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Nietzsche wrote that if you write with blood, then it will be found that the blood is spirit. I have always found, whilst profound he is also extremely difficult to decipher at the best of times. Given the context of this stream then I agree with his sentiments. what follows from this introduction is myself writing with great pain. Pain does control you (control is another emotion that I speak myriad as well), it tightens around the chest and does prevent you from living. Breathing…relaxing…it makes you lost…it fills you up and distracts you, to the point where all you can think about is this indescribable pain. This angst that won’t disappear. Yet the pain sets you free, and it can only be released through writing. If you can’t put it into words then release the pressure cooker and write. Don’t stop writing. Write to distract, to extract, to eject, to repel, to expel. Then and only then will you not be controlled, then and only then will the pain and the blood that is ink on paper will set you free. You won’t be a slave to the pain. Living to serve this emotion that gives you nothing in return.

You won’t get any pleasure back. The feeling that you have lost your right arm, when all your right arm is serving to do is suffocate you and drain you from all your resources and reserves you have built up over the years to prevent situations like this from happening.

Its difficult to describe exactly what I felt that week, when it ended suddenly, yes I saw it coming a mile off. I wasn’t exactly surprised. But the situation was in hand, it was indeed under control. Control, there it is again. We want control. We want power, we want the upper hand to feel like we have it all to gain. yet we have everything to lose at that point….what goes up must come down, or so they say.

Even now when writing his, trying to wrote as if I am outside the box, that I am over this period, this situation, like its some profound piece of writing worthy of an introduction. Pah. Yeh right. I have been over this piece several times, trying to erase anything over emotional so as to not digress from the point. Even now it is incredibly hard to avoid sounding like an idiot. Narcissue looking into the river, cursed to forever fall in love with his own reflection. Im constantly reminded of Dalis art whenever I speak about myself, or whenever I hear of anyone else speaking in the third person

I remember a documentary in train fares a while back and there was a man who would always write letters to National Rail if a journey if his was ever delayed, and rather than count the words of the letters he was writing to give a sense of the magnitude of the task at hand when he was complaining, he would measure it by the time it took to wrote these letters, he would measure the time his train was delayed by and how long the journey itself was delayed by if he was on the train, and if both of these instances happened in the same experience, and write a letter timing himself to the same timeframe; so if his train was delayed by five minutes and took half an hour longer to get to his destination (say his journey normally takes an hour), then he would write a letter for one hour and thirty five minutes and send that to National Rail. This kind of compares to what I am doing with this task at hand here:Anytime I feel depressed, find myself thinking about her, looking at her Instagram, Twitter, or any other forms of social media she may have (I mean I am writing this after seeing a YouTube video of her and her daughter) and take to write a bit more here, about whatever I am feeling, even if it is just adding to a certain paragraph. I also find myself editing bits of it when I am actually feeling a degree more normal than I have done, I mean I am not completely back to feeling one hundred per cent however it is a darn sight better to what I have been feeling, which has got to be a good thing right.

But back to control, I guess you could say with the task I have given myself then maybe I am subjected to control, that whilst I was under control before in the worst way possible – financially, emotionally and mentally – then I am still putting myself under the constraints of control once again, in order to move on and feel free. Putting my blood as ink on the page through my keyboard. Written in blood. Sounds warped when you phrase it like that, just using different methods but via the same process. Am I hypocritical or a walking contradiction?
What’s the last thing you remember? I had a glimpse into the past…Beginning to piece together the fragments, like photographs. No, as paradoxically as it sounds, like echoes of the negative you see of a moment that once was, photographs are actually positive. Of course, no-one takes a snapshot of moment of people in tears, funerals, wakes, deaths, etc. And even then it is bittersweet, there is still an element of happiness attached to it. So no, in short. I wouldn’t say it was like photographs. I’d say it was more like, a jigsaw puzzle. But again, that’s not quite right. A jigsaw puzzle is a deliberate, intricate maze of joins, so when it falls on the breaks you can piece it back together again without glue. More like a glass or your phone where the screen cracks down the middle? where no matter how much glue you have or how hard you try…the pieces won’t fall together again.

A look, clasped hands with no warmth or care….just convenience. I know it. I wasn’t ignorant. It was there, staring at me in the face like horizontal rain. Didn’t stop me feeling it was over. There was still fire in my belly. Coursing through my veins like beer just poured down throat…feeling like I’m invincible like I can do anything. And thats the point; anything. That feeling I could do anything. Where did that loss of control go? control is the holy grail when you re born into this mess. ‘too much silence can be misleading’. I’m doing the same, scared if she doesn’t let go in the same timeframe, i may be subject to ridicule. That’s striving for control. That’s ridiculous. Let go of all ammunition and breathe in between spaces or words. Breathe. Yet, I suppose this is the price I pay for loss of control, this is the break in the bend. It’s the closest of calls. Ultimately, the reason I am alone. So sang Jesse Lacey.

Beer…opened cans strewn on the floor, sweet amber nectar oozes and fuzzes as I pop open a can. Just my luck, as I wasn’t thinking as I bolted up the stairs, therefore creating pressure, more head then actual beer. Don’t want my housemates to know I have another problem…beer, much like my belt, another notch, much like my bedpost, don’t tell mum.…coffee and the occasional cigarette are my vices, or so she thinks. what she doesn’t know wont killer, oh hell I never cheated, we all have thoughts but thats it they are just thoughts. They’re not reality, reality vs some dark twisted fantasy where you are wishing for freedom against the control and a set of societal norms laid out for you like fate. Yes I made mistakes, I brought them home, used them and slept twith them to prove a point, to prove I weren’t shy…but more so to forget some girl I fell for who didn’t want me who only wanted help pursing what they couldn’t have…

I’ve done things I shouldn’t, brought people back to my room or house or flat I shouldn’t…I made mistake and I wear them like the necklace round me to remind me who I am now, who I am today.

The only light glaring in front of me from the laptop and the techy lights on the keyboard., like the embers of a smoked cigarette in my ashtray on the windowsill. They are the only memories I have that still burn bright into the present, bright yet slowly fading into the past, feelings till linger, anger still rotting….words for once fail me. If I did dare to be loquacious then I fear that would be the point where I wouldn’t be able to stop. Not talking but crying, who wants that, eh? The only memories I have, and like my feelings right now in the aftermath of this cacophony, but I know time in this context helps, it does and you might not think it eases the cavernous numbness…they say it doe but i think it negates the whole point of help, but in the long term it does. it will fade and burn away…and you can breathe out the poison, like you breathe in the nicotine for a sweet short term release and breathe or at least in naive way hope that you breathe out the poisonous tar.

They say words fail you at given points, again at funeral, failed exam, redundant, a friend betrayal, a partner not being all they cracked up to be once the rose tinted glasses are pushed up on your head to keep the fringe out your eyes. Dry them…dry those grey eyes. Dry those pretty eyes I could get lost in. How is it that your eye liner never runs? how is it that you remain so perfect, despite this destruction that was your undoing.… Dorien Grey…

As that’s what would happen…tears falling, Like the the smoke falling out of my mouth. You have nothing to cry about. Those memories leaves you unscathed. Its just past tense to you. Prose that is redundant boring. A closed book. A possession put away in the attic years ago and you forget about the next day for years to come, only to open Pandoras box and for it to all hit you in the face again. And you’re trying to find≠ Hope again but its not there…its not…its gone…am I finding hope or am i finding that point it went wrong? I don’t know thats for you to know…I am not too sure of who I am because there are several of me. They float up from me like the phantoms from that box we could accidentally open in the future and slink off to commit acts for which I may or may not be responsible.Its all thats helping. Thats the beer, not the looking for hope…this isn’t Dawson’s Creek.

I’m trying to find the words but it is exhausting. Scholastic career renders that out of you. And unfortunately words do fail me., for once on this occasion Not at the content, but how the form manifested itself. Now is not the time for analysis or definition…its how we move forward, which you seem to excel in. I spent most of my life writing essays, and it bores me. Words fail me. If I was asked…properly…backed into a corner from those who care….i wouldn’t stop…who wants that…who wants a crier at 27 years of age who repeats constantly, like the last 2 and half years running through my mind, trying to find the moment where it went wrong, so if I could go back and trust me I want to judging by this last week I would stop myself from begging and trying and fighting. I would stop myself from going there and plummeting us further in the cavernous nihilistic state….who just fights all the time. Fight. the word…such a negative connotation. again with the negative…yet I could have walked away thousands of times…but i stayed and thats got to count for something right.

I’m thankful for technology. The ability to delete a large portion has been far easier than it was once was few years back. Everything broadcast on social media. The block button, again, on social media. Blocking judgemental strangers who wish for you to be kept behind closed doors away from the past that mattered and you cant pretend it didn’t matter or still doesn’t. Cos it does.

Lies fall from your mouth like the beer I struggle to swallow. Like the viciousness and bile I cant digest. That row was predictable, Just like my state of mind in its aftermath. Like all the rows before it. One can’t pinpoint the moment but the rows feature the same clues. Widened eyes, thrown possessions, words not meant, curses and a child stuck in the middle of this existential crisis. Ours. Stuck in a moment we can’t get out of. Fast approaching our thirties and scared shitless. Fast approaching more responsibility that we have to face up to, and I should have at some point faced up to you and you should have got to known the real me. Not the idiot trying to impress everyone who really needs a mute button on most occasions. Bu the real me…we were there in that conversation…and I was so exposed…yet you were so pious. Yet all that stood between us and still does minus the rules is silence. Cavernous pit of silence. The silence plays truant and inflicts pain repeatedly; this isn’t me; what if it is. Is this what you wanted to know? Is this what you even wanted?

Questions about my image are unnecessary because my portrait already hangs on your finest wall like a piece of cutlery you’d rather forget about. but it sticks so well to whatever it is that adds up to my face, hair and voice you’d imagined. My image, how I hold myself in front of whomever I am speaking to or in the presence of. Constant questions about my image. Body fascism, another form of control. Yet you’ve fallen for the exact same thing. Pious. Is history repeating itself again. Will she do the same to you that I did, or will she be controlled? If the boot fits, or the cutlery on the wall – who cares about the facts, who cares altogether.

We all wander in a dark, collective abyss that can be home to no man or beast, with only our insecurities to keep us company and we pass the time by criticising the hell out of each other.
To be human is to be constantly evaluated by other humans, and not all of us are happy to do it quietly. Still, just because our lives are full of rampant judgment delivered with all the subtlety of a subpoena wrapped around a hatchet does not mean we can’t learn to deal with it efficiently. We all know I can’t deal with it efficiently.

The subject of control rears it’s ugly head again, like a pressure cooker. Bring me in a situation where a conclusion presents itself that I don’t like, self destruct button all over again, destroying everyone in my path…anyone I’m bitter of and jealous of who I don’t like…This was done to finagle a outcome for your gain…This is not veritable none of it is. This all just versions of events that we all believe to be true. All joined together like pieces of a jigsaw.

This isn’t me. I don’t do this, yet I silently crave human closeness. A contradiction perhaps…yet I run from bodies like no-ones business. Misunderstood. Dry humour….Died down two and half years ago…poison…apple given. Taste. Knowledge acquired. Now I wish I never knew.

One needs to fortify to build the fortress again. But I can’t pick up the pieces on the floor…I have to walk over them…making sure the pieces still lie there untouched, unmoved, still in the shadow…twinkling in the twilight. I watch my reflection through them, gliding through the pieces…my reflection is jagged…like my soul. Jagged and remembering memories…good times…broken by the bad. Like a warped record…trapped by the static…or dvd stuck on pause…repeating the same moment over and over again…much like we did…flatlining until it was too late.

And now she reviles you, like you revile your own craving…


REVIEW: Manchester Orchestra – Simple Math (9.5/10)

As many of you are aware I’m always on the hunt for new music to expand my aural palette and was pointed to this band by a review of their latest album from RockSound who compared them to “Brand New and The National, being happy [and] being sad”. Slightly disconcerted upon first listen to find this doesn’t give justice to this band at all (specifically the references to The National), but actually combine a wider of variety of influences to really drive home this album’s ambition and intricate complexity. Influences such as the vocal styles of Death Cab for Cutie and Modest Mouse, the orchestral arrangement of Biffy Clyro, and other great bands like Pavement and Weezer layer what, is arguably for me, an album that will no doubt feature on the best of 2011 lists toward the end of the year.
“Deer” kicks off the proceedings with a poignant and melancholic feel and I’m instantly reminded of Isaac Brock’s vocals from Modest Mouse. “Mighty” is another stand-out track if not only for the fact that of the sheer scale and orchestral arrangements that are reminiscent of Biffy Clyro on their later albums. These comparisons aren’t lazy or sloppy carbon-copies oh no. They take their influences and build them layer by delicate layer, developing their sound in their own right but one that pays homage to the greats.
“Pensacola”, lyrically, is the most visceral and exhausting track I have ever heard. It hears like a letter to Andy Hull’s (rhythm guitarist/vocalist) therapist; “I hope eventually you’ll se what you’ve been turning me into” “I’m the greatest that man that never lived” “I’m tired of talking to a wall, if I could talk to someone else” “My daughter she barely eats, she barely sleeps, she barely speaks” “I never knew what I could become” are all lyrics that again punch home his pain in a wry fashion. And it seems with every verse he quickly utters and gets off his chest; that he gets over it. Either that or he is just everyone else, with issues just that little more honest and to the bone.
It’s at times like this we notice the contrasts in the album. It’s at the most upbeat when we notice after a few more listens how full of melancholy the songs actually are. At its most melodic the songs are actually full of hope.
The songs that stay with you are the songs where Hull really lays himself bare and to the ground; songs like “April Fool” – typically crushing as you’d expect. “Pale Black Eye” feels like a delicate whisper, idealistic and yet with such thundering grooves to not ever let you doze off from the album’s throughline. One gripe is that the grooves can be overdriven and distract you from the song itself but that’s minor and you can forgive it when you reach the middle eight and you feel Hull brought to his knees. Viscerality if you will.
Speaking of which “Virgin” feels like a goodbye to someone. And an angry one. The rhythm section and children gang like vocals hear like a marching band.
My only gripe with this record is that sometimes the extended soloing can fruitlessly meander on “Leaky Breaks”, the guitar reverbs really show off the beauty of this album and it would have been a far more poignant song without the soloing around the halfway point. Having listened to their previous work this seemed to be a recurring problem, however they have cut down on this a lot this time around but it really interrupts the flow of the record especially when I have enjoyed absorbing myself into the rest of the tracks.

In conclusion, ‘Simple Math’ makes for a complex and rewarding listen. Manchester Orchestra have done themselves proud by paying attention to every detail in the making of this album. From the guitar reverbs, to the production, to the vocal arrangements, grooves and melodies. I would strongly advise listening to the labum with good cans or good quality speakers and that way you’ll get the most from this epic album and band who are slowly but surely soaring above their counterparts and peers.

Released: May 10th (via Columbia)
Favourites: Simple Math, Deer, Virgin, Penascola

REVIEW: Queens Of The Stone Age – Queens Of The Stone Age [Remastered Re-release] (9/10)

Somewhat belated review of their reissue Queens put out toward the end of March. Sorry guys but I’ve been a little busy. Is it pointless to review an album that has technically already been released before?

The answer is no. If you had asked me upon the re-release of ‘Rated R’ to review the album I would have said no, for the simple fact that at that point, before the re-release it was already in print and you could easily get hold of it in record stores and online for a decent price. Whilst we are on this topic Joshua Homme didn’t agree with the re-release of that album, but the decision was taken out of his hands as his band had already parted ways with Interscope by that point; legal issues etc.

So why review yet another QOTSA re-release? Are they quite simply living past glories? Have they run out of ideas for new material? Again, the answer is no. No-oen has heard the new material that they are recording at the moment and I’m sure we will hear at least a couple of new songs on the UK tour this May. There is no point pre-empting what the new material will sound like. Obviously it speaks volumes that there are large majority of the Queens who think that ‘Rated R’ was their first album. Then again for whatever reason this album has been out of print for ten years or so. Homme has said himself that there is a need for this album to be put out, it has been a very long time since the songs that feature on this album have been played live, plus you would have been very lucky before the re-release to have got your hands on a copy for a very decent price. I saw on Amazon that it was going for $79 and was put up by a further $20 when it was announced that they would be remastering this album from the original tapes for a re-release. So in short there is a need; these songs come from the same family as the most well-known albums ‘Rated R’ and ‘Songs For The Deaf’, whilst ‘Rated R’ is more varied and dynamic and ‘Songs For The Deaf’ has a beefier and clean sound in terms of production, as you’d expect – the debut album has a much more raw feel and just crackles with energy. It was refreshing, and still is, to hear tracks like “Regular John” (which is the best album opener I have ever heard) and “Avon” at their most visceral at their most heavy, without any overdubs. There’s no need for them. With simple effects and using the switches on your guitar and fiddling with the amp the band have created the typical Queens crunch which makes the overall soundscape of the album very different from what you might find on other albums of other rock bands.

Their remastered rerelease of the debut album is amazing. It’s warm and dry like the desert, it has grooves that are constantly switching up, notably on “Give The Mule What He Wants” and “Walkin On Sidewalks”. Even listening to the original tapes at the time of it’s release, there was no way of knowing where Josh Homme would go from here, it’s not even a snapshot of the late nineties; this LP is still relevant as what it was back then and it’s blows most of what’s around right now out of the water.

I love how the bonus tracks aren’t just added on to the end of the original track list and are merged with the the rest. Makes this an essential copy nonetheless. You get tracks from the era as well as a track from the Kyuss/QOTSA split EP, makes it a must have for any hardcore fan.

Not as good as ‘Rated R, which offers more in terms of a variance in different styles on that record, plus the presence of Nick Oliveri on ‘Rated R’ is one you can’t ignore (however I do like their earlier work and I know he’s not coming back -_-), so I’m going to give it a nine.

REVIEW: Metronomy – The English Riviera (7/10)

You can’t beat wackiness, especially in music. Metronomy, thus far in their career are no exception. What with working Nicola Roberts of Girls Aloud for her debut album and the rather odd titles given to his bands bodies of work – Pip Paine (Pay the £5000 You Owe). Joespeh Mount has established himself to be a very much an off-centre sort of character. The dance-indie hybrid has been doing the rounds for a while now. Battles, Friendly Fires, Klaxons and Delphic are all however equally good, don’t come without their quirks. Staccato riffs mixed with synths and falsetto synths make for an original and intriguing initial listen.

It seemed apparent by the time they released ‘Nights Out’ (2008) that these random styles tended to get in the way of the band’s potential progression and development in their songwriting. The wackiness is noteworthy here, as it’s seems almost non-existent; out goes wackiness in favour of a more bold theme and concept which is seaside towns (James Mount is from Totnes in Devon, which is hardly coincidental) and a love of nostalgia.

Seagulls calls with violins playing over instantly pulls us in and sets the scene for an endearing and somewhat twee listen. “We Broke Free” features a meandering bassline that contrasts perfectly with Mount’s high-pitched vocals, “Everything Goes My Way” has a handclap driven groove showcasing the duets of drummer Anna Prior and Mount. “The Look”, however, is a definite stand-out track, about growing up in smalltown England – bittersweet nostalgia as its finest. When the 80s synths punches in, it just reaffirms the forgotten days of innocence in our backyard with blues skies, baking sun and birds tweeting in the distance; all of which drive home the ups and downs when taking a trip down memory lane.

Where The Libertines’ romantic view of England was groggy, hazy, gritty and bare to the bone rock ‘n; roll, Metronomy’s England seems deep rooted in old-fashioned summer holidays of the past, like a photograph bathed in sepia. Up against their earlier work it certainly is strides ahead and the album as such is major progression for the band. What can sometimes hold the album back from true greatness are his lyrics which can be hardly be described as inspirational or indeed exciting. Seems like he has going to Noel Gallagher for tips (“Champagne Supernova” anyone?) .

But on the whole creating a new sonic identity, especially whilst reshuffling members doesn’t necessarily work for every band but it seems that with Metronomy they have succeeded in mastering a new sound whilst attracting new audiences and keeping their old fans still intrigued.

Nice one.

REVIEW: Jamie Woon – Mirrorwriting (7/10)

Jamie Woon makes use of the same minimalist aesthetic that has seen the rise of James Blake and has catapulted The xx to success in 2010. A Burial remix of “Night Air” only served to earn himself another stripe. It’s meant that there’s been no end of hype and his name being repeated on ‘Sound of 2011’ lists, but for every in-depth and enthusiastic article on this Brit School graduate there’s one scornful naysayer who’s critical of this exact qualification.

His debut effort ‘Mirrorwriting’ has been three years in the making and a lifetime in writing and recording. He has clearly paid attention to the details and simplicity that encompasses Burial’s work. Whereas Burial uses fresh beats to create an ambient and chilled soundscape to accompany an urban backdrop, Woon gives an album that offers subtlety without being withholding, enough emotion without being too earnest. Another notable difference between is that Jamie’s voice is framed front and centre throughout the album; tracks like “Shoulda” give the sort of minimalist serenity that would flowed quite well on The xx’s debut.

Yet tracks like “Lady Luck” is reminiscent of a slick r’n’b number; the sort you’d find on Justin Timberlake’s sophomore effort ‘Future Sex Love Sounds’. “Spirits” is another stand-out track; soulful crooning by Jamie as well as the sort of big beat (thats the sound not the sub-genre) production one would expect from Timbaland. ‘Gravity’ is a beautiful album-closer and takes things down to an even more chilled notch and accompanied by a soft acoustic guitar, it’s a track to unwind to.

Woon’s got soul, there’s no doubt about it. Stood up next to his contemporaries his sound is a lot more accessible.
It comes down to matter of preference, there’s enough here for the post-dubstep fan but it too often borders in territory thats not to my taste, hence the score has been dragged down. Which is a real shame as you can see the potential of Jamie Woon here, you really can. There’s moments of brilliance throughout just not enough to keep me coming for more listens.

Opinion: Thom Yorke, Burial and Four Tet

Mirror and Ego

Three names, constantly associated with each other due to remixes etc etc. But a song they have collaborated on a 12″? It sounds too good to be true, non? But no it’s true, you can find it online – I’m not sure if you can get physical copies as they were released last Thursday and limited to a 1000, but here have a listen:

These are amazing. so for those of you who were waiting on William Bevan a.k.a. Burial to release some stuff this year, then I’m sure this will satisfy your tastebuds ’till then.

EPIC DECKS: 25 Most Recently Played on iPod

My friend who works at King’s has blogged about her most recently played on her iPod so I thought I’d do the same…

Feel free to judge:

1. Going to California – Led Zepplelin
2. Distant Lights – Burial
3. Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin
4. Not in Love (Album Version) – Crystal Castles
5. Dismantle Me – The Distillers
6. Ghosts (Toxic Avenger Mix) – Ladytron
7. Solar System – Crystal Fighters
8. Beautiful Trash – Lanu
9. Best in the Class (Soulwax Remix) – Late of the Pier & Soulwax
10. Thou Shalt Always Kill (De La Soul Remix) – dan le sac Vs Scroobius Pip
11. Headlights Look Like Diamonds – Arcade Fire
12. Bring the Light – Beady Eye
13. Bubbles – Biffy Clyro
14. Sinister Kid – The Black Keys
15. Yeyo – The Bloody Beetroots
16. Galvanize – The Chemical Brothers
17. Moar Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff – Deadmau5
18. Some Chords – Deadmau5
19. Desire Lines – Deerhunter
20. Traynor – Dinosuar Pile-Up
21. Building Steam with a Grain of Salt – DJ Shadow
22. Kill The Music – Every Time I Die
23. Dan’s Song – Frank Turner
24. Here’s Looking At You, Kid – The Gaslight Anthem
25. Dare – Gorillaz