to play on Trashed [originally on the Born Again album Ian did with Black Sabbath] and then we had the idea ‘lets get Ian Paice and Roger Glover to play on that as well’ and obviously we wanted Ian Paice on Smoke… because his light touch on that is absolutely the key to it.” But the way other tracks developed wasn’t so straight forward. One of these was the Bob Dylan cover I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight, which Ian used to B U R N M A G A Z I N E | w w w. b u r n m a g . c o . u k

two hours, the two of us with an acoustic guitar and microphone and a bar stool for a hand drum. During that time we went through the entire Everly Brothers repertoire I think, so I said “you remember that night in Dublin? Can you do an Everly Brothers thing on this Bob Dylan song?” He was making a record at the time, so he did it in his garage and sent it over to me. So what we have now is an Episode Six inspired Bob Dylan song with a zydeco feel and an Everly Brothers kind of overlay on it, with some country pickin’ and piano playing. I think it’s an absolute gem!” The song selection for the record is near perfect. Alongside obvious inclusions like Smoke On The Water (“we got everyone to play on Smoke On The Water. So there’s four different solos on the DVD to select”) and Speed King there’re superb picks from Gillan’s non-Purple career including the grooving Bluesy Blue Sea with Janick Gers, Day Late And a Dollar Short with Ronnie James Dio and Uli Jon Roth and Men of War with Steve Morse and Johnny Rzeznik (Goo Goo Dolls), all coming together to give a live, fresh and coherent representation of

and all the design extensions from the recording of the album. So I told John Trickett at the record label that I wanted to sell the CD in a book. He said “Ah, well, the traditional problem is they won’t be able to rack that in the stores” and all that sort of thing, he said “I know the answer, we’ll do a DualDisc,” he said “that way you can do everything you want to do electronically.” So that’s what we’ve done.” Gillan’s Inn is out now and you can read a review of the Deep Purple headliner at the Monsters of Rock festival in Milton Keynes on page 53. (“Yeah, how peculiar, we’re headlining the Monsters of Rock about two weeks ahead of headlining the Montreux Jazz Festival. And that, I think, sums up Deep Purple”), and then he hopes to have some kind of 40th Anniversary “shindig” later in the year. Finally, on a personal note, please Ian, bring out a special edition in a book like you wanted to in the beginning. It’s a brilliant album and it deserves a brilliant release. Everyone will agree with me when they’ve scratched their DualDiscs beyond use. Ta. 027


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breed 77 www.breed77.com Not many things come from Gibraltar, especially when it comes to rock bands. At least, that is, until Breed 77 (pronounced Breed Seven-Seven) came along. Mixing an already unique brand of metal with ethnic influences farmed from their Gibraltan culture, Breed 77 have been cutting their teeth on the London music scene for the past decade - and building up a loyal fan base along the way. So loyal, in fact, that the band’s debut album, Breed 77, originally released in 2001, was re-released last year due to increasing public demand. There aren’t that many bands that can boast an album re-release so soon after the original was released, “It felt really good, because we didn’t really have the publicity to have the album out in all the shops when it was first released,” singer Paul Isola explains, “It’s good though, because it gives our current fans a new way to look back and see where we started.”

After the band’s self-titled debut in 2001, they instantly began work on their second album, Cultura, which was released in 2004 and received a great public and critical reception, helping to pull the band into the mainstream spotlight - inevitably changing the type of fans that the band would attract? “It’s really just a progression from the first album to Cultura, so I think it welcomed the same sort of people. Maybe where we’d pick up new fans on Cultura is on the softer, ballady tracks,” Paul reasons. “When we wanted to do a ballad, we really went for it. But we tried to avoid coming off sounding like a metal band doing soft songs.” Breed 77’s music often perfectly combines the heavier aspects of metal with the softer and more creative elements of their own culture, which finally seems to have penetrated the UK market and picked up a few fans; as seen when the second single off of Cultura, The River, crept into the UK Top 40 Chart at Number 39, “The Top 40 is something you read and hear a lot about when you’re a kid,” Paul says. Seemingly always a dream for any UK band, be

they rock or pop, finally getting into the Top 40 is something that Breed 77 can be extremely proud of, “Getting into the Top 40 has always seemed like an unattainable goal - it’s full of this very elite group of people: usually pop bands and girl groups, and occassionally indie bands,” Paul reveals. “We felt very proud of making it, and it feels like a big middle finger stuck up to the state of the music industry - that this small Gibraltan rock band could get through into that elite group! It’s a great feeling of accomplishment.” It’s not hard to see that Breed 77 are growing exponentially in popularity as time goes by; a fact most accurately reflected with the news that the band were nominated for the Best British Band award up against (comparitively) weathered British rock acts such as Bullet For My Valentine and Lostprophets. Despite just losing out, the band note “It’s a big honour, after all the years we’ve been together. It stands as a good indication that what we’ve been doing has been affecting people enough to get us nominated for that.”

Words: Seb Willett ✪ Live Pics: Chiaki Nozu

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Without trying to re-state the obvious, Breed 77 are doing extremely well for themselves at the moment - hitting the Top 40, a Best British Band nomination, and two fantastic albums. It gets better. The band have just completed work on their third studio album, In My Bood (En Mi Sangre), due for release in July of this year, and it’s an abso-bloody-lutely fantastic. Maintaining the heaviness they always put out, Breed 77 are taking it to another level with their cultural influences on this album, “There’s different areas we’ve explored musically, but we still have the same intention and ideas; the classical rock songwriting perspective, but with ethnic touches from our background thrown in,” Paul tells me. Previously, culturally influenced metal had been stricly limited to the private stamping grounds of bands such as Sepultura and Ill Nino, but Breed 77 aren’t about to relinquish their roots in surrender, “We always try to keep our roots showing, especially coming from Gibraltar - our flamenco and moloko touches - we feel it’s important to keep these things in our music.” Paul pauses for

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a moment, then adds, “It’s because we have these unique roots that makes us sound the way we do. We’re proud of our roots.” Conversely, bands such as Sepultura have been seen to be toning down their cultural influences in recent years, is this something that Breed 77 would ever consider? “We’re just going to carry on as we are,” they say. “All the people that have started listening to us in recent years are listening to us because they like what we’re doing. We don’t want to be one of those bands that’s just a part of the pack, sounding the same as all the others.” And, considering the stagnating nature of today’s music scene, right across the genres (even rock is suffering from the lack of diversity in its sound), musical integrity and individuality is something that Breed 77 are fighting hard to maintain, “Our music has a very unique stamp on it. Immediately you can tell who’s doing what in our band. That’s part of our special identity you can tell that it’s us playing. Although, there’s some side project stuff going on at the moment and they’re quite diverse... Nothing has

been made public or recorded, because it’s the kind of stuff you just keep to yourself for the moment - we’re all just so busy and so into Breed 77. Maybe once we’re done touring next year, we’ll release some of that stuff.” And, as promised, the new album has that very unique Breed 77 stamp on it: relentlessly powerful rock matched against delicate and soothing cultural instrumentation, but without sounding musically familiar, “This time around, we’ve been toying around a lot with new instruments - mandolins for example,” guitarist Pedro Caparro reveals. “Bands such as Led Zeppelin and REM have used mandolins a lot, so we thought we’d give it a try. We have a couple of songs with mandolin on, which was interesting because I had to learn how to play it!” He chuckles. “We’re always trying to take our music and our musicianship to the next level, using Chinese instruments for example. It’s exciting for us as the band as well as to the listeners - we like to try and constantly break through our own barriers and go for more. There’s some pretty risky songs on this album. Some of the songs

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breed 77 www.breed77.com are definitely different from what you’d find on Cultura, but the influence still comes from all the same places: our roots and our taste for heavy music.” It’s the bands taste for blending their cultural and heavy rock influences that attracted the eye of producer Ron Saint Germain, who has spent the last few years crediting work with legendary bands such as Tool and Soundgarden to his name. Considering how many producers are beginning to out-shine the bands they produce in recent times (Rick Rubin, Bob Rock, Ross Robinson), having your music produced by a high profile producer might seem to overshadow the actual recording, “It was actually a very good experience for us - everything was recorded in analog and on 2inch tape,” Paul says, with more than a hint of pride in his voice. Few bands in the modern industry record in an analog format anymore, instead relying on digital recording direct to hard disk, in essence providing an unlimited number of extremely high quality takes that can be mixed and matched to achieve the best results, “I don’t like to say the word, but it’s almost cheating. Anybody can cut an album nowadays with this technology, but we really felt it was a challenge to do it the old way - just plugging in and playing!” Pedro tells me. Many audiophiles vilify modern digital recording and strongly defend the almost ‘live’ feel of analog recording onto vinyl, something that Breed 77 can definitely associate with, “You can feel it on the recording - it’s very alive and maintains that unique energy,” Pedro notes. Paul agrees, “You don’t get that much on albums nowadays; everything has that cold, heavily processed feel because it’s been recorded digitally.” As well as many bands turning to modern music production methods, such as ProTools (a staple programme of the digital recording industry), many new formats for music consumption have been cropping up in parallel with the decline of vinyl - cassette

tapes, CD’s, Mini-Disks and more recently, MP3. Many artists see MP3 tracks as the bane of their existence - initially coming into the public eye as a method to illegally download songs from the Internet, many artists are now beginning to embrace the MP3 revolution and sell their tracks online. But, there’s still an extraordinary amount of free (illegal) tracks available for download, “I think it’s both good and bad,” Paul muses. “It’s good because it allows kids that don’t have so much money to get into a band’s music - but there’s a fine line. I’m the kind of person that downloads a couple of songs, but whatever I like, I’ll end up buying anyways!” So Breed 77 advocate copyright-breaching downloads? “Well, like I said, there’s a fine line. Being in a band and a part of the record industry, you need to make a living! I’m not sure I agree with Metallica though...” Paul is referring to the case of Metallica versus Napster. Napster was founded in 1999 by American college student Shawn Fanning, and by early 2000 was estimated to have almost 70 million active members, uploading and exchanging illegal copies of songs. By 2001, an army of music industry lawyers, spearheaded by an anti-Napster campaign by Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, had effectively shut-down the service, “Maybe to Metallica it was that important,” Paul speculates. “But, for bands like us, it’s actually quite helpful. It gets us heard by a far wider audience. Although, I think if an album is leaked before its actual release... I think it defeats the purpose and novelty of bringing out an album.” Despite disapproving of Metallica’s letigious side, Breed 77 still hold a great deal of respect for the metal overlords, “I would love to be as big as a band like Metallica or Iron Maiden in 5 years time!” Paul chuckles, “Bands like that just endure and carry on playing what

they play. I’d love to be like that. And ideally, we’d like to tour with Metallica! But, at the moment we’ve been busy touring for ourselves...” Paul is referring to Breed 77’s recent support slots with Fear Factory and Ill Nino, which saw the band take to a variety of venues across the UK. But, even to the untrained ear, Fear Factory and Ill Nino are worlds apart in the way they write and present their music, “Fear Factory aren’t really the same style as us or Ill Nino - they have a far more mechanical approach, its a far more archetypal metal sound,” Pedro says. “It’s always a pleasure touring with big bands though. Ill Nino in particular, we toured with them 2 or 3 years ago, and it went really well. We share the same kind of audience - the kind of people who like heavy music with that Latin influence. But, we were received really positively by both sets of fans; we really look forward to touring with either band again.” In holding true to their love for their fans, the band recently toured a number of small venues around the country, playing a set composed entirely of new material taken from In My Blood (En Mi Sangre). It’s not rare for a band to take a new song or two out on tour, but to play a live set consisting entirely of new material is almost unheard of, “We did 9 or 10 show - more like showcases actually - in small, intimate venues around the country to our fans,” explains Pedro, “It went incredibly well, because the audiences hadn’t heard any of the material before, so the reaction was great - it went perfectly!” Considering how well the British public are receiving Breed 77 and their unique brand of ethnic-metal, it seems inevitable that another album is on the way, “Well, we haven’t really been thinking about a next album just yet,” Paul notes. “We guarantee it’ll be good though! But we’re really busy still working in support of In My Blood (En Mi Sangre) at the moment. That’s not to say we’re not writing - once you start touring again, and getting out on the road, you start getting ideas for more songs.” Paul agrees, adding “That’s what’s so good about touring! Once you get back out on the road, you start getting that itch to composing more songs.” With streaming energy, it seems Breed 77 aren’t afraid to put in the work to get somewhere. With 3 albums under their belt, a fourth in the pipeline, as well as rumours of side project material and extensive touring, it doesn’t sound like Breed 77 are going to relinquish any of that energy any time soon. As the interview draws to a close, I ask Paul where he thinks the band will be in 10 years time. “It’d be nice to think in 10 years time that somebody would pick up our album and say “Wow, these guys were doing something totally different to what everyone else was doing at the time”,” he confides. He finally adds, “But, life has many turns, so we’ll have to wait and see where we’ll be.” I think I can safely say that if the band continue to build in popularity as steadily as they have been in the past few years, then Breed 77 will be a name we’ll all be hearing a lot more in the years to come. w w w. b u r n m a g . c o . u k | B U R N M A G A Z I N E


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The Wishing Well Nightwish burst onto the scene here in the UK when they released an extraordinary video to accompany an extraordinary song - even if you didn’t like the music, it still commanded that you sit and watch to the end. Groundbreaking might not be a bad word to bandy around: Mr Smith meets up with Mr Holopainen... It’s the kind of story that normally starts with; “and then, just as we were getting someplace, the shit hit the fan...” Only trouble is the guys are far more professional than I about it and don’t quite put it like that. Either that or they’re so well versed from being asked about it a hundred times a day that answers now drip from their tongues. The ‘it’ that we’re referring to is of course the very public ‘letting go’ of Tarja, their previously very visible vocalist. In fact as far as high profile sackings go, it plays second fiddle only to Stiv Bators departure from Lords of the New Church, where he infamously saw his own job advertised in Melody Maker before they had told him and subsequently had the ad made into a tshirt that he wore at their show that night. Most of you have no idea what I’m talking about do you... The Nightwish story however, is this decades high profile case. Odd to some perhaps that a European metal band should make so many headlines but at the time Nightwish were starting to make some serious waves, especially after Nemo made it to TV courtesy of Scuzz and Kerrang! Fuelled by a great song, a great video and a great visual edge in the form of Tarja, it was all coming together to the point where the female fronted European TridentTM of Nightwish, Lacuna Coil and Within Temptation where causing tidal waves in the industry. For a magazine it’s a gift from the Gods - hot female singers with brains and voices that shatter glass. Sure... bring it the fuck on! Cut to present day: I have a great respect for Tuomas for doing what he (and collectively the band) did. Most would have been tempted to ride out whatever storm it was to get just a little bit further in the industry, but they chose integrity and that takes balls of steel. But I have to ask the question don’t I... Tuomas, what’s the big plan now bro? “Well, we’re still looking for the right person to front the band. Whatever happened between us doesn’t take away from the fact that she has left a big hole. It was the right thing to do, but she is still a hard act to follow. “We’ve had demo tapes and CDs in from so many people and they are still arriving now and we listen to all of them. Some you instantly know that it’s not going to happen, some we need to investigate further, but nobody has B U R N M A G A Z I N E | w w w. b u r n m a g . c o . u k

jumped out as us and made us say ‘she’s the one!’ I wish one of them would sometimes, but this is work and we respect each other in this band and the band itself as an entity. “Whoever we find will have to fit in real well because we’ll be taking it to the road and Nightwish is a long term thing - when you’re in a band you’re a family and it’s like living together. It’s an important decision.”

If you know of Nightwish even a little bit, you know that anything less than somebody even better than Tarja in every way will not work. The bar is set too high. It’s a task I don’t envy of them at all. On the positive side of the coin, at least it was just starting for the band over here in the UK. Back home they’ve sold gazillions of albums already, but like I said, it was Nemo that made the UK prick up it’s ears. In reality, they have lost very little ground over here and have rustled up a comfortable bit of publicity in the process as well. Is that a reasonable box to put you in for the purposes of asking what happens next? “Sure, it’s true and if you’re going to look at it in those terms, over in America, which is a country we really want to hit and make the band happen in, apart from those pockets of underground fans that everybody gets, we’re unknowns. Ha, maybe nobody in America will notice! “It’s a good point and one that we’re really aware of but what is important is that our fans, the people that buy our music, understand why we did what we did and why we are going through this very careful selection process now.” ...and that’s pretty much the story of the Nightwish camp right now. A band with more integrity than most by making a rough situation into a positive one by knowing exactly what they want and refusing to settle for anything less than the best there is on offer. It’s a hard task, and when you think about it, it’s probably going to be a long road ahead of them too - there’s an awful lot of songs in the bag and some big shoes to fill. But we’ll be here... waiting.

I wondered if they have a time limit that they’ve set themselves but I didn’t get to ask because I thought I had a great idea, so I ask it; have you ever considered not having a female and going with a guy who’s in the same vein? “A lot of the magazines have been asking us that same question and the answer is no. It just wouldn’t work for us. It wouldn’t fit the songwriting style that we have. “Tarja was in the band because we wrote songs and her voice brought out what we were trying to say in those songs. That’s the main reason, but if we brought a guy in, what about the back catalogue of songs? They wouldn’t work at all and it would change the whole dynamic of the band.” Well, that put me in my place, but the reality is that the guys are adamant about this and that’s awesome. I have never come across a band before who were so focussed on what their goal as a collective - and you know what else? They’re right.

We have 2 copies of the Nightwish: End of an Era box set to give away here. It’s damn fine too containing a DVD that shows the band off at it’s best and backed up by two CDs that pretty much shows off everything that was great about that line up. Want the chance to win one before the fairies take them away? Send us an email to comps@burnmag.co.uk with the answer to this question in the subject line: Who is Nemo? (and if anybody tries to be smart and says a small orange and white saltwater fish, it will go straight in the trash). Entries in by July 31 please. Failing that, go buy it. It’s good stuff and available through Nuclear Blast. 033


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The Cherry

Bomb

Buckcherry - what the fuck is there not to love about them? They look like a real band, they play like a real band - man they even kick your ass like a real band. Odds on self destruction? Coming off the back of their debut you would have thought those odds were quite high as the press dubbed them the new GnR and they hit the road - but you would have lost your money because they managed to squeeze out a second album before the time honoured tradition of self imploding was taken care of. It’s not as bad a story as it could have been, but it sure ain’t nice either: When the self titled

debut hit the racks it was met with a frown from most of the world. Buckcherry had mastered the art of impeccably bad timing. It arrived in an era where grunge was just turning into whatever they call what came after. Whatever that was, it certainly wasn't into an environment where real deal rock n roll was widely accepted, and yet, it was a very successful album for the band. Most of us got left behind when Seattle took over the world and Buckcherry were the first band out of the blocks who really didn’t care. Todd picks up the thread: “It was a weird time. We were aware of what was going on in the world, but fuck, if you pay any attention to that shit, you’d never do anything never mind anything that you actually wanted to do! “We were just doing what we always wanted to do and that was being in a great rock n roll band. We were following a tradition. “I’m really proud of that first album. There were a whole lot of great songs on it - the playing was good too, but by the time we came to record Timebomb (the bands second album), we were all feeling a little bit jaded with the scene. There were so many things that contributed

Words: Sion Smith Live Pics: Wayne Herrschaft to that, the business, the road - it’s your typical rock n roll band story. It’s probably no different to anybody else's but it’s our story” Todd is in good spirits and rightly so. With their new album Fifteen, they’ve successfully navigated a (50%) reunion and come back with an album that sounds like it was recorded a week after the first! “I love the new album. I hear what you’re saying about it being in the same ballpark as the debut but it feels very different to me. “We did a lot of things differently this time around and to be honest with you, there were a lot of songs that had some time to bed in. We made absolutely the best album we could. “There’s a few more ballads on there than previously, but fuck they’re great ballads and lyrically, they’re a little bit away from the norm. We wanted to have as much airplay as possible off the back of this album which is part of the reason for that, but also, they’re great songs that couldn’t be left off! “We drafted in some extra help to get them going to the right place, so what we have there is some big Aerosmith type songs that really do the business.” No lie there - just check out the huge blues riffs that go to make up Sorry. Mr Perry couldn’t have done it better himself - there’s more than just the self destruction parallel to be made between the two bands - particularly when you catch wind of the first single off the album. Crazy Bitch is infectious as hell - talking of which, that’s one pretty raunchy video. “Well, we didn’t have all the money in the world as we’ve financed this ourselves so we hired this club and invited anybody that wanted to be in the video down while we performed the song over and over. “We didn’t ask any of the girls to do the things they did - it’s all voluntary. Kick ass, but voluntary all the same! It came out really well, then we just cut it with the bits of us performing in the bathroom. That’s one of the things that’s really made people sit and take notice of us this time around - not that it will get played anywhere on the TV! Thank fuck for the internet. “That damn thing kept us alive and once it started to snowball, it picked up speed at one hell of a pace. Things sound pretty good right now don’t they!” Bro - you forgot something there - I hate it to mention it but those two words Velvet and w w w. b u r n m a g . c o . u k | B U R N M A G A Z I N E


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buckcherry www.buckcherry.com

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buckcherry www.buckcherry.com Revolver must have helped keep your name in the spotlight over the last few years. For what it’s worth, it sounded like the best thing ever to me! “That too,” he laughs. “You know it was what it was. I thought we were pretty damn good too. I guess for the other guys, the chemistry just wasn’t there, or it wasn’t what they wanted What are the odds on you getting your sorry asses over here then? “Man, you know, it’s one of those things we’d love to do every day of the year but the logistics of it are frightening. Gotta say though, it looks more likely now than it ever has. The feedback from Europe is real positive - so let’s see what happens.” That’s all there is folks. With a band like Buckcherry, you can guarantee there’s rowdiness going on behind the scenes adnd in the spaces in between, real rock n roll songs are being written and killer sets are being performed. 2006 ain’t a bad place to be at all.

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the hills have eyes: the directors int Beren Neale interviews The Hills Have Eyes director Alexandre Aja Alexandre Aja’s basic rule to making a horror movie is deceptively simple: “I think if you want to scare the audience, scare them as much as possible, you should always keep on the side of the victim and not the murderers.” Not brain surgery then, but this simple statement betrays the French filmmaker’s rejection of comedic watering down and the meticulous joy in depicting tension and trauma that is evident throughout his work. At the age of 24, Aja made his name among European audiences and critics alike with the survival film (or “bawdy fairytale”), Switchblade Romance. With a passion that dates back to his childhood for the uncompromising horror movies of the 1970s, Aja wanted nothing less than to extend the horror audience in France: “There’s a huge co-audience community in Spain and the UK and Italy, but in France we are really only like 200,000,” explains Aja. “I think we opened up some doors that were a little closed with Switchblade Romance - when it opened in

France it was really big, so maybe it’s going to be the same with The Hills Have Eyes.” The remake of Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes was a potential breakthrough film in America for Aja, but his basic love for scaring people wasn’t compromised by a desire to gather larger audiences. His retelling of the 1970s genre-defining film sees the all-American Carter family stranded in the New Mexico desert after their car breaks down, with nuclear-tested country mutants bent on cannibalism, rape and torture. However, the bloody makeover of the unrefined original elevates the film into the rare category of remakes that equal, if not surpass, the original. Although a self-proclaimed Craven fan, Aja was determined about which stage of Craven’s career he wanted to echo with The Hills Have Eyes, deciding on the relentless cruelty of his first films and bypassing the comedic content that came later. “There’s a huge difference between [Craven’s debut] The Last House on the Left, which is really scary, and The Hills Have Eyes which is cult for different reasons,” explains Aja. “The Hills is cult because it’s so kitsch; the acting, the wardrobe, the phoney lines, everything makes the movie fun in a dark

and evil way. But it’s not scary. So what we tried was to basically take the concept of The Hills and put it in the direction more of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” It’s fitting that Aja mentions another classic that has been remade this decade to the praise of both fans and critics, and he sees the trend as symptomatic of a generation disillusioned with the genre: “It’s coming from a generation of filmmakers that were so frustrated and so unhappy with the 90s, and it’s because of Wes Craven in a way.” Aja’s love for the master’s work, it would seem, is not blind. “Scream and what followed Scream was so ironic, with no real scary moments, so we had to get back to the video club and rent all his movies from the 70s.” But what did the earlier films have that the genre-savvy films of the 1990s didn’t? “Many directors tried to revive the feel of the 70s visceral, brutal, without compromise straight to the point, showing violence if you want to, the audience being traumatised as the protagonist.” This savagery, and in particular the sexual violence of The Hills, did not go unnoticed by the Motion Picture Association of America

Look at me like that again and I’ll knock that flag out of your head.. Inset: Alexandre Aja

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Beware of shadowy figures with an axe to grind. How many slasher flicks do you need to watch to know it will end in tears!

(MPAA) and nearly eight minutes were cut from the film’s theatrical release. Aja, however, is puzzled by the organisation’s logic: “These people don’t have brains. They’re not thinking at all; they are not able to make the difference between the violence which is attractive and the violence which is repulsive. At one point I was explaining to them that if the raping of Brenda is too short people are going to find it normal. If you want to show them that raping is a really bad thing you have to show it as real life.” Something, he argues, that was done to profound effect in Gaspar Noé’s Irreversible, a film which includes one of the most extended, horrific rape scenes committed to film. “Imagine the same movie if the MPAA had brought it down to an NC-17 [from R-rated] cutting the raping of Monica Bellucci’s character. You’d be like: ‘Yeah OK, she’s been raped’. [The MPAA] are more interested that the audience is eating popcorn while watching the film, and if they stop eating because it’s too violent, then, we have to cut.” Although his summation of America’s major censoring authority may be a little narrow, he’s spot on about two things: that people will always be drawn to films that are barbarous and bloodthirsty and that a responsibility lies with the filmmaker in grasping the difference between “attractive” and “repulsive” violence. With the uncut version of The Hills Have Eyes released June 26 on DVD you can judge for yourself how Alexandre Aja has done on both counts. B U R N M A G A Z I N E | w w w. b u r n m a g . c o . u k

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live www.friendsoflive.com

Love Shin 040

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How Live have managed to slip under the radar of the mainstream media for what is the best part of ten years remains one of life’s great mysteries to those who have been inaugurated into the fold. With a body of work that would shame most bands into submission, Live return to the UK with their latest opus and, well… here we go…

es ON Words: Sion Smith

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If you’ve any history at all with the band Live, you might imagine Ed Kowalczyk to be some kind of tripped out fuck if you’ve been judging the man and the band on their lyrical stance for the past 12 years. Nothing could be further from the truth though and though I never expected somebody quite SO down to earth, that’s exactly what I got. Quietly spoken and yet, firm in every single answer he makes, we gel very early on (which isn’t always the case believe me), so much so that the interview slot we were given wasn’t even half as long as we could have gone for, but for now… on with the show: “I’m really proud of the new album. I think it shows another dimension to the band that we’ve not brought out before”, Ed states. I’m in agreement. Although as pointed out in the review last issue, some albums you’re going to love before they’re even released, but Songs from Black Mountain is a little bit different in many ways. The band seem a lot more relaxed and able to settle into a groove with this one – almost like there’s nothing to prove, for a short time at least, they’re able to kick back and stomp about the earth their hearts on their sleeves. “I think that’s a fair assumption. With the release of Awake, (the greatest hits compilation, or whatever you want to call it), it was the first time since we started the band that I was actually able to put a landmark point on something but also look back at what we’ve achieved over those years because when you’re in a band the years seem to merge on you and it’s not until you stop at a point like that, that you’re able to see clearly”. Thank the Gods then that the band ended their previous record contract with a compilation rather than a break, which as we all know, has been the death of many a rock machine. “Not even on the cards man, but yeah, we’re a lot more relaxed at the moment – we’re really looking forward to playing in the UK…” Yeah – about that. For a band that has never really been taken on board as a flagship rock band in the purest sense of the term, they have a unbelievably intense following. I see it worked out like this. First there was Mental Jewelry which pretty much skipped across everybody’s radar. Then came the diamond studded Throwing Copper (eight times platinum!) which drew in what we’ll call the ‘loyal’ who proceeded to tell everyone they knew about their discovery (and man, do us rockheads like discovering things for the first time!). Thus, the bands fate was sealed with a great album. Following on from that, Secret Samhedi was the album that separated the men from the boys... is it reasonable to say that Samhedi was the album that you really found yourself as a lyricist – or even as a band member who was comfortable to put his soul on the line as opposed to just his thoughts? 041


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live www.friendsoflive.com “There were things going on in my life and in the band that made me into a slightly different person than I was when we started out. It scared a lot of people off that album! I’m not sure why because to us it was just a logical extension of where we had been before”. Among the peer group I was with, the response was the same. It seemed to be mostly those who liked to get plastered at a Live show and shout for the song Shit Town all the way through the set that left the band behind, but the subsequent album just got better and better – until, for me at least, they released the best album of their career in the shape of Birds of Pray. “I felt like I’d hit a persona high with that album - it was a culmination of many things coming together for us as well”. Throughout the interview, Ed nearly always refers to anything to do with the band as being so - and by that I mean he is always aware that this isn’t just about him, and that’s quite unusual. As a unit in the public eye, they have always been a band too rather than Ed and some other guys, although it’s Ed most are familiar with by the very nature of the business. “We never really had to be put through that crappy machine where one of the band gets singled out as being the one in charge. It started to happen when Throwing Copper came out, but we backed right off from it and we’ve

been framed as a band ever since - and to be honest with you, I’m so thankful for that. “It’s a dumb game that’s pointless playing. It’s not what we ever wanted to be and the fans are very accepting - and sometimes I think, very thankful for that. We’re here to make music and not much else!” Can we touch on the spirituality aspect of the lyrics for a moment? “Sure”. You appear to be coming from an angle of a universal GodMind, sorry - I don’t think I just have made that phrase up! “Y’know it’s hard for anybody to integrate themselves with the world as a kid, as a teenager and also as an adult. I take what I need from what I find. There are good things about the teachings of many religions, there are also great things about knowledge that isn’t affiliated to any religion and it’s all equally valid. It’s there to be used and as the world gets smaller and access to information and teachers is better than it’s ever been, the pool of knowledge to draw on is huge. I don’t see why, as men, we should box ourselves away from good things. Like I was saying before, we’re not a band to write lyrics about our antics on the road and we’ve completely managed to appear as a band rather than Ed and some other guys for many years now - in fact I think everyone has given up on trying to single me out as a frontman.

“Although there’s a lot of personal spirituality in our lyrics, particulalry from myself, it’s more about pushing consciousness, allowing people to investigate more of themselves and putting forward a very positive world view. “We came away from maybe delivering that in such a full on way a little bit with Birds [of Pray]. I realised that whatever the world goes through, be it war or whatever, it keeps moving on and so does everybody in it.” Safe to say that having two daughters helps to colour that view? I’ve got two as well and I never realised just how selfish I was until they turned up! “Man you got that right! One day there I was happily going about the business of Ed and the next day, somebody else had taken over all my emotions! It’s certainly life changing to the point where you forget who that other person you used to be was after a time. You come to realise that all the things you thought were important aren’t - you get completely restructured by it”. “You know, some of the critics out there thought we would lose our fan base by shifting the lyrical tone, but it wasn’t like that at all. The great thing about the fans of this band is that they move with us. They let us say what we have to say and they’re able to say their own thing too. It’s a two way street. We’re not on a pedastal where you can’t touch us, it’s really more like an extended family. “With Songs from Black Mountain, we’re really cementing that relationship - we’re still in the same frame of mind that we’ve always been in which essentially to deliver great songs and be the best band that we can. We don’t so much change as evolve - with our ‘on the road’ album [Samadhi I presume], where a lot of bands lay out their ‘coming home stories’ we dealt with by bringing a different frame of mind in and so it’s always continued with us. I tend to tell stories as to where my head is at rather than where my body happens to be.” With this new album about to be released globally over the coming weeks, the future is looking as positive as it ever did. Black Mountain will be picked up by the loyal and over the following months will filter out as always by word of mouth to more and more followers. As discussed earlier, their trip to the UK will be met with some serious anticipation. Bring it on!

sed of performing LIVE's finalist Chris Daughtry was accu On season 5 of American Idol, This angered some LIVE own. his it g the Line” and callin rendition of Johnny Cash's “I Walk ition, even saying LIVE rend acknowledged it was not his own fans, but one week later Daughtry ard Stern Show and How The on ared appe LIVE May 2006, was one of his favorite bands. In e call. “He's since phon onal pers gave Daughtry a addressed this issue. Ed Kowalczyk a great guy.” and r singe t grea a ally actu s “He' Ed. apologized profusely to me,” said a lot of things in the said: “It wasn't my doing. You say In a later inter view, Chris Daughtry time constraints. I for out ng gets involved, things get cut [pretaped] inter view, and when editi I totally respect. band a from on versi rent diffe a I'm doing did mention in my inter view that a lot since. It's ng talki been e We'v ’ , don't listen to that. Ed Kowalczyk, called me to say, ‘Man into music. Ed Kowalczyk get to me ired insp that band the really cool for me, because that's cool to get that kind of respect.” is my favorite singer. It was really the season finale of Daughtry performed “Mystery” on Chris On May 24, 2006, the band and American Idol.

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wwe divas: maria www.wwe.com/superstars/raw/maria

Loitering with intent intent...

Words: Brian Elliott Pics: Courtesy WWE

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wwe divas: maria www.wwe.com/superstars/raw/maria Once you know that punk band Zebrahead’s new track is called “With Legs Like That”, and that it is included on World Wrestling Entertainment’s new album “Wreckless Intent”, you can quickly begin to decipher which WWE performer was the inspiration behind its writing. “Greg (Bergdorf) and I in particular are wrestling fans,” guitar player and vocalist Matty Lewis told us, “and we both think that Maria is fantastic. Not only does she have great legs, she’s got a great personality, too. She’s a bubbly, happy girl. We wrote the song with her directly in mind.” When Burn told her of Lewis’ words, Maria – in London to promote the album - was quick to return the praise for the Californian group. “I thought the song was amazing. I’d really like to thank them for it. I’m finding it a weird coincidence because I’m just getting into punk music at the moment, and here is a track with definite punk influences. It’s a tremendous compliment to have a song written about me.” A standout dancer and former Hawaiian Tropic model, Maria has recently come to the fore on the WWE flagship show “Raw”. But had it not been for her friends, the 25 year old is certain that she wouldn’t be calling herself a WWE Diva. “If not for them, I never would have entered the Diva Search competition,” she said. “I was a wrestling fan at the time, and I really admired what the girls could do. My friends kept telling me that I could do that, and I ended up officially entering with only a few hours until

deadline. Although I didn’t win the Diva search, I was delighted to be offered a contract a few weeks later.” On television, Maria plays up to her innocent good looks with more than a hint of naïve schoolgirl thrown in. It’s a character that has endeared her not only to Zebrahead, but also to millions of fans worldwide. “Of course, part of it is really me,” she said, “but part of it is acting too. So whilst I am just as happy-go-lucky in real life, I’m not quite as dumb! Actually, the inspiration for that part of the character comes from an ex-boyfriend who used to drive me crazy by calling me ‘stupid’. So every time that my character says something silly, that’s a dig right back at him.” Speaking of boyfriends. Maria admits that the schedule that she has to keep as a WWE performer is strenuous to say the least. Especially so when it comes to being apart from her current boyfriend, up-and-coming wrestler CM Punk. “It’s very hard being away from him. But he’s been in this business now for ten years, and it’s his dream. I really hope that soon he’ll be brought into the WWE, and we’ll get to spend a lot more time together. At the moment, I just send a gazillion text messages!” Currently, Maria divides her time between appearing on WWE TV, being on tour, and also appearing for Ohio Valley Wrestling, a developmental company financed partially by the WWE. In the limited time she has to herself, Maria takes the chance to catch up on listening

to music. “I’m not a big TV watcher at all,” she said, “I much prefer listening to music, which is great because I can do that even when we travel. I love my I-Pod, and I’ve got all kinds of things on there. I’ve just discovered The Clash, so I’ve got some of their songs. But there’s also Audioslave, Josh Groban, John Mayer, Dave Matthews, Barenaked Ladies, Eminem, J-Lo, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper. I’ve even got some house mixes on there.” But whilst her personal taste certainly appears to be diverse, the content of “Wreckless Intent” is much less so, with ten of the fifteen tracks being heavily guitar driven, much like the majority of past WWE themes composed by inhouse musician Jim Johnston. Maria sees this fact as confirmation that there is a strong bond between wrestling and rock music. “Rock music is tough. It’s in your face. It goes out there and says what it wants to say, with no bullshit. In that, it relates to what we do, and I think that’s why so many of our fans are also rock fans. I think the motives behind rock music are the same motives as you have going into a wrestling match.” As for the future, Maria has no plans to follow former WWE star Stacy Keibler out of the WWE. “At the moment, I’m very conscious of the opportunity that the WWE has given me, and I want to repay them for all they’ve taught me. Maybe I’ll appear in a WWE film, or do a Playboy shoot. I think that could be a lot of fun!”


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“How could I regret all that? It changed my life.” The deep, ominous voice coming down the phone is that of Scott Stapp, ex-singer of twenty times platinum selling band Creed. I had just asked Scott if he regretted anything about being in Creed, “I just found out we were the 23rd biggest selling act of all time,” he elaborates. “You can’t be upset with that!” Formed in Tallahassee, Florida in 1995, Creed originally consisted of Stapp on vocals, Mark Tremonti on guitar, Brian Marshall on bass and Scott Phillips on drums. Their first album, My Own Prison, sold 6 million copies - their second album, Human Clay, saw the band really take off. The album sold 11 million copies, and propelled the band into the mainstream with singles such as With Arms Wide Open and Higher - by early 2000, the band were a household name across America. But, there was a price. Brian Marshall, one of the original innovators of the band, publicly criticised Pearl Jam (whom Creed had been repeatedly likened to) on a radio show and was consequently kicked out of the band to be replaced by Brett Hestla for all subsequent tours. In addition, Fred Durst, cap-wearing front man of rap-metal band Limp Bizkit, verbally attacked the band on numerous tours and ridiculed their music. Despite selling 6 million copies of their third album, Weathered, the band became infamous around the world for their radio-friendly poprock sound and their off-stage controversies. Finally in July 2004, amid an almost insurmountable number of controversies, the band announced their break up, “I definitely think the controversies started to overshadow the music,” Scott reveals. “I mean, all the way up to the present, some things are overshadowing the music.” As well as fighting against controversy, the band seemed to be fighting against their own fame, “With the band, we just became so distant from each other. As the band got bigger and bigger, each band member had their own little groups forming around them,” Scott recalls. “It was almost like we quit talking to each other - the communication just really broke down, and things were getting passed through people; so we were all hearing things through 3 or 4 other people. “We were all still young and trying to learn how to handle everything that was being thrown at us. I think had we all continued to communicate and just been able to sit down in a room and not heed whatever gossip was being spread around... Things may be different.” As well as facing a great deal of controversy with the band, Stapp began developing quite a controversial record of events of his own: well publicised drug and alcohol problems, marital difficulties and even an alleged sex tape. Has this taken its toll on Scott? “The way I have to look at it in order to keep going forward is to say that everything happens for a reason. I believe that as one door closes, another one opens. I tried to deal with it in other ways - I tried to fight it but I realised that was driving me insane,” 046

Justified... Words: Seb Willett

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“I wish those guys the best, they all have families now. And Mark especially, he wants to be seen as a songwriter in his own right. I think it really bothered Mark in Creed, like perhaps he always felt he was in my shadow...

Scott notes. He seems to be referring to his bouts of drug addiction and alcoholism that he has only just recently overcome. “It started to carry over into my personal life, and I never realised how much all that was starting to hurt and anger me. It started turning into self-destruction and developing some negativity in my life,” he reveals, further alluding to his drug and alcohol abuse. “It reared its head again, just as I was beginning work on my solo album - I realised I had to make a change... I had to do something different.” Not letting history repeat itself seems an important concept for Scott, and he seems to treat his time with Creed with a mixture of pride and frustration, “I can finally look back on it all objectively, and be more analytical of myself,” he says. “I can look back at things I’d want to do differently, and look at things I won’t let happen again. I don’t want that success to overwhelm me and the people around me, and I don’t want to let it affect me personally and how I treat myself. I like where I’m at now.” Since the break up, Creed fans around the world have been begging for the answer to the question of “Will there ever be a Creed reunion?” Scott seems reluctant in responding, “I’m never going to close the door on that,” he offers. “That’s something we always said to each other though - we made a lot of promises to each other over the years - but we always said we’d never announce a break up, and obviously that’s changed. “But, I’m never going to close that door; I shared a wonderful experience with those guys that changed my life, and it really helped me develop personally as a songwriter. “Maybe time can heal all the problems we had. I think looking back, as the years go by, all that will come more into perspective and we’ll each realise, “Oh my God, I can’t believe some of the immature things we did... The ways we were handling each other and what we did in our lives... We need to let this go and bury the hatchet”.” After the break up of Creed, Scott took apparently much needed time out of the spotlight to re-evaluate himself. As he rested, his former band-mates Mark Tremonti and Scott Phillips rejoined with original bassist Brian Marshall and new singer Myles Kennedy to form Alter Bridge, a hard rock band harbouring a sound not all that dissimilar from Creed, “I haven’t heard any of that stuff yet,” Scott discloses. “I’ve been so busy working on my own stuff, and when I get into that frame of mind, I’m so overwhelmed with what I’m doing that I don’t really listen to other music. I guess because I’m working on my own thing, and I don’t really want any subconscious influences. “I haven’t really heard their album yet - I’ve been asked about it a few times

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scott stapp www.scottstapp.com before - so it’s probably something I’ll go check out. I think I could listen to it now and it wouldn’t rub me the wrong way. “I wish those guys the best, they all have families now. And Mark especially, he wants to be seen as a songwriter in his own right. I think it really bothered Mark in Creed, like perhaps he always felt he was in my shadow. And initially, with Alter Bridge, Mark was going to be the singer, but the label had other ideas. So really, his dream still hasn’t been fully realised - his dream is to be the front man of a band. I think we’ll probably see that in the next 2 or 3 years, with Mark maybe fronting his own band and singing his own songs.” Despite extensive rumours detailing Scott’s “boisterous” and “aggressive” nature, he seems to be confronting many elements of his past in a more mature and calm manner. Part of this is reflected in his solo album, The Great Divide, released last year. Scott admits some of the songs are a “more gradual departure” from Creed, but many nurture a more noticeably new sound, “The new single, Justify, is really starting to pick up steam here in the States,” Scott says. He adds, “With what’s going on in rock music right now, with Tool and Pearl Jam topping the Billboard Charts, I feel like rock is really starting to reappear, at least commercially, in the States.” With bands like Green Day and Fallout Boy offering an (almost) acceptable alternative to the lacklustre hip-hop mainstream, a new generation is starting to listen to the bands that inspired their heroes. There seems to be an ever-increasing obsession in today’s music scene to strictly label and delineate genres - something that can sometimes pressure a musician. “I definitely feel The Great Divide is a rock record. Of course there are some polar opposites there, but I think that is to be expected from me at this point,” Scott reasons. “With Weathered, I went from a song like Bullets to a song like Lullaby, but with this album I feel I stayed very true to my rock heritage,” Scott continues, “But then again, I tried out some more melodic stuff. I definitely feel comfortable doing that because I don’t feel pigeonholed into one genre - I even wrote a couple of country songs while working on this record.” Such musical diversity is rarely seen in a fullband setting because it would invite complications, so would Scott have ever 048

considered writing a country song with Creed? “Well, that’s the freedom you enjoy as a solo artist - it’s cool to compromise and create with another person - but when it’s just you and your writing, you just go with whatever feels good at the time, according to where your heart and head is.” It seems inevitable that changing his sound and applying a new musical template to himself

would strictly regulate his appeal to existing Creed fans, but Scott isn’t so sure, “I feel like Creed fans will hear my album and get what they always liked with Creed; but they’re also going to hear more of where I’m going in my own future,” Scott says. “Songs like Justify, Reach Out, Fight Song, Hard Way... But then departing from songs like that and going to tracks like The Great Divide and Broken; this album gives the fans a taste of where I’m headed in the future. I could have kept the album heavy and hard all the way, but that’s not where I am at the moment - I like to rock hard for a few songs, and then take it in another direction. I feel that once Creed fans realise I have a solo album out, it’ll really start to take off - that’s kind of what’s happening right now in the States. “I realised that a lot of Creed fans were holding their breath after the break up, hoping

Creed was going to come back. I think now they’re finally realising that it’s not going to happen now, and maybe they should give me a try - the record is starting to resonate with people, and there’s a lot of excitement building.” In previous interviews, Scott has always negated a chance to explain his songs in more detail, instead preferring that the listener interpreted their own meaning from each song, “It’s funny for me to look back on my records and look at some of the songs individually and think that they were on the same album!” Scott laughs. “Sometimes I listen to this record and wonder if Broken [the last track] really fits together with the rest of the songs. But, when I listen to the album in its entirety, I see that it does fit.” Considering his previous attitude towards talking about his work, Scott is uncharacteristically anxious to talk a lot about his new album, and he continues, “It seems to feel that the album is like a story, beginning with the opening track and resolving with the last sometimes it can sound off if it’s not told in the right way. I didn’t mean to do it that way, so I can’t say I had an idea all along to tell a story from one song to the next - I can’t take credit that I was smart enough to do that. I think it just happened that way because writing for the album was very cathartic. That probably explains why I’m starting to depart from my old sound.” Scott explored many new styles and sounds whilst coming up with material for the album - so what about the rest of the songs that he evidently came up with? “There were those country songs, and there were some super eclectic vibey, Pink Floyd kind of stuff. Some of those songs might end up being B-sides or bonus tracks on special releases. There’s some of the heavier stuff, where I was really immersed in my own personal anger - those are good for soundtracks and stuff. Initially I was going to hold off and not let those songs be available, but there’s been so much interest in them I might consider releasing them. “After I realised the band and I weren’t going to do another project together I was trying to figure out “Who am I? What is my sound going to be now?” So I did some of the stuff just to see where my heart was, and to see what felt right for me. I can only play songs that I feel - if w w w. b u r n m a g . c o . u k | B U R N M A G A Z I N E


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I’m not feeling it, I don’t want to play it!” Scott chuckles. The Great Divide is a really good album - it rocks between a powerful heaviness and soulful gentleness, and this isn’t all down to Scott’s evocative vocals. Despite being the primary songwriter in his new project, Scott drafted in a band to pull it all together, “I worked with a group of guys I’ve been friends with since 2000, a band called Goneblind from Houston, Texas. They opened for Creed a few times, so we all became good friends. “When I was getting ready to put a project together, I didn’t feel comfortable not working as part of a band - it didn’t feel right to me. So, about two and a half years ago, I started getting together with the guys and hanging out with them at the house. We’d just hang out and jam on acoustic guitars all night, and we didn’t talk or think about making a record together; we were just playing as artists and musicians. I guess it’s almost like a relationship: I got a divorce from my first band, and now I’m remarried to a new one.

and asked myself “Why me?” But it was cool to see them work together. They didn’t even need to speak, they communicated through their instruments. When Robbie Krieger was tired of Ray talking or whatever, he would make some noise on his guitar and Ray would then talk back through his piano. It was really interesting seeing that dynamic in the band - but it was almost like seeing them without their leader. It’s unfortunate what happened there, and it very well could have been my story over the past few years! Fortunately, I pulled it together and it didn’t end up that way for me.” The Doors are rarely cited as an influence by modern bands; that honour is usually reserved for bands such as Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones, “Oh yeah, Zeppelin, The Stones... And U2 I really admire. Any other artist in that ballpark really,” Scott confirms. But, not one to be lead by questions, he returns to the previous subject. “But working with The Doors was a really surreal experience. I wanted to try and pay tribute to the band and do the best I could, and just do their songs they way they wrote them,” he says. “I intentionally tried to sing exactly, at

“After I realised the band and I weren’t going to do another project together I was trying to figure out “Who am I? What is my sound going to be now?” “I don’t feel right not playing as part of a band - it’s the only way I know how to work. I love being in an environment where everybody respects each other, and everyone can feel free and comfortable to throw out whatever ideas they have - nobody is going to say “Hey, that’s not your role,” or whatever,” Scott declares. “That’s not the way I’ve worked since day one. It’s cool to create in that mutual admiration society, so to speak. It’s just got that mutual respect.” Scott’s choice of band to play with doesn’t seem to have altered the way he wrote or created the album - he’s toured with many bands, so why decide to bring Goneblind in? “Those guys were perfect for me. They’re hungry, and they’ve been together 11 or 12 years now - they’ve had their group and been able to hold it together without any real commercial success; they’ve been touring around in a little min-van RV, booking their own gigs and doing their own things - and somehow these guys have managed to stay together,” Scott reveals, praising the band. “I asked myself “What do these guys have that I couldn’t find in my last project?” And now it’s a kind of all-forone and one-for-all attitude; we’re all in this together, and win or lose, we’re going to be there for each other,” he says. “It’s a safe place for me to be and create in.” Desperately trying to drag the conversation away from his current solo album, I ask Scott about his love for The Doors and Jim Morrison. In 1999, Scott performed at a concert with the surviving members of the band and then went on to contribute tracks to the tribute album, Stoned Immaculate. A dream come true? “Yeah, it was amazing,” Scott proudly reveals. “Before they got together with me, they [the band] hadn’t been in the same room as each other since Jim Morrison died. I felt honoured B U R N M A G A Z I N E | w w w. b u r n m a g . c o . u k

least in my head, the way I heard Jim Morrison sing the songs. And out of the respect I have for those guys, I didn’t tell them that, it was just something I kept in my head. I didn’t want to take anything away or personalise their music to myself, because how can you copy a legend? All you can really do is pay tribute... It was an amazing experience.” A lifelong fan of The Doors, it’s becoming apparent that Scott really likes them, “If you’d have told me when I was 19 years old watching The Doors movie that one day I’d be in a room with them helping keep the peace and getting them back together, I would have told you that you were full of it!” he laughs. “It was a really surreal experience though, and one that I definitely cherish more now... Of course I cherished it at the time, but at the time I had far more distractions. Now, I can look back on it and cherish it more fully. “I’ve made life-long friends out of it too Robbie ended up coming out on tour with Creed and playing at Woodstock - he said, “We missed it the first time around, I don’t want to miss it again!” So I asked him to come out and play with us, and we ended up playing that show in front of half a million people or however many. Robbie came out and we gave him the stage - he owned that show!” Displaying a great deal of tenacity in the face of so much adversity, it looks like there’s a lot more to come from Scott Stapp, “There might be another solo album coming... But right now, The Great Divide is really getting traction here in the States - I don’t know how it’s doing internationally yet, but the new single, Justify, is really starting to take off here,” he notes. “The way it’s looking, I’ll probably be touring right through the summer of next year it’ll probably be 2008 before a follow-up comes out!”

This is the first time Scott has been out on tour since the break up with Creed, and he’s dealing with it in his trademark fashion, “It’s going awesome!” he chuckles. “A lot of radio stations have been finally getting the story of what’s going on with me, and so have the fans - they’ve been great. It’s almost like I’m reconnecting with them, because every time I do a show, it’s like I’m reaching out again and restarting a fire in that city! We’ve been doing that all across the country. We’re going to get over to you guys soon! I think we’re going to be there early next year if we don’t make it by the end of this year.” As part of his current tour, Scott is taking to the road with Australian rock legends INXS, whose own controversy and tragedy (the unfortunate death of charismatic singer Michael Hutchence in 1997 began a period of almost 8 years without a solid line-up) has peppered their history, “We’re going to partner up with INXS to tour the West Coast and Canada, and we’ll be touring until July. It’s going to be cool - I liked the old INXS and it’s interesting what they’re doing now,” Scott muses. “They still have it. The only weird thing is, now, without Michael, it’s different. It’s weird sometimes, because the new guy sounds a lot like Michael, which I think the band wanted. “But one question I always had was “How can you replace Michael Hutchence?” You know? They’re doing a really good tribute to him, though. They almost feel like they’ve mourned long enough, and they’re trying to put the pieces back together, but in a way that’s still respectful to Michael,” Scott reasons. “That’s how they’re presenting it live - when they’re upon stage playing song after song, you’re down in the crowd thinking, “Man, I love this song!” And I was really blown away by their new record; I thought it was really cool. They stayed true to what they’d done in the past. But, like I said, how can you replace Michael Hutchence?” It’s been almost 10 years since Hutchence was found dead in his hotel room in 1997 - 10 years is a long time in rock ‘n roll: The Doors were around for only 8 years, and The Sex Pistols barely even made it to 3. So, where does Scott see himself in 10 years? “I’m trying to worry about the end of today, brother!” Scott laughs. “I’m just taking it one day at a time, you know?” I do. “I hope, at least personally, the demons that I’ve been battling since I left home at 17 will be put behind me, and that I’ve begun, in my music and personal life, to finally enjoy this life that I’ve been given,” he contemplates. “I hope to finally get comfortable in my own skin, and get comfortable with this life and embrace it, instead of running from it all.” Scott’s voice takes on a more serious tone, “I’ve been running from things since I was a kid, and now I’m seeing it’s time to stop running and enjoy life. Take care, brother.”

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Monsters of Rock The long defunct Monsters of Rock festival has returned from the dead, after spending a couple of years as a touring arena-based affair, and looks set to get better and better. From amongst the loser-kids who think kicking the rubbish around is entertainment, the idiots who left all their belongings in piles on the floor 10 feet from the stage and got annoyed when it was trodden on, the horrendously inflated prices of various things (£1.50 per donut? £10 for a horribly dated-looking programme?) and the sun-burnt, balding, middle-aged, fat men languishing without shirts on, here’s the lowdown on his year’s event. The bad bits were bad, but Dear God the good were awesome!

Words: Andy Lye ✪ Live Pics: Chiaki Nozu

ROADSTAR Having the unenviable task of opening a bill packed with legends as a largely unheard of act, the rising UK support act turned in another solid, if unremarkable performance. Fortunate to be selected recently for support slots with The Darkness, Queensrÿche and Thunder, and with new album The Grand Hotel recently released, the time was right to give a couple of new songs an airing amongst established live favourites from their Get This EP made under their former moniker of Hurricane Party. New cuts ‘Let’s Get It Started’ and ‘Ready To Go’ had similar themes but featured typically grooving rock riffs and solos, slotting in nicely between classics ‘Last Survivor ’ (criminally left off of the new album), ‘Roadstar’ and raucous opener ‘Killer’. Still far more powerful live than on said album, they’re destined to be one of those English bands that makes their name working the live circuit. I noticed several people wander off and return with copies of the new CD, so it must be working. Monster: hair-dos TED NUGENT Very easy to sum up: awesome guitar player, rubbish singer and doesn’t shut the hell up. Half the words he says aren’t even real damn words. He spends half the time making noises between guitar licks. That’s not a rock show. The title “Monsters of Rock” obviously held great amusement and novelty for Uncle Ted as well, because he kept repeating it, or some variation of it, more than anything else. Set wise it was a pretty standard affair, with the aggressive ‘KLSTRPHKME’ from Craveman being the pick of the bunch. ‘Cat Scratch Fever’ is sounding increasingly tired and dated these days, but ‘Stranglehold’ is still an awesome grooving rock song. Possibly not the “coolest guitar lick ever”, as Ted likes to profess, but it is cool. If he shut up every once in a while and played a few more of them he might come across even better. Bring on Damnocracy, when it’s only Sebastian Bach’s chatter we’ll have to deal with as Ted will be on lead guitar duties with Scott Ian. After seeing his playing here, I can’t wait! Monster: mouth QUEENSRŸCHE The perfect example of a great band letting themselves down in a big way. As Lacuna Coil told us last month, festivals are all about an exchange of energy with the audience in a short time. You need to be quick-fire in your approach. Consequently Queensrÿche’s decision to play four songs apiece from the two concept records, Operation: Mindcrime I and II was a very bad idea. It’s all well and good playing the concept records when you’ve got a twohour show in an arena full of your own fans, but when


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Monsters of Rock you’re playing for 45 minutes to a crowd that’s probably only 10% your fans, the theatrics and storyline elements are going to just fly over their heads. Playing a set of classics from the other albums (maybe with a key cut from Mindcrime I and the latest single from Mindcrime II) would have been a far better idea and endeared them to far more people. Unfortunately, their set never got moving, and Thunder were about to show the Seattle heroes how it’s done. Monster: Let down. THUNDER By severe contrast UK rockers Thunder had the masses eating out of their collective hands from the get-go. Later on Alice and Deep Purple didn’t need to try; they’re the ones we all came to see, but Thunder nearly equalled the pair of headlining legends for energy, crowdparticipation and impact. Thoroughly putting Nugent and ‘rÿche to shame, they stormed through a set of high-energy, good time songs, pausing only to deliver the result from the international football friendly between England and Jamaica. Sticking mostly to established hits like ‘Love Walked In’, ‘Dirty Love’ and ‘River of Pain’ was possibly a little on the boring side for the devoted fans who travelled to see them, but mixed with three new songs from latest album ‘The Magnificent Seventh’ probably suited the occasion best, potentially winning them many new listeners. Monster: impact JOURNEY Pretentiously being flown in by helicopter during Ted Nugent’s set (and flown out again during Alice Cooper’s), Journey did nothing to get the hard-rock faithful on their side before they even hit the stage. When they did, several things were obvious. Guitarist Neal Schon is excellent, and it’s no wonder he wanted to make heavier music with the short-lived Soul SirkUS. Drummer Deen Castronovo is likewise a superb player and has lost none of the power heard on such records as Ozzy Osbourne’s Ozzmosis. Lastly, singer Steve Augeri is a very high-energy performer, similar in many respects to Thunder ’s Danny Bowes, and could not be accused of not giving the show his all. The problem was down to none of these, or either of the other two members. The problem was the songs. They make Bon Jovi sound like Norwegian death metal. Even Journey fans were later commenting “too many girly songs”. Too wimpy even for Journey fans? I think that practically makes them Busted. Monster: pansies 051


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Monsters of Rock ALICE COOPER If anyone could recover the day from the abject wimpiness of Journey it was Uncle Alice. The set was jam-packed with classics, but the beauty of Alice’s catalogue is that he has too many classics for one show, so he can change it every year and never grow stagnant. So, this time no ‘Halo of Flies’, ‘Hello Hooray’, ‘Dead Babies’ or ‘Elected’ but we get ‘Steven’, ‘Drive Me Nervous’, ‘Department of Youth’ and ‘Killer’ instead. Throw in a couple of new songs from Dirty Diamonds and all the near-legendary Cooper theatrics we know and love and everything’s in place. Even the snake made an appearance, something which doesn’t always happen at UK dates. With the only bad point being Eric Singer’s mundane drum solo (clearly the band hadn’t heard the ancient Chinese proverb “Drum solo at festival big no-no” recently) Alice’s set was non-stop. His current band (including guitarists Keri Kelli and Damon Johnson and bassist Chuck Garric) is remarkably tight, providing a consistent musical backdrop to Alice’s performance, tied in beautifully with each of the “scenes” featuring daughter Calico Cooper and other extras, particularly during the mental home/killer medley section culminating in Alice’s beheading at the guillotine and resurrection The great man didn’t utter a single word that wasn’t a lyric until the very end when he introduced the band. There was no banter at all, just song after song. Following the band intros he closed with his usual “What’s my name?”, and he was done, after giving comfortably the best show of the day. One of the PlanetRock DJs made his way out afterwards, trying to endear himself to the crowd with “What’s his name?”, which was transparent and lame enough, but to follow it up with “Wasn’t he special?” produced stunned silence. “Special”?! Get off, you tart. He was outstanding. Monster: of rock


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DEEP PURPLE Now, although headlining festivals is obviously a prestigious thing, I’m of the opinion that the number two slot is preferable. Alice got to play for the same amount of time as Deep Purple, and was able to do it to a crowd that weren’t yet completely worn out. That’s not the say Purple didn’t enjoy the biggest crowd of the day (with the National Bowl being exactly that, a bowl, a band’s popularity can be measured by the size of the crowd in the bottom of the bowl, with everyone else relaxing on the sloping sides), but there was noticeably less movement and much more refined applause. Deep Purple are a more relaxing classic rock band than, say, the full-on theatrics of Cooper, and with their current penchant for spinning their classic songs out into long jam sessions, they were definitely the band to kick back and relax to. Interestingly, the two large video screens on either side of the stage that had been used exclusively for displaying a notice about the local bus service for most of the day finally kicked into action, screening the whole of Deep Purple’s set using five cameras and some rather slick live editing. The footage was excellent, so perhaps we’ll see a DVD at some point in the future. Opening with ‘Pictures of Home’ is something they’ve been doing recently on the European tour, and following it up with new song ‘Things I Never Said’ is too. The problem I see with the latter is that it is in actual fact the bonus track on the Japanese edition of their latest album, and has only just become available in Europe on the new double-CD tour edition, meaning barely anyone in the crowd knew it. Surely something like ‘Wrong Man’, also from the new album, would have been a much better idea for this kind of event. Other great songs included a typically excellent version of ‘Perfect Strangers’ and a rocked-up rendition of ‘Hush’, but otherwise the setlist was a pretty tired affair, with only a rather disjointed ‘Fireball’ being an unexpected inclusion. With too many jams and solos going on during, and between songs, Purple only got through half the number of tracks Alice did, which did nothing to revitalize the waning energy levels of the tired masses. Monster: widdling B U R N M A G A Z I N E | w w w. b u r n m a g . c o . u k

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noise pollution

Live Pics: Chiaki Nozu

WHITESNAKE HAMMERSMITH APOLLO JUNE 1ST 2006 It’s official! Men with hair and leather trousers are back. Excellent! Whitesnake, with David Coverdale, the Sean Connery as James Bond of rock, takes the stage. He is still a microphone stand twiddling, mahogany chest baring (same shade as Jordan!), yelping, screaming hip shaker of a man. The voice still drips treacle as it always did and by God he can still hit those high notes. This man oozes sex. You don’t even want to THINK about it, but it’s impossible not to. I overhear the guy next to me mutter ; hey, he can still do it. Yes mate, he certainly

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can. And the set list does not disappoint either, rolling out the classics that are demanded; Give Me All Your Love, Ain’t No Love in the Heart of the City, Is This Love, Here I Go Again, Cryin’ in The Rain - the list goes on… it’s only when you start writing them down you realise just how many great songs this band have got. Bravely, the evening is punctuated by a proper guitar solo spot. Doug Aldrich has got some quick fingers, I tell you – he should play the flute. And though his rippling pecs are nice to watch, half the time shredding would have sufficed. And then … oh .. no… surely not … it is .. a drum…solo. Now Tommy Aldridge can paradiddle along with the best of them,

but I knew that anyway – he didn’t need to show off to me. (I have a sneaking suspicion that David has gone off for a quick spray tan and polish). In the encore, Doug redeems himself by coming back on minus top. Unfortunately this is mostly spoilt by the first song being accompanied by the brightest lights at ground level behind the band. What is this new trend? It really does need to stop. I am unable to continue my drooling. But then .. but then.. the most appropriate song is saved until last. The ultimate .. Still Of The Night… Whitesnake, still one of the best. LM

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This one has been a long time coming and the band didn’t disappoint. Culling material mostly from the new album and littering the rest of the set with classic tracks, the Academy erupted like I’ve never seen when the band hit the stage. This is hardcore. For an album that’s scant been out a couple of weeks, nearly everybody is clued in on the new songs but every band in the world must wish they had a number like Iris to brag about. Talk about mobile phone city - on some level it’s not quite the same as a lighter, but you’d probably get ejected from venues these days for being a fire hazard of you did that. A see of lights goes up for the entire duration of the song - and at the end of the song banter all I could see was a wash of people checking out the photos they had taken. Sign of the Times huh. Black balloons (an in joke) float around the venue to Iris, Big Machine, All Eyes.. the ‘hits’ just kept on coming - well, they would be hits if more people would just sit up and take notice. Even my own freaking photographer had to have a Dolls lesson half an hour before the show started having sheepishly admitting to have missed them completely, but then that’s life through a lens I guess. Johnny parades around the stage like a hip Jon Bon Jovi - I’m sure he’s heard the comparison before. While Robbie takes the mic for his numbers, the extra guitarist and keyboard guy keep steadily on in the background as it should be. Nobody cares who they are but they do a sterling job all the same. After what seemed like a very short hour or so, the band disappeared never to return! Gutted! Just as we were all getting into it as well. Maybe it’s a nod to their punkier roots. Not quite on a par with the infamous Buffalo show but immaculate all the same. SS

BURN MAGAZINE |

Live Pics: Zen Inoya

GOO GOO DOLLS BRIXTON ACADEMY JUNE 3RD 2006

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FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND FIGHTSTAR/BEYOND ALL REASON LIVERPOOL UNIVERSITY MAY 25 2006 God this audience is young, but for all their youth, they live it and they love it, speaking to a few before show, they have seen this band more than 20 times, alongside Lost Prophets, B4MV, My Chemical Romance... and they all seemed to have been at the recent ‘Give It A Name’ Festival, You can tell the dedication from the fact that they all have the Tee, The CD, The Wallet, The Belt, the pin Badge,, alongside the oblitigory right sneakers, they can tell you all the lyrics to all the songs, they have countless theories on what they mean, but make no mistake they may be young, but they are committed to ROCK! So it’s light’s out, Light’s Out in Liverpool, and first up are Beyond All Reason, the singer looks twelve, he is in fact 23, he has a Skid Row tee on, I’m smiling to myself at the irony, but it becomes very clear very fast that these guys are not here to make up the numbers, in fact they deliver a strong set, lead vocalist ‘Venno’ has a style that deserves to grace the big stage, they don’t seem overawed by this tour, they just get on with it, they remind me of B4MV eighteen months ago, they rip through tracks from their impressive debut album ‘Words Of Betrayal’ highlight of the nine song set is ‘Love Crossed Pistols’ check them out at: www.beyondallreason.co.uk Now Fightstar! Don’t get me started, but, yes there is a but, they have delivered a strong debut album in the shape of ‘Grand Unification’ and only the very cynical would say that if they were 14 they would not like this band, trust me, this place is full of girls, and the boys like girls, and liking Fightstar gets you closer to those girls. I watched this band while putting to the back of my mind any ‘Previous’ and you know what, they are pretty fuckin’ good, they try a little to hard to be metal on times, you get the feeling that they are more ‘Hawthorne Heights’ than Slayer, but they play eight songs from their debut album and the delivery is as good as the record, highlight is ‘Hazy Eyes’ for this song on the L.P. is where they get it spot on and I hope is the direction they lean more to on album number two, sure the older

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crowd may never accept Charlie, but this band a forging a new audience, and they will stay with them, I expected, well I didn’t know what to expect, but I would go to see them next time around, this band could really become something special if everyone gets off their back. So to the main event ‘Funeral For A Friend’ now these guys have been on the road forever, they play over 300 shows per year (that’s only 52 days off, including Christmas and recording an album) they put in the work, this tour is a bit of a goodbye, for the first time in five years the band are coming off the road, taking a breather and recording a new album and they are not expected to be back live until 2007! They tear open their set with ‘This Years Most Open Heartbreak’ from ‘Seven Ways To Scream Your Name’ and then tear into ‘Roses’ and ‘Juneau’ it’s clearly evident that they mean business, they say hello, then just tear it up some more at breakneck speed, there is no let up in the sheer intensity of the delivery, you would think that they were just breaking, not ending the touring schedule, the hunger is evident, the musicianship is spot on and the vocals, look into Matt’s eyes and believe, well close your own eyes and it’s the record, which with their style is no mean feat, highlights of the middle section include ‘Bullet Theory’ and ’10:45’ Twelve songs in and they do something unexpected, they go up another gear, they tear into ‘History’ and ‘She Drove Me To daytime Television’ both are years apart, both are like brothers, both are received like long lost friends, for the crowd at this point have become the band and the band the crowd, it’s all at one, everyone is just jumping, screaming, singing, having the best of times, it’s fuckin’ great to watch, this is rock’s future, and the future is good my friends, better than good. They end the set with a quite unbelievable ‘Streetcar’ this is just one of those songs that you fall in love with instantly, they return for just one more, but that one is worth the admission price alone, it’s ‘Escape Artists Never Die’ and we end the night just as we came into it, one band, 3,000 fans, 15 songs and me, nights like this when you are young pass you by in a blur, when you are old they recall concerts of old, this is one of the best of times to be under 20 years of age, a rock purple period and F4AF are at the forefront, fuck knows where they go next, but if it’s anything like where they have been, we are all in for a treat.

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N E W BLO O D !

Live Pics: Seb Willett

FONYWITH LEFT SIDE BRAIN, DRIVE ON THE RIGHT, ENEMY UNKNOWN, CHOAL AND CIVILLIAN THE HARLEQUIN, REDHILL MAY 27 2006 Despite the national fame of both headliners Fony and support acts Left Side Brain and Drive On The Right, tonight feels very much like a ‘local’ gig. The backstage area is teeming with roadies and band members barely out of school; it’s not much different on the other side of the barriers. Civillian, Choal and Enemy Unknown, all relatively unknown bands all hailing from the Redhill area. Civillian take to the stage, quickly followed by Choal - both bands displaying a stage presence far beyond their years. Just beginning their tour of duty with Fony, Drive On The Right arrive on the stage and deliver their songs to the screaming audience, and are quickly followed by thrash titans Enemy Unknown.

Left Side Brain arrive on the stage and take pride in belting out their unqiue brand of hard rock, then leave the crowd cheering for both them and Fony. The lights finally dim again, the air heavy with the smell of fake smoke as ambient noise resonates from the PA system. One by one, the members of Fony ascend to their hometown’s stage above the blanket of cheering currently rising from the crowd this is what everybody has been waiting for. The band kick straight into Here Come The Dark Horses, the opening track from their new album Mercy After Fiction, and promptly demonstrate why they’re the headlining band on this tour: they can both a) write a damn good song and b) imbue it with boundless energy on stage. Over the course of the next hour, the majority of the songs that the band play originate on Mercy After Fiction - they bring a double bass on stage to compliment the sound of A To Breathe and singer Fraser grabs an acoustic guitar for a rendition of Feed Off Us. Both Fraser and guitarist Steve grab drumsticks and proceed to beat the crap out of some lone drums during the drum build-up of A Union Divide and Still Response, and at one point even bongos appear on the stage! The band penultimately unleash Chore Again - perhaps their most famous song - with consumate ease, seemingly just to drive the crowd even more wild. Even with almost 4 hours of support bands preceeding them, Fony are showing that they have an energy that’s rarely seen nowadays and rarely ever exhibited so wildly on stage. If I was in a mainstream band, I’d be watching my back - Fony are on their way up, and they’re not taking any prisoners. SW

Live Pics: Will Scammell WEAPONS TELFORDS WAREHOUSE, CHESTER APRIL 28 2006 Back in issue 8 of this stunning publication, in the “cool from the wire” section, our Sharon predicted big things in 2006 from a band called Weapons of Mass Belief. Since then they have scaled down the name to just Weapons, but ramped up the excitement levels and announced their debut cd to be released in the summer. This is one gig that I had been looking forward to for a good few months. The drummer & my space goddess Tash, had been posting new tracks on their my space site for some time, as well as pictures from previous gigs, and finally I was about to witness Weapons up close and personnel. Sounding on mp3 like a mindmeld between Rage against The Machine, Linkin Park and the Beastie Boys, this 6 piece steam rollered onto the tiny stage at a packed Telfords with the excellently titled ‘Fuckhouse’, without a let up we get treated to a new track called ‘Panic ‘ loads of chainsaw guitars & furious rappin. Next we get new single, and catchy as fuck ‘Love is Thunder’ and forth song in, the monumental Rap Metal classic that is ‘Black Line Ninja’….this song was made to be played live , loads of pogoing ensued(and that wasn’t just me). Tonight it was obvious that Weapons were here for two things, to entertain, and to have fun. They say time goes quick when you are having fun, and in no time at all (about 11 tracks in reality) it was last track of the set, and first ever-single ‘Terrorist Youth’. This band has come a long way since this impressive debut song, but after this showing I think 2006 may just be the year of the Weapons. Finally we managed to persuade them back on stage for an encore of ‘Laughing Mama’. As they all bowed & left the stage it was a case of job doneboth crowd & band covered in sweat and happy. Bring on the full tour when the album comes out. JMC

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goo goo dolls www.googoodolls.com


B U R N M A G A Z I N E | w w w. b u r n m a g . c o . u k I find myself in the presence of a kindred spirit here. Robby Takac, who put the band together with Johnny Rzeznick all those years ago, is chilled about the world. It might be because I’m the ‘last one’ of the day and it might be because for the first time since probably the first album, they’ve come out doing pretty much exactly what they wanted to do without a script. No demands for a single, just doing what they do best. I ask him if that’s really the whole story, because when you come up on the last three album tracks, it almost appears that the band have much more to say and had only just got started! “It’s funny you should say that. That’s pretty astute because for the first time in years, we’ve made a ‘throw your hands up in the air and see what happens’ record. Some of that is to do with Glen Ballard as a producer though. We considered a couple of different people before we started work but it just didn’t seem right. When Glen started talking about what he wanted to do with us and his understanding of what we were and the radio market, we felt like we finally had a chance to do what every band wants to do when they go into a studio.. just bring in the songs! “This was also the first time that we had material left over or songs we didn’t use or kept back – it’s been a great album to make. “We went back to Buffalo to write this one and I think people thought we were trying to get back into the home groove and rediscover our Gathering my thoughts, I wonder why it is that the band such a hardcore following in the UK and yet, it’s really hard to find people who know

roots, but what really happened was that we had to get out of LA and get away from the whole industry thing - being in Buffalo for even a week can be very therapeutic. I never consider myself a rock star, but being in LA, you get a certain amount of it thrust on you anyway. In Buffalo, people ain’t afraid to tell you when you’ve got food on your face man, so apart from it being really grounding, we also found ourselves in this really honest state of mind to write from. Unintentionally, maybe we did get back to our roots, but it sure wasn’t planned out like that.” “Who in their right mind would want to ground themselves somewhere that you had to dig through 8 feet of snow just to get into your recording studio!” Whatever the motivation behind it, it comes out in the record that’s for sure – I mean we’re looking at top of the game lyricism here (is that a real word?), stuff that grows and grows. At first glance I thought the album may have been a little on the empty side but no sir. It’s all there. The singles aren’t as obvious as they usually are but there’s material here that surpasses what came before. Become and We’ll Be Here (When You’re Gone) hint at a band that’s really grinding through the gears at the moment – is it going to be so long before you record again? “Are you in the band! We were just talking about that the other day too. It’s definitely something we’re going to be getting into soon – just writing for the next record, but we’ve really picked out a thread of ourselves here and I want to run with it as far as I can! Nobody is even thinking about leaving the band, we’re working great together right now, but all bands go through creative highs and lows - I figure we should ride this one out while we’re in a crest!”

Hang on a second - you mentioned there about nobody leaving the band soon - is that something that’s come forward as an option anywhere? “No, not at all but one of the guys who interviewed me earlier in the day asked me how much longer we could carry on for some reason I guess it just surfaced! Nothing lasts forever unless you’re like the Rolling Stones or one of those types of bands and we all have other things that we do anyway. I have Robbies Lobby and I have a charity foundation thing that I do stuff for, but without the band, none of those things would be possible. The band is the hub the thing that makes all the other things possible to do when we’re not writing or touring. Going back to that question about the internet, personally, it’s given me a focal point. Like, for all the other things we do, they can be accessed by our fans from our site or MySpace if that’s your thing. A few relatively short years ago, fans were excluded from being a part of the other things you did simply because it wasn’t worth the hassle to find out about them.”

who the fuck they are (although I soon had that notion dismissed at the recent show - all their fans are from fucking Oz and New Zealand and live in Shepherds Bush!). I mean, most of my friends are into the band big time, but then there’s another bunch who seem completely unaware of their existence. “It’s always been like that over there, but something has happened recently and none of us have any idea what that is. Maybe fate. We put up one date in London and it sold out immediately, so we added another and that sold out too. It got so busy that we’re now talking about coming straight back over again in October, which is fantastic, but like I say, I don’t know what’s prompted it but I’m real happy that it’s happening”.

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and finding a real album behind the single. Sometimes, a well placed song is all you need – but you know, a band can’t win sometimes. The criticism has been harsh from some quarters, labelling the band as selling out their roots, but if that’s the case, I’m buying into it all the way because you just can’t argue with quality songwriting.

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Many moons ago, my good buddy JJ swore blind to me that radio was the way forward for a band. Since those moons have passed by, we’ve had lots of ‘chats’ about it. Not that I disagreed but from my perspective, the radio was the last place I was looking for anything of any value, but there’s something else integral to this story. About ten years ago, we spent a year in New York State and it was then that it dawned on me that the words he spoke were true – but it’s not until you leave one country who insist on plying you with The Fugees, (or whatever the fuck was hip back then) and turn up in another that threw Counting Crows, Brother Cane, Candlebox, Alice in Chains and Type O Negative at you in the first half hour you were there. I mean, this was a serious if not rude awakening - thank fuck for Planet Rock and internet radio huh. So things have evened out somewhat, but that’s still only because we have more choice now. The Goo Goo Dolls were one of those bands that radio really worked for. Back then, and maybe a little bit through the years in between, the USA had something that we never did - college radio. I have no idea why the UK has been ten years behind with such a simple, yet essential idea. Maybe it’s because the term conjures up some kind of ‘hospital radio’ thing going on, but out in the US, it broke the Dolls, White Zombie, REM and hundreds more along the way. The Buffalo trio got off to an auspicious start as they kind of simmered with promise after the release of Superstar Carwash, but when Boy Named Goo hit the racks and the track Name filtered out, the balance started to tip pretty quickly for them. It’s a great album even now, but the real big guns came out when Iris took over the world. A combination of the track appearing on the supergirly City of Angels soundtrack and a million people ended up investigating Dizzy Up The Girl

Eyes wide open

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goo goo dolls www.googoodolls.com I guess whoever that other mystery interviewer was promted a relevant question. You’ve come far enough now though that when you do get to the point that you don’t want to do it anymore, there’ll be a place for you in the industry “Exactly. I already have my own label with a few bands on. It’s good stuff to be doing. Are you a fair boss when it comes to having your own label? “Everybody seems down on corporations all the time now but there’s good ones as well as bad. Right now, we’re with one of the good guys. I can say with authority that I’ve been fucked over more by indie labels than I ever have by a major. If peoplel sat down and thought about it, they would probably agree, it’s just the amounts of money on the table that make it seem like a bigger deal than it actually is.” It’s a good point. Looking at the evidence, the band are doing all the right things both for themselves, the fans and their label who are more than happy to back them up. The recent shows that they delivered over here were played to sold out houses and for what pretty much amounts to an acoustic based band, they fill the stage with ease and delivered by the bucket. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen so many people actively happy at a show not just getting off on it, but really having a good time. Before I leave you in peace - that show in Buffalo that you recorded for the DVD - the one where it rained like it had never rained before. It’s awesome, it’s always on in our house. Was it good for you too. “I’ll tell you how it was for me - wet. Man, it threw it down that day, I’ve never seen anything like it. We kind of burnt off the water through playing and generating some heat, but those poor people in the crowd...” Yeah, but it lookedgreat. That’s all that counts bro. 060

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(c) 2005 Warner Bros. Entertainment. All Rights Reserved

Burn Magazine: Promotion BLACK GOLD

It’s not often that Hollywood produces a movie filled with top talent, that is more than just simple popcorn fodder, and which pleases the audiences and critics alike. July 10 sees the DVD release of one of these positive anomalies, Syriana. With a strong political message, it avoids the traditional usgood, them-bad mentality, and stays away from black and white statements by painting its characters with shades of grey. From Oscar-winning writer/director Stephen Gaghan, Syriana is a tense thriller that unfolds against the intrigue of the global oil industry.

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From the players brokering back-room deals in Washington to the men toiling in the oil fields of the Persian Gulf, the film’s multiple storylines weave together to illuminate the human consequences of the fierce pursuit of wealth and power. As a career CIA operative (George Clooney) begins to uncover the disturbing truth about the work he has devoted his life to, an up-

guys, and what separates them is just a matter of how bad each is willing to be. What emerges from this tangled puzzle is a web of corruption and self-interest, all fueled by the need for oil, and with its maze of threads, Syriana demands repeated viewing. Don’t let this talk of political intrigue put you off. This is no dull docu-drama, and Syriana is as

Syriana is a stunning and powerful film about the desire of governments and corporations to control the world’s oil supply - even if that means eroding, or outright ignoring the rights of citizens and employees. and-coming oil broker (Matt Damon) faces an unimaginable family tragedy and finds redemption in his partnership with an idealistic Gulf prince (Alexander Siddig). Although all the actors create extremely nuanced, compelling characters, George Clooney’s stand-out performance won him an Academy Awards earlier this year, and took him another giant leap away from the notion of being just another TV-actor who got lucky. Syriana is a stunning and powerful film about the desire of governments and corporations to control the world’s oil supply - even if that means eroding, or outright ignoring the rights of citizens and employees. In this game, there are only bad

tense and as fast and furious as you can stand. Angry, and with a damn good rationale behind it, you can’t afford to not see this film. This political powerhouse of a movie is released on DVD from Warner Home Video on July 10. DVD extras include a conversation with George Clooney, deleted scenes and a featurette titled Make A Change, Make A Difference. See review on page 88

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ultraviolet www.sonypictures.com We all find ourselves envisioning the future from time to time. I’m not talking about what you’re thinking about wearing to work tomorrow, or how fat you’ll have got by the time you’re 50. I’m talking about the distant future, the type of forward thinking that inspired George Orwell’s literary masterpiece 1984... enter Ultraviolet Perhaps, like me, you prefer to imagine the future will be much like the present. By that I mean that global warming and international nuclear warfare will have been merely the stuff of scare-mongering mischiefmakers. In my head, all the future holds is some nifty gadgets and maybe the possibility of everlasting life, nothing too ambitious you see. However, in the mind of Kurt Wimmer, writer and director of forthcoming futuristic thriller Ultraviolet, the future is inhabited by a race of genetically-mutated humans who have inherited the kind of superpowers that Spiderman could only dream about. As the genetic mutation spreads, the Government, fearful of the power of this new sub-race, seeks to catch and experiment on as many of the afflicted as possible. But there’s always one extraordinarily attractive rebel prepared to put their life on the line to save the world, and this time it’s the beautiful lethal weapon Violet, played by action heroine Milla Jovovich. Partly inspired by cult 1980 film Gloria, Wimmer wanted to write a science-fiction thriller that captured the energy of comic-book action and the attraction of a superpowerful female protagonist. With sci-fi favourites The Fifth Element and Resident Evil already tucked under her tiny belt, Wimmer had Jovovich in mind when he penned the role of Violet, and the glamorous star was thrilled to accept the challenge. “I fell in love with Violet,” says Jovovich. “She’s like a comic book character, but I can relate to her as a human being and the problems she goes through, even though they’re extreme.” Violet’s decision to protect a young boy named Six, wanted by some nasty government types, is the main thrust of Ultraviolet’s plot, and casting an actor mature enough to play the mysterious soul was far more of a challenge for the production team. It was eventually decided that relative newcomer Cameron Bright, star of Birth and Godsend, was perfect for the ambitious role, as producer John Baldecchi explains:

“Cameron had the innocence needed to portray a 10-year-old who hasn’t ever been outside a four-walled white room and has had virtually no interaction with other people. “The character doesn’t say a lot, so Cameron had to be able to express his emotions with just a look or a facial expression – and he does it beautifully. He has a wisdom beyond his years.” William Fichtner joins Jovovich and Bright on the side of the allies as Garth, one of the mutant race who has spent his afflicted life searching for a cure. On the side of the baddies is Nick Chinlund who plays a cruel government official desperate to capture the young Six and wipe out the new race. With the core casting complete, the team was free to concentrate on Ultraviolet’s true pulling-power: martial arts and special effects. Ever since The Matrix upped the martial arts ante with its stunning bullet-time fight sequences, action films have been striving to imitate and indeed exceed the achievements of that trailblazing trilogy. With such captivating martial arts featuring in relatively small-time films like Serenity, Wimmer knew he had his work cut out in making Ultraviolet meet the grade. The decision was made to employ stunt co-ordinator Mike Smith who had worked with Wimmer previously on Equilibrium. In a bid to give Ultraviolet that crucial edge in a vast universe of sci-fi action-adventures, the team looked for inspiration from the most unlikely places, eventually finding an untapped resource in the world of, erm, rhythmic gymnastics. “The sword moves in particular were derived from rhythmic gymnastics,” says Smith. “Kurt and I were amazed by what gymnasts could do with batons, ribbons, and balls. I was shocked no one had incorporated those skills in a film before.” But of course all those uniquely choreographed fight-sequences are wasted if your star is about as coordinated as Rik Waller at a celebrity five-a-side football match. Luckily for Wimmer and Smith, Jovovich is a svelte young thing who is used to squeezing herself into uncomfortable outfits for exhausting fight scenes. “Milla’s the most down-to-earth, hardest working actor I’ve ever been around,” Smith says. “She’d take home whatever I taught her that day, come back the next day and it’d be better than before.” “To say we were impressed with her physicality is an understatement,” adds Baldecchi. “To swing a sword the way she does, to do the stunts she did – it’s been great fun to watch. She was absolutely tireless in training, and the movie benefited tremendously from her dedication and ability to execute what she learned.”

A Study in Scarlet

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ultraviolet www.sonypictures.com The crew members weren’t the only ones impressed by the work required to make Violet come to life. Jovovich says of the experience: “The education I got on this movie, on a physical level as well as an emotional level, is really intense. “I’ve never been in this kind of shape before; I’ve never been as fluid in my life. I’ve always thought of myself as a big, clumsy oaf, so it’s amazing for me to learn and flip the swords and do these moves.” In order to create the necessary futuristic look for the film, Wimmer had a series of important decisions to make. After paying a visit to George Lucas, he managed to convince the studio to allow them to shoot Ultraviolet in highdefinition. Using Sony 950 cameras, this makes it only the third film ever to have used this technology, thus potentially placing it in an exclusive hall of fame with Star Wars Episodes II and III. Another risk was taken by choosing to shoot the film in China, which allowed production designer James Choo full use of the futuristic landscape of Hong Kong and Shanghai. Choo, who has previously worked on Hong Kong crossover hits Infernal Affairs and Infernal Affairs II, chose several landmark buildings to feature as locations in the filming of Ultraviolet, including the fourth tallest building in the world, the Jin Mao Tower. Steve Calcote, visual effects producer on Ultraviolet says: “In reality Hong Kong and Shanghai gave us quite a head start, because so much of the architecture, so many of the new structures in Shanghai and Hong Kong

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look like they come out of a science fiction world already.” So the last ingredient for our sci-fi recipe is a hefty dollop of stunning special effects. The world of effects has come a long way since the likes of Bladerunner amazed the cinema-going public. Yet it’s clear that any sci-fi film worth its salt has to put a lot of money and effort into making the real world look real; effort that more often than not would be better spent invested in a decent plot. Confronted with the challenge of making the world of Ultraviolet seem real, Calcote and special effects supervisor Victor Wong knew they would have to work hard to gain the credulity of the audience. One of the most difficult aspects to convey was the difference between the normal humans, and the mutant ‘hemophages’. The team wanted to make the technological advancements of the future more integrated into everyday life than it is today, and one way of doing this was by applying these advancements to the vitally important world of fashion. Calcote says: “Clearly, hemophages are much sexier than actual humans, so that has to be one of the key differences. But one way the technology is used is in fashion. Fabrics can change colour. Hair can change colour... with mood, and that’s a way of moving through this world that people are going to raise their eyebrows about, because you now have an entirely new channel of communication, our clothing and our hair that can change at will.” As well as this subtle use of effects, Ultraviolet introduces a more counter-intuitive technology:

flat space. Calcote explains: “The new technology allows you to store objects of human size or smaller into impossible small bracelets, necklaces and other tiny devices, using a combination of completely new technologies. So something like a sword, press a button and it’s disassembled, piece-by-piece, into a data buffer inside of the bracelets, which Violet wears.” If that little snippet of information hasn’t made your brain implode with the craziness of it all, the mutants also have a number of anti-gravity devices at their disposal, which leads to one of the more visually impressive scenes of the film when Violet is forced to ride up buildings after stealing a motorbike. So there you go: all the necessary ingredients for a sci-fi thriller get a big tick in the box for Ultraviolet. There is no doubt that Wimmer’s world looks to be a unique vision of the future, with its genetics-gone-wrong nightmare scenario and nifty technological advancements. But only time will tell if there’s enough here for a blockbuster, or even a cult classic, as the screens at the local multiplex are ever more saturated with special effects laden flops, straight off the Hollywood production line. One thing is certain though, that Wimmer knew what he was doing employing the sci-fi boy’s favourite Milla Jovovich, and with that multi-talented sex symbol at the helm, Ultraviolet is sure to get a few hearts racing.

Ultraviolet is reviewed on page 85

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ROCK, ROCK TIL YOU DROP

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In what has to be record time for the Sheffield legends, Def Leppard have a new album out. Burn magazine chews the fat with Joe Elliott. I’m on the phone to Joe Elliott to talk about The Leps’ new album and tour, only we’ve hit a snag. I make the mistake of congratulating him on Sheffield United’s promotion, which results in the pair of us going off track for a little while. Joe, a life-long Blades fan, is understandably chuffed at their return to the top flight – full of bravado and confidence that they won’t “do a Sunderland”. (for none-footballing types like the Editor, to do “a Sunderland” is to royally stuff things up.) I point out that, whatever else happens next season, they won’t stand a chance when they reach Anfield. Joe laughs. “If I recall, we beat you at our place a couple of years ago. That kid Mellor scored for you lot… he’s from Sheffield isn’t he? “So how come you support Liverpool anyway? You don’t sound like a Scouser?” Bollocks, I was hoping he wouldn’t pick up on that. To cut a long story short, it involves watching the 1981 European Cup Final and being hooked on the team in dark grey (it was a black and white set – ask your parents). Joe pauses for a second. “So, if Sheffield United had been in the European Cup Final in 1981, you could have been a Blade?” Yeah, Joe – ‘cos that would have happened. Sadly, we haven’t got time for the finer points of this discussion – I’m also not keen on the direction it’s taking – so we move on. It’s been quiet on the Leppard front over here recently. The two greatest hits albums (a best of and a definitive, I’m not sure what the distinction is) followed on from X (“It was meant to stand for Ten, but no one got it. Even the UK leg of the tour had ten dates on it, but it still went over people’s heads. We mostly call it X as well now” - JE), and they’ve been busy crossing America on a variety of successful tours (almost always with Ricky Warwick in tow). (As an aside, I’ve always wondered why it was they released one Greatest Hits followed by another. Turns out that between the tow the entire staff at Mercury, the Leps’ record label, was changed, and the new bods wanted to see how popular the band still were. The idea of sticking them in the studio for a new album was clearly a tad taxing for some berk on the 12th floor, still Rock Of ages still shifted enough units to keep the accountants happy…) Anyhoo, now they are back, with two live shows and an album of cover versions – Yeah – to keep fans going until the next album of original material finally hits the shelves. Just one question Joe – why a collection of other people’s songs? “It seemed the natural thing to do,” the singer admits, his Yorkshire accent betraying no evidence of the years he’s been away. It was like, ‘wow’, we get a chance to be the people we wanted to be when we were twelve. T was almost like getting the tennis racket back out and getting in front of the mirror – that was our enthusiasm. B U R N M A G A Z I N E | w w w. b u r n m a g . c o . u k

“It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for 20 years. I’ve always been a big fan of (David) Bowie’s Pin Ups, and it seemed like a good way to explain where our roots our. “I’ve got so tired of telling people that we are nothing to do with the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, you know? That’s more Maiden. We’ve always been from the Queen end of things!” The bloke who reviewed Yeah in The Daily Telegraph would do well to make note of that last statement. For the uninitiated, Pin Ups is an album of songs originally performed by the Pretty Things, Them, the Yardbirds, Pink Floyd, the Mojos, the Who, the Easybeats, the Merseybeats and the Kinks (ask your Grandma), which according to a Bowie aficionado of mine, is not his best album by a long way. In fact, it was described as his worst pre-Tin Machine album. Thankfully, the Leps’ effort isn’t that bad, even if that same friend is refusing to forgive them for Street Life... It seems Joe and the band (Rick Allen – Drums; Vivian Campbell – guitars; Rick ‘Sav’ Savage – bass; Phil Collen – guitars;) have spent most of their career trying to prove that while they may well have surfaced around the time of the catchily-titled NWOBHM, that was always more to do with Iron Maiden, Saxon and other bands brought up on a diet of Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. Not, and this can’t be stressed enough, Def

Leppard! “I just want people to know what our roots are! “I’ve spoken to Steve Harris (Iron Maiden’s bassist and founder) about this a number of times and he agrees with me – the New Wave thing was them, not us! “We feel the need to educate people! Iron Maiden are a great band, but there’s a big difference between hard rock and metal. I think we’re a rock band. “There are some great heavy metal bands, I just don’t think Def Leppard are one of them. We’re a rock band, and there’s a big difference.” The other reason for the album was a change of approach. “There was no pressure, we just went in the studio and enjoyed ourselves. It only took six weeks to record, which was fun. “They’re not your songs, so you can’t spend days picking over and over them!” That’s got to be a record in Lep terms, but it does highlight certain dodgy tastes among the band. Not least, someone liking David Essex’s Rock On enough to commit it to CD… Joe’s not having any of it. “We’ve never been afraid of liking certain things,” he insists. “And Rock On is a good song. I’m not saying I’m a David Essex fan, just that I like Rock On. It’s the same with 10538 Overture. Now I’m not an ELO fan by any stretch, but that’s a good song!” 067


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“I think we all just looked at each other and realized that we’ve got nothing to prove. We don’t need to prove anything to anybody.” “I’m sure of the songs, not necessarily the artists,” he emphasises. “You’ve got to have an open mind – that’s very important. Not being part of the herd is very important. It’s like that scene in Midnight Express when all the zombies are walking around the pole. I want to be the one walking the other way.” The press, of course, are going to have a field day – but then that’s nothing new. Since daring to record a song called Hello America and then going over there for some live shows, the Leps and the British rock press have had an uneasy relationship. Back around the time of the band’s debut, the lads were bottled at Reading after one hack slated them for favouring Britain over America. As Joe’s been at pains to point out over the years, they were signed for the American market. That didn’t mean – and still doesn’t 068

mean – that they have favoured The States (even if life is easier for them over there, which Joe will explain shortly), it simply meant one bloke had his nose put out of joint and decided to stick the boot in. And its continued off and on ever since. Mostly on. Not that Mr Elliott gives a toss. “Couldn’t give a fuck,” he laughs. “We get torn to shreds whatever. Some of our worst reviews were for Hysteria… “We’re always a guilty pleasure, but we know that doesn’t matter. We’re just fortunate that we’ve always had people working their arses off for us. “Anyway, if you hang around long enough things come around again.” The Leps have certainly been around long enough, and they could almost certainly just go out on the road without bothering to put out a

new album – both here and in America – but that’s not their way. “You should never rest on your laurels, you end up being Freddie And The Dreamers or something. We fight against being a nostalgia band,” insists Joe. “We want to push on. It’s just easier to put on a tour in America and Canada because they have 24-hour rock radio stations over there. We’re on the radio every 11 seconds over there! “It’s much harder in the UK. It’s frustrating. You begin to wonder why you hear every other band but us on daytime radio! “In America, we’ve just added another month of dates, and now we want to get back some of that success in Britain and Europe. “That’s why we’re doing this kind of mini indoor festival! We wanted to just play a few dates and make it more of an event.” The event features both Cheap Trick and The w w w. b u r n m a g . c o . u k | B U R N M A G A Z I N E


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Sensational Alex Harvey Band, both of whom have been around the block a time or two themselves – and both can cite Joe as a big fan. “The thing I like about Cheap Trick is they’re always trying to do something a bit different – a bit like us.” The man’s not wrong. Look back over their output, and they have consistently tried to push themselves and create something knew. Pyromania is a step on from High n Dry, Hysteria several steps on from Pyromania, and Slang a giant leap sideways from everything! “I actually listened to that the other day,” admits Joe – sounding surprised. “I don’t usually listen to our stuff, but that came on my iPod and I’d forgotten how much I liked it!” Recorded in a house in Spain, it’s as relevant to today’s Lep sound as it was different at the time of its release back in 1995. Interviewed at the time, Joe reflected: “What we did was we tried to make a record that didn’t sound like anything that we had made in the past. It was 1994 when we started it. It was 1995 by the time we got going. We were aware that what was going on in the industry at the time was so removed from what had made us successful. “What we did when we did was tried to make an album that was more like a mid-period Led

Zeppelin record with a bit of unusual stuff added into it. “We used Indian string arrangements on Turn To Dust, we used dulcimers on Where Does Love Go When It Dies, we used hip hop rhythms on stuff. We did one song with the drums in the swimming pool so we’d get the John Bonham sound.” While the album was seen as a huge departure for the band (hell, Q had it in their top 10 of the year), when they returned to their more traditional sound with Adrenalize, there was a looser quality to their rock – which was not solely down to the absence of long-time producer Mutt Lange. “I think we all looked at each other and realised that we have nothing to prove. We don’t need to prove anything to anyone. “If people don’t come to our shows, they don’t come. If they do they’re gonna get a good show.” Admittedly it was only during 2003 that the band got past the pressure of trying to live up to unrealistic expectations of their past success. “It went away, that desperation I suppose you don’t even know you’ve got. We went through it a little bit in the 90s, purely because we were suffering from the ‘kill your idols’ factor.” For a band accustomed to emulating their heroes, with or without an album of cover

4LMP'SPPIR SR1ER6E^I Sometime last year, a disc fell into my lap from out of the blue and won me over in seconds. The name on the front of the sleeve was Man-Raze. Off name.. some would say a shit name even, but the music soon stopped me laughing. This was the real deal, but as usual, somebody (ie, me) had put any bits of paper that came with it in a ‘really safe place’. A week or so later and I’m still listening to the songs in the car, so when I finally find the scraps of knowledge and find that it’s Phil Collens new band, it puts a different light on it. It doesn't make me like it anymore than I did, but it did open a box of curiosity for me. Eventually, I tracked Phil down with a nice case of laryngitis in Amsterdam (hey, there’s worse things to catch there). So Phil.. what’s going on with that? “Being in Def Leppard is great, but as anyone in the band will tell you, the world always expects a certain standard from the band - we exist in this ‘place’ and that’s fantastic, but as an artist, you’re always coming up with things that might not fit that mould and it always seems like such a waste when you don’t use them. “So I just felt like it would be fun to do something outside of those confines and see what happened - I’m glad you like it, it ‘s fun to do and the pressure is well and truly off!

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“If we want to do things a certain way we can, we can wander off and do some reggae type tunes if we feel like it.” Hey... hang on a minute.. isn’t that the ethos behind Girl? “Yeah it was. Looking back, I think we were a great young band but what killed us was inexperience, we didn’t have anywhere near the knowledge that we needed to take us to the places we wanted to go, but there’s enough of us who made a success of it to prove that it was more than worth doing.” So is there a future for Man-Raze as a band that does things rather than it just being a self appeasing blow job? “Hell yeah - we’ve got some more songs that I’m really pleased with. There’s the album in mind and I'd really like to play some dates especially in the UK.” That would be different! It must be a long time since you’ve played at a club level which is presumably where it would go. “It is, I can’t say that I miss it because life is great, but it will be very cool to do some dates and see where it goes.” For the record, the other members of the band aren’t just blokes in the street either. Simon Laffy and Paul Cook from Girl and the Sex Pistols respectively also have a say in what goes on. SS Watch this space...

THE SLIDER Originally Released in 1972

Four classic T. Rex albums recently remastered and released as Rhino expanded deluxe editions included The Slider. After igniting the glam rock scene with Electric Warrior in 1971, the follow-up sparked “Bolanmania” worldwide the following year. Signature songs “Telegram Sam” and “Metal Guru” were released as #1 UK singles, and the album pushed to #17 on the Billboard album chart in the States. In Britain, it made a lasting impact on the imagination of a generation, including kids from Sheffield who would form Def Leppard just five years later. “The Slider is a great example of an album that was part of at least three-fifths of this band's DNA when they were growing up,” says Joe Elliot. “Even if you don't emulate it directly and try to steal the riffs, the overall feeling of songs like 'Metal Guru' and 'Telegram Sam' sink into you. T. Rex were part of what we grew up listening to, and a big part of it! Their singles were a huge influence on all of us. We all bought them, we all listened to 'em, we all watched 'em on Top Of The Pops. The fact that [Marc] Bolan sang in kind of a low, sexy, sleazy voice, and just the way he riffed on some of his songs, was a huge influence on a song like 'Armageddon It'-kind of like a rewrite of 'Get It On' meets 'Metal Guru.'”

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def leppard www.defleppard.com versions, understanding the grunge mentality was not easy. “These guys wanted to kill. That was the first time I’d come across that way of thinking. Generally speaking, Guns n Roses wanted to be The Rolling Stones, we wanted to be a variety of bands… we weren’t trying to kill them though!” Which is the right approach is for others to judge, but lets look at the evidence. Which band are promoting their new album – Def Leppard or Soundgarden/Alice In Chains/Nirvana? Part of the Brits’ enduring appeal is, o course, their live show. It’s how they started out and it’s what they’ve based their reputation on over the years. Hearing their range of well crafted songs, its not nostalgia that makes them good… “You never see people saying The Stones are a ‘70s band, or a ‘60s band, they’re just The Stones. It doesn’t give them an era reference that ties them to a certain year in their career

like a ball and chain.” Their songs take on a different life when played live, of course. Remove the shackles/luxury of studio production and Leppard are a raucous rock and roll band. Stripped back to ‘just’ a five-piece, their material stands up well. “Yeah it does,” agrees Joe. “You can’t sing five harmonies if there are only three of you singing live, but we learned certain ones aren’t important live. You take the three most obvious ones and do those, so when you hear us do Promises or Armageddon It, we’re singing the harmonies that are on the record – they just happen to be slightly smaller because there are only three of us singing them, rather than multi-tracking ‘em sixteen thousand times!” That basic simplicity brings us back to Yeah… “That’s the great thing, it’s been recorded and presented almost like a live album!”

Pic: Clay Patrick McBride

“When I read some preview of us coming to town, and it says ‘80s big hair metal gods, you want to punch the twat that wrote it.”

4LMP 'SPPIR SR]IEL I figure I’d best go easy on a man with a sore throat - especially as he has a few thousand people to sing at over the coming weeks, but I couldn’t let him go without asking him about the new album: A lot of people will ask why bother, but I say why the hell not! What’s your version of

events? “Haha... I’m not sure I have a ‘version’ of events but it was great fun to do. We consciously chose not to shoot for the obvious tracks like Ziggy Stardust or Rock n Roll Suicide because it makes for a more interesting album... ” That was going to be my first point - it’s not an obvious album by any stretch of the imagination, but it works really well and I think it works on many levels - there’s the nostalgia value for anyone over thirty - it’s been years since I’ve heard some of those songs... Phil picks it up.. “Y’know something else, I wouldn’t be at all shocked if some people thought it was all original material - it does happen, especially with the younger members of the audience and that’s great - that’s half the point of doing it - not so that they think we have an all new album but to open them up to all the great bands that we grew up on...” I should have told Phil the story of my friend Heidi from Oz who has, and I quote ‘never heard of Marc Bolan... ‘you can see his point though, and it’s a good one. “We did some things that appeased us too though, doing a Queen number would have been great but we chose to go with the David Essex song in a Queen style - you’re not the only one who hadn’t heard some of this stuff in ages. You forget how huge these bands where and the amount of influence they had on our lives. “ELO were an amazing band who had a great run and then were forgotten a bit. I think if we can open a few people up while also having our older fan base loving it for what it is then job done mate!” I love your version of Hellraiser. “Me too, The Sweet - now there was a band and a half!” No shit.

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discs THE ANSWER RISE ✪✪✪✪✪ ALBERT PRODUCTIONS Hoo-fuckin-ray. A real-live rock n roll album! Much touted by ‘classic’ purists as the soultion to just about everything that’s ‘wrong’ with modern music, The Answer are so, so much more than that. Step away from those who are touting the band as something they’re not, step back from those who think they are lovingly helping them along with lame comparisons to a day gone by and step on the gas to the record store people. The Answer have produced here a magnificent soundscape, the likes of which haven’t been heard, let alone done this well in maybe the last 20 years. There’s all kinds of things going on under the surface of this album! Aside from guitar heroes and sex gods in the making, is that the sound of a million ipods at work? Busily carting around the first essential album of the year... yes it is. Track for track, you can shuffle this album around as much as you like and it suffers not a jot - such is the quality of the songwriting. The secret is in the blues infulence - it can carry a million sins but what The Answer have done is infused those blues with hooks from hell. Big barbed hooks that are impossible to get out of the skin. Leading in with Under the Sky and Never Too Late - two blistering potential singles - the album strolls to it’s finale on rollercoaster rails picking up on the way, the massive Be What You Want, the air guitar monster of No Questions Asked, the potential chart smasher Sometimes Your Love - complete with superbly crafted harmonies... Fuck it - words are not enough Rise can speak for itself. An absolute monster of an album, but just to make sure I thought I’d stuff it under Mr Johnsons nose to be sure...and Mr Johnson says:

Lets deal with the positives first, though – and they’re big positives. When this lot get it right, they are bang on the money. Opening tracks Under The Sky and Never Too Late are stonkin’ rockers, riding a groove it’s a pleasure to be stuck in. You can dance, you can boogie, it’s all good. Come Follow Me has all the hallmarks of a live classic, while Leavin’ Today is custom made for being played loud with the roof down. Sadly, the rest of the album falls short of the high benchmark these songs set. Memphis Water is a tad tepid, Preachin’ fails to convert you, and Always On My Mind sounds like what it is – the last track on the album, so people probably won’t get that far. The band list their influences as The Black Crowes, Led Zep (Jimmy Page is allegedly a big fan), and they were invited by Phil Lynott’s mum to play at a

tribute for the great man – so there’s no denying their popularity. I just don’t get it. For every great song, there’s an average one. Every time you think they’re rockin’ out, they reel themselves back in to mediocre-ville. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to emulate your heroes, far from it. Some of my favourite albums of the past year (Glyder, Living Things, Diamond Nights) have been rooted in the past, yet somehow they manage to take a giant leap forward at the same time (if that makes sense!). I’m sure they’re a great live band – they sound like they’ve cut their teeth in the traditional way – but somehow they’ve failed to totally capture that magic here. Maybe part of the blame should go to the production team of Andy Bradfield and Avril Mackintosh. It’s not quite

polished enough to make it slick, not dirty enough to do the band’s blues roots justice. For my money, The Answer have some excellent songs, but sadly not enough yet to make an album of sufficient quality to make the plaudits they are being heaped with appear warranted. KJ Okay - well that didn’t turn out quite as planned, but a second opinion is always worth getting. It’s been a week since my initial reaction and it’s still as great as I thought it was that time round - and that’s a good sign because sometimes an album just has to be better than all the others to make it better than it should be (and vice versa too sometimes). Mr J makes soem good points but from where I’m sitting, the point is that ‘back in the day’ a band were able to develop with very little repurcussions. The record

companies would just take it on the head and press on mostly because they believed in the act they had signed. Sometimes a band could get through four or five albums before they hit their stride - it was only the truly great that ever delivered the goods from day one. On that basis, I’ll put my name against the band making it all the way - I still can’t fault Rise and it’s early days, there’s more scope here than you’ll find at Jodrell Bank. The album is stuffed so full of potential that I’d wager there’s a cutting room floor full of songs that woulds make more than a decent interim album of outtakes. For now though, I’m happy as a pig in zen. Like I said don’t let anybody fool you with the marketing glove that has ‘classic’ written on it. It is classic - but it sure as hell isn’t for those reasons. SS

The Answer have produced a magnificent soundscape, the likes of which haven’t been heard, let alone done this well, in maybe the last 2o years...

✪✪✪ Here’s a test for the old memory cells – does the name Reef ring any bells? They came from the south coast, (Brighton, Plymouth, somewhere like that) and tried to sound like the Black Crowes. Needless to say, they fell woefully short. Well, first the good news – The Answer don’t sound half as bad as that. Sadly, I’m still left with the feeling that Northern Ireland’s “award winning” The Answer are trying too hard to recreate a bygone sound.

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THE FORECAST IN THE SHADOW OF TWO GUNMEN ✪✪✪✪ VICTORY RECORDS

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adventurous in all they deliver, I promise you, if you’re looking for a great rock album that you won’t burn out on in 7 days flat, you could do much much worse than check these puppies out. SS (HED) P.E. BACK 2 BASE X ✪✪✪ SUBURBAN NOIZE

Victory Records know no bounds when it comes to talent. On one hand they have a stack of bands that appeal to those who have an eye on being cool and on the other hand, a whole host of bands that would appeal to those with an ear on being cool. Two Gunmen is a fantastic album - brimming over with songs that will have you reaching for the volume knob everytime, it takes you on board in an instant as the opening bars of Everything We Want To Be swathe around the room leaving you wondering how a bunch of blokes so normal looking can come up with melodies so fuelled with... well, brilliance. No word of a lie, as the album moves into And We All Return to our Roots and Carry Me Home, they prove they’re more than a one trick pony and come on like a dirtbag All American rejects - apologies for the comparison, but you look like you’re in need of a reason to check out a band you’ve never heard of before. With an ear for more than just a melody though, these guys (and one girl) have a great universal mind for lyrics too. Never boring and

It’s been some time since this lot tore up rock club floors across the UK with ‘Bartender’ and ‘Killing Time’ both tracks are still heard in the clubs all over the land, such was their impact, but the band seemed to fade away, but like iLL Nino they just kept doing what they do, recorded some new material and kicked it out in the dust on the road, so we now arrive in 2006 and some changes are afoot… The musical landscape that allowed (hed) p.e. to gain a foothold in the Rock scene has moved it’s own goalposts, sure Korn are still the kings of the hybrid rap/rock genre and Linkin Park certainly took it to the kids and to the charts, but if anything, the changes at hand seemed to have pushed this record back towards what this band was really about. Opener ‘Listen’ is a deep groove, that is laid back and chillin’ - not what you would expect from an opener, but

QUEENSRYCHE OPERATION MINDCRIME REISSUE - BONUS PACK ✪✪✪✪ EMI

Assaulted on one side by the awesome Mindcrime 2 album, a live date or two dotted around the country and then blind-sided by this left hook. Is it too much? I’m not sure you can ever have too much Queensryche? However, what the hell can I possibly find to say about Operation Mindcrime that hasn’t been said a million times already. Well, I think I can say two things. The first is that if

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tracks 2 and 3 certainly liven things up, ‘Lock & Load’ is a storming fist throwing mutha’ ready to buRn baby buRn, it’s like Ric Flair’s theme tune on acid, whoo, whoo… This album is in fact closer to Body Count and Public Enemy than to Metal, they have embraced Hip Hop like a long lost brother, they always had the hint of a tint, but now they have emerged with their full colour, they are still able to surprise when they throw their hand onto the table and mix the rock and rap like no one else can, they even call over ‘Roxanne’ on track six, ‘Sophia’ really does have a reggae groove that is being chased by The Police, a Sting in the tail! At times the generic obsession with staying in the confines of their surroundings lets them down, often each song blends into each other after track six, like a train running out of steam, when they take chances like that of last song ‘The Chosen One’ what you hear is a band willing to adapt but somehow afraid to step out of the shadows and really deliver what they want, this is a good record, but it’s not a great one, they still have that inside them if they can just harness their power one more time… JJ COLDSEED COMPLETION MAKES THE TRAGEDY ✪✪✪✪ NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS It takes a pretty special band to turn bog-standard metal into something that more than 5 people will listen to. Unfortunately, Coldseed aren’t really one of those bands, but they cater well for those of us who love to crank

up the stereo and have our heart beat thrown out of sync by ridiculously heavy and complex rhythms.

Mixing the calculated rhythmic thumping of Mudvayne with the epic-factor of a band like Lacuna Coil (or even Dimmu Borgir), Coldseed really show off their best on Nothing But A Loser, so check it out if you can. Burning With A Shade gets a bit darker and more evil, revealing that Coldseed can play with atmosphere and mood as well as pant-shitting heaviness. Everything changes tone after Reflection, taking on a slightly (ever so slightly!) lighter and even anthemic touch especially title track Completion Makes The Tragedy. If you like darker metal, pick this up. Like now! SW CARMINE APPICE PROJECT ULTIMATE GUITAR ZEUS ✪✪✪✪ ESCAPI RECORDS Carmine Appice started out as a drummer in 60s band Vanilla Fudge - the band most often credited with initiating the birth of stoner rock. Now, 40 years on, Appice returns with the third album in his Guitar Zeus series, and it’s absolutely fantastic. Composed of the best tracks from the other two albums, Ultimate Guitar Zeus is 14 tracks of bluesy, hard-

you’ve never heard it, where have you been exactly (and more to the point, what were you doing while you were there?). The second is that it sounds as incredible as it did back in the day. Admittedly production in general seems to have gotten better in the last 20 years for bands who like to deliver clinical precision, but it still sounds great and is a true concept experience. This version of the album also has two bonus tracks in the shape of The Mission from the bonus disc live set and also My Empty Room from the low key Astoria date a month earlier. The (previously unreleased) bonus disc from the Hammersmith Odeon in 1990 is surprisingly excellent. Surprising because despite the band occupying a top 5 live bands of all time slot for me, that has never translated to vinyl, CD or any other format for that matter until now. I have no idea why that is, but it’s a fact, so this is a great disc to include in the collection - it’s perfect in fact with everybody but especially Tate on ultra top form for the duration. Mindcrime has always been a bitch to get hold of on CD - it’s associate paraphernalia has been even harder to get and it would have been a real coup if EMI had gone for broke with it and really boxed it up with Livecrime on board as well.

rocking catchiness.

Featuring a host of guest guitarists (most surprisingly man-of-action Steven Seagal) and a couple of guest vocalists (even more surprisingly tennisplaying angry-man John McEnroe!), not a single track can be faulted on this album. Killin’ Time and 4 Miles High stand out the most, their hardrocking roots really showing through and acting as a highly evolved representation of the best elements of the numerous sub-genres of rock. You could easily justify buying this album if you like rockin’ out - oldschool style. SW TAKOTA THE IVORY TOWER ✪✪✪✪ ARES/RELEVATION RECORDS

Takota are a band with some big ambitions, reflected in their even bigger songs, and The Ivory Tower is a vital and uplifting album that certainly offers a place of retreat with its

Still, there’s no faulting one of the greatest albums from the back end of the eighties. It influenced more than we can possibly ever know... SS QUEENSRYCHE OPERATION: VIDEOCRIME ✪✪✪ To accompany the two live albums, EMI have also added Operation: Videocrime for the first time on DVD. Not to be confused with Livecrime (the original Mindcrime album performed in its entirety), this was a brief 20-minute film project done to promote the original studio album. What you get is the band miming to the main songs of the story on a stage, minus the audience, with film footage stitched in to tell you what’s going on. What it fails to do is capture the full complexity and majesty that makes Operation:Mindcrime such a great album. What it does do is show that the whole story can be cut to 20 minutes or so, which takes some of the shine off of the whole thing! Extras: A making of, TV spots KJ

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discs captivating melodies, meaningful enough to stay with you long after the album is finished. Whether it’s the anthemic chorus of the title track, or the hip-shaking dance floor stomp of ‘City Drugs’ (which enlists the talents of the album’s producer, Atreyu drummer and vocalist Brandon Saller), rock ’n’ roll riffs swagger underneath passionate and powerful vocals that soar into emotive choruses; meanwhile, tracks like ‘A Little Honesty’ and ‘Diary’ seem to strike a perfect balance between ardent power ballads and emo intensity. Try as you might to be cynical about this one, it’s almost impossible not to fall in love with. CM ROSE HILL DRIVE ROSE HILL DRIVE ✪✪✪ MEGAFORCE

mini-album debut gets off to a fairly conventional start, with its inquisitive boy-girl harmonies and quirky rhythms, but the tracks get progressively stranger and more experimental as their curious lyrics are coupled with air pockets of stellar sounds that cause the songs to blur and bubble into continuous streams of swirling art rock. As with much of this art-rock type indie, you either get it or you don’t, and for those that do, there are definitely elements of genius at work amongst this Bristol four-piece, whose kooky creativity is bound to cause waves. CM 36 CRAZYFISTS REST INSIDE THE FLAMES ✪✪✪✪ ROADRUNNER RECORDS

classic elements of soft rock and actually done something different with it. Whereas bands like The Hazey Janes or The Magic Numbers might seem a bit too happy and corny, these guys achieve their goals without sounding so contrived. This album shows the band walking a line between euphoria and melancholia: they romanticise burnt toast and chewing gum stuck to the underside of a table - these guys are doing for mundane life what Romeo and Juliet did for balconies! Songs such as Casino Eyes and Not Going, Gone are daubed with a beautifully agonised form of melancholia - it’s musical poetry. And unintentionally poetic rather than deliberately crafted, which is all the better! There are even a few acoustic bonus tracks and a music video on here, so this is really a worthwhile purchase. SW FONY MERCY AFTER FICTION ✪✪✪✪ HEADROOM RECORDS

Hey Mr Fifty Quid Man... Looking for something new to take a chance on? Well, set aside the fact that you’d probably never pick this up on a whim because the album cover has had less thought put into it than breathing and you’ll find yourself in the presence of something more than a little bit tasty. Whipping up a barrel of funk laden rock that’s good for the entirety of the disc, this is one quality album - though the funk don’t last all the way through! The band appear to be influenced by the likes of the Beatles and QOTSA - at least that’s how it comes across excellent songwriting on all fronts - Showdown, Cool Cody and Brain Novocaine in particular, make this a fine album to cross paths with. With the potential to drive itself further and further to the top of the playlist around here. there’s an extra star sitting in the wings. SS YOU & THE ATOM BOMB SHAKE SHAKE HELLO?! ✪✪✪ SINK AND STOVE/CARGO They describe themselves as ‘cataclysmic skronk pop’. No, I don’t know what that means either, but it probably has something to do with their offkilter math-rock beats, catchy, accessible melodies and a penchant for sea life… maybe? You & The Atom Bomb’s

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If you picked up the latest Headbanger’s Ball album, you’ll have already heard album-opener I’ll Go Until My Heart Stops. So you’ll already know that it’s heavier and more powerful than their previous work - a passionate blend of the raw aggression seen on Bitterness The Star with the more structured and focused songwriting encountered on A Snow-Capped Romance. The rest of the album doesn’t disappoint. I can say with confidence that this album defiantly shits all over the “emo” bands that have started to parody the sound 36 Crazyfists originally engineered. This album offers some of the heaviest breakdowns committed to record and is very rhythmically intimidating - however, some of the songs in the middle are pretty standard screamo fare. We Cannot Deny kicks the album back into gear, preparing for the assault of Between The Anchor And The Air - just in time to allow the acoustic closer The City Ignites to bring you down. This is a top-quality album - two thumbs up! SW THE WIRELESS STORES DUST GHOSTS ✪✪✪✪ IN AT THE DEEP END RECORDS I’m usually the last person to be impressed by upbeat soft rock, because it’s often soppy and predictable. But The Wireless Stores, a country-punk 5-piece (or so they say) from Nottingham, have taken the

Fony have come a long way since Routine Irregular and Circles - there’s no doubt about that. And, for a band that have always so vehemently denied convention, they still manage to write some pretty damn catchy songs! Mercy After Fiction consists of 11 songs; all of which are impressively good, even to nonfans of the band: a great example of this is A To Breathe, which features double bass underpinning the wellpaced and cleverly dynamic songwriting - it all ties together really well. This is also the first studio album that features new singer Fraser and long-time bassist Guy, and they really fit well with the rest of the band. This is an extremely good album in that it doesn’t conform to any identifiable genre, so it leaves itself open to a really broad audience. Songs like Cloaked & Daggered are reminiscent of the band’s heavier past, but other tracks such as Waco and The_Leads The Dance really indicate how well the band have evolve over the years into their current musical territory. Current fans won’t be disappointed and new fans won’t feel alienated: this is genuinely a fantastic album. SW

SHADOWS FALL FALLOUT FROM THE WAR CENTURY MEDIA RECORDS ✪✪✪

There’s no pissing about here the album kicks straight into the style of metal Shadows Fall have made their trademark in recent years. It doesn’t ease up either; it’s entirely relentless thrashing, grinding and hammering metal from beginning to end - but really lacks the catchiness of The Art Of Balance, or even the slightly less memorable The War Within - this album sounds a bit weak. Seize The Calm is a bit more melodic, but don’t get delusions of grandeur: this album is just straightforward heavy metal. The last few tracks are covers, so offer up something a bit different - but not enough to save the album. Shadows Fall really haven’t pushed themselves on this album at all - they’re locked into a very strict metal song template at the moment, which they’ll hopefully break free of on their next album. SW QUINN LUSS ✪✪✪ GENEPOOL I wonder if there are too many Zero 7 or Lou Rhodes fans reading Burn. If you’re out there guys, you might like this. Louise Quinn’s silky vocal slides easily over languid, chilled and pared down songs ideal for lazy Sunday mornings drinking your latte on the faux leather couch. Now and then, there’s a touch of fifties kitsch to her Doris Day style, the rest of the time, it’s closer to Alison Goldfrapp. Gorgeous she sounds, and the slick, highly polished production from renowned DJ Kid Loco is a perfect fit. Downside? The songs are a little bit too chilled and a little bit samey. For a fuller bodied version of this style, try Basilica or Obedientbone. Now we’re talking… SE HERESY FACE UP TO IT! ✪✪ BOSS TUNEAGE So here’s the deal: when Heresy recorded this (their only) album back in the late 80s, they had the misfortune to pick a crap studio and felt the

result was of inferior quality despite receiving good public response. Nearly 20 years on, they’ve got together and remastered a myriad of material from their back catalogue - Face Up To It! being the second in a planned trilogy of re-releases. Face Up To It! is a pinnacle of British hardcore, and seems an important treat for both the band’s fans and any fan of the scene in general. The songs show off some quite interesting lyrical messages - but their frenzied presentation takes the message, wraps it in barbed wire and shoves it up your ass sideways. This music is not easy to digest! There’s 11 bonus tracks of remastered rehearsals and previously unreleased material as well as extensive liner notes, so if you’re a fan, you should pick this up. SW MARK PICKEREL AND HIS PRAYING HANDS ✪✪ SNAKE IN THE RADIO ACADIA

If ever an album had a good pedigree, this is it. Mark Pickerel was once in the mighty Screaming Trees and his debut solo album is produced by Steve Fisk of Nirvana and Soundgarden Fame. Having slid out from behind the drums, Mark hits the mic with a vocal style somewhere between Nick Cave and Johnny Cash. Dark and broody, this is an album that so very nearly works. This should sound like the score to a David Lynch film, with an understated alt-country feel delivering a quiet menace. All the elements are there, but they’ve overdone the country twang. It’s not threatening, it’s cosy and, sadly, closer to Calexico than The Badseeds. SE GREGORY DARLING SHELL ✪✪ NOVA Julian Lennon’s co-writer, collaborates with Julian Lennon’s producer to create an album that sounds like… well, thankfully not Julian Lennon. This downbeat, melodic and thoroughly grown-up offering of mediocre songs fits nicely in the slot vacated by Del Amitri. Under normal circumstances, I’d say it would sink without trace, but in these James Blunt

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infected times, when Dad-Rock is king, it might well go the distance. SE EIDOLON THE PARALLEL OTHERWORLD ESCAPI RECORDS ✪✪

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energetic, quality songwriting, with tracks like ‘Uneven Challenge’, ‘Narcolepsy’ and ‘The Relentless Quest of Paul Smith’ more infectious than the common cold and making up for what they lack in originality. CM STRAPPING YOUNG LAD – HEAVY AS A REALLY HEAVY THING (RE-ISSUE) ✪✪✪✪ CENTURY MEDIA

Originally formed by Glen and Shawn Drover in 1993, Eidolon was put on hold when the brothers joined Megadeth in 2004 - finally the boys have managed to put a new album together. Despite encouraging reviews of their previous albums, I have to say that The Parallel Otherworld is a bit of a letdown. So, where to start? The songs are far too long (by several minutes in most cases), the vocals are siphoned direct from the 80s and there’s absolute zero range in the songwriting. The band are incredibly tight and talented, but they’re let down by the repetitive and dull song structures they incorporate in most tracks. Songs such as Arcturus #9 and The Oath are potentially catchy, but altogether pulled down by their length and sheer disposability. If this is your sort of thing, I’d recommend any number of other albums by far more memorable bands in the genre - King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, or even Helloween or Iron Maiden. SW BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT ✪✪✪ TEN PAST TEN RECORDS Surrey five-piece Beyond Reasonable Doubt release their self-titled debut professing their allegiance to old school British classics such as The Who, Thin Lizzy, The Kinks and The Smiths, yet all that really screams out to me is the obvious American pop-punk leaning that turns what is a potentially great album into a game of ‘spot the influence’ – the edgy but oh-so-catchy Offspring-style guitars, harmonies borrowed from the likes of Blink 182 and Sum 41 and the relentless double-speed punk rhythms of Green Day and NOFX. However, this doesn’t detract from the fact that Beyond Reasonable Doubt is consistent throughout, never dropping below brilliance in terms of

Heavy As A Heavy Thing bulldozes its way through fifty-six minutes of heavy-as-fuck metal machinations and mindbending noise, relentlessly switching from the darker industrial sounds of ‘Goat’ to the sludgy techno chug of ‘Cod Metal King’, before propelling you into the frantic hyperactive rant that is ‘Happy Camper’. Heavy As A Really Heavy Thing is essentially, in Townsend’s own words, a collection of demos, and opening tracks ‘SYL’ and ‘In The Rainy Season’ are the only numbers from period that still remain in the band’s live repertoire. But don’t let this put you off – if you’re in the mood for some obnoxious metal that doesn’t take itself too seriously (as the hilarious bonus track, ‘Satan’s Ice Cream Truck’ emphasizes only to well), Heavy As A Heavy Thing does exactly what it says on the tin. CM

LAST STOP CHINATOWN VITAL SIGNS ✪✪ WOODHILL RECORDS

This thing kicks in like a bastard, boding well for what lies ahead. Sadly, after Just Ashes, it’s all down hill (great song though – chorus stays in your head for days). Like Bauhaus singing early Queensryche, the component parts sound like they should be good, but somehow the mix isn’t quite right. Hollywood Ending is quite

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BUCKCHERRY 15 ✪✪✪✪ ELEVEN SEVEN MUSIC

Suckerpunched by the Gods of Fate, Buckcherry didn’t get an easy ride after producing two great albums for the world to fall back on in times of boredom. The media walked, the fans changed and yet there were enough of us still giving a damn to make enough difference for them to give it another shot. It was quite a big difference too - Fifteen has just been picked up by Atlantic for a global release, and justifiably so, as it’s kicking asses and taking names all over the place. Sometimes, well, OK then, most of the time, you just want to stick a finger up at the world

good – in a heavy-yetcommercial kind of way, but there’s too many tracks like Let The Dice Decide and Bet On Red, which aim high but sadly fall short. Alon’s vocals are strident, Ollie and Robin are solid in the guitar department, there just seems to be something missing. Better luck next time, guys. KJ THE BOTTLE ROCKETS ZOYSIA ✪ EVANGELINE Need a band for your wedding? I can imagine The Bottle Rockets playing in a big marquee, drunken bridesmaids with grass-stains on their dresses wobbling around the dance-floor and little girls dancing on their daddies’ feet.

and stomp your foot down to some heartfelt rock n roll - and none do it much better these days than Buckcherry. If you’re in any doubt whatsoever, all you have to do is check out the first single Crazy Bitch and it’ll be more than enough - and if singles is your bag then there are more than just a few kicking about here; So Far, Next to You and Broken Glass are all prime movers for their own day in the sun - but 15 maybe delivers something that their previous albums didn’t and that’s a whole bunch of Aerosmith style ballads that could just as easily make the grade. Of these Sorry is straining at the leash to get away but Everything and Out of Line aren’t slouching about either. 15 is a super-infectious album that gets under your skin from the off. Y’know, Velvet Revolver mayt have been great with Todd on board, but Buckcherry own their own stage too. Good to have you back guys... not get the fuck over here and put us out of our misery. SS Like this? Grab the classic debut and the much under-rated Timebomb. Got those? Head out to ebay and rustle yourself up a copy D Generation’s self titled debut for more rip your head off rock n roll...

Other than that, and assuming they’re not available for such events, I can’t see this ‘working man’s rock’ (their term, not mine), working in the UK. Hailing from Missouri, this is overblown country music that makes Bruce Springsteen sound like heavy metal. Yuk. SE SSM SSM ALIVE RECORDS ✪✪✪✪ I have no idea what “avantrock” is, but according to their press release, SSM are it. The trio of John Szymanski, Dave Shettler and Marty Morris hail from Detroit, home of Alice Cooper and Kiss, but they have about as much in common with their classic forefathers as George Bush does with Mensa. Basically, they do what they

want. Songs like Exit Strategy are straightforward, in a Beck kinda way, while Worst Of Me has more of a laid-back blues vibe.

There’s smatterings of punk, samples galore, and at one point I was wondering who’s phone was ringing. What you have is a myriad of styles, a cornucopia of aural delights – a bastard to categorise but heaven to listen to. KJ

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discs PRIDE OF LIONS LIVE IN BELGIUM

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FRONTIERS RECORDS

B MOVIE HEROES CALIBRATE UNDERGROOVE ✪✪✪✪✪ Every now and then, a band comes long who blow your ears clean off the side of your head the minute you press play on the stereo. I’m not talking about them being heavy, or screechingly loud, just a band who ooze class and charisma from the off, and don’t let the standards slip for the entire album. Such a rare beast are B Movie Heroes. With Calibrate, Worcester’s finest (not entirely sure that’s a huge accolade, but hey…) have produced an album of such astounding depth of quality that’s its amazing that a) they aren’t huge already, and b) they still need day jobs at all. Starting off with Intro (where do people come up with these wacky titles?), Neil Phillips (guitars/vocals), Dean McCreadie (guitars/vocals), Russ Carlin (bass/vocals) and Scott Garrett (drums), set out their stall with Cash Cow – a chunky riff tied to a delicious chorus. And things just keep getting better. Another Broken Machine is rock solid, My Apology (which has been made into a video) is as radio friendly as it gets without wimping out, James Dean will have you shouting along with the chorus, you get the picture. Even when they slow things down with (Blood is) Thicker Than Wine and November New Year, they don’t get soft. The harmonies still have an edge, the songs still slicker than Alaskan bay after the Exxon Valdez has docked. It strikes me people are so busy kissing the feet of the

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American ‘emo’ crowd at the moment, they’re all too quick to overlook what is going on on their own doorstep. While the likes of Fall Out Boy appear all shiny on the surface, there is fuck all underneath, where as the Heroes have so much depth they could drown Peter Crouch (for those living in a cave, he’s tall). In Neil, Russ and Dean they have three excellent singers, all of whom are more than able on their own – when combined, they’re lethal. Underpinning the whole thing is Scott, who switches from whirlwind to light breeze with consummate ease. Take the contrast between Livin’ The Lie and Bitter Sweet Sedation. Both extremes of the band can be encompassed within the two songs – perfectly showcasing all that is good about Calibrate. The final polish comes in the form of Joe Gibb. He’s given the band a polish without refining the rough edges, a live sound without losing focus. In short, between the five of them they’ve damn near created the perfect album. The acid test, of course, is whether you can still listen to an album months down the line. Granted I’ve only had Calibrate for a few weeks, but its showing no sign of losing its appeal. It’s in the car, it’s on my iPod – I must listen to at least one track every day. Try as I might, I can’t get fed up with it. We finally seem to have found a band who are ten times better than the Americans people fawn over. I just hope enough people open their ears and pay attention. KJ

Basically a set of songs recorded live in Belgium by Pride Of Lions, the production and mixing here is pretty good, I’ll give them that. But dear God is this style of music has been overdone to death. It didn’t sound all that good when it was in its hey-day, so now it just sounds even more dated and inept. Just for good measure, there’s a cover of Survivor’s Eye Of The Tiger - which pushes Pride Of Lions into cheese overdrive. There’s a bonus disk with 7 studio tracks, and they’re no better. So Deadly is a strong contender for the number 1 spot on the next power ballad anthology - the material here is wearing thin and a bit weak. SW METAL CHURCH A LIGHT IN THE DARK ✸ SPV

Fuck me, this lot are still going! Apparently it’s been 20 years since “cult” album The Dark, and as seems to be the trend at the moment the Church are banging on about doing things differently, changing etc etc. The truth – to these anyway – is simple. They’ve produced an album to their usual high standard, regardless of the new bloke behind the drum kit. This is the original heavy metal sound. Solid guitars, heavy vocals, pounding rhythm section… you get the picture. For what it is. Metal Church do it very well, it’s just that in an age where musical genres are mutating faster than fish in Lake Chernobyl, there are so many bands out there doing things brighter, better and more daring. Hell, even Iron Maiden’s Dance Of Death (which stuck pretty rigidly to their tried and tested formula) sounds more cutting edge than this. Sorry, lads. KJ

WALTARI BLOOD SAMPLE ✪✪✪ DOCKYARD

ADEQUATE SEVEN HERE ON EARTH

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BREAKINGWORLD RECORDS

Unless they’re from Scandinavia, I’ve always been slightly derisive of ‘euro-rock’ - probably ever since I had a bad experience with a Scorpions album, so I normally leave it up to others to fill in the blanks. But with Andy washing his hair tonight, I find myself in the possession of this... and it’s pretty damn good. With more than a nod of the head to Mr Mustaine, Waltari have come up with an album that might just change my perspective forever. Waltari aren’t afraid to throw everything at the wall on this one. There’s harmonies, anthemic shouting, punk guitars, huge riffs and er... what appears to be a ring tone at one point (don’t worry, it’s mercifully short!). Most importantly of course, there’s songs - shit loads of them! IThere’s the aforementioned Megadeth influences kicking about but here and there, they also sound like Backyard Babies (particularly the track Never) and somehow, all this works! Interesting. Need to hear more from these guys, but I think we may have a new fan around town... SS BERNARD TRAIL OF TEARS SPINACH RECORDS ✪✪✪ Holy fuck – where has Donna Dowling been hiding? Like a tortured Janis Joplin, Donna’s vocals make this album something outside of the ordinary that it might have been. That’s not to take anything away from the rest of the band – who are tight as the proverbial duck’s derrière – but it’s Donna who rises as the star here. Liar is anger fuelled, A Welcome Home gently teases before bashing your head in, Spider Web has her at her haunting best. In an age where the record industry can’t seem to cope with female artists who aren’t out to be pop clones, Bernard are a breath of fresh air and have got the hooks to prove it to the world as well Name’s a bit of a fucker tho... KJ

If a band dares to be different, they’ve already notched up a couple of points in my book. If they can take what they’re doing and make it sound like a feasible alternative to the mainstream, they’re well on their way to winning me over. And that’s exactly what Adequate Seven do. They mix elements of funk, punk and even ska to create a pretty unique strain of rock that never sits still, constantly fidgeting across musical landscapes. Album opener Splitting Up completely bowls you over, and Now It’s Time is a song that can only be described as sheer frenetic madness. The mixture of such different genres CAN sound a bit unwieldy at times (King Leopold’s Ghost for example), but on the whole, this is a heavily kinetic album that shows off a daring (and damn good) alternative sound. SW MICHAEL KISKE INSTANT CLARITY

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FRONTIERS

I’ll give Michael Kiske one thing - he can write a bloody good intro. Every single song on this album opens with perhaps 1520 seconds of interesting and unusual music - then just reverts to bog-standard cheese. Kiske manages to make a pretty dank genre almost listenable in a few places by adding a mesmerising level of epic songwriting; he can sing pretty well too. Songs such as The Calling and So Sick have a bit too much going on as a result, but at least it blurs the outlines of the cheese. There’s 3 bonus tracks bolted on the end as well - all acoustic numbers that avoid a coating of cheese. Not too bad, but not really too good either... SW

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GLENN TIPTON BAPTIZM OF FIRE

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RHINO RECORDS

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catchy song as well: Where Do We Fall and Another Sinking Ship show that the band are smashing through any boundaries that previously existed in their world. This album will definitely convert a whole new generation of fans for the band. SW TORTURE STORM ALERT

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Before I even put the CD into the player, I knew this was either going to go really well or really badly. The songs have a very ‘driven’ rhythmic sense, which is always a welcome factor in metal: if you’re a fan of Rob Zombie or Black Label Society, you’ll be in familiar territory with most of these songs. Just to throw you off kilter, there’s a cover of The Rolling Stones song Paint It Black and it’s never been rocked so hard as it is here! Every song brings something new to the table: Extinct is very anthemic and almost edges into the realm of power metal, whereas Left For Dead takes the album in a country-sounding direction all of a sudden. There are so many styles that have been successfully experimented with here that I’d strongly recommend this album - no matter what kind of metal you’re into; there’ll be something for you on here. SW

SIKTH DEATH OF A DEAD DAY

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BIELER BROS. RECORDS

ESCAPI MUSIC Just looking over the track list, it’s easy to see that this ain’t gonna be no bed of roses! With song titles like Blood Portraits and Terror Kingdom, there’s no doubting that this is going to be pretty dark metal: but the music is reasonably standard thrash metal with vocals that verge on black metal in their presentation. The album’s Intro track sets the tone for the rest of the album with its completely haunting orchestration and choral Latin chanting - its unsettling from the outset!

Ignominious Slaughter shows that how polished the production here is, and how reminiscent Torture can be of Slayer at times. If you like your metal to be almost obscenely dark and evil, then check this out. SW THE SLEEPING QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

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VICTORY RECORDS

SikTh are known for playing pretty fast and heavy metal that dares to be different they’re quickly becoming the authors of their own sub-genre of metal. The band are very musically talented, which often lends them a very technical sound that has had people crying out the label of “prog metal”, but I won’t dare to be so restrictive. Musically, the band are tighter than the tax-man’s sphincter and so intricate that guitarists will have a field day sifting through the melodies and harmonies on offer here. They can also write a pretty

So I guess this is what you could see as the latest incarnation of Britrock: first there was the Madchester bands, then the melancholic warbling of Coldplay et al, and now this. Stepping alongside bands such as Hundred Reasons and even Fony, The Sleeping deliver their songs well: the songs are definitely there (at least in terms of talent), but they aren’t too shit-hot at the moment. But there is potential -

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something that’s often far better than hitting the spot with the first attempt, which can lead a band to become formulaic and dull - with potential, the band can evolve and you know there’s more to come. The vocal style isn’t too offensive, and gets the lyrical points across simply and easily - Heart Beatz shows that. The piece of grit that could one day evolve into a pearl is revealed in The Big Breakdown: Day 3 (The Escape), which demonstrates raw songwriting talent. Keep an eye on these guys judging by what’s on offer here, they might just hit it big one day. SW

Flawless and honourable? Surely not!

PAINT IT BLACK VARIOUS

✪✪✪ EMI

Faster than you can say “cashin”, EMI have trawled through their archives and found enough Rolling Stones cover versions. Whether this is to celebrate the legend’s UK tour (as claimed) or to mark the end of a sparkling career (if the coconut on the bonce turns out to be nastier for ol’ Keef than first thought) remains to be seen, but what I can tell you is that they are taking the piss here! Sure, there’s some class cuts (Bowie’s Lets Spend The Night Together, Aretha’s Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Otis bashing out Satisfaction), but there are songs here that should never have seen the light of day the first time around. Rod Stewart needs shooting for attempting Street Fighting Man, Ike and Tina Turner should have done time for Honky Tonk Woman, and as for the Flying fucking Pickets… Still, there is enough here to out-shine the shit. What Exodus do to Bitch is hilariously brutal, Thunder and The Quireboys are as flawless and honourable as you’d expect, and Gilby Clarke deserves a gold star for his rendition of Dead Flowers (especially as Axl’s backing vocals are going to beat GnR’s new album into the shops!) This is purely for the die-hard fan. Well, them and the terminally curious. KJ

VERRA CRUZ EMANCIPATION DAY ✪✪✪✪✪ VC RECORDS It’s a mark of something quite earthshaking when the albums that are really kicking serious butt at the moment are from new bands - and I’m talking bands that are flaunting innovation, intelligence... bands that can play.. No word of a lie here - Emancipation Day is one huge album. Part Pearl Jam, part Counting Crows and part Tea Party... it winds you in from the brilliant Cold That You Feel and leaves you wondering just what in the world you’ve stumbled upon - and despite sounding American as pie, they’re British, which is just plain dandy! Verra Cruz appear to have absorbed all that’s great about rock, stick it right in your face and have the audacity to stuff it full of lyrics that count.. lyrics that say something new - that keep driving you forward into the depths of this album. And the depths are there to be mined. Deliver Us is a visionary and beautiful tune that sounds like it belongs in some Benicio del Toro flashback scene from Traffic... fact of the matter is, there’s no tip of the iceberg here Emancipation Day delivers the entire ‘berg on all fronts. Impressed? You bet your ass I am. Pure headphone, spiritual bombastic rock from the fifth dimension. Not since Our Lady Peace tripped out with Naveed have I wanted to sit in the dark with a pair of ‘phones on however tripped out for real it is not. Apparently, the band are Christians, not in a dreadful Stryper way but in an internal way. You’d never know it if you weren’t looking for it but I mention it because if you are of the same persuasion, likelihood is that you’ll get a huge kick out of this album. If not, no worries... just pretend I never said anything and you’ll be fine. If a sinning heathen like me thinks it’s the one of the best of the year so far, you’ll be in good hands! So, if you’re of a similar mindset, prepare to be drowned by Strange Food and it’s compadres as those guitars and kicked back vocal wash the darkness away. Safe to say, we like this! A whole fucking lot. SS

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discs PEARL JAM PEARL JAM J ✪✪✪✪

I stopped listening to Pearl Jam after VS back in the days when I still had long hair. I dallied briefly with Binaural, but apart from that we’ve been total strangers. They took on the might of Ticketmaster and released about a billion live albums, while I experimented with alcohol and marriage (still

AIDEN OUR GANGS, DARK OATH

VICTORY RECORDS

As if the mainstream wasn’t already congealing with streams of formulaic metalcore bands, Aiden pounce upon us with aplomb. Demonstrating the predatory nature of mainstream skin puppets, Aiden take the sound that has become the basis for all teenage rebellion anthems written in the past few years, and shove it down our throats again. I Set My Friends On Fire, the third track (I’m not sure how I made it that far, to be honest!), is exemplar of the meticulously constructed ‘mainstreemo’ that bands such as Avenged Sevenfold and Bullet For My Valentine have tortured to death, and copycat bands such as Aiden are now fumbling with. Fair enough, it’ll have the eleventeen-year old girls lusting after them, but only until the next band come along. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. SW TONY MACALPINE COLLECTION: THE SHRAPNEL YEARS

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MASCOT RECORDS After experiencing those that are purported to be the finest

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happy with both). And then the editor throws this at me and says “Oi! You’re doing feck all. Review this.” So here I am. At their best, Pearl Jam were capable of pumping so much emotion into their songs it dripped out of the speakers. At their worst, they were a directionless mess, lost in their own little world and not seemingly bothered what the rest of the world thought. So which Jam have they served up this time? The former, it would seem. Opening duo Life Wasted and World Wide Suicide are focused, driven, pumping rockers akin to the finer moments on VS. Eddie Vedder is on top form. His voice more ragged these days, but none the worse for it. And the band are playing like the landlord’s just told them they ain’t getting paid. Comatose and Severed Hand keep the pedal to the metal, anger to the fore, the punk juices flowing freely once more. This is streets ahead of what I was expecting. Those who, like myself, had dismissed this lot as a spent force were wrong, it seems. Marker In The Sand eases the pace slightly, before Parachutes (thankfully unrelated to Coldplay) brings out the Neil Young in them. A tender, acoustic number which shows how ballads don’t have to be wimpy.

exponents of the instrumental guitar album (namely Sir Steve and Lord Satch) I had long ago concluded that, as big a fan as I am of guitar music, I need some vocals to stop things getting too dull.

Tony MacAlpine has changed my mind. As well as some of the best examples of breathtaking shredding you’re ever likely to find, this collection of some of MacAlpine’s finest works proves that vocals are not strictly essential in creating great songs. Alongside such respected musicians as Tony Levin, Deen Castronovo, and Billy Sheehan, MacAlpine creates beautifully flowing pieces that any classical composer would be proud of. There are examples here from as far back as 1985’s Edge of Sanity (including Wheel of Fortune and Agrionia), through the ‘90s (Rats With Wings, The Violin Song) and up to 2001’s Chromaticity. Every number is a masterclass in both songcraft and guitar playing, with superb virtuoso displays at the right junctures from the supporting cast of musicians. Although this is a compilation, and I’m normally against those, this one has served its purpose. I now want to find and buy all of MacAlpine’s CDs. AL

DEACON STREET II

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MTM MUSIC Once you’ve heard this, you’ll never buy another 80s rock album ever again. The very spirit of 80s rock is alive and well with Deacon Street, and it’s shown off on II. Instead of following the popular cheese-rock family tree that many bands belonged to during the 80s, Deacon Street has apparently evolved from the more anthemic cousins of 80s music: I Give This Promise and The Promise Of Forever (both featuring singer Chris Antblad) almost sound like extracts from a boy band album, and Save Me features some electro wizardry that was surely divined directly from Rick Wakeman. Them Changes throws up a change and hits the ‘funk’ button, and Jason pulls out all the stops in a Van Halen-esque guitar shred-fest. This is satisfying testament to the least cheesy music of the 80s: as the last track draws to a close, you’ll be slipping into red swimwear and running down the beach in slow motion. I’ll see you out there! SW MOTHER’S FINEST LIVE AT VILLA BERG - RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW

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MTM MUSIC I was promised a heavy dose of funk rock when I studied the back of the CD case. A heavy dose of funk I did not receive. There are definitely strong funk elements here, but I’m unsure that the vocal style fits well with the rest of the music.

Unemployable is also from the Neil Young school, only plugged in and rockin’. Who knew this lot were capable of writing a potential hit single, eh? Big Wave cranks everything back up to ten again, the guitars of Stone Gossard and Mike McCready tearing out of the speakers like men possessed. Things take a bit of a dip with Gone, and the album wouldn’t have suffered if Wasted Reprise had been dropped, but such complaints are small measured against the album as a whole. Closing out with Army Reserve and Come Back leaves things on a bit of a low note, but final track Inside Job builds beautifully to leave a sweet sensation on the ears. Since bursting on the scene with Ten (and helping to kill off all decent music if the editor is to be believed), the band’s early success has – from an outsider’s perspective at any rate – been more of a millstone than a platform from which to build. With Pearl Jam, they seem to have finally laid such ghosts to rest, embraced their influences (which are never far from the surface on this album) and moved into a whole new zone of maturity and musical accomplishment. Hell, I my even go and find out what it was I missed out on… KJ

Don’t get me wrong, both the male and female singers can hold a note until the cows come home, but they just don’t gel with the funk.

On Bring It, which features surely one of the funkiest slap bass introductions ever committed to record, the vocals seem out of place and forced. However, this is a live album, and it’s quite flawless in that respect because despite the illfitting nature of the basic components, it’s delivered in a professional manner. Funk A While delivers some heavily funky moments, but the funk, as with the rest of the album, is inconsistent, and wavers throughout. A disappointing effort that could have been pretty damn special. SW

be quite familiar with if you listen to Killswitch Engage.

The vocals are very Jesse David Leach (KSE’s original singer), but lack the melodic diversity that is an integral part of KSE’s sound. The Autumn Offering are quite blatantly playing the Killswitch Engageas-an-influence card here, and it doesn’t fall flat on it’s arse much. If you like Killswitch Engage’s heavier moments, then you’ll very probably like The Autumn Offering: these guys have very few melodic moments so don’t come off sounding like a copycat band. SW MÖTLEY CRÜE CARNIVAL OF SINS LIVE

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SPV RECORDS

THE AUTUMN OFFERING EMBRACE THE GUTTER

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VICTORY RECORDS The first 30 seconds of the song Decay is purely heavy metal crashing around your ears, with guitars shredding left, right and centre: this is The Autumn Offering establishing that they own your ears, at least for the rest of the song. If you’re lured into listening for the next few tracks, you’ll be welcomed by a sound you’ll

This is the audio companion to the previously released Carnival of Sins DVD on Universal. Actually, this is

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previously released as well, in a sense. Both discs of this release, comprising the audio from the DVD minus the drum and guitar solos and Tommy Lee’s titty-cam nonsense, were available as separate discs exclusively at WalMart stores in the US in February. Personally, I think putting out a commercial release of this is taking the piss. Exclusive should mean exclusive. This may only be because I happen to have copies of the limited WalMart release, though. Performance wise, as anyone that owns the DVD will confirm, this is superb. Mötley were on top form this night in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and played a great setlist that included both the excellent new songs If I Die Tomorrow and Sick Love Song alongside the classics we know and love. The only problem with this, and the reason it’s not got full marks, is the mix is too bass heavy. Between Tommy’s pounding bass drum and Nikki Sixx’s bass guitar, poor Mick Mars on guitar is a little drowned out. He is, however, still perfectly audible at both the low and high ends and Vince Neil’s voice is picked out as much as you’d probably want Vince Neil’s voice ever to be, so overall this is a great live album and a far superior release to the Live: Entertainment or Death album (many people going for the ‘death’ option). AL SINAI BEACH WHEN BREATH ESCAPES VICTORY RECORDS

Album opener Candice starts out sounding like very traditional metal, but then gets very melodic... And then returns to very generic sounding metal. It’s an interesting way to be playing with the song dynamics, and is at times reminiscent of Trivium; only the heavier parts are heavier than Trivium, and the melodic moments aren’t as memorable. The aggressive vocals that Sinai Beach employ get very tedious after a few songs, and at about the half-way mark of the album, you could be excused for pressing pause and having to go and listen to some less irritating music before

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returning. I know I did. Awakening Of The Forgotten shows the band attempt to play with atmosphere and be spooky, but they appear about as scary as an 8 year olds Halloween costume. It feels like Sinai Beach are trying to mix the atmosphere of black metal with more traditional metal songwriting and modern metal dynamics - it’s too much of a hit and miss concept to really work. Maybe next time, lads! SW STRAPPING YOUNG LAD THE NEW BLACK

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CENTURY MEDIA

Ever think Strapping Young Lad albums were a bit too mindlessly heavy and fast? Or that the vocals were too unintelligible? Well, I did too, but the balance has shifted with The New Black. There’s still plenty of manic riffing and powerhouse drumming from the legend Gene Hoglan, so existing fans need to worry, but for the rest of us there’s a smattering of tuneful, catchy riffs and main-man Devin Townsend’s melodic voice often reserved for his Devin Townsend Band albums. This contrast of styles is demonstrated perfectly in the opening two tracks. Decimator opens the album with a great riff and some of Devin’s best vocals to date. You Suck follows immediately, and is the doublebass drumming frenzy SYL fans are used to. The awesome Antiproduct chugs along with perfectly placed pick-squeals and features melodic singing alongside an anthemic growled chorus. Monument has that epic keyboard and soaring vocals feel of a DTB song, which makes it an odd inclusion on an SYL album, but no less of a great song. There’s more thrashing madness on Wrong Side, tuneful thrashing on Far Beyond Metal, and awesome trad-metal riffing on Fucker and Hope (possibly the best SYL song I’ve ever heard). For my money SYL have never made a better album. This one brings more melody to proceedings without sacrificing any of their crushing heaviness. An absolute winner! AL

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ITS SO EASY A MILLENNIUM TRIBUTE TO GUNS N ROSES

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MASCOT RECORDS When the words “tribute” and “album” come together, the words “total” and “shit” seem to make an appearance as well. As was my doubt concerning the point of a Guns n Roses tribute album, as is my regret in making that assumption. Initially this felt like a very double-edged sword (Hell, even the handle seemed covered in razor blades), especially after hearing the first few tracks, which are more or less carbon copies of the original songs right down to the meticulous replication of the nuances in Axl’s voice. Even original band member Tracii Guns contributes, showing off his interpretation of Sweet Child O’ Mine, but the real treat comes once Jasy Andrews kicks out her cover of Patience - that is how the whole album should be. Think About You is a good cover as well, taking on a curiously pleasing acoustic nature thanks to Drama Queen Die. Pretty Tied Up, as played by The Slashtones, is a very unique adaptation of the song, and would be hard to follow. Fortunately, it’s the last song so this album ends on a pretty high note. SW ERIC GALES CRYSTAL VISION

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PROVOGUE RECORDS

If you still think blues is slow stuff played by old men, you haven’t heard Eric Gales. This guy plays the blues like he’s Zakk Wylde. More groove than your average Skynyrd tune, overdriven riffs to sink a ship, searing solos and hook-laden songs all delivered with Eric’s unique smooth vocals. Some classic blues moments crop up where he might gets a bit more traditional, like on the classic blues boogie of I Got Me A Woman, or the slow burning Freedom From My Demons, but he still rocks harder than any song you’ve heard on popular radio in the last 10 years (mostly because almost every band that gets the word “rock” attached to them on popular radio these days isn’t even close to rock music,

but that’s a different discussion). Later a cover of the classic Joe South classic Hush (you know it better by Deep Purple or Kula Shaker), the slick R&B (real R&B, not that poppy-hiphop shit) of Crystal Vision, the disco funk of Old School and the grinding Plastic Girl help to add depth and variety to an already impressive record. And don’t be scared off by references to non-rock genres, this is all fretboard smoking overdriven guitar-work creating different feels and styles. Just shows how versatile both the instrument and Gales are. AL

the world with shining examples of the dos and don’ts of live music. In the ‘do’ corner, we have UFO and Genesis (the classic Peter Gabriel stuff, not Phil Collins). In the ‘don’t’, we have Supertramp. The Quireboys, of course, just do their own sweet thing…

LESLIE WEST BLUE ME

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PROVOGUE RECORDS

If you dig blues, this album will be right up your alley. This is flawless - replete with some pretty good covers of some pretty good songs; Muddy Waters and even Sammy Hagar get the Leslie West treatment here. West does justice to the original writers of the work: he has a very strong BB King style (Chicago blues) voice which, when combined with his almost Eric Clapton-esque (Delta blues) lead guitar work, makes for a very interesting style. Four Day Creep has West show off his unique style both vocally and musically, but Hit The Road Jack is more purist in terms of blues: driven by piano, with soulful guitar embellishments. Standing Around Crying, originally by Muddy Waters, is a good example of West’s work: powerful lead guitar work, emotive vocals, rousing Hammond organ backing and striding bass lines. Blues fans will love this. SW UFO - STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT : ✪✪✪✪✪ GENESIS - LIVE: ✪✪✪✪ QUIREBOYS - LIVE: ✪✪✪ SUPERTRAMP - LIVE 1997: ✪✪ EMI RE-ISSUES Live albums should be for one thing, and one thing only – catching a performance by a band at the top of its game, aided by a crowd that is almost hyperventilating with hysteria. Few ever manage to match this, of course, and EMI have been kind enough to provide

Strangers In The Night is exactly what it should be – UFO at their peak. Classics like Doctor Doctor, Lights Out and Rock Bottom capture the essence of what made them great. What has made them even better is the fact that this album sounds as good today as it did back in 1979. Phil Mogg (vocals), Michael Schenker (guitar), Pete Way (bass), Andy Parker (drums), and Paul Raymond (keyboards/guitar) had cemented themselves in the British rock scene and this album as the cherry on the icing. Bit of a bugger that Schenker did one not long after the album was released (health reasons it was said at the time), but that couldn’t take the shine off of this crowning glory. If you’ve owned this in the past, now’s the chance to get it full remastered with new sleeve notes. If you’ve never owned this, its time to put that right.

At the other end of the musical spectrum, we have Genesis. Back in the days when Phil Collins just thumped tubs (no, not her from League of Gentleman), they were a progressive rock five-piece with a live show that went unrivalled. Capturing that on an album is, of course, something of a challenge, but back in 1973 they somehow managed it. A mere five tracks long (nothing clocks in under eight minutes. Those were the days!), Live manages to bring the soaring majesty of Watcher Of The Skies and Musical Box to life without the need of Peter

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discs Gabriel in a funny C costume. Granted it breaks the audience rule, but back then Genesis’ audiences were either too stoned or out of their trees on LSD to get up much of a cheer. Largely because they failed to notice when the songs ended. Still worth having today, even without the chemical elements.

The Quireboys, you would think, would be tailor-made for a live album. Sadly, they sail just wide of the mark with this 1990 effort released off the back of their debut, A Bit Of What You Fancy. Sure, all the “classics” are here, Hey You, Sex Party, I Don’t Love You Any More, There She Goes Again, Whippin’ Boy, but something isn’t quite right. The boys are clearly having fun, the audience are enjoying themselves, you’re just left with the feeling that the two facts are not connected.

Finally, we have Supertramp. Always, to my ears, more of a studio band, this album goes a long way to proving me right. They play the songs perfectly, which is the basic problem. There’s no passion, no oomph, no pizzazz, no balls. And the audience are either just damned polite or were in the jazz bar next door having a quite night of it. Still, it has Breakfast In America, The Logical Song, Bloody Well Right and the always excellent Goodbye Stranger. Buying a greatest hits album would make more sense though. KJ MOTORHEAD ANOTHER PERFECT DAY: ✪✪✪ ORGASMATRON: ✪✪✪✪✪ ROCK ‘N’ ROLL: ✪✪✪ SANCTUARY And so it came to pass, ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke had split the band. Some innocuous row had got out of hand (as these things so often do) and the band recruited Thin Lizzy guitarist Bryan ‘Robbo’

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Robertson as a replacement.

a few gems aside (Michael Palin’s Blessing, The Wolf, Boogeyman) – the majority of the album fails to live up to the band’s usual high standards.

top down while the sun’s still out, this album’s just the damn job. Catch the tour! KM SUPERGROUPIES SUPERGROUPIES ✪✪✪ CARGO

The result is patchy. The first opening three tracks, Back At The Funny Farm, Shine and Dancing On Your Grave are superb. Full of bounce and swagger, they’re the ‘Head at their snotty arrogant best. Sadly, from there the quality starts to slip a tad. Rock It benefits from the piano, but not much, and One Track Mind should really have been left as a b-side. The title track lifts things, certainly, but even on the likes of Die You Bastard, it just sounds like a band who are not enjoying each other’s company. Oddly enough, ‘Robbo’ wasn’t a long term fixture. With Robertson gone, guitarists Wurzel and Phil Campbell join the band – just in time to see drummer Philthy Taylor leave for the first time. Having recruited Pete Gill (don’t let the fact he had drummed for Saxon put you off), the revamped and enlarged Motorhead line-up set about recording what was to become Orgasmatron.

And another ‘Head classic is born. Deaf Forever kicks things off a treat, while Claw, Mean machine, Nothing Up My Sleeve, Doctor Rock (possibly the heaviest boogie romp they’ve ever laid down), and the gutter-crawl of the title track proved the new-look lineup could hold more than a candle to the original trio. By the time they come round to recording the follow-up to Orgasmatron (which was always going to be a tall order), Philthy’s back behind the drum kit. Fortunately no one else has left. Sadly, Philthy’s return is not a triumphant one. Rock n Roll, while not a bad album (it contains Eat The Rich, how can it be?) does sound like a band bereft of fresh ideas. Sure the riffs are heavy, Lemmy’s vocals are as nicotine-stained as ever, but –

As with the previous batch of remastered re-issues, all three albums have excellent sleeve notes as well as a second disc, this time around all of which are live recordings. You’ve got the band live at the Manchester Apollo (Perfect Day), live in Great Yarmouth (Orgasmatron) and at the Monsters of Rock ‘86 (Rock ‘n’ Roll), plus a smattering of bsides and bonus tracks. All three albums serve to further educate the masses about the wealth of history Motorhead have created over the years, and while the band may have gone through a bit of a dip here and there, the worst of Motorhead still beats some of the shit that is churned out these days. KJ IMPERIAL VIPERS SEARCHING FALLING SILENCE ✪✪✪ EMINENCE

The Vipers are, for some reason, often likened to Guns n Roses. Personally, I don’t see it and it’s pretty unfair of anyone to lay that at a bands feet. Maybe it’s because there’s five of them. Then again, maybe it’s because they come from the same school. What we have here is a great young band showing promise, sparkle and delivering a bucketful of top tunes wrapped up in a cool rock package. If there’s a downside to the album, after a while it runs out of steam, but when they’re on form, shit they rock with the best. Kick a Hole is a cracking single and really should have had more airplay - it would have given them a flying head start and a good chance to capitalize. Still - if you’re looking for an album to turn heads with the

This is a weird album - and before I start on it, I have to say, you need to listen to it more than just the once. Back in ‘the day’ when everyone was throwing out glam classics like there was no tomorrow, D’Molls came along with their debut and broke a few rules. It wasn’t that it was classic through and through but there were odd time changes and some really inventive playing - this is kind of like that. The second thing I’ll say is that it’s a brave band who will cover Madam X’s underground anthem Come One Come All! Next thing you know Smashed Gladys will be coming back. Still, as one who previously thoroughly revelled in this stuff, I guess I’m the best prepared to comment. Supergroupies aren’t playing at anything here - they mean it from the heart and anybody bringing some fun back to the table deserves a fair hearing. Lead track Give It All You Got will tell you everything you need to know about the band; jangly guitars, singalong lyrics... it bears close comparison with the debut Bang Gang album. but then Bouncin’ brings in some serious ELO influences and so it continues throwing everything that was great about 70’s pop rock in to a blender If you’ve been missing out on a top quality glam rock fix.. this is absolutely worth some attention. Shall investigate more I think... SS

THE SMALL FACES OGDENS’ NUT GONE FLAKE DELUXE EDITION ✪✪✪✪✪ SANCTUARY Scary how time flies. Not that I remember this coming out the first time around but I was certainly brought up on it lurking in the background as a kid. Scarier still is that most won’t even risk a look over the shoulder to see how things

used to be. If they did they would find that things were wide open. When you’re in a band you’re giving yourself licence to create astounding works of art - and this is one of them.

Doubtless the brainchild of Steve Marriott, Nut Gone is a remarkable piece of cheery Cockney poetry. A concept album in the finest vein, there’s not a lot to really say about the album other than “what an astonishing piece of work” As a reissue, this works just fine, presented here in a cracking round tin, this three disc set is just about all you need to know about a band at their peak. SK BEYOND FEAR BEYOND FEAR ✪✪✪✪ SPV RECORDS

Tim “Ripper” Owens, best known for being Rob Halford’s superior (there I said it) replacement in Judas Priest, and now fronting US metal heroes Iced Earth, has always joined established bands. Beyond Fear is the first band he’s put together himself, and the results are easily some of the heaviest and most brutal songs he’s ever made. Every track is a winner, from songs that ironically sound like Rob Halford solo songs, to some that have Iced Earth-style vocals, but altogether more modern guitars, along the lines of Killswitch Engage or Shadows Fall. Backed up by two outstanding guitarists in Johnny Comprix and Dwane Bihary, with former-Winters Bane bassist Dennis Hayes and drummer Eric Elkins, Ripper has formed a solid and insanely heavy band more than capable of producing any style, as long it’s a metal! The closing brace of My Last Words and The Faith deserve a special mention. The former varies throughout

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its length between Megadethstyle thrash and slow-burning melody with a superb build-up at the end culminating in harmony lead guitars, while the latter is a ready-made live favourite with a slow, crushing riff and mid-range vocals from Ripper that we mere mortals can sing along to without tearing holes in our oesophagus. Beyond Fear have created something fresh, exciting and above all, heavy in a slightly lethargic metal climate, sacrificing not one ounce of melody or musicianship in the process. Let’s have more of this, please! AL PROJECT: CREATION FLOATING WORLD ✪✪✪✪ PROGROCK RECORDS

Floating World is the first part of a concept trilogy by multiinstrumentalist Hugo Flores. Bringing in Forgotten Worlds vocalist Linx, Play Loud Insane rhythm section Nuno Silva (bass) and Carlos Bateras (drums) as well as other guests, Flores has put together an immensely complex album that begins to tell the story of the people of a dying World searching for an already dead World to bring back to life and live on. The Floating World is a giant ship designed to transport large amounts of the population. In order to find suitable Worlds the ship carries a fleet of semi-organic creatures called “Mechanical Dragonflies” who are mentally controlled by the scientists and commanders on the Floating World. AL RAGE SPEAK OF THE DEAD ✪✪✪✪ NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS

A rare occasion where classical sensibilities truly combine with shredding heavy metal to

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produce something remarkable. This isn’t just another rock band with a symphony orchestra job. This is classically influenced metal music. It’s also the heaviest Rage release for some time, following the rather light Dio-esque rock of Unity (2002) and Soundchaser (2003). Opening with the eight-part Suite Lingua Mortis is a bold move, but ultimately a good one. It’s an ambitious classical piece with metal riffing and some sublime soloing worked in. Or is it a progressive metal piece with classical strings and horns worked in? It’s difficult to tell because it all works so perfectly. The defining moment comes with marching anthem No Regrets. The final seven tracks are classic Rage melodic heavy metal, retaining the hooks of recent softer efforts and brining back the heaviness of the complex metal albums of a few years ago. Easily Rage’s strongest album for some time, split neatly into two halves: one classical-metal symphony, one melodic thrash. A winning combination. AL SAXON LIONHEART SPECIAL EDITION ✪✪✪ SPV RECORDS

Lionheart was originally released in 2003. Yes, I asked exactly that question too. Why does it need releasing just three years later? Well, the answer is simple: it doesn’t. There’s obviously been no remastering at all, because it doesn’t need it, there are no bonus tracks on the CD and the rather cool patch that came with the original special edition has been replaced by a rather lame ‘lanyard’ (that’s one of those trendy neck things to put your keys on). Oh, and the digipak is now red instead of blue. It looked better in blue. So, what’s in it for us? Well, there’s a DVD. Calm down, I haven’t told you what’s on it yet. Again, another simple answer: sod all. There’s a making of clip for the title track (which tell you absolutely nothing, just shows the band recording the song itself), an appallingly badly edited live clip of the song same song spliced together from several shows (some at night, some in the day; it looks terrible!), the

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video for Beyond The Grave, and two mixes of the album, one in 5.1/96k and a rough mix (which barely sounds any different to the real one). Just how many people want to turn on their TV and DVD player to listen to an album anyway? Especially as there’s nothing to watch while it’s on, just the menu screen. All the video clips are currently available from SPV’s website as well, rendering these even more pointless than before. This gets three stars because it is, and always has been, a stonkingly brilliant album, worth five on its own, but dragged down in this particularly instance by the pointless re-release treatment with rubbish extras. AL

album. For a start it quashes any Nickelback comparisons and is just a great song that will doubtless appear on multiple soundtrack albums in the future. Would I buy this in the real world situation though? You know what, I think I just might. Most enjoyable once you rip the crap off it - any band caleld Homebwoi just needs to be skipped before you even start! SS

SUNDEALERS TEARS. LOVE. RELIGION ✪✪✪✪ SOMETHINGTOLISTENTO

PROG ROCK CLASSIC ROCK PRESENTS: ✪✪✪ GUT ACTIVE

WRECKLESS INTENT WWE COMPILATION ✪✪✪ WARNER BROS

The problem with WWE compilation albums is that they always have the potential to be awesome, but by the very nature of some of the guys having crappy theme tunes, those albums often turn out not so great Wreckless Intent is far better than the previous attempts it’s well rounded, and despite the inclusion of one or two, okay - maybe three, duffers (which is easily fixed in itunes), is pretty listenable and makes for a decent driving album. So, skirting around the things we can live without such as the rap numbers and the country stabs that fail miserably, let’s grab ourselves some rawk: Looking good on the disc from the off are Saliva with A Walk Alone and also Brand New Sin with Crank It Up. Both work really well in and out of context - along with these it was a smart move to bring up the back end with Motorheads King of Kings. You can’t argue with logic like that. Sandwiched in between we find Shadows Fall delivering a whopping slice of metal with Fury of the Storm and the Download newbies zebrahead making a stellar appearance with their masterpiece With Legs Like That - it works better here than it does as a flag for them. Deadly Game from Theory of a Deadman is a nice touch and probably the best track on the

Certainly worth a shot if your more than a little curious about the genre - but then, you should be reading that mag not this one... maybe! SS

I’m not sure which I detest more. Prog Rock itself or people that say a band is prog just because they don’t fit anywhere else. Porcupine Tree for instance, are a huge rock band and those who segregate them off with drug addled hippies who eat pies, drink ale and have a penchant for Morris Dancing should be shot - at least, that’s always been my view on prog. But let’s give this a fair crack of the whip - even if it does come from a rival mag. The first thing is to congratulation the compiler(s) who have steered well clear of the obvious. This is not a compilation knocked together by an accountant.. this is clever people at work although I have to question the likes of Argent being on here they may be a prog band to the initiated but if they were, then surely there were multiple better choices than Hold Your Head Up. I’ll move on quickly before I get into trouble. The inclusion of Genesis bringing forth Carpet Crawl is good opener but it’s been years since I’ve listened to Tull doing Sweet Dream and Caravan with For Richard maybe I’m getting older than i think I am ‘cause this ain’t half bad! Still, it’s definitely one for purists (which makes me question it’s acceptibility amongst the most inane bunch of collectors on earth!) - there’s material here that I will probably never listen to or go near again: Traffic’s Hole in my Shoe just reminds me of Neil taking the piss and Firth of Fifth from Hackett I never had any time for when it was hip. All in all, a strange album.

Where the fuck did this come from? You know, it happens every single month - you stack up the albums that you think are going to blow you away and they consistently fall over when it comes to the crunch. This Sundealers album is awesome. Seriously. Anyone recall the killer hooks of Gravity Kills? Well, for those who don’t, they and indeed Sundealers come on like a pop Nine Inch Nails. The guitars raunch and the drums boom but they’re multi-layered with these huge songs that make the album a pleasure to listen to. Gun Crazy is probably most likely to make a dent in your head, but there’s another nine tracks on board, all equally capable of taking it where it needs to go. Refreshing, raunchy and downright brilliant for a debut album. SS PROJECT: CREATION FLOATING WORLD ✪✪✪✪ PROGROCK RECORDS Floating World is the first part of a concept trilogy by multiinstrumentalist Hugo Flores. Bringing in Forgotten Worlds vocalist Linx, Play Loud Insane rhythm section Nuno Silva (bass) and Carlos Bateras (drums) as well as other guests, Flores has put together an immensely complex album that begins to tell the story of the people of a dying World searching for an already dead World to bring back to life and live on. The Floating World is a giant ship designed to transport large amounts of the population. In order to find suitable Worlds the ship carries a fleet of semi-organic creatures called “Mechanical Dragonflies” who are mentally controlled by the scientists and commanders on the Floating World. AL

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cool shit BRUCE DICKINSON ANTHOLOGY ✪✪✪✪ SANCTUARY

This triple disc set is over six hours long. If you’re a fan of Bruce Dickinson, you can’t ask for much more value for money than that surely! There’s so much stuff on here it’s hard to know where to start, but disc 1 is a veritable live bonanza featuring Dive, Dive, Dive from the TM tour in 1990 and also Skunkworks from ‘96. Although sometimes in danger of becoming a bit samey, the quality of the songs and Dickinsons performance is enough to hide the fact that his backing band ain’t no Maiden. Disc 2 features more of the same but this time from the unofficial official bootleg Scream For Me Brazil. Top live shows, perhaps not delivered in the conventional slick package you might expect but good fan fodder all the same. The best of the discs is easily the third which consists of the entire collection of promo vids plus the Tyranny of Souls interview. Slide that up against Biceps of Steel from Samson and if you’re a fan of the man, you really can’t stray too far off the path with this one. File under Essential - but only if you’re a fan. DO

FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK MONSTERS IN MOSCOW ✪✪✪ WARNER BROS

A not subtle blast from the past as AC/DC and Metallica along with partners in crime Black Crowes, Pantera and Russki pals, E.S.T., perform in Moscow during 1991 as a ‘gift’ for standing down the coup and ending the reign of communism in Russia. Initially, it seems like a pointless cash in on some archive footage long since forgotten, but persistent

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viewing proves it to be rather a nest of curiosity. It’s awesome seeing Pantera again, and whilst the Black Crowes seem oblivious to why they’re there, Metallica and AC/DC really bring it... But it’s not the bands that are the main attraction here. Watch with your mouth agape as the Russian army kick ten bells of crap out of the fans, who are just there to lap it up like any festival over here. It’s no holds barred all the way - there’s night sticks, truncheons and jack boots all set to a blistering soundtrack of fiery geetars. so basically, it’s right up my street. While it’s a pretty good DVD to watch once, it struggles to stand repeated viewing due to it’s lack of continuity in the music department. With just four tracks from AC/DC and three from Metallica, it manages to cheat the viewer out of what were possibly some great shows. Borrow.. certainly not worth buying or going down for! SS HAIL! HAIL! ROCK N ROLL IMAGE ENTERTAINMENT ✪✪✪ When the director of a film

introduces it by saying how difficult the subject matter was to deal with, you know you’re in for some fun and games. In this case, no one ends up laughing. Hail! Hail! is the “classic” film about Chuck Berry, the man credited with inventing rock n roll (mainly by Mr Berry, it has to be said). It follows him as he returns to his roots, features an all-star concert with the likes of Keith Richards and Eric Clapton, and interviews with the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and Willie Dixon.

The second disc includes The Reluctant Movie Star – the story of the making of the film. For the die-hard fan (or those glutton for punishment), there’s also a four-disc edition being released, with Little Richard, Bo Diddley and Mr Berry

reminiscing about the golden age of rock n roll, and the main man going through what remains of his scrapbook with Robbie Robertson. For fans, this is the ultimate must-have. For the curious, it’s something to watch when you’ve exhausted all other options. KJ QUEEN THE MAKING OF A NIGHT AT THE OPERA EAGLE ✪✪✪✪

Whether you’re a fan of the band or not, there’s no denying the impact this album had. Not only did it put the four-

piece firmly on the map, but it gave birth to Bohemian Rhapsody – without which music videos and Wayne’s World would not have been the same. Recorded after Freddie’s death, and without John Deacon who doesn’t like to talk abbot it), Brian May and Roger Taylor look back at what made the album, how it was put together, what they were going through – all the usual ‘making of’ kinda stuff. Even for the none fan, it’s a fascinating tale – and serves to highlights the songs that never really made it into the public consciousness (Death On Two Legs, Freddie’s blast at a former manager is excellent, Roger Taylor’s I’m In Love With My Car quintessentially English). Personally, I always find these documentaries fascinating, and this is no exception. On disc two (if you should get the luxury edition), the album has been made into a film of sorts, with footage being used for the songs which weren’t singles (the videos are used for the singles). Fascinating for fans and nonfans alike. KJ

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STEREOPHONICS LANGUAGE. SEX. VIOLENCE. OTHER? ✪✪✪✪ LIBERATION This is more like it! A proper no holds barred documentary from ‘the road’. Kicking in with a look behind the scenes at the songwriting process and taking in all the angles from a few ideas on crap machine to the glamorous demo studio in Shepherds Bush - and once more we’re shown that all the best songs can be kicked into shape in little more than a few hours. Tell you something else too - I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on that lyric book. I reckon there might be some awesome undiscovered nuggets in there that are worth more than a cursory glance! Seems funny now that Kelly can just say things like ‘then we just flew out to America and toured with David Bowie’ - it’s not so long ago that such a thing would have been pie in the sky! What it does reveal, is just how long an album can take to make - not because you haven’t got any songs, but generally all the other commitments that have to be taken into consideration in the meantime. Hardcore fans will love this is not only for the footage of the band jamming it out in the live room of Hookend Manor (where ..Go Back was also recorded). Kelly pulls no punches in his narration of the process and fuck those guys can rip it up when they feel like it! When the talking is over, then we get to the good stuff - live performances! If you didn’t catch them on the last tour, this is your big chance to pretend that you did and as they did in the studio, the band squeeze every last drop out of themselves in their quest for world domination. Bang in the three videos for the singles off the album and you've got yourself a damn fine package that most bands would kill for. Top formatting, well edited and leaving no stone unturned, Language, Sex, Violence, Other? marks a unique turning point in the bands history book. Priceless. Language, Sex, Violence, Other? is released 31 July

TALLULAH RENDALL WITHOUT TIME ✪✪✪✪ Being as how we don’t play with EPs and singles, this little gem appears here on the grounds of being played to death in the office and deserving of more than just a passing mention. There’s something I find hugely satisfying about jangly acoustic pop-rock. When you paint it with a voice that can melt flowers with its grace, all the better. This isn’t going to be to everyone’s taste around these parts but if your ears don’t slam shut when Kate Bush turns up on the radio and you secretly listen to long forgotten but great bands like The Violet Hour, you need to be aware of Tallulah. If there’s a record compnay with some balls out there, this 5 track EP should make them sit up for long enough to get their pens out because it sweeps up your spine with a feather - no mean feat when your spine is normally harder than Wolverines. Trying to avoid phrases like sexual and haunting is hard work when that’s what you’re getting from every track - Black Seagull and No Use are particularly doing a number on me. One day, Jools Holland will say great things about Tallulah. SS

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cinema THE DA VINCI CODE RELEASED: OUT NOW ✪✪✪ A film like The Da Vinci Code has a difficult task; hyped up to the nines, following on the coat tails of one of the best selling books of all time. For those who have only just arrived on this planet The Da Vinci Code is a thriller starring Tom Hanks and the gorgeous Audrey Tautou in a story full of code breaking, underground societies and the search for the truth of a secret that threatens the very theory that Christianity is based upon. The general consensus is that it sucks – but does it? Haven’t we all forgotten the real reason we are so besotted with The Da Vinci Code? We were never in love with the actual book. Cleverly constructed though it is, it will never be Chaucer or Shakespeare. We love the idea, the whole theory behind it, the possibility of the truth. In the same way we love

anything to do with secrets, codes, spies, brotherhoods etc, from James Bond to Mission Impossible, we just love the idea. These films are not meant to be earth shattering or particularly thought provoking. They are pure entertainment and don’t profess to be anything more. The Da Vinci Code is a really enjoyable thriller with a couple of real jump-out-of-your-seat moments, with no hidden deep secret message. Don’t believe the hype, and you’ll enjoy it just fine. LM JU-ON: THE GRUDGE 2 RELEASED: JULY 7 ✪✪✪✪ Shimizu Takashi has been refining his grisly craft in a bewildering number of sequels and remakes in this series for several years now. This instalment is officially released in the UK as Ju-On: The

Grudge 2 and, like its predecessors, tells the story of the doom that comes to those who enter a haunted suburban house through a series of interrelated vignettes whose singular purpose is to scare the living bejesus out of you. Director Takashi puts the Western competition to shame with the peculiarly Japanese idea that malevolent spirits have no motive at all beyond inflicting a terrifying death on those who haplessly and quite randomly stumble into their psychotically murderous field of supernatural vision (cf The Ring). The quick conviction that no one here gets out alive results in an atmosphere of relentless dread, allowing the viewer of a more macabre persuasion to savour the ‘how’ rather than the ‘if’ of each character’s inevitable descent into death, madness, or lurid combination thereof. The non-linear narrative can be confusing, but is ghoulishly

effective in conveying the image of the house as a sort of ghastly spider squatting at the centre of a physical and temporal web of malign and lethal influence. There is the odd surprisingly misjudged moment and things get increasingly OTT towards the end, but overall this pushes all the right buttons, and may well find yourself waking up in the middle of the night fumbling around for the light switch in a confused panic. JM THE OMEN RELEASED: JUNE 6 ✪✪✪ OK, first off, this film is pointless. That should be obvious. The original is a trusty 70s wood panelled station wagon of a movie that rattles along delivering genuine chills and staying just the right side of believability, thanks in no small part to a muscular central performance by Gregory

Peck. Despite its attempt to justify itself via reference to post-9/11 global unease, this remake is in essence as much a facsimile of the original as Gus Van Sant’s frame by frame re-shoot of Psycho. The big surprise is that, once your mind has finished reeling at the utter money-grubbing folly of it all, you can actually have a good time watching it. Although the new Damian isn’t a patch on the original (sorry, kid, but you looked sulky rather than evil), Liev Schreiber brings a Pecklike gravitas to his US diplomat Robert Thorne, while David Thewlis makes an admirable fist of the doomed investigative journalist originally played by the utterly brilliant and criminally under-appreciated David Warner. The odd clanger is dropped here and there, the worst being the idea that a UK newspaper would publish a close up of an impaled and horrifically

Tom and Audrey look for the ceiling on the hype of their film...

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disfigured priest on the front page. The only real novelty is the incorporation of some dream sequences - quick montages of demonic imagery that have little purpose apart from providing the jumps that the original never missed in the first place. Utterly redundant, then, but a guilty pleasure none the less. JM REEKER RELEASED: JUNE 30 ✪ Four college brats run out of gas at a deserted motel in the desert and start getting picked off one by one by a shadowy bogeyman. Ho hum. Reeker may want to hark back to happier, simpler times when it comes to the dismemberment of unlikable American teenagers, but unencumbered by either a smart script or much in the way of real punch-to-the-gut gore, it, along with the lead characters, loses its way very early on. It may be obvious that doing something original with the genre was never on the agenda, but even the attempts at humour are so incredibly ham-fisted that you wonder whether they’re intentional at all. When the first question asked to someone discovered wandering in the scrub with a bloody stump where his left arm should be is, “Are you alright?”, the mind duly boggles. The fact that South African involvement on the money side of things led to the casting of a Saffa (Tina Payne) in one of the leads could have been interesting, but results only in the cringe-inducing line, “I’m from Johannesburg - it takes a lot to scare me”. I’ll grudgingly admit that you do get a few bangs for your buck, but by the time the movie draws towards its inevitable twist, it hardly feels worth the effort. And though I haven’t checked with the AA, the final message that “if you want to live, you can’t be afraid of dying” hardly seems sage-like advice in the context of a multi-vehicular motorway pile-up. JM ULTRAVIOLET RELEASED: JUNE 23 NO STARS This dystopian sci-fi “thriller” is set in a world where humanity is divided into those infected with a mysterious virus and those who are not. Or something. After an interminable amount of exposition delivered by the eponymous Violet (Milla Jovovich) in voice over, it’s still all far from clear. The plot is little more than an incoherent

...and someone else is a bit cross at their no star rating!

jumble of coat pegs upon which are hung numbingly unimaginative action set pieces. The following could all be wrong, for all I know or indeed care: the virus gives you vampire teeth; you get special skills (including bo-staff); you sometimes feel a bit faint; your hair occasionally changes colour; some of your number adopt impenetrable French accents. I’m not sure how this is all related, and if you’re any the wiser after having the misfortune to sit through this, please don’t bother letting me know. When the chief villain, a pinstripe-gloved fellow with a fixed grin, expresses blank disbelief that Violet has yet again single-handedly

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dispatched a small army of heavily armed opponents without so much as breaking a sweat, he’s only articulating what the hapless viewer has been thinking all along. This is a bland and tedious mish-mash that absolutely scrapes the bottom of the postMatrix barrel. The only terrifying glimpse of a possible future it offers is one of international co-productions being dominated by this sort of assembly line Eurotrashy kitsch. If, on the other hand, you thought Aeon Flux a tad too demanding and rigorously intellectual, this might just be the movie for you. JM

DUMPLINGS (GAAU JI) RELEASED: JUNE 16 ✪✪✪✪ This unsettling slice of Eastern horror is a tale reminiscent of the legend surrounding Countess Elizabeth Bathory who reputedly bathed in the blood of slayed virgins to retain her beauty. Here, the tale is about Aunt Mei, a local and extraordinarily beautiful chef (and former doctor) whose dumplings are incredibly popular amongst the rich who can afford them. Visited by Mrs Li, a housewife battling against the effects of age and the lack of interest from her husband, it is soon revealed that the secret to eternal youth lies in the special ingredient in Mei’s dumplings:

human foetuses. No two ways about it, this is a disturbing and often graphic film to watch. Yet despite it’s odd subject matter it never opts to bask in the sensational. Instead it explores the moral and ethical implications of the constant pressure from society to look beautiful and ultimately how far people will go in the pursuit of finding an elixir of youth. Dumplings also benefits from some wonderful cinematography which makes it’s more unsettling scenes far more visceral. If you can stomach it, this is a macabre yarn that offers something a little bit different. DL

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DVD AS TEARS GO BY

Spider in the bed...

THE HILLS HAVE EYES ✪✪

Not content with remaking foreign language horror flicks, Hollywood’s scary arm here conforms to one of the industry’s more depressing trends by plundering its own past. The Hills Have Eyes, Wes Craven’s gruesome tale of mutant cannibals, was originally released twenty years ago, and now qualifies for an update at the hands of Alexandre Aja. The hills of the title belong to the New Mexico Desert, scene of the US government’s nuclear testing programme in the 1940s and 50s. Long since abandoned by the military, the area is inhabited by a clan of mutants deformed by the radiation. In the film the cannibalistic mutants attack the Carters, a family driving through the desert to California. One thing highlighted by Aja’s film is the extent to which the nuclear issue has faded from the minds of the American people since the 1980s when the original was made. When the obnoxious young man discovers the craters made by the nuclear blasts, he has no idea what they are. If anything the cultural preoccupation which The Hills Have Eyes plays on is middle class fear of rednecks. The mutants put one more in mind of Cletus the slack-jawed yokel from The Simpsons than Cold War fallout victims. It is a well-observed irony, then, that when they are attacked, the respectable Carters are besieged in their trailer. This image, along with the desert backdrop, also suggests another Hollywood myth: settlers defending their wagons against Red Indians. That aside, The Hills Have Eyes is an extremely conventional horror movie, which efficiently observes the clichés of its genre, but does little else. The violence is as gratuitous as you might expect, at times distastefully so. Unless that’s your cup of tea, steer clear. NC

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This triads flick, an early offering from revered director Wong Kar Wai is big on style and low on soul. Andy Lau plays Wah, a small-time gangster, caught between his desire to leave the life and live with lover Ngor (Maggie Cheung), and the need to protect his hotheaded little brother Fly (engagingly played by Jackie Cheung). If the plot sounds hackneyed, the film’s styling and characterisation go all-out in a bid for maximum cliché. Lau is a deeply unsympathetic hero, although his ability never to appear on screen without a cigarette is refreshing in these health conscious times. Maggie Cheung looks pretty and worried but is not given a lot to do. Loud synth-pop, big hair and slow-mo kissing scenes may work for Pretty In Pink, but here they expose the emptiness at the film’s core. Whether this is intentional or not beside is the point, as the film’s ideas, as well as its characters, are essentially banal. Wai fans may protest, but As Tears Go By is no more than a bad 80s gangster movie. NC

doesn’t give in right away, but eventually capitulates. Su is not the only woman he grabs. There’s also Lulu (Carina Lau), who prefers to be know as Mimi. She’s a highmaintenance good-time girl Yuddy picks up after he finds her trying to steal his mother’s earrings. She gives in much more easily than Su and Yuddy is able to take her home and get down and dirty without her putting up too much resistance. The two ladies aren’t happy to find out about each other, but Yuddy doesn’t exactly show them endless love and devotion, which should have given them a bit of a clue. Yuddy also has mother issues his adoptive mother (Rebecca Pan) is a boozy, ageing courtesan who won’t tell him who his birth mother is, which leads Yuddy to leave the women who have (rather inexplicably) fallen madly in love with him and start a search for her, which leads to and unpredictable and unexpected climax to the film. The characters so selfdestructive and unlikeable that it’s hard to care about them. And I have to say that I didn’t. But Wong fans, of which there are many, probably will. JC THE WORLD’S FASTEST INDIAN

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EERIE INDIANA: COMPLETE SERIES COLLECTORS’ EDITION.

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This cult American “X-files for kids” series from 1991 gets its very own collectors DVD release, although, saying that, there’s nothing really that collectable about it. It’s the series. On DVD. Unless they only intend on releasing about six of them… then that would make it collectable (as well as a bad business move). Anyway the series focuses on Marshall and his friend Simon, who live in Eerie, Indiana (population: 16,661 (relevance: uninterested)), where strange things happen. What strange things you ask? Well, Elvis lives there, as are a pair of twins who stay young by sleeping in Tupperware. Bizarre? Your guess is as good as mine. I personally used to think that Sheffield was the eeriest place in the world (the whole place is built upon 17 massive hills, the road network involves evolving a third eye and to top it all, it has a tram network!) but clearly I was wrong. Extras include… diddly squat. What would you expect in a collectors edition? TC DERAILED

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DAYS OF BEING WILD

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Days of Being Wild is a 1991 film from Wong Kar-Wai. Set in 1960, it stars Asian film icon Leslie Cheung as a Hong Kong lothario Yuddy. He meets and seduces Su Lai Chun (Maggie Cheung, no relation) at a sports arena. She

The World’s Fastest Indian follows the trials and tribulations of elderly speed freak Burt Munro who, at the ripe old age of 68, embarks on an epic, and sometimes misguided, quest to break the world land speed record for a motorcycle – with little thought to the fact that he is attempting this on a 40-year-old bike. Anthony Hopkins’ Burt Munro is a rich and magnetic character, who wears his notable physical ailments like quirky idiosyncrasies. The film is an inspirational, dramatic and gripping story. It is a simple, and heartwarming, tale of individual triumph, with tears and laughter in equal measure which, in the end, is a tale about one man and his dream… but what a dream. PA

We’ve gotten so used to panning the miserable run of remakes in mainstream cinema that we may be running out of necessary bile for badlyrealised innovation. True, Derailed is an adaptation; but based on its central premise, James Siegel’s novel has the potential to be a dark and

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challenging film. It concerns a (far too) ordinary guy and an (unconvincing) temptress, quite literally flinging themselves into trouble. Soon, a complex to and fro of the harrowing and the hackneyed is underway, denying the characters credibility and the audience entertainment. Brutal violence and claustrophobic morality make for a strong plot, but hyperjacked with faux atmosphere, they fall flat. Subtlety is not simply another colour in the palette, but a technique requiring sensitive brushwork: metaphorically outlining everything in tasteful shades of turquoise grey cannot save a crude, amateur mish-mash that is unnecessarily black in places. NM DUST DEVIL: THE DIRECTORS CUT

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shapeshifter. Yet just such a visitor stalks lovelorn and otherwise tragic souls as he finds them, and the sandsteeped stage is set for an original and thrilling psychological/occult horror. It may not quite live up to the initial promise, but consider this the result of strong beginnings rather than lazy realisation; it certainly scores on atmosphere, concept and photography. Filmed in Namibia and inspired by one of director Richard Stanley’s nightmares as well as local legend, Dust Devil straddles fact and fiction, which explains why the mystic proceedings bear the hallmarks of a gruesome reality. For many who have experienced the studio-exec version, released under the name Demonica, this Director’s Cut is a far more coherent offering, and a slaughter-based oasis in a slew of nineties fear-flicks. NM

GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK

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In among the stifling heat, relentless particle storms and the acres of nothingness, I would think that desert denizens have enough to think about without the prospect of a predatory demonic

Good Night, and Good Luck is George Clooney’s directorial follow-up to Confessions of A Dangerous Mind, and reconfirms his position as one of the most provocative helmsmen working today. A tense drama set in the CBS newsroom, this is the real-life story of Fred Friendly (an understated Clooney) and Edward R. Murrow’s (a superb David Stathairn) refusal to back down to Witchfinder General, Senator Joseph McCartney, and insistence on reporting the truth, in spite of the danger staring them in the face.. This film is significant in that it still resonates today, and

ALIEN AUTOPSY RELEASED: APRIL 14 ✪✪✪ In 1947 an alien spacecraft supposedly crashed in the desert near Roswell, and onboard were creatures from another world, all of whom were killed in the impact. An autopsy was performed on one of the aliens, and a video recording made of the event. This is the tale of what happened when that footage, or rather, the remake, was unleashed upon the world. Ray Santilli (Declan Donnelly) runs a stall at the local market selling illegal videos. His friend Gary Shoefield (Anthony McPartlin) works as a clerk at a law firm. One day Ray decides that in order to make it big, he has to think big, and promptly sells Gary’s prized Ford Capri in order to fund a trip to the US to buy Elvis memorabilia. Once there, Ray and Gary stumble across something far more explosive, and valuable, than they could have hoped for - footage of an alien autopsy.

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begs the question of just how much has changed in 50 years? Perhaps the greatest difference is in how much of an impact a journalist can make with integrity on his side. P.S Warning – you may catch cancer just from watching this film. Apparently everyone had a fag on the go at all times in the 50s. MS GWENDOLINE

Sweet and innocent Gwendoline (Tawny Kitaen) is trying to find her father who disappeared in the Far East while searching for a rare butterfly. Accompanied by her assistant Beth – played by French actress and model Zabou – and the rough and ready Willard – actor and male model Brent Huff – Gwendoline must endure a series of dangerous trials and face a number of scantily-clad foes as their adventure unfolds. Billed as an erotic masterpiece, sadly, this isn’t. There are plenty of breasts on show, and even a little huffing and puffing – though at the time the participants are at least a foot apart – but this

Unfortunately, by the time they get it back to England, the film has begun to eat itself. Gary, who borrowed $30,000 from eccentric drug baron Laszlo Voros (Gotz Otto) to pay for the film, does the only thing he can to try and recoup the money, he recreates the autopsy in his sister’s flat, and then convinces the world that it’s real. Fun and easy to watch, this is a competent first outing for the jovial Geordies. Though neither Ant nor Dec are exactly stretched, playing no more than slightly diluted versions of themselves. If you looking for 90 minutes of sidesplitting belly laughs, then this isn’t the film for you, the humour is gentle, rather than in your face, although there are a few very funny moments, especially once the filming of the autopsy gets under way. Most of us want to believe that we’re not alone, well, on this evidence, if we’re not, then aliens have got haggis for brains. PA

film really is about as erotic as watching Rod, Jane and Freddy. The only moment when Kitaen looks remotely sexy is when it rains and she, along with her travelling companions, is forced to remove her top to catch water. Stripped naked to the waist, and with beads of water clinging to her skin, just for a second you can see the untapped potential, but it’s all too brief. And that’s a problem, because everything else about the film is appalling too. Director Just Jaeckin – who also brought us Emmanuelle – obviously felt that a liberal splashing of naked bodies would compensate for the fact that the plot, the acting and the dialogue are so dire, but they don’t even come close. The story is just plain bizarre, with the intrepid trio making their way across little-travelled and dangerous lands with strange names and even stranger inhabitants. There’s one particular sequence that looks as though it was inspired by one of Benny Hill’s highspeed chases. There are some films that are so bad that they’re funny, this is not one of them. In this case, bad really does mean bad. The only saving grace is that the film does finish, eventually. If you’ve got nothing better to do, like pulling the wings off insects, then you might want to watch this film. PA HIDDEN

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Very, very French. You think you’ve seen pretentious films before? They’re nothing like this, which is a strange mixture of dull and compelling. Bizarre non? A bourgeois TV pundit and

his family are sent mysterious videotapes of the outside of their home. Someone has been watching them, but who, and why?

Hidden is incredibly slowmoving, but with something unidentifiably gripping about it. It shouldn’t work, but it does, helped largely by perhaps the most shocking and surprising moment in recent memory, and no, it doesn’t involve a cat jumping out from somewhere. I can’t say any more, but it involves a gruesome death, and it lasts a long time. But really, I can’t say anymore than that… and a knife and lots of blood, but seriously, that’s it now. LL THE RIVER KING

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Whodunit movies have been around for years. Many of them are pure unadulterated cock. The sort of film that about five minutes into it you know who killed the rich Lord of the Manor or high-powered lawyer, so the next 70 minutes is basically you telling yourself, ‘See, I was right. It was the Bishop who looks like Rod Hull, what a predictable film this really is’. So imagine my

Help, I’m an alien... get me out of here!

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DVD delight when The River King landed on my lap last week.

down to its direction.Where Jumanji had Joe Johnston, the anaemic protégé of George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg at the helm, Zathura has the good fortune to boast the wit, imagination and indie sensibility of Swingers’ John Favreau. On this evidence, his directorial career is shaping up equally as well as his writing and acting. More! OW

operative Bob Barnes but on top of that director Stephen Gaghan (Traffic) has managed to pack his cast with an ensemble all comfortable with the idea that this film is no vanity project.

THE FOG

A film version of Alice Hoffman’s 2001 novel, this film follows Abel Grey as he tries to unravel the death of a boy from a very plush local school. The school claim it was suicide, but Abel thinks differently. With camerawork that jumps from scene to scene faster that you can say ‘Tarantino’, this is actually a really original film, with lots of little plot twists to keep you on your toes the whole way throughout. Plus there’s a random appearance from Julian RhindTutt from Green Wing in it, which confused me almost as much as the plot-twists did. TC ZATHURA: A SPACE ADVENTURE

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Zathura is not so much a sequel to 1995’s Jumanji as another film adapted from another novel by the same author, Chris Van Allsburg (who also provided the source for last year’s The Polar Express). Zathura features different characters to Jumanji and jettisons the Peter Pan references, but recycles the core idea of children playing a board game and being transported inside; their fate decided by a deck of cards and their only hope of survival being to play the game to completion. Jumanji was set in the jungle, while Zathura is in space, and is far more artistically successful than its older brother, which is entirely

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If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it something many a studio executive would do well to remember next time they ponder a remake lest we get more recycled dreck like this recent interpretation of John Carpenter’s The Fog. The plot remains largely the same; one hundred years ago a ship was sunk in mysterious circumstances just off the coast of a small American town. Now, enveloped and empowered in the sinister fog which sealed their fate, the long-dead crew have returned to take revenge on the settlement. Except the crew, much like everything else in this film, has been neutered in favour of securing a lower cinema certificate (it debuted with the audience-friendly PG-13 in the US). Instead of a horrific reimagining we’re treated to a truly inferior copy which stars Tom Welling (Smallville), a man who has helped redefine ‘one-dimensional’ with the quality of his acting. Despite being mercifully assisted by Maggie Grace (Lost) nothing can rescue this truly insipid effort from a terrible script and a distinct lack of any foreboding atmosphere. DL SYRIANA

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A cerebral political thriller set in and about the oil industry, Syriana is a film that demands your attention from the very beginning with an intricate plot full of machination and intrigue. George Clooney is on the form of his life here as CIA

Matt Damon, Alexander Siddig and Jeffrey Wright all stand out and let the work do the talking. This is a film that sets out to be thought-provoking and succeeds by adding a human poignancy that crystallises the interweaving plot strands. This complexity is only unfortunately added to because some of the central characters are not defined sufficiently enough from the outset. It could easily be argued that Hollywood’s $150 million blockbusters’ help fund smaller movies like this and thus are a necessary evil. But if the thought of yet another mindless extravaganza fills you with dread, Syriana is testament to the fact that perhaps all is not lost. DL GARTH MARENGHI’S DARKPLACE

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An over-looked comedy gem from 2004, after much demand, Darkplace has finally been deemed fit to receive a DVD release. A spot-on spoof of the television serials of the 80s – right down to the noteperfect opening title sequence – each episode is introduced by the show’s creator, the horror novelist and self-professed ‘dream weaver’ Garth Marenghi (Matthew Holness). The story goes that back in the 1980s Marenghi - together

with his publicist and friend Dean Learner (Richard Ayoade) - put together a radical and subversive television show set at Darkplace Hospital in preapocalyptic Romford. Each week saw the cast (which included Marenghi and Learner as Dr. Rick Dagless MD and Thornton Reed, Dagless’ boss respectively) battle inhuman evils whilst having to contend with the task of running a hospital. Only now has Channel 4 allowed the show to air with each episode from the personal vault of Marenghi himself. As a parody, the attention to detail throughout – right down to the wooden acting and megalomaniacal script – is outstanding. There’s some supremely quotable dialogue in there too and a fantastic set of extras (including an extended version of One Track Lover) to compensate for there being no sign of a second series. DL PREMONITION (A.K.A YOGEN)

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Not having read the original 1970s manga Kyofu Shinbun (Newspaper of Terror), my prophetic abilities were fully stretched when watching its edgy screen adaptation. Unpredictability is indeed a strong point, but an arresting film will always need a plot, or at least plenty of shock tactics. Premonition opts for compelling drama: a family man’s struggle with a psychic periodical that foresees his daughter’s death. This sensitive approach to a nonsensical notion will no doubt rally the critics to claim that, compared to its tail-ends, the middle of the film is… well, middling. Such a criticism is unlikely to be levelled at the impending Hollywood namesake, however, so don’t wish away the subtlety just yet. This is a creative modern horror, timeless in its fear of death. The focus is shifted from messy expiration, and our faces are pushed unflatteringly against the cold, glassy truth: we have no ultimate control over life and death. Whether taken slowly or sensationally, there’s nothing

scarier than that. NM PUSHER TRILOGY

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Pusher is essentially a trilogy of stories about three men, Frank, Tonny and Milo. Each man is involved in drugs one way or another. Milo is the head of the chain and the man who buys from him is Frank and his backup is Tonny. Each film in the trilogy is dedicated to one of the characters and one incredibly bad week in their lives. The cold and dangerous world these men live in is shown not only through their actions and attitudes but through their relationships with others. Set in a bleak and urban part of Copenhagen the action takes part in short brutal moments that don’t give you time to catch breath. Compassion is not something you are likely to find in the world of these men and they all become victims of the environment the surround themselves with. Ultimately this is a trilogy about repercussions. None of them are what you could consider good guys and they all fall foul of their involvement in crime, violence and drugs. These are three cleverly made films, with the intertwining of the stories subtly done so it all feels very natural and like you are simply looking in at these men’s lives. RM THE COMPLETE DENIS LEARY

Leary was all over MTV for a while there back in the early 90s, and if you’d never heard of Bill Hicks (which most of us hadn’t at that time) it was easy to be seduced by Leary’s brand of abrasive, heart on his proudly-working-class-IrishAmerican-sleeve confessional stand up. However, it’s impossible now to watch this stuff without wincing at an act that’s difficult to describe as anything other than shameless plagiarism of the far funnier and far, far more profound Hicks. In death, Hicks has been near deified by

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the both the comedy community and the counterculture, while Leary has gone on to mainstream TV, voiceovers in Disney movies and good work with his fire fighters’ charity.

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comedy gem in the form of The Cambridge Footlights Revue, a 45 minute sketch show made by, of all people, the Cambridge Footlights, of which Fry and Laurie were involved. TC SALEM’S LOT

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It’s difficult to begrudge him his success, but it’s also difficult to see why anyone would require this if they already own Hicks’ stuff. And if you don’t have any of Hicks’ stuff, buy that instead of this. JM A BIT OF FRY AND LAURIE SERIES TWO

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So here we are with series two of the sublime 80s sketch show from Messieurs Stephen and Hugh. If you have no idea what I am talking about, turn around walk out of the room, slap yourself for being insolent and then enter the room again feeling breezy about yourself. This disc, comprising of all six episodes from series two, includes more random sketches and voice-pops from the Cambridge duo, including jokes about chartered surveyors, vicars, spies and sex with Michael Douglas. In a comedic drought where bearded Cornish jizzmoppers can grace our screens and shout the word ‘shit’ in a vain attempt to gain a chuckle, you would have thought the BBC would be begging for Fry and Laurie to return to our screens and show these noo-comedians how it’s done. Until then, an 8cm circular disc of comedy heaven will be the only thing keeping JLC out of a shallow grave. Extras include a rather lovely

Fondly remembered by many as “event” TV in the 70s, Salem’s Lot is an excursion into classic Stephen King country, concerning as it does a successful writer (David Soul as Ben Mears) returning to his small town New England roots to write a book about the local haunted house, only to be confronted by a plague of vampirism. Intrigue, disappearances, paranoia and bumps in the night abound as Mears struggles to thwart the spreading evil. Featuring James Mason as a somewhat generic sinister foreigner, the combination of strong cast, sure-handed direction by horror maestro Tobe Hooper, and King’s peerless understanding of what makes for a good yarn deftly overcome the limitations of a modest budget and creaky effects. Salem’s Lot is certainly worth a look by those who missed it the first time around, and will be happily revisited by those who didn’t. JM ANOTHER PUBLIC ENEMY

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Sequels to films always create a mixed bag of feelings. Some films try and repeat the success of the original films, by

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simply just lifting the plot and dialogue from the first film and giving it a wash (Blues Brothers 2000, I’m looking at you…) While others opt for the more interesting twist of going off on a tangent, creating a separate, stand-alone film. Another Public Enemy fits somewhere in-between the two. The follow-up to the highly successful Korean cop thriller Public Enemy, this veryoriginally titled sequel sees Kang Chul-joong, Seoul’s answer to Dirty Harry, trying to get to the bottom of a case involving his high-school friend Han, who is not only about to become chairman of the Myung-Sun Foundation, but is also suspected of bribing, embezzling and even murdering people. It’s that old chestnut of a bad cop versus even badder businessman story, and works nicely. It’s just a pity that the whole thing is so damn long. Clocking in at well over two hours, there are times when that fast forward button just has to come into action. TC SHADOWS IN THE SUN

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Ah, the curse of the child star. A few seasons in a prime-time angst-filled ‘drama’ and everyone’s ready to write you off when you graduate. The wunderkind from The OC should take note. Here, onetime Dawson’s Creek star Joshua Jackson continues in his bid to distance himself from the somewhat one-dimensional walking hormone he played for six seasons. On the evidence thus far, he’s not doing spectacularly. Shadows in the Sun isn’t going to set the world alight but it’s a competent if cloyingly sentimental flick that seemed to be a high-profile direct-tovideo feature by design. Jackson plays a hip young thing suffering writer’s block who locates genius Harvey Keitel (in a role far moved from Bad Lieutenant) in Italy for some words of wisdom. The former learns some ‘valuable’ lessons in life from Keitel’s daughter, the sparkling Claire Forlani and everyone else

generally ‘grows’. This really is Movie-of-theWeek fare distinguished only by the beautiful scenery and some performances that are better than you have any right to expect from a film like this. DL STAY

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This curiosity bombed at the box office, perhaps not unreasonably considering its wilful obtuseness. A young man visits a psychiatrist (Ewan McGregor) after a narrow escape from a car crash and threatens suicide, plunging McGregor into a wild goose chase around an increasingly hallucinatory New York in order to dig up a bit about his new patient’s history in order to find a way of saving his life. Trading on a parade of surreal and portentous imagery of arguable meaningfulness, how much you like this will depend very much on whether you regard it as pure hokum dressed up as metaphysical profundity or a genuine elegiac vision let down by a badly humdrum denouement. If you’re feeling extremely generous, the latter interpretation is just about viable - just don’t expect it to hang together in any memorable way. JM UNDERWORLD EVOLUTION

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Underworld Evolution picks up right where the original Underworld left off, with the leather catsuit-clad vampire

Kate Beckinsale and her vamp/werewolf hybrid squeeze Scott Speedman on the run from their respective nocturnal supernatural clans. Cue a breathless chase across the Prague countryside with ubervampire Marcus in pursuit, Terminator style. Where Underworld was intricate and exposition-heavy, Evolution is linear and fast moving, but manages never to sacrifice any of the Slovak sturm und drang of the original. The photography and effects are as impressive as the first time around, the historical flashbacks are present and correct (and feature a welcome if brief return for Bill Nighy’s egregious Victor), the relationship between Beckinsale and Speedman has gained some actual chemistry, and the mystery plot is as tantalising as ever, although structured so that the two leads are simply collecting plot vouchers that they can trade in for an ending. OW BATTLE ROYALE 2

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A limited edition, tin-mounted three disc set is perhaps a little more lavish treatment than the sequel to Battle Royale deserves, but there is some fun to be had here. Original director Fukusaku Kinji is still on hand, but more or less passes the reigns to his son Kenta, who flings the survivors of part one into a fullon war against the adults who implemented the original BR policy. Takeshi Kitano’s presence is much missed, but the gleeful nihilism of Battle Royale is still very much to the fore, as is the stylish cartoony ultraviolence. Furthermore, this time around, some attempt is made to confront an actual issue – namely global terrorism and the various responses to it – with the added bonus of some serious anti-American sentiment (although your response to this may be somewhat ambivalent given the human rights record of the source nation). More of the same, and not quite as good. But it’ll do. OW

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fight club UFC 57 LIDDELL/COUTURE 3

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FIGHT DVD

After a bunch of pretty decent prelim matches, Riggs faces off against Diaz in a great match there’s more than one occasion that’s deserving of a wince and a hit of the rewind button! Watch out for both of these guys rising swiftly through the

PRIDE SHOCKWAVE 2004

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FIGHT DVD

As a general rule of thumb, MMA fans prefer either the cage (UFC) or the ring (Pride). Occasionally, there’s a show so damn good that one can;t help but be captivated by how good it is. Maybe it’s the format of the ring that allows the personalities to shine through more - or maybe there are just more personalities in Pride. Whatever the reason, this is a real mixed bag of fighters and for a two disc set never gets full (which a lot of double packs have the tendency to do). SS UFC 15/16

✪✪✪✪/✪✪✪ FIGHT DVD A blast from the past here as we step back in time to a day when the UFC was really starting to find its feet. There sure doesn’t seem to be any room for people like Tank Abbott in UFC anymore

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as it’s streamlined formula makes each show run smooth as silk, but not so long ago, there was room for anybody who dared chance their arm. Abbotts match with Maurice Smith here really shows up some of the things that were of real entertainment value that have since been left behind. Also on board UFC 15 is a fantastic match between two of the all time greats Vitor Belfort and Randy Couture. Anytime those two are in the ring is a good time to settle back to enjoy some quality action. Mark Kerr also makes an appearance here - he should fight more often.

UFC 16 is a little different. The great matches are really great, but there seems to be something a little lacking about the earlier bouts. Shamrock was always worth a watch and here he goes up against Zinoviev with great results. The rest is OK, but when it comes to UFC, we all know that OK just isn’t good enough. Eclipsed by the previous disc. SS

PRIDE 11/12

✪✪✪/✪✪✪ FIGHT DVD

Another quality outing from Fight DVD. These releases are hard to review - there are always great matches on board, but the star rating has to be on the overall talent pool. Both of these are good stuff let down only by a few dull fights Pride 11 has a classy match between Yoshiaki Yatsu and Gary Goodridge. Goodridge is always great value for money but they really should haul some of the Japanese contingent into the UFC to start mixing things up a little - some of them are genuinely frightening in the ring - Akira Shoji for one and Satake could make a name for himself as well. A pretty well rounded disc headlined by Sakuraba and Ritch - which has just the ending you would expect... or maybe not! Depends how much MMA you watch! Not bad at all. Pride 12 is very similar. A lot of good fights surrounded my some just OK ones. Worthy of

a mention here are Sakuraba, who comes to the ring in a classy lucha libre Santa Claus mask, up against Ryan Gracie at the top end of things. A good fight but certainly nowhere near long enough to get the best out of either fighter. Over here in the west we really look up to our fighters like the world is divided exactly in half but there are some serious top quality fighters from the East that are household names out there. Sometimes, the world might seem small, but there’s still a huge wedge down the middle of it that needs breaking down. Also worthy of a mention is Vovchanchyn vs Mark Kerr. If you’re into long drawn out thinking chess games on the mat, this is a great lesson in how it works. It may sound or even look dull to the casual observer but you try it... what seems like a lifetime on the tv is even longer on the ground! Worth a buy if you’ve already bought all the others and to round of the collection. SS UFC 58 USA VS CANADA

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FIGHT DVD If ever there was a disc to stick under somebody’s nose to show them how diverse MMA can really be, this could well be it. The opener featuring Murphy and Laren is just the the type of match that will shock people into loving the sport as the smaller guy systematically takes apart the giant and breaks him in two. I don’t

ranks. Always value for money, Frank Mir faces off Cruz - Mir is a great fighter, you really never know what the hell you’re going to get and I quote myself - he has the potential to be the Ric Flair of MMA... well rounded, multi talented.. this is good shit. The main event was a real long time in coming and when it arrived, it didn’t disappoint in any way. The only thing you can say about it is ‘that’s how to finish a fight.’ On this occasion (the result is no secret!), Couture is just plain outgunned by Liddell who came more than prepared for battle. The bout almost becomes overshadowed by Couture announcing his retirement from active service as adrenalin is relaced by a sadness that one of the greatest UFC fighters will never be seen in the cage again. Mr Couture, Mr Liddell - we salute you on all fronts. Sheer class on a disc. SS personally class that as a spoiler by the way - in this game anything can happen, but this is one classy match from two excellent new fighters in the UFC.

Events move on swiftly with a couple of lightweight bouts culminating in the excellent showdown between Hominick and Yves Edwards. Fast, sharp and brutal, you have to wonder how men are able to take so much punishment with so little meat on their bodies (but then again, maybe I watch too much WWE and have an extreme version of what ‘in shape’ means!). BJ Penn and St. Pierre. Now there’s a match made in hell. I’ve seen this fight a few times now and Penn still makes me smile. He had this laconic style to his fighting that I like - he’s not reached his peak yet, but he sure isn’t far from it. A good release - certainly one to add to the collection. SS

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books & comics THE RISE AND FALL OF ECW

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WWE BOOKS

I miss having ECW around. There was something great about having an underdog kicking about. Not just any old underdog either - one that posed a real threat to the status quo. Then again, it’s also cool to look back on it as a period that’s gone - kind of like glam rock without the hair. This missed out on a 5 star rating only because of shoddy editing really - yeah, I know... look who’s talking - there’s something about the writing that’s not quite up to scratch and I read much of it with a frown because of it as I re-read many paragraphs to make sure that I’d read what I thought I had. That aside, it’s a great story of a group of people who believed they could make a difference. A small core group of guys that said to themselves, ‘hey, those guys who are making millions... they’re not doing it right. Let’s do it ourselves and shake things up a little.’ I like that mentality and it took ECW into the stuff of legend. The ringmaster of course is the one and only Paul Heyman. A man who ended up in the business for two reason alone; a) he wanted to be in it and b) he refused to take no for an

answer. Surrounding himself with like minded people who each brought something new and exciting to the table (Tazz, Sandman, Tommy Dreamer..), they pushed the boundaries of everything professional wrestling was supposed to be about and won - well, to a point anyway! If you have even a slight interest in the sport of kings, this is essential reading. Then again, if you’re into people who break the rules just because they’re there - this is textbook 101 if your looking for some footsteps to follow in. SS CIVIL WAR MARK MILLAR

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Marvel's new seven issue limited series centres on a newly created superhuman registration act. The act, which requires superhumans to be trained a regulated, has split the Marvel universe down the middle between those in favour of, and those opposing the idea - and there are some surprising people siding with the rebels. Writing maverick Mark Millar (Wanted) is confidcent that the series will deliver for everyone, saying: "The political allegory is only for those that are politically aware. Kids are going to read it and just see a big superhero fight." Combined with some first rate artwork by Steve McNiven, with only two issues in the bag so far Civil War could soon be a major part of your comic reading lives. MS FELL - WARREN ELLIS

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Ellis has a honourable ideology when it comes to his latest series of comics. Fell is an experiment in order to create a more affordable comic by producing a lower page count than normal, with a

CIVIL WAR - MARK MILLAR

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Marvel's new seven issue limited series centres on a newly created superhuman registration act. The act, which requires superhumans to be trained a regulated, has split the Marvel universe down the middle - between those in favour of, and those opposing the idea - and there are some surprising people siding with the rebels.

complete story told in each issue. No need to buy another if you're skint. He does this by using a neat nine-panel grid, and a portion of text where he explains the process behind the issue, and responds to emails from readers. Fell is a detective just seconded to the dirtiest, grimiest part of the city - and he can't wait to make his mark. With incredible detection and people reading skills that make him more akin to Derren Brown than Sherlock Holmes, Richard Fell can piece together motives and actions from a simple stutter or unintended twitch of the thumb. The artwork is not for everyone, Ben Templesmith's sometimes childlike style is as marmite as you like, so have a flick. Or, alternatively, visit www.newsarama.com/ImageCo mics/Fell/Fell01Issue.htm where the first issue is there for free!It ain't perfect, but you've got to admire the idea. MS

THE FOUR CONSTABLES: VOLUME 1 TONY WONG/ANDY SETO

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DRMASTER PUBLICATIONS Despite its presence in the cinema and video gaming, martial arts don't feature heavily in western action comics. As with its film industry however, Hong Kong is exporting comic talent, with Wong and Seto's The Four Constables offering a glimpse into a medieval Chinese fantasy world that should satiate the desires of anyone craving a bit of pseudo-

Writing maverick Mark Millar (Wanted) is confidcent that the series will deliver for everyone, saying: "The political allegory is only for those that are politically aware. Kids are going to read it and just see a big superhero fight." Combined with some first rate artwork by Steve McNiven, with only two issues in the bag so far Civil War could soon be a major part of your comic reading lives. MS

historical kung fu action. There's no pretence that this is anything but fantastical, with the key characters having special moves reminiscent of characters from beat-'em-up style console games and brightly coloured hair that's straight from cartoon-like animé movies. This isn't exactly uncommon in the genre however, where even the classiest movies feature characters that can engage in combat while balancing on fragile treetops, leaping over buildings or bouncing on the surface tension of water. And as with the best kung fu movies, the visuals on offer here are stunning, pushing the monochromatic style of most pulp Asian comics into the dark ages. The story isn't much more than a series of orchestrated fights, based around the four constables' investigation of a series of slaughters committed by a covert team of highly

experienced assassins. Hunting down the perpetrators one by one leads to a series of tough battles and although the back story implies that they're most at home operating individually, by teaming together they can use their individual skills to maximum effect. A number of the assassins are dealt with in this volume though it isn't a complete story - you'll have to move on to the next volume if you want to continue following it. Though it's smattered with a little mystery and intrigue, it's really most likely to appeal to the kind of person who wishes their fighting games had more of a back story; that they made movies using the characters from Tekken; and that more of the actors in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon had bright green dyed hair. Nothing wrong with that though - kung fu fans should form an orderly queue. DO

down tools: essential read alert! ONE HIT LEE CHILD ✪✪✪✪ BANTAM

If you’re in the mood for just saying fuck it to the world, switching off the phone and hitting the garden with a Budweiser and a book, here’s a tip... Jack Reacher is a bit of a motherfucker. One Hit is one of those books that you pick up because it looks pretty interesting and you put it back down about a day later thinking ‘shit... that was good and then waste a few hours hitting up Amazon for the rest of the series. With an assassin on the loose in the city, Reacher turns up from out of the blue to make sure that shooter goes down - or does he? Yeah, it would be a pretty poor show if it was as clean cut as that don’t you think! This is grown up Hardy Boys! Reacher is a little like Harry Bosch in his lone gunman view of the world. The plot is gripping and the action well researched there’s a million worse ways to spend a day. Best news - the new one is out in HB soon. Bring it on! SS

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games CHAMPIONSHIP MANAGER 2006 PS2 EIDOS ✪✪✪✪

One of the great things about this regeneration of Fifa is that all the sides have star players who once you have control of, are more likely to beat a few players and have a crack at goal... 2006 FIFA WORLD CUP GERMANY XBOX 360 / PS2 EA ✪✪✪✪✪ Ah, football, the beautiful game. It’s not bloody soccer, we invented it, and it’s called football! If you love footy and video games then you are either a Fifa fan of a Pro Evo fan. Like if you live in Liverpool you either support Liverpool or Everton. Pro Evo has always been a favourite with games industry journo’s and your dad. Personally we could never get into Pro Evo, couldn’t be bothered with building up a team for weeks on end and drawing most games. We want fun, we want to play as Brazil and beat Tonga 7-0. We want 2006 Fifa World Cup. Yep, this is probably the best Fifa so far, which is a good job, since the last one was a bit poo. What we had to review was both the 360 & PS2 versions (aint we lucky!) On the 360 we have one of the best-looking console football games ever, it’s an event almost as over the top as the world cup itself. And plays like a dream over xbox live. Fast with no lag, and tons of games to join in. On PS2 though, the gameplay is actually superior, not sure why, maybe it’s the controls, the sublime player animations, the way it seems to flow better. One of the great things about this regeneration of Fifa is that all the sides have “star” players who once you have control of, are more likely to beat a few players and have a crack at goal. Wales for example have Belamy & Giggs, now I know Wales didn’t qualify, but you can take your home nation though the qualifying rounds and we actually managed to get Giggs and co to lift the World Cup (after beating Brazil 4-3 after extra time in the final and beating England in the semi final 1-0). For this reason this game has to get the coveted 5 stars. He shoots, He scores! Result! JMC

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Ok, so the Domestic football season is over till August. Now I know we have the World cup to tide us over till then, but I am sure most of you footy fans out there wish last season could have gone a bit better, and most of you think you could have done a better job than the respective “Mike Bassett” who picks the team every week. Well Eidos have given you the chance to don a sheepskin coat and become the manager of your chosen team. This is the most up to date management game out there, and includes all the signings from the January Transfer window. To some people football management games are like a religion, and are only to be played on the pc. Here at Burn we think a pc is for work, and a console is for play. So let’s get in on and see what all the fuss is about. Right, surely if I pick one of the best teams in the land, then I don’t actually have to do much. Anything Rafa Benitez can do, we can do better. At the end of the season, the former Champions of Europe just avoided relegation. Bugger, maybe it’s not as easy as it looks, maybe If we buy some new players and try again next season…. and so it goes on…what does it play like? No time to stand here and talk, we have Chelsea in the next round of the Cup to prepare for. JMC

BURNOUT REVENGE XBOX 360 EA ✪✪✪✪ What’s the difference between the new Xbox 360 version of this game and the PSP/PS2 versions that came out oh so long ago…online gameplay!!!! You can be ranked no 6 in the world one day, and next time you fancy a bit of net action you find yourself ranked 247!!! That’s how quick things change on Xbox LIVE.

This is the only difference we could find between both versions to date, ignoring the obvious speed boost and smoother graphics. Undoubtedly, most players of this game will tinker around playing a little of the online experience, but most will make their way through the world tour, trying to get gold on every scenario possible, without breaking their fingers and throwing the controller through the wide screen TV. However, even Xbox 360 games have their flaws: loading times are a little long, longer than in fact the PSP version we also found that the cars in this game can float through walls miraculously and zooms off tracks into game space!!!!

These glitches however can be forgiven, as this is the fastest, best looking version of the Burnout series to date, and lots of fun to boot. we’ve always loved Burnout and this has to be our favourite racing games on Xbox 360, yes, even better than PGR3 and RR6! Now that has to count for something doesn’t it? EA does it again…keep em coming! SMW THE OUTFIT XBOX 360 THQ ✪✪✪

The outfit is a 3rd person, arcade shooter which resembles mercenaries/command and conquer. Although this kinda game doesn’t usually float my boat, this is an interesting game as , the graphics live up to xbox 360’s expectations,

however, not as good as other games beforehand … The Outfit’s plot is fairly simple. An elite troop of US Soldiers; led by the cigarchomping Deuce Williams (Robert Patrick, of T2 and XFiles fame), make their way past enemy lines in World War II-era Normandy. Joining him are JD Tyler (voiced by TC Carson, the voice of God of War’s Kratos) and Tommy “Mac” McIntyre (Ron Perlman). Along the way to liberating France, copious numbers of Nazi soldiers are slain. Visually, the game has a very cartoonish feel to it. The cut scenes look fairly good, but they’re not outstanding. Also, textures and surfaces on the maps look rather detailed, although the game itself doesn’t exactly exude jawdropping visuals. Compared to many next-gen games, The Outfit doesn’t necessarily look very detailed. That’s likely thanks to the amount that the environment itself taxes the system. Rather than pump polygons into giving players realistic characters, Relic has opted to make everything in the environment fully destructible. Yes, that means that instead of being as pretty as Call of Duty 2, players can just run amok and destroy everything in their path. It’s a trade-off that will likely be seen in more next-gen games down the line. The Outfit might not be the sweetest eye candy out there, but the fact that you can blow up virtually anything that the eye can see, more than makes up for that. All in all, not a bad game…. but with call of duty 2 and Ghost Recon…who needs an average game, when you can get a wow factor from the other two. SMW

DRIVER: PARALLEL LINES PS2 ATARI ✪✪✪

The Driver series is back! Promising to bring you better graphics, more speed and more action than the previous titles. Does it deliver on this promise? Technically yes, but bear in mind that Driver 3 wasn’t very

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good either. Set in New York, back in ‘78, you play as a country boy turned getaway driver as you take part in various driving and walking missions in a relatively big map of the Big Apple. The prerendered cut scenes are superb, telling the story the well and as you get into the game, the scene changes from ‘78, to ‘06. This doesn’t change much, but gives nice bit of difference within the visuals. The in-game graphics don’t exactly live up to this standard, and at times can be a pain to look at. The soundtrack is funky, and one of the redeeming factors of Driver: Parallel Lines, giving the game a very authentic feel. The driving aspect of the game is fast and relentless, but it doesn’t go without its flaws. The main problem is the stiff controls, and handbrake turns can send you skidding in all sorts of directions. The walking around isn’t perfect either, and at times the controls will again feel stiff and slow. Generally though, the game, whilst just another GTA clone, will be good enough for most Driver fans to stay hooked. With a big map and a big story mode, the game is probably worth at least a rent. BL

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graphics are scrumptious in a kind of cell-shaded 3D way. It’s all very colourful and the attention to detail is wonderful. It also plays like a classic RPG with loads of towns and dungeons to explore & lots of random battles between these places to help you to level up and give you a half decent chance of surviving the inevitable boss battles at the end of the long dungeons. There in lies the only bug bear, this game has a seriously steep learning curve. I died long before I even met the first boss, since I didn’t bother levelling up enough. Once this is learned the hard way, this game starts to show its depth and the full scope of the masterpiece you are slowly getting drawn into. With characters you actually care about, and one of the best translations & vocal talents found in any RPG, this is a must buy. What with this and the stunning Oblivion from 2K games ,on the XBOX 360, this year has been good to us RPG fans, just not great with our social lives. JMC

DAXTER PSP SONY ✪✪✪✪

DRAGON QUEST: JOURNEY OF THE CURSED KING PS2 SQUARE ENIX ✪✪✪✪✪

I have recently been reading to my horror that the next (and final instalment for PS2) Final Fantasy, number XII, in case you hadn’t been keeping count, features a different style of combat. No more turn based combat, where you can take as long as you like choosing which weapon, spell or monster to deploy with your spiky haired hero. Nope its gone all real time. So why is this relevant to this current RPG from the same publisher Square Enix. . Well, Dragon Quest is in fact a good old, back to basics RPG. In the style of the classic Final Fantasy VII, this game is a dream to watch & play. The

The fuzzy orange ottsel is back, but this time he’s starring in his own game! Daxter, the 5th title in the series and a story prequel to Jak II, is a new game that looks at a different aspect of the story. No longer is the orange furball a side kick, he’s on an adventure to save his pal Jak from prison whilst also maintaining his job as an exterminator. The adventure takes you through Haven city, a city of the future that first featured in Jak II. A lot of the story telling takes place in and around the huge map offered within the city, as well as some of the impressively big level areas also found in game. The graphics are vibrant and colourful, truly showcasing what the PSP is capable of. At times, Daxter could easily pass as an early PS2 title, and that is extremely impressive for a handheld. The basics of

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gameplay are essentially what are found in previous Jak games, but there have been clear tweaks. Most notably, Daxter doesn’t use eco to grant him different powers. However, he does have a sort of pressurised pesticide spray, which allows him to stun, burn and blow up his enemies, among other things. The Jak series has found a new breath of life on the PSP, and Daxter definitely meets (and excels) expectations. The simple controls, simple but challenging missions and the ability to save anywhere in game make, this a perfect portable game. BL

TRAUMA CENTRE: UNDER THE KNIFE NINTENDO DS NINTENDO ✪✪✪✪

“Trust me, I’m a doctor”, Ever wanted to say that? Nah neither did we here at Burn, but since this game dropped on out doorstep, we thought we had better take a look anyway. Bloody `ell, where we glad we did. What a gem of a game this is. It’s one of them mental games that could only come from Japan. Where else would they create a game where you play a recently qualified surgeon, called Dr. Stiles, who is rumoured to have the ‘healing touch’ the cut scenes are very much like a anime cartoon or like a RPG, and they move the story along nicely. The main selling point for this game is the use of the stylus & touch screen. You actually perform operations using the stylus as your medical instruments, such as scalpel, laser and tweezers and the patient is the touch screen. All to a time limit. This is not as easy as it seems, since pretty quickly the ops get more complicated and the precision needed for certain tasks seems impossible. But being a Nintendo game, it has just enough of that “I’ll just have one more go before bedtime” quality about it. Total genius and as addictive as beer, fags, drugs and/or sex! “Is there a Doctor in the house?” yep, they’re sure is, now. If you own a DS, I think you owe it to humanity to get this cracking little game and “heal the world”…man! JMC

STATE OF EMERGENCY 2 PS2 SOUTH PEAK ✪✪✪

Well what can I say about this title? It’s “interesting” to say the least. This sequel is a big departure from the original game, with a fully structured third person shooter style of gameplay, the trademark melee combat has suddenly disappeared. State Of Emergency 2 is set 10 years before the first game, with a new plotline that features some of the older characters as well as some new ones. The fact the game even has a storyline is a big movement from the arcade-esque beat ‘em up that State Of Emergency 1 was. This time a new set of developers and publishers have been introduced, and this is very clear in the new found game play. There are three modes: Story, which follows the vague storyline that has been set down, Arcade, which lets you run loose around the various levels and Multiplayer, a simple and boring multiplayer that allows 1-4 players. The multiplayer in particular is very boring, the maps are too big to play with just a friend, and you could be running around for ten minutes before you even find him/her. The game has it’s fun elements, some of the mindless killing and cheesy dialogue can be good for a laugh, but a lot of the time it feels as though the developers have tried too hard to be edgy or cool by adding an excessive amount of blood and violence. The really poor graphics, dodgy story, crappy controls and generally dissatisfying gameplay make this game one to avoid. BL FIGHT NIGHT ROUND 3 XBOX 360 EA ✪✪✪✪ It’s been 2 years since EA’s Fight Night 2004 came out, and with the next-gen instalment out on Xbox 360, its pleasing to say that this version of an average boxing simulation gets a thumbs up from us. Pound for pound, Fight Night round 3 is very much like its predecessor, and

takes the visuals and the gameplay to a new level. They say the 3rd time is the charm, in this case, consider us charmed, seduced and smoking a well deserved fag afterwards!!!! Visually, this is the closest thing to a photo realistic title to appear on the 360.This is The Premiership rather than just relegated to The Championship!

This game certainly takes the prize in the most realistic sports simulation on a next-gen console to date, and then some…It’s not just the boxers that make this game so incredible, the crowd is totally 3D and fairly diverse which is sometimes overlooked in a sports game. The lighting effects are a crucial point to mention. These too are very realistic, with light floating through windows of the training gym and bouncing off the skin of the fighters. The best bit has got to be the career mode, where you can create your own boxer, and turn him (if you try hard enough) into the champion of the world! Only downfall found is online play. If you’re a novice fighter, you are unable to match yourself to others in your class, so you can lose points if you meet up with a top league heavyweight! To sum up, Fight Night Round 3 isn’t perfect, but it came pretty close, and from a person who has played many a fighting game on a console, this has to be the best so far…it’s hard to beat. SMW

WORMS: OPEN WAREFARE NINTENDO DS THQ ✪✪✪

If hearing the phrases “You’ll regret that!” and “Stooo-pid!” in a high-pitched voice makes

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games you smile in a nostalgic kinda way, then no doubt you have played some version of Worms in the past. In recent years these little guys have had various makeovers in terms of look (they went all 3D) and gameplay (anyone admit to remembering Forts), but now on the handheld consoles (Its out on PSP as well as DS) Team 17 have gone back to 2D side scrolling basics. No more funny accents and full personalisation’s here. Just retro worms. On the DS, the touch screen is used to select your weapon of choice, and to scroll either side of the battlefield. This leaves to top screen uncluttered, and only with the destructible landscape and all the little worms. Worms has always been about turn based multi player fun, and this is where this game excels. Weather its ad-hok, pass the parcel style with a mate using one machine, or using the wireless function with up to 4 people using one carton 4 machines, you wont have many complaints. Although only having 6 landscapes does get tedious after a while. So, if you have mates, then get this and have some fun. JMC BATTLEFIELD 2:MODERN COMBAT XBOX 360 EA ✪✪✪✪

Based on the blockbuster online multiplayer war Battlefield franchise, EA and developer Digital Illusions are taking the battle to another realm with a modern-war era edition somewhat similar to Battlefield 2 for PCs but developed exclusively for console gamers. Little has changed in the transition from the current-gen to the next generation, least of all the single-player campaign. You’ll once again be dropped into Kazakhstan to take part in a battle between Chinese forces and the soldiers from a U.S. and United Nations coalition. The storyline doesn’t really play a major part in the game, as you’ll mainly be moving from one locale to another, switching up styles of play and objectives as you go. Of course, the most important

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element in any game bearing the Battlefield name is the online multiplayer action, and that’s where this version of Modern Combat really shines. The current-gen title featured some solid action, but it was ultimately hurt by some laggy play and a sort of “flatness” that you couldn’t quite put your finger on. Basically, it just wasn’t what people had come to expect from the Battlefield team. The move to the Xbox 360 has definitely helped matters quite a bit, and the new Modern Combat is one of the best multiplayer games the system & xbox live! has to offer. So, with a slightly better single player than the pc, online gaming is a futuristic innovative experience….one which will have you playing on... and on... and on... SMW ANIMAL CROSSING: WILD WOOD NINTENDO DS NINTENDO ✪✪✪

As you can see by the cover of this game, with its bright colours and cute sign saying “Welcome to Animal Crossing” this is a Japanese game that is ever so cute and cuddly. Here at Burn we don’t get it at all, although our pre-teen daughters thinks it’s the best thing since the last McFly cd and insist we give it 5 stars. Sorry, not going to happen. Ok, so what we have here is in fact a very clever, well thought out & addictive game. You start off in a taxi moving to a new town, you chose your own name & the towns name, then you get a house, get a job to pay for the house, furnish said house… and so it goes onits like real life, without all the nasty killing n stuff. Go fishing, chat to the townsfolk, and even visit other towns using the wireless connection. This game utilises all the best features of the DS and makes a charming engrossing game. Yet unless you happen to be a schoolgirl, you will probably get bored very quickly and wonder what all the fuss is about. So, if you have a DS and an daughter in school, then buy this and become the coolest motherfuckin parent in the whole world, ever! Otherwise I`d go and buy Metroid Prime Hunters instead! JMC

win xcellent stuff! Command the epic battles of Middle-earthTM from your living room couch in The Lord of the RingsTM, The Battle for MiddleearthTM II for the Xbox 360TM. The highly anticipated PC game will make its exclusive console debut when it ships in Summer 2006! To add to the intensity of the experience, The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II for the Xbox 360 is the first game in The Lord of the RingsTM series that will be playable over Xbox LIVETM*. Challenge friends online and engage in intense, action-packed real-time battles. Based on the PC version of the same name, The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth II for the Xbox 360 will bring players into the heart of Middle-earth to live the battles seen in the blockbuster New Line Cinema films and classic J.R.R. Tolkien literary fiction. The game boasts a new and intuitive console-specific control scheme that will allow novice players to enjoy the game’s signature strategy gameplay while giving expert players the flexibility needed to engage in a deeply complex strategy experience. Directly control hundreds of units in an attempt to defeat enemy armies, conquer new lands, and seal the fate of Middle-earth.. EA have promised 5 copies on day of release (14th July), so we can get them over to you guys as fast as humanely possible. All you have to do is tell us which character does the gorgeous Liv Tyler play in the movie trilogy of Lord of The Rings? Championship Manager 2006 is developed by Gusto & published by Eidos. This latest version offers a wide range of innovative new features, detailed below. It allows you to manage your club to glory, dealing with everything from tactics and training to transfers everything you would expect a real-life football manager to do without owning a sheepskin coat. The simulation is the only PS2 game to contain transfers from the January transfer window! Since the world cup is upon is, we asked the people at Eidos if they could sort us out with some kind of football related booty to give to you guys. We were sent 4 promo only copies of Championship Manager 06 for PS2. Just tell let us know which country is hosting this years World Cup. THQ and Relic Entertainment take explosive World War II combat to the next generation in an all-new 3rd Person Action Game. Combining intense squad-based combat with the freedom of total destruction, The Outfit takes players behind enemy lines, battling the Nazi War Machine through a variety of combat missions……does this sound like your kind of game, do you like to blow stuff up? Well THQ have given us 3 copies of this fun game to give to you, if you can tell us any of the movies that Ron Pearlman has starred in? (Since his vocal talents are featured on The Outfit) www.thq-games.com

“Worm your way into Open Warfare “- THQ Presents Worms :Open Warfare on Nintendo DS™ Making its debut on PSP™ and Nintendo DS™.Worms: Open Warfare brings a full overhaul of the balancing of weapons and AI engines especially for handheld gaming. Play with your Worms alone or on the popular multiplayer option; either using the 'hot seat' option where you and up to three mates can play on the one console, or enable the WIFI technology and connect four separate units for the ultimate Worming experience. The addition of mid-mission saves for the first time means gamers on the move do not need to lose their progress, which is an invaluable new feature to the handheld version. With a huge collection of favourite weapons and 5 all-new graphical themes, the lasting appeal of the Worms series continues in this must-have 2006 game Got a DS? THQ have given us 3 copies of this fun, addictive party game that you will be playing for hours. Just tell us which sport uses worms as bait? www.thq-games.com So, to enter any of these competitions, simply send an email to comps@burnmag.co.uk with your answer in the subject line (We’re sure we can figure out which comp you’re entering thanks... your part of the bargain is to remember to include your name and address. Snigger away - you’d be surprised!). Alternatively, if you’re living in the dark ages and like stomping about during the weekend on horseback clanging your metal suit all over the countryside, you could always send in an envelope or a postcard or a bit of cut out pizza box or something to: BurnComps, PO Box 350, Dover, Kent CT17 0ER.

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anime MANGA ROCK THE HOUSE IN THIS KICK ASS NINJA GHOST MOVIE

KARAS- THE PROPHECY MANGA OUT NOW ✪✪✪✪✪ Now this anime movie looks to be a big budget effort to us. It merges 2d animation with cutting edge 3d cgi to create one hell of a pretty looking Anime; this has a sci-fi epic feel about it that suits the style of the story. So to the story then, set with the backdrop of modern day Tokyo. This is basically a classic Japanese ghost story. There has been a conflict between the living and the spirit world, and the balance is kept a guardian called Karas, a kind of ghost police: There have been many who have taken over the mantle of the Karas. The current one is a

FULL METAL ALCHEMIST VOL.6 MVM OUT NOW ✪✪✪✪

Full Metal Alchemist has got to be one of the most popular anime series around at the present time. Everyone who

young man called Otoha.. A former Karas called Ekou has discovered that he can use the ghosts as a kind of robotic army. It’s up to the current day Kasas to save the day. Along with some colourful characters like Kure, Nue and the wonderfully titled Yurine, Otoha has his hands full. The action scenes, when Otoha transforms into the ‘Guyver-like’ Karas are all created in stunning CGI. The bar was set with Ghost in the Shell 2 : Innocence when it came to stunning eye candy., and do you know what, Karas is not far behind it. Sound wise, the voice acting features turns from top Hollywood actors such as Jay Hernandez (Hostel), Mathew Lillard (Scooby Doo) and Piper Perabo (Coyote Ugly) and is top drawer

loves anime has heard of it and has a soft spot for this tale of 2 young brothers, Ed and Al, and their search to find the one thing to give Al his body back (The Philosopher’s Stone). Volume 6 continues another 4 episodes, nos. 21 to 24 and the action carries on from the volume 5-cliff hanger. We carry on with a bruising battle between Al and Barry the Chopper and with Ed searching to find the secrets of Lab 5.we are then treated to some disturbing action and some revelations. We get to see more of Scar and find out the truth behind Lust and her cohorts. As the action at Lab 5 concludes things come to a head between the 2 Elric brothers and Al runs away as he doubts everything he has ever believed in. This disc has accounted for every emotion ever, crammed into this slab of

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as is the 5.1 surround sound mix. If you love anime & Japanese culture, then get a copy of this cracking movie,. Hell, even if you aren’t really into anime, this is just a great Japanese action movie. You also get a Dark Horse Karas comic book , and a slick looking slip sleeve when you buy it. Bargain. Extras: Disc 1- English & Japanese 2.0 & 5,1,English subtitles, interviews, behind the scenes feature, concept animation, Japanese trailers & tv spots Extras: Disc 2- English & Japanese DTS, English subtitles, Manga Trailers. JMC

anime goodness. The characters are just so believable. Combine great animation & wonderful voice acting and you get anime of the very highest calibre. With the end of episode 24, called “Bonding Memories” we get closure on this chapter of the Full Metal saga, and with our heroes walking away into the sunset. It gives us a platform to start the next chapter on their ongoing journey. Good stuff! JMC

SAMURAI 7 … VOLUME 2 MVM OUT NOW ✪✪✪✪ Based on Akira Kurosawa’s classic, Seven Samurai. Samurai 7 returns for its second volume. After the mysterious murder of the

Imperial Envoy in the Magistrate’s home - with a bloody sword as the only clue a citywide hunt for all samurai begins. With a high price suddenly on their heads, the band of samurai must quickly escape the city fast.

to prove himself to the team. Their race from the city leads them into the watchful gaze of the Shikimoribito. Who are these mysterious “Guardians”? Man or machine? Ally or enemy? A new friend tries to explain, but she is hiding something as well? This is one intense anime, but is addictive enough for you to want to watch all 4… one after the other. Cool characters that are true to the Seven Samurai… (and Magnificent 7 if you don’t know any Japanese culture This is just so enjoyable… anime at it’s best! Extras: Character profiles, opening & closing song. & Trailers JMC

Kikuchiyo seizes the moment

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comps... WIN LOADS OF STUFF! We have this rather cool and World Cup handy21” Daewoo TV/DVD combi to give away - and 10 copies of The Hills Have Eyes to offload on some people. The winner bags the machine and a copy of the film - the other nine make for tasty summer evening viewing for the runners up. Tell us the name of the mad eyed monster in the original movie (who also appears in the Motley Crue Home Sweet Home video) and it could be yours. Entry rules are at bottom of the page...

The Hills Have Eyes is released to buy on DVD on 26th June 2006 by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

Nice. No runners-up in this one! Just 10 copies of the ice cool flick Stay to get rid of! But what sort of question to ask? OK... given the time frame that the comp is running in, tell us who’s going to win the world cup. Entries in by June 30 please. All the people with the right answer will get thrown into the hat and drawn at random on July 1 STAY is available to buy and rent on DVD on 3rd July 2006 from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.

To enter any of these competitions, simply type Hills/Stay/Alien or Syriana in the subject line of an email to comps@burnmag.co.uk, drop your answer in as the message body and we’ll be in touch!

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We never thought these likely lads would ever appear in Burn, but here they are in their unadulterated glory! Join telly favourites Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly in this real life tale of the most amazing hoax you could ever imagine as Alien Autopsy arrives on DVD on 3rd July. Multiple award-winning TV personalities Ant & Dec star as best friends Gary Shoefield and Ray Santilli, a couple of unlikely lads from England, whose story is simply too unbelievable to be an act of mere fiction. Directed by Jonny Campbell (Shameless, Pheonix Nights and Spooks) and They are assisted by Hollywood big hitters, Bill Pullman (A League of their Own, Sleepless in Seattle and Independence Day) and Harry Dean Stanton (Cool Hand Luke, The Godfather II, Alien and Wild at Heart) and UK stars Jimmy Carr, Omid Djalili and Morwenna Banks, this is in the account of two chancers who, whilst over in the United States, inadvertently stumble across exclusive unseen film footage of the infamous 1950’s 1947 Roswell UFO alien autopsy. To enter the comp, simply tell us which one is Ant on the front of the packshot! Answer left or right! Alien Autopsy is released on July 3 through Warner Home Video

We have 5 copies of this quality George Clooney type movie lurking about the office. Make it easy on you if you want one... just tell us the flik that Clooney starred in with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Brad Pitt. Snip. Entires in by June 30 please. Syriana is available to buy from July 10

B U R N M A G A Z I N E | w w w. b u r n m a g . c o . u k

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Greasepaint &

Monkey Brains

Bandwagon. Get on it or you might miss something... I’ve just watched a TV show called The Grail Trail: In Pursuit of the Da Vinci Code. Truth be told, I’ve watched most of them (and there’s a lot!) but at this point, I would like to point out that I’m neither overboard about the whole concept nor against it. Call me an observer. I originally read the book what seems like a lifetime ago - there’s a first edition hardback up for grabs if you want to make me an offer by the way - but this programme sent three people from different religious backgrounds to unearth the truth behind the conspiracy. An interesting premise for sure. The masterstroke of the show was in having very candid experts talk about their part of the subject along with some astute comments by everyone’s favourite psychologist Raj Persaud. Faced with experts giving opinions, our three not so wise men, often shouted down people that had been studying these things for most of their lives. For instance, “that’s a woman in that picture and that’s definitely a V shape between them symbolising the Holy Grail.” As our expert points out, nowhere in Da Vinci’s notes does it reference anything to do with this painting, but on another note, it wouldn’t be much of a secret code if it did. Fact of the matter is, it’s a pretty good painting. not as good as some of Bosch’s work in my opinion, but good all the

it - is it true, is it not true, but... and here’s the clincher... you’ll never know! Like the New Testament itself, you have to believe, and if you do believe and it makes you happy, great! If it makes you question your reason for being, better still.. but there comes a point where you have to stop. You can’t just question everything forever. At some point you have to believe in something - even if it’s choosing not to believe! Here’s the deal - and I quote loosely from Mr Persaud - many years ago and up until very recently, you would have believed in the same thing as your neighbour. Now however, your neighbour may be a Hindu or a Muslim or a Jew and as a society, we no longer have anything in common when it comes to religion to bind us together, but what we do have in common and is accessible to all of us is pop culture. Look alive boys, that’s your entrance cue. And it’s true, but there’s an extra dimension in there that wasn’t touched upon. Whatever it is you choose to believe in, you can now tailor your life around it. Take MySpace - you can stand up, state your interests and invite others to come along if they’re interested too... and on and on it goes. But then, you might invite some friends from outside of that group from another friends group in the hope that those new people will want to be your friend too and some more

Every single person in the world now has the potential to become a one man cult... welcome to your 15megabytes of fame! same, which is more than can be said of the Mona Lisa - if you want talk art, get on a plane and check over the Sistine Chapel. Now that’s a work of art! Anyway, the best expert on the show - and I apologise for not making notes so I don’t recall his name - was this guy who was an expert on the grail legends and he brought up a fantastic point, one that anybody with half an education would know, and that was that the whole concept of a ‘grail’ and the ‘grail mysteries’ came about from a guy who wrote a story about a grail (which is a dish), and that’s pretty much the end of the story as it were. It strikes me as being pretty damn obvious. It’s pretty cool that there’s so much interest in

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people will know who you are and what you like. Every single person in the world now has the potential to become a one man cult! Welcome to your 15megabytes of fame! Sadly, the only person who really cares about this is you -and you’re not fooling anybody because their page is more important than yours... to them. Think about it. It makes you feel important and wanted yes? It’s things like that that are binding us together right now. We can all just wave at each other in the street and shout “thanks for the add!” and we’ll be happy. MySpace is the new role playing game - only not so geeky, you don’t need a funny shaped dice and your friends don’t laugh at you

because they’re doing it too! Now look what’s happened, I’ve lost my train of thought... oh yeah: whatever you choose to believe in can be tailored around you. You can be gay and buy a magazine about it, you can build dolls houses in your loft and buy a magazine about it, you can even be a serial killer and I have no doubt that if I could be bothered, I could find an online magazine about it. Not so sure about picking one up in Borders though - no matter how extensive their stock. But picture this... it’s a bit unlikely but stick with it.. the internet shuts down forever. No more MySpace, no more instant communication. What would we do? Better still - a massive power cut. That’s more like it. No internet, no TO, no radio - no nothing. What are you then when the big boys take your toys away? Would you still be myspace.com/toppornstar or /demonhunter? Would you still do all those things that you say you do in your self given title or would you be John Brown, lighter of candles in your house? I’m not saying any belief system is wrong, because we all do it. Even in our rebellion of earning our right to be unique, we align ourselves with others of a similar nature in order to give ourselves some kind of place and meaning in the world - to share opinions and validate ourselves. Which begs the question, if you give a damn who the fuck am I? The answer is simple, you are whoever you choose to be at any given moment in time. You can decide not to be Christian right now, you can decide to be a Christian right now too. Whatever. I’ve learnt this though, all you are ever judged by is how you are at this moment in time by who you’re with at that moment. When they go, you’re by yourself again. When they turn off the machine - you’re out of here, your replaced by something else on their radar. I’m not sure why my normal levels of levity have deserted me this month, but when Lennon died, the world moved on and Yoko learned to laugh again. The day after 9/11, people started washing down their shop fronts and starting to learn to laugh again... and so it goes on. Best just find something that makes you happy and get the fuck on with it. It doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks - it’s you that has to live with yourself when they’re dead and out of your life. Sobering thought. Now fuck off... I’ve got a very important online forum to attend. It will fall apart if I don’t show up.

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THE MAG WITHOUT FEAR

Lordi

Download 2005 Flashback! B U R N M A G A Z I N E | w w w. b u r n m a g . c o . u k

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Burn Magazine Issue 10  

Issue 10 of music and movies magazine, Burn