The Silver Tongue » Will Donelson http://thesilvertongueonline.com News, Interviews, Reviews & More Mon, 05 Dec 2011 14:00:01 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.2.1 Copyright © The Silver Tongue 2011 contactus@thesilvertongueonline.com (The Silver Tongue) contactus@thesilvertongueonline.com (The Silver Tongue) podcast 1440 http://thesilvertongueonline.com/TSTPodcastLogo.png The Silver Tongue http://thesilvertongueonline.com 144 144 News, Interviews, Reviews & More music, entertainment, news, reviews, interviews, movies, television, fashion, new, music, underground, indie The Silver Tongue The Silver Tongue contactus@thesilvertongueonline.com no no The Underground: Word is Bond – Hope for Tomorrow http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/12/the-underground-word-is-bond-hope-for-tomorrow/ http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/12/the-underground-word-is-bond-hope-for-tomorrow/#comments Sun, 04 Dec 2011 15:33:30 +0000 Will Donelson http://thesilvertongueonline.com/?p=54627


Welcome to The Underground (or Notes from the Underground if you’re a Dostoyevsky nerd), a new weekly segment in which I examine the very best in unsigned, undiscovered and underground music. It’s my goal to highlight and hopefully promote talented artists who have yet to receive the attention they deserve. If you know a band

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Welcome to The Underground (or Notes from the Underground if you’re a Dostoyevsky nerd), a new weekly segment in which I examine the very best in unsigned, undiscovered and underground music. It’s my goal to highlight and hopefully promote talented artists who have yet to receive the attention they deserve. If you know a band or artist you think should be featured on The Underground, tweet me their info @AnOrangeFellow or give them a shout out in the comments.

Posting on a sunday? Well, this is embarassing…

“Hope for Tomorrow” was originally released in order to help relief efforts in Japan regarding the tsunami that struck earlier this year. I’m not sure how much the record has raised, as Word is Bond are also offering it as a free download, but I can tell you in a just world, having put this much effort and talent into a release, they should have been able to help enormously.

“Hope for Tomorrow” is a 38-song long Hip-Hop epic, made up from a wide range of underground artists in order to support the cause. It’s always great when an artist decides to throw down, join a cause and decide not to make any money from a release, but when you consider how unknown all these artists already are it becomes even more impressive.

But, good nature and praise aside, this is also an incredibly smooth album that makes fo great easy listening. There’s so much content on the album that it feels like a disservice to name any one artist that contributed, or even any one track that stands out. The songs range from cool, drawn out synth/piano pop to quick, smooth punches of dreamy-sounding hip-hip. All the artists worked together well to create an album that seems to have a very distinct overall sound rather than just sounding like a collection of random songs bundled together. Throughout, “Hope for Tomorrow” have put together a wonderfully chill, jazzy, celestial sounding record. When sampling is used, it’s done in a restrained and intelligent way (which I actually feel some bigger names couldn’t really manage this year), and most of the songs don’t fall into the trap of repetition so much underground rap and hip-hop does. It’s really best described as an album you can’t help but feeling cool listening to.

The album is available from their Bandcamp for free, though they still urge you to donate.

Check out Word is Bond‘s official site here.


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Method Man making Video Game based on Sour Patch Kids. http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/12/method-man-making-videogame-based-on-sour-patch-kids/ http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/12/method-man-making-videogame-based-on-sour-patch-kids/#comments Thu, 01 Dec 2011 09:01:45 +0000 Will Donelson http://thesilvertongueonline.com/?p=54202


Damn it Meth! I forget about you for what, a month and this happens? Jeez. The video below acts as an announcement of sorts. It seems that Cheese Wagstaff from The Wire really is making a video game, and it’s about The Sour Patch Kids. No, not the dolls – those are Cabbage Patch Kids.

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Damn it Meth! I forget about you for what, a month and this happens? Jeez.

The video below acts as an announcement of sorts. It seems that Cheese Wagstaff from The Wire really is making a video game, and it’s about The Sour Patch Kids. No, not the dolls – those are Cabbage Patch Kids. The candy. Yeah. The game is to be published by Capcom and is heading to the Xbox Live Arcade, Playstation Network and PC (No word on Steam-support) this Spring.

The video is just Method Man… apping about Sour Patch Kids. There isn’t any gameplay shown, but the video features some telling shots that would suggest the game will be a side-scroller/platformer of sorts. It’s also unclear just how much influence Method Man will have over the game – will he simply contribute one song, the soundtrack or, who knows, be a developer? My favorite bit of the video is the ultra-serious shot of it raining Sour Patch Kids with Meth (Cheese) just standing (alone) there.

Hey… Meth… Do you need to borrow some money? You… You kind of have a neck beard, man.


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Own History: George Harrison’s Amp On Sale http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/own-history-george-harrisons-amp-on-sale/ http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/own-history-george-harrisons-amp-on-sale/#comments Wed, 30 Nov 2011 13:33:11 +0000 Will Donelson http://thesilvertongueonline.com/?p=54066


You can now own a piece of history; George Harrison’s amp, which he used during sessions for Revolver and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (you know, the two best ones). And for only around £70,000!  According to The Metro, The Vox UL730 was accidentally discovered after it was borrowed by former New Order Bassist

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You can now own a piece of history; George Harrison’s amp, which he used during sessions for Revolver and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (you know, the two best ones). And for only around £70,000!  According to The Metro, The Vox UL730 was accidentally discovered after it was borrowed by former New Order Bassist Peter Hook, and an engineer only discovered who it used to belong to after he was called to fix it and found Harrison’s name scratched on the inside (Or, you know, it belonged to someone who really liked George Harrison). Researchers then tracked the amp’s history, finding a photo of Harrison using it (oh).

The amp is set to be auctioned off on December 15 at Bonhams in Knightbridge, UK. The amp is expected to sell between 50,o00 and 70,000 pounds. The news comes at an interesting time; Harrison tragically lost his battle with cancer ten years ago yesterday on November 29, 2001.

In other auction news, the dress that Amy Winehouse wore on the cover of her “Back to Black” album sold for £43,200  yesterday, for more than twice its expected sell price of £20,000. The proceeds of the sale were donated to The Amy Winehouse Foundation.


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The Underground: The Candlepark Stars – We Give and We Get http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/the-underground-the-candlepark-stars-we-give-and-we-get/ http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/the-underground-the-candlepark-stars-we-give-and-we-get/#comments Fri, 25 Nov 2011 00:55:04 +0000 Will Donelson http://thesilvertongueonline.com/?p=53256


Welcome to The Underground (or Notes from the Underground if you’re a Dostoyevsky nerd), a new weekly segment in which I examine the very best in unsigned, undiscovered and underground music. It’s my goal to highlight and hopefully promote talented artists who have yet to receive the attention they deserve. If you know a band

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Yup, that's a shoegaze album alright.

Welcome to The Underground (or Notes from the Underground if you’re a Dostoyevsky nerd), a new weekly segment in which I examine the very best in unsigned, undiscovered and underground music. It’s my goal to highlight and hopefully promote talented artists who have yet to receive the attention they deserve. If you know a band or artist you think should be featured on The Underground, please give them a shout out in the comments, or alternatively you can tweet me their info @AnOrangeFellow.

Hey guys. Relax. We’re chilling this week. Lean back in your favourite armchair, kick off those shoes. Get yourself a nice warm cup of coco – or you know what? Brandy, if you want, because you’re a star. If you haven’t guessed, this week we’re looking at a shoegaze album.

Sounding like keen students of the school of Eluvium, having taking a semester away with Olafur Arnalds, The Candlepark stars are a quiet, refined sort, and it shows on the “We Give and We Get” EP. Acting as a continuation of their last full release, “All the Little Things” (which is only three songs longer than the EP), “We Give and We Get” clearly feels like a “etc” rather than a “part two”. And that’s fine – The Candlepark Stars have clearly found a snug area they excel in, and theirs is a sound that’s already well-defined enough that they can continue in the same direction.

If you’re unfamiliar with “All the Little Things” (And lets be honest, you probably are), I can best describe The Candlepark Stars as artists that make music that makes you equal parts inspired, and sleepy. Calm and soothing at times, triumphant and lifting at others, it’s the perfect music for looking up at a starry sky (He wrote, without conciously realising the very song he was listening to was called “Tucker and the Night Sky”). As far as overall tone, though, I’d say “We Give and We Get” is more on the soft, cosy side than the roaring spirits side (though it has its moments!), so perhaps it has a more explicit purpose.

It’s hard really to talk about groups like The Candlepark Stars. It’s much, much easier for you to simply listen to them. The fist time you hear “We Give and We Get”, you’ll either get it and smile (and maybe work on that novel you’ve been kicking around the past few months), or you’re a Scrooge. Hey, I call ‘em how I see’s ‘em.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody. I’m thankful for The Underground.

You can listen to and buy “We Give and We Get” on Bandcamp here.

You can check out their site here.

You can like them on facebook here.


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Show Review: The Twilight Sad at The Borderline http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/show-review-the-twilight-sad-at-the-borderline/ http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/show-review-the-twilight-sad-at-the-borderline/#comments Wed, 23 Nov 2011 16:38:46 +0000 Will Donelson http://thesilvertongueonline.com/?p=52941


If you didn’t catch my show preview, know that The Twilight Sad are loud. I know, it seems unfair that that be my opening statement over the strong songwriting, emotionally involved frontman and vibrant and passionate performance, but really, the loudness thing seems way too foregrounded to be presented via an asterisk. Their shows are

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If you didn’t catch my show preview, know that The Twilight Sad are loud. I know, it seems unfair that that be my opening statement over the strong songwriting, emotionally involved frontman and vibrant and passionate performance, but really, the loudness thing seems way too foregrounded to be presented via an asterisk. Their shows are known to overwhelm and take control of the audience, and, having never been to one of their shows before, I was preparing myself.

A foolish effort. I could not have prepared myself.

The Borderline is a fairly well-established and often busy venue, despite it’s relatively small (and oddly angled) stage. There are two bars and an area to sit further back into the room, but the actual “show floor” for the audience is somewhat small. The way to describe it would be to say that it was an intimate gig, and I suppose, if you’re a noise-junkie, intimate is what you want. Everyone’s close positioning to the stage, combined with the sheer number of people who turned out, meant the audience was sot of locked in place. Again, I think if the wall of sound is your thing, then this is only positive news.

I arrived just as the second support act left the stage. It was unclear how long it would be until The Twilight Sad were going to perform, so I captured my place at the front of the stage early. Cut forward an hour and ten minutes, and they were still nowhere in sight (with the most awful post-punk music being played over the speakers in the meantime). Finally, the room went dark, and seemingly from the centre of the stage a deep, loud whirring began to erupt. It sounded almost like breathing due to its regularity, and it lasted for about two minutes before the band arrived on stage. The excitement of the crowd, unusually, was barely-audible over the peculiar whirring. Having interviewed James Graham of the band several days before, I knew exactly what this whirring was leading into. The band opened the set with the track they released on Soundcloud, “Kill it in the Morning”. I’m still not entirely sure how that track sits with me, especially as the closing song for their new album, but hearing it live makes a lot more sense. Live, the synth at the end of the song represents a much bigger payoff, and the long build feels far more affecting seeing the band on stage lose it.

Which brings me to James. I don’t know exactly how I envisaged his performance on stage after speaking with him, but needless to say, the polite, funny guy I spoke to over the phone caught me completely off guard. James earns his title as the frontman for the band when he’s on stage, producing one of the most involved, passionate and (for lack of better word) dangerous live performances I’ve ever seen. I think a perfect description would be to say that James totally loses himself in the music, and if it’s a Twilight Sad song you’re losing yourself in, you can picture the exuberance. At times thrashing perfectly in-synch with the music, at times seemingly losing control of his face and arms, James Graham was one of the defining aspects of the show. Don’t misunderstand my description, though. What James was doing was not a form of joyful silliness; it was a devotion to his music. It was professionalism taking the form of excitement, and my God it worked. It’s interesting that James’ performance also managed to be so emotional. Every song seemed to completely drain him, at times needing to kneel down (next to the drum kit, the suicidal maniac), and in one particularly endearing moment using the mic stand to support himself. During “Reflections in the Television”, James’ microphone cut out, but that sure as hell didn’t stop him. He screamed the lyrics, belting at the crowd as loudly as he could, and during one particularly loud wave of sound, he leant back and silently shouting as if he had the devils lungs and was producing the noise himself. Mind you, he was totally inaudible, but it was a kind of showmanship that was hard not to appreciate. At times, the show got so loud and so heated it was almost like he was being thrown about in a sea of static.

A worry I had pre-show was that their new tracks would really stick out during the set. Having had the chance to listen to “No one Can ever Know” I can say it’s a really different sound from their previous releases – Like James said, the wall has pretty much gone. However, the songs adapted really well live, and blended seamlessly into the set with their older tracks. It was strange hearing louder versions of songs like “Sick” and “Alphabet”, but they really worked. I’m looking forward to when the band decide to play a version of “Don’t Look at Me” live. It felt like a resoundingly whole set list, spanning the bands entire career – James even affectionately thanking fat cat records for discovering them before playing one of their earlier songs. I personally was holding out for “That Room”, but at the same time I’m not sure how that would have translated in The Borderline. The acoustics at times seemed sketchy, and as I previously mentioned there were mic problems (though they were quickly solved). There were times, however brief, when even through the fog of the sound, you could hear the crowd wailing along to the song, which was a really rewarding experience.

The song I was looking forward to the most, however, the band closed with. James let slip they’d be playing “At the Burnside” at The Borderline, and I knew instantly that it would be the closing song. The studio recording is such a powerful track that it doesn’t make sense for it to be anything but (sadly, this means when I heard the first few bars I knew the set was over, too). The build worked terrifically live, and it was probably the song where James’ singing was the clearest the whole night. I think the version we heard was slightly longer than the studio version, which worked brilliantly. You could feel the entire room hold their breath in anticipation, waiting for the great drop of the song (in my mind, the great drop of “Forget the Night Ahead”), tension building as it grew closer and closer. James paused before it happened, and gave what could only be called a thousand-yard stare into the crowd, and seemingly leant back on the wall that exploded behind him. It felt like the entire show had been leading to towards this; this great, dark, crescendo of uncertainty, a violent ocean of noise that petered out into static. It was an incredible moment, and probably (and appropriately) the loudest of the show. It was a moment so strong I could literally feel my insides being shaken. It’s sad there wasn’t an encore, sure, but it at least makes sense.

I went home deaf. There isn’t a better way to describe it. The train mere feet in front of me was totally inaudible – the entire night all I could hear was the chorus of crickets inside my ears. Speaking of my ears, they broke good and proper. My equilibrium is shot – still! – if I stand up to quick I’m at risk of falling over. It was entirely worth it though, especially if you’ve never experienced something like it before. At first, I couldn’t understand how the band could do it every night – live through the sheer loudness and violence of the show – but I’ve actually gone to one of their gigs, it makes perfect sense.

I guess this is the best way to conclude Twilight Sad Week here, huh?

 


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Watch: Dreamers of the Ghetto, Enemy/Lover diary http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/52932/ http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/52932/#comments Wed, 23 Nov 2011 12:05:41 +0000 Will Donelson http://thesilvertongueonline.com/?p=52932


It’s been a while since Dreamers of the Ghetto released Enemy/Lover, but it’s an album that still epresents one of my most listened to of 2011.  In my interview with Luke Jones of the band got pretty in-depth at points, outlining the evolution of a few songs as well as the origins of the bands

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It’s been a while since Dreamers of the Ghetto released Enemy/Lover, but it’s an album that still epresents one of my most listened to of 2011.  In my interview with Luke Jones of the band got pretty in-depth at points, outlining the evolution of a few songs as well as the origins of the bands name. If you’re jonesing (a-ha!) for a more fly-on-the-wall look at the writing process fo Enemy/Lover, The Dreamers have recently made available a 17-minute production diary. The video contains several talking heads with the band, and includes what appears to be a few brainstorming sessions with the band for Enemy/Lover. We get a look at some early versions of some of the songs (The low-fi Night Hawks is a really cool version of the track). It’s an interesting little mini-documentary, and if you’re into the band this is well worth a watch.


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Interview with The Twilight Sad’s James Graham http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/interview-with-the-twilight-sads-james-graham/ http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/interview-with-the-twilight-sads-james-graham/#comments Tue, 22 Nov 2011 15:22:08 +0000 Will Donelson http://thesilvertongueonline.com/?p=52590


In this interview The Silver Tongue sits down with James Graham, frontman for The Twilight Sad, to discuss their upcoming album, the evolution of their sound, the live tour and the influence of fire extinguishers on their work. Interview with James Graham (mp3 link)

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In this interview The Silver Tongue sits down with James Graham, frontman for The Twilight Sad, to discuss their upcoming album, the evolution of their sound, the live tour and the influence of fire extinguishers on their work.


Interview with James Graham (mp3 link)


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The Underground – Tower of Heaven Original Soundtrack http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/the-underground-tower-of-heaven-original-soundtrack/ http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/the-underground-tower-of-heaven-original-soundtrack/#comments Fri, 18 Nov 2011 12:24:17 +0000 Will Donelson http://thesilvertongueonline.com/?p=52335


Welcome to The Underground (or Notes from the Underground if you’re a Dostoyevsky nerd), a new weekly segment in which I examine the very best in unsigned, undiscovered and underground music. It’s my goal to highlight and hopefully promote talented artists who have yet to receive the attention they deserve. If you know a band

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Welcome to The Underground (or Notes from the Underground if you’re a Dostoyevsky nerd), a new weekly segment in which I examine the very best in unsigned, undiscovered and underground music. It’s my goal to highlight and hopefully promote talented artists who have yet to receive the attention they deserve. If you know a band or artist you think should be featured on The Underground, please give them a shout out in the comments, or alternatively you can tweet me their info @AnOrangeFellow.

You may look at this week’s album on The Underground and say “Hey Will! This isn’t underground, it’s the soundtrack to a popular indie game! And it has more than 800 likes on Facebook!” to which I would reply “That’s a pretty weird definition of ‘mainstream’”.

The world of chiptune music can be a strange and esoteric one. It’s common practise for chiptune artists to just give their songs away as addition files in unrelated downloads, it’s an incredibly had genre to really “get into” and once you are, there aren’t any real mainstream or hugely popular artists representing the sound, besides perhaps Anamanaguichi (and their biggest claim to fame is scoring the Scott Pilgrim Vs the World videogame). That doesn’t really devalue the genre at all. In fact, if you’re like me and love hunting for the obscure (and let’s face it; check out the article you’re reading), it only adds to the joy in finding genuinely good chiptune music.

Today’s release acts as the soundtrack to the popular indie game Tower of Heaven. It’s a fun game that’s genuinely smart, calling out the various cliche’s we’ve just come to accept in the world of modern videogames. The game was heralded not just for its cleverness, but for it’s creative, catchy soundtrack. One of the reasons chiptune music is so popular is that it relies almost entirely on composition; by stripping music down to its basics, by creating a piece entirely out of graceless and even harsh tones, you’re relying on your versatility as a musician. Chiptune music is a type of music you’re allowed to be impressed with, despite it’s (on a technical level) ease to make. Flashygoodness really pulled out all the stops for Tower of Heaven. The soundtrack utilises leitmotifs, and wonderfully recognisable main theme and incredibly infectious melodies. The songs usually loop once, with the transitions feeling mostly natural and never obvious or jarring. It strays away from chiptune at times for impact for the actual games sake, but it still feels like an overwhelmingly complete piece. The songs on the soundtack are unmistakably from the game, and feel really familiar after just one listen.

I would definitely recommend listening to the Tower of Heaven soundtrack, but I think it’s intended to be heard along with the game first. I’d say give the game a try (it’s free!), and if you find yourself longing for a little Nintendo Nostalgia, look no further than Flashygoodness.

You can listen to and but the Tower of Heaven Original Soundtrack here.

You can check out the Flashygoodness official website here

You can like Flashygoodness on facebook here.


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Lady Gaga’s Discounted Sales Change the Billboard Rules http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/lady-gaga-changes-the-billboard-rules/ http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/lady-gaga-changes-the-billboard-rules/#comments Thu, 17 Nov 2011 18:52:00 +0000 Will Donelson http://thesilvertongueonline.com/?p=52224


Reform! Lady Gaga (or more accurately, the Lady Gaga team) made the decision to sell Born this Way for only $0.99 on Amazon, and sales went… Well, about as well as you’d expect a $0.99 Lady Gaga product would go.  According to Billboard, the LP topped charts, 1,108,000 copies in the first week alone, with

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Reform! Lady Gaga (or more accurately, the Lady Gaga team) made the decision to sell Born this Way for only $0.99 on Amazon, and sales went… Well, about as well as you’d expect a $0.99 Lady Gaga product would go.  According to Billboard, the LP topped charts, 1,108,000 copies in the first week alone, with approximately 440,000 sales via Amazon at the $0.99 price.  If you wanted to go shopping for phones at Best Buy, you could also pick up the album for free. We all know where this leads – the charts sang the name of Gaga loud for quite some time.

Now it appears Billboard is changing the rules. According to their site; “Unit sales for Albums priced below $3.49 during their first four weeks of release will not be eligible for inclusion on the Billboard album charts and will not count towards sales data presented by Nielsen SoundScan.”

The site fails to list a specific reason for the change, but one can assume it comes as a result as Gaga lower-priced sales. The news almost seems to be a slap on the wrist to Lady Gaga’s marketing team. If we apply the current Billboard rules (minimum price of $3.49 during first four weeks, applies to reissues, digital tracks require $0.39 price during first three months), then Lil Wayne’s The Carter IV boasts the years best opening sales week. Well… that’s certainly news.

While this news partially feels like Billboard having to deal with complaining PR guys, it also has implications for Lady Gaga’s future as well. The woman is a powerhouse, and whether or not she actually makes it into the Billboard charts doesn’t mean anything compared to her social presence. Though, after time, it could be misconstrued as a negative sign of her social relevance. I’m interested in the next move her team will make, and what implications this will have on future marketing strategies for artist across the board.

 


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The Twilight Sad Show Preview http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/the-twilight-sad-show-preview/ http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/the-twilight-sad-show-preview/#comments Wed, 16 Nov 2011 14:01:11 +0000 Will Donelson http://thesilvertongueonline.com/?p=52013


“Wall of noise” is a term I’ve only ever used as a compliment. True, I understand how the phrase could be misinterpreted to mean something negative. If the band are clumsy and play especially loud, the feeling of a wall of jumbled noise falling down on you is pretty unpleasant. But an intentional wall? That’s

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“Wall of noise” is a term I’ve only ever used as a compliment. True, I understand how the phrase could be misinterpreted to mean something negative. If the band are clumsy and play especially loud, the feeling of a wall of jumbled noise falling down on you is pretty unpleasant. But an intentional wall? That’s a totally different story. There’s an undeniably satisfying, wonderful feeling to being completely overthrown by sound. To be at a show, and for the music to be so loud and so dominating that it becomes a physical presence – heavy enough to feel on your skin. Well, The Twilight Sad don’t really create a wall. A wall only pushes you back – The Twilight Sad create an ocean of noise, so loud and heavy it holds you in place. What more gratifying an experience is there, as a music journalist? As a music fan, even?

Don’t think that this is an unearned ocean, though, or one that acts as a substitute for songwriting. Another way bands can drop the ball when approaching the wall is to do so without reason. When all you have is the wall – when there aren’t lyrics to back it up, when it’s not treated like a crescendo or emotional culmination, you risk making it meaningless. It’s putting on a show to substitute for character – it’s an act full of sound and fury, signifying nothing (If I may inappropriately borrow the words of a more qualified writer).

The Twilight Sad, in bothe studio recordings and live shows, have mastered the wall. It never feels unearned or intrusive – there’s always a raw emotional weight that accompanies the wall with The Twilight Sad. They use it to great effect because it’s not a crutch for them. They write deeply personal music, and constantly try to alter their own sound. When they do use the wall, it’s because it benefits the music before the performance. The wall is never used in place of good song writing, but in tandem with it. That’s why it’s successful songwriting. They understand – composition first, emotion first. Spectacle is something that comes from those things, not something you manufacture when you lack them. The Twilight Sad won’t let their sound ever stagnate, because they know innovation is paramount.

And innovate they do. The band tried some really experimental stuff with their 2009 release “Forget the Night Ahead”, even reportedly using fire extinguishers at one point to create a designated sound. The band also plays with what they’ve already created – they released an album featuring alternate versions of songs from their début EP (which, for most artists, would mean demo’s rather than totally different songs), and recently made available on their website for free an entire album full of acoustic versions of their previous songs.

The band are expecting to release their new album, “No One can Ever Know” in February 2012. Two songs from the album have been released. The single, Sick, can be downloaded here whilst the track “Kill it in the Morning” can be heard here. The album already seems to be a great departure from the bands previous releases, and I’m looking forward to seeing exactly how they chose to evolve their sound.

Expect a full review for their show at The Boderline, London on the 21st of November to be up soon. In the meantime, try to catch the band’s UK tour yourself:

Nov 18   Nice ‘N’ Sleazy   Edinburgh, UK

Nov 19   The Mad   Ferret Preston, UK

Nov 20   Dutchess   York, UK

Nov 21   The Borderline   London, UK

Nov 22   Jericho Tavern   Oxford, UK

Nov 23   Firebug   Leicester, UK

Nov 24   Adelphi   Hull, UK

Nov 25   Tollbooth   Stirling, UK


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Watch: The Antlers perform “Epilogue” http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/watch-the-antlers-perform-epilogue/ http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/watch-the-antlers-perform-epilogue/#comments Tue, 15 Nov 2011 07:04:03 +0000 Will Donelson http://thesilvertongueonline.com/?p=51771


The Antlers are currently enjoying their second trip around the world promoting their 2011 release Burst Apart. For most of their recent live shows, starting with the “unveiling” show at SXSW, the band have played almost exlcusively songs from Burst Apart, and frequently just played the album in its entirity for live shows. This isn’t

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The Antlers are currently enjoying their second trip around the world promoting their 2011 release Burst Apart. For most of their recent live shows, starting with the “unveiling” show at SXSW, the band have played almost exlcusively songs from Burst Apart, and frequently just played the album in its entirity for live shows. This isn’t to say I myself haven’t witnessed a surprise older song, unintentional though it may have been.

Several days ago in Bristol, for the first time in a blue moon, The Antlers played “Epilogue”, the fan-favouite closing track from their first critically acclaimed studio release “Hospice”. The video below is well worth a watch, especially if you’ve never gotten into the band before. They make the song as loud and triumphant as its always needed to be (despite the, uh, lyrics).

A damned fine performance indeed. I personally am still holding out for the day they finally decide to play “Stairs to the Attic” live, though. Oh well, a fella can dream.


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Everybody Listen! “Sleepwalking – Refurbished” http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/everybody-listen-sleepwalking-refurbished/ http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/everybody-listen-sleepwalking-refurbished/#comments Fri, 11 Nov 2011 13:16:38 +0000 Will Donelson http://thesilvertongueonline.com/?p=51368


Welcome to The Underground (or Notes from the Underground if you’re a Dostoyevsky nerd), a new weekly segment in which I examine the very best in unsigned, undiscovered and underground music. It’s my goal to highlight and hopefully promote talented artists who have yet to receive the attention they deserve. If you know a band

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Welcome to The Underground (or Notes from the Underground if you’re a Dostoyevsky nerd), a new weekly segment in which I examine the very best in unsigned, undiscovered and underground music. It’s my goal to highlight and hopefully promote talented artists who have yet to receive the attention they deserve. If you know a band or artist you think should be featured on The Underground, tweet me their info @AnOrangeFellow.

Well, this certainly came as a surprise. Here I was, ready to publish this week’s The Underground about chiptune music (or whatever!), when My Jerusalem come and release a bandcamp album full of remixes of one of their songs, done by humble folks like you and I. I guess my gameboy music will have to wait until next week…

Yes, “Sleepwalking – Refurbished” is, as you would expect, an album full of different versions of the song “Sleepwalking” from My Jerusalem’s great LP “Gone for Good”. You may think an album full of different versions of the same some would grow tiresome, but it really doesn’t. Now, this may in part be due to my, ahem, “affiliation” with the band (I think they’re super cool), but I also think it says a lot about the talent of the collaborators on the album. There’s a hell of a lot of variation on the album, from more traditional “add drum beat and record scratches” remixes to really creative stuff. It’s fair to say “Refurbished” gets a lot of mileage from a single song. It’s an album that’s actually really refreshing to listen to, especially if you were already a fan of the band (as you should be).

The reinventions of the song also gave me a new found respect for the original. I feel I rather stupidly never paid attention to the lyrics of the song, which in all fairness are quite clever, and the pacing of the song overall is quite good. It’s a shame it took slowed-down versions of the piece for me to realise that. That’s not to say I think every remix brings something vital to the equation. There’s a death metal version of the song that just doesn’t work at all, and I think the only reason it exists is because in the original song Jeff Klein shouts a bit. There’s also a ukulele version of the song which I think may be just a bit too cutesy for its own good, though it’s not overtly annoying or anything.

All the remixes are at the very least interesting though. There’s a lot of creativity and talent on the remix album, and I’m glad that so many underground artists got to flex their inventive muscles on this release. The Alpha-Consumer Rewrite, Dosh remix and charmingly titled Steve Cobby Re-Fuck work wildly different electronic styles into the song, each one working, but in its own unique way. Matthew Ryan delivers a long, drawn-out, almost shoegazey interpretation of the song that makes an interesting centrepiece on the record. What Made Milwaukee Famous offer a strange, fragmented of the song that feels like switches are being flipped throughout its runtime, moving the song into different “modes”. It’s really good stuff. There are also more traditional versions of the song, such as Jarod Gorbel’s acoustic version of the song, which acts as a nice introduction to the remixes, and the wonderful harmonica-infused Frank Smith version of the song.

Of course, I would be remiss not to mention the final version of the song, adequately titled “Skew Ruins Sleepwalking”. It’s a weird, detached, fragmented, ugly non-song that makes no real sense on the album. I love it. It’s perfect. What? My pretentious little bio thing when you click my name isn’t lying, I genuinely love this version of the song. I love that it exists and I love that it’s the last song on the album. It’s a brilliant, daring send-off to a heartfelt, creative record.

You can listen to and purchase “Sleepwalking – Refurbished” at your own dang price here.

You can Like My Jerusalem on Facebook here.

Learn more about the band at their website here.


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Sigur Ros working on new material http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/sigur-ros-working-on-new-material/ http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/sigur-ros-working-on-new-material/#comments Thu, 10 Nov 2011 15:18:59 +0000 Will Donelson http://thesilvertongueonline.com/?p=51231


The Icelandic shoegaze/post-rock/experimental outfit Sigur Ros recently told the Wall Street Journal they were woking on new material, which they described as “floaty and minimal”.  The band expect tofollow-up LP to 2008′s highly acclaimed ‘Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust’ in the coming spring. Bassist George Holm said the project seems to him to

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The Icelandic shoegaze/post-rock/experimental outfit Sigur Ros recently told the Wall Street Journal they were woking on new material, which they described as “floaty and minimal”.  The band expect tofollow-up LP to 2008′s highly acclaimed ‘Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust’ in the coming spring. Bassist George Holm said the project seems to him to be “introverted”, while Orri Páll Dýrason, drummer for the band, explained that the release is “ambient”, and that it worked as “a slow take off towards something” (which quite accurately describes a great deal of the bands previous work).

The band recently released “INNI”, a live concert album documenting the bands last two shows in London before entering their (now officially broken) “indefinate hiatus”.


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Watch Florence and the Machine’s full Jools Holland set http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/watch-florence-and-the-machines-full-jools-holland-set/ http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/watch-florence-and-the-machines-full-jools-holland-set/#comments Sat, 05 Nov 2011 16:32:06 +0000 Will Donelson http://thesilvertongueonline.com/?p=50856


Florence Welch and friends played a brief set this Tuesday on Later Live with Jools Holland, but returned yesterday to deliver a set featuring an extra song, and a bit more puzzazz. When Florence Welch was first making a name for herself, I remember reading that her live performances were often loud and spilling ove

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Florence Welch and friends played a brief set this Tuesday on Later Live with Jools Holland, but returned yesterday to deliver a set featuring an extra song, and a bit more puzzazz. When Florence Welch was first making a name for herself, I remember reading that her live performances were often loud and spilling ove with energy. This show, however… Well, she’s pretty… rigid. Music as vibrant and colourful as what the band are playing seems to be requesting more than a stiff performance from Ms. Welch. Oh well, maybe I’m just being an old curmudgeon.

The band is now officially promoting the much anticipated second release, Ceremonials. You can catch the Jools performances below.


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Surprising no one: Nickelback voted greatest turn-off http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/surprising-no-one-nickelback-voted-greatest-turn-off/ http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/surprising-no-one-nickelback-voted-greatest-turn-off/#comments Fri, 04 Nov 2011 17:15:45 +0000 Will Donelson http://thesilvertongueonline.com/?p=50752


Poor old Nickelback can’t seem to catch a break today, huh? Coming as a shock to literally no one on the entire God-damned Earth, Nickelback were recently voted the number one sexual turn-off, musically speaking, by users of tastebuds.fm. The way the site works is you enter your favorite artists and it looks for people

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Ladies.

Poor old Nickelback can’t seem to catch a break today, huh?

Coming as a shock to literally no one on the entire God-damned Earth, Nickelback were recently voted the number one sexual turn-off, musically speaking, by users of tastebuds.fm.

The way the site works is you enter your favorite artists and it looks for people of similar tastes to you in your area. It’s a simple, often-imitated idea, but I imagine it’s a good thing for us audiophiles. The site recently held a poll where both men and women voted for their biggest musical turn-off, with the old Chadster topping the list for both men and women.

According to the site, 11.8% of men and 14% of women said they would have nothing to do with a Nickelback fan, which if we’re totally honest is actually surprisingly merciful. After Nickelback, the second most unsexy artists were Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga (Hey, at least she’s intentionally unattractive).

Here’s the list of biggest turn off’s for men:

1. Nickelback
2. Justin Bieber
3. Lady Gaga
4. Coldplay
5. U2
6. Lil Wayne
7. Creed
8. Ke$ha
9. Britney Spears
10. Black Eyed Peas
11. Dave Matthews Band – Holy shit I actually forgot this band ever existed
12. Oasis
13. Mumford & Sons
14. Kings Of Leon
15. Eminem
16. Kanye West – “Sent this bitch a picture of my dick”
17. Linkin Park
18. 50 Cent
19. Metallica
20. Rihanna

Aaaaaand the most unsexy bands for women are:

1. Nickelback
2. Justin Bieber
3. Lady Gaga
4. Katy Perry
5. Ke$ha
6. Taylor Swift
7. Coldplay
8. Creed
9. Rihanna
10. Miley Cyrus
11. U2 – It’s final: Bono is now more attractive to men than women.
12. Britney Spears
13. Lil Wayne
14. Nicki Minaj
15. Rebecca Black
16. Insane Clown Posse – Men in make-up don’t do it for women anymore?
17. Dave Matthews Band
18. Black Eyed Peas
19. Selena Gomez
20. James Blunt

Man, it’s almost not even funny anymore for the Nickelback guys. Let us know in the comments if you’d ever try to woo your respective sweetheart with a little help from Nickelback (and, if successful, would you immediately break up?).


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The Undergound: Neotropic – Equestrienne http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/the-undergound-neotropic-equestrienne/ http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/the-undergound-neotropic-equestrienne/#comments Fri, 04 Nov 2011 12:09:36 +0000 Will Donelson http://thesilvertongueonline.com/?p=50690


Welcome to The Underground (or Notes from the Underground if you’re a Dostoyevsky nerd), a new weekly segment in which I examine the very best in unsigned, undiscovered and underground music. It’s my goal to highlight and hopefully promote talented artists who have yet to receive the attention they deserve. If you know a band

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Welcome to The Underground (or Notes from the Underground if you’re a Dostoyevsky nerd), a new weekly segment in which I examine the very best in unsigned, undiscovered and underground music. It’s my goal to highlight and hopefully promote talented artists who have yet to receive the attention they deserve. If you know a band or artist you think should be featured on The Underground, tweet me their info @AnOrangeFellow or @Thesilvertongue.

I now present to you a too indie for youtube edition.

Neotropic are an odd bunch, that’s for sure. Fronted by Riz Maslen (who is no stranger to fronting bands), I would imagine the band would describe themselves as… Electronic, low-fi, avant-garde… indie? Yeesh. Okay folks, we’re in for a weird on this week.

But weird is good! Or rather, it usually is. OR at the very least consistently entertaining. At times seeming like they band members have been trapped in a closet for five years with nothing but Kid A to listen to, Neotropic are not afraid to take electronic music to its dark, weird limits. Utilising disenchantment and sinister, clandestine lyrics working in tandem with simple but effective strings and electro, Equestrienne can be quite the trip, if you’re not ready for it. Equestrienne is hard to pin any specific emotion to, but it never once seems light-hearted. Every song, whether it hits or misses, seems to be carnying a great weight to it. In songs like Muddy Water it really, really works. Dark background tones and strings lend themselves well to the disconnected singing, which quickly swings from overtly emotional to appropriately flat.

That being said, there are the few songs on the album that are a tad too kooky for their own good, or those like Hezbollah Girl that take their sweet time to build into something worthwhile. The strange lyrics combined with their wistful inflection can also be a bit too cryptic at times, and as a small gripe the percussion often feels very under-developed, and that it’s there for necessity. However, unlike the easy comparison (in terms of musical style rather than sound) of my recently-review My Brightest Diamond, the songs weirdness never really crosses the line into flat-out irritating.

When the album moved towards its conclusion (Just skip Burma), though, it feels like it starts to develop more. A sound really begins to emerge in the latter steps the album takes, and it becomes more celestial in tone, with the closing track being one of the albums strongest. I think this actually works well for it, as throughout the albums runtime it actually feels like you’re working towards something. I think your tolerance for Equestrienne will depend on your tolerance for the “indie” style in general. If you don’t like music that’s spooky, weird, disconnected or mysterious, then I can’t really blame you for not getting into Neotropic. I can only say that when Celephane Rd matures into something triumphant for its conclusion, its had not to crack a smile.

Listen to and purchase (for only five clams!) Equestrienne here.

Like them on Facebook here.

Check out their website and learn more about them here.

 


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Listen: Dreamers of the Ghetto cover Depeche Mode http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/listen-dreamers-of-the-ghetto-cover-depeche-mode/ http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/11/listen-dreamers-of-the-ghetto-cover-depeche-mode/#comments Tue, 01 Nov 2011 11:29:01 +0000 Will Donelson http://thesilvertongueonline.com/?p=50347


I know, I know. I’m certainly talking about these fellas a lot lately. I can’t help it, it’s well-founded and highly justified infatuation! That said, I’ve never found myself bonding particularly with Depeche Mode. I don’t feel negatively towards them, they’ve just always slipped by me. They didn’t slip by The Dreamers, though. Below you

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I know, I know. I’m certainly talking about these fellas a lot lately. I can’t help it, it’s well-founded and highly justified infatuation! That said, I’ve never found myself bonding particularly with Depeche Mode. I don’t feel negatively towards them, they’ve just always slipped by me.

They didn’t slip by The Dreamers, though. Below you can listen to their live cover of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus”. The song sounds like a more traditional cover rather than anything that would sound at home on Dreamers of the Ghetto’s debut, Enemy/Lover. Still, it’s a wothwhile listen, even if for Luke Jones’ voice alone.

 


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Why “The Loved Ones” is the perfect Horror movie http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/10/why-the-loved-ones-is-the-perfect-horror-movie/ http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/10/why-the-loved-ones-is-the-perfect-horror-movie/#comments Sun, 30 Oct 2011 16:25:11 +0000 Will Donelson http://thesilvertongueonline.com/?p=50005


I would never be so bold as to claim that I am a connoisseur of horror. True, I have a deep, deep fascination with the genre, and I delight in all its successes, but I’d never say that I was a pundit in any sense. I couldn’t tell you how many kills Freddy Kruger has

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I would never be so bold as to claim that I am a connoisseur of horror. True, I have a deep, deep fascination with the genre, and I delight in all its successes, but I’d never say that I was a pundit in any sense. I couldn’t tell you how many kills Freddy Kruger has stacked up in his lifetime, or recite the names of all the directors involved in the Saw franchise. No, I think the best way to describe my affiliation with the genre is as such:

I have seen a lot of bad horror movies.

You think Troll 2 is bad? That’s cute. Cute in an ignorant sort of way. When you’ve seen George Clooney and Charlie Sheen terrorized by an invisible bear in a film that was never actually released, you’ve seen bad (seriously). When you’ve seen the horror films of the exploitation era, unofficial sequels, the found-footage boom and all the entries of the Leprechaun franchise (he goes to space. Then the hood. Twice), you’ve seen bad. When you’ve seen Las Vegas Bloodbath, you’re me.

This is me, yo, right here.

The horror genre is a tired and bitter one. One where it’s flaws seem more examined now than its strengths; with films like The rise of Leslie Vernon and to a lesser extent the Scream franchise eager to tear the medium to bits, the rise of torture porn and general half-assed-ness of recent efforts (even in the indie horror scene), one could be forgiven for believing that horror is essentially dead (Well, some would).

Then along came The Loved Ones. To put simply, The Loved Ones is as close to perfect as a horror movie has been in recent years.

The Loved Ones is an Australian independent horror, with the premise being that Brent (Xavier Samuel) is kidnapped on Prom night by his crazy stalker, who hosts her own prom for the two of them. And things get serious. It’s an interesting overview, sure, but where The Loved Ones really shines is in its understanding of horror clichés, and the brilliant ways in which it gets around them. That alone may be enough to get people to check it out, but if not, I have compiled a short outline of why I think The Loved Ones truly shines.

And don’t worry, this article is totally Spoiler Free.

Horror problems The Loved Ones overcomes:

 

Whiny Protagonist.

Let’s be honest here; how many times have you watched a horror film and rooted for the bad guy because the protagonist/those in danger were outright annoying? Now, I can understand screaming when you’re being tortured – we all can, but the thing is, it’s not engaging listening to someone scream for two hours. The Loved Ones fixes this problem pretty quickly in a way that not only makes us empathise with Brent, but serves to characterise the villains of the film perfectly early on in its runtime. This empathy also fixes…

Lack of Danger

Again, if you’re rooting for the bad guy, why would you be scared? Where would the fear come from, if you want the leads to die? This seems to be the key difference between the horror films of the 80′s and present day – back then, you wanted the leads to survive. In The Loved Ones, Brent enters the film as a troubled character, but also from what we see of him as a genuinely nice guy. On top of that, Brent is tough. He demonstrates several times his strength both physically and mentally – and this only makes us care more about his emotional weakness. Simply put, we’re afraid in The Loved Ones because we like Brent. Brent’s three-dimensionality leads me to…

Ridiculous/Unbelievable World

Most of the time when I watch a modern horror flick, I find myself waiting for that “jump the shark” moment, and more often than not it comes. The problem isn’t suspension of disbelief – it’s a horror movie for Pete’s sake. The problem is they fumble the move into the fantastic. In an eagerness to get to the “good stuff”, the screenplay trips over itself, and the switch becomes gratingly obvious. Not so in The Loved Ones. When things get real, the move over feels not only earned, necessary or believable, but sensical. It feels like the logical progression of the film, and the coincidences, the fantastic and the cathartic all just make sense in the film’s context.

Meanness

This one may just be me – when you’re watching a torture porn, or any horror for that matter, and the film plays its own violence in a non-grandiose fashion, then it just… misses the mark. A Saw-ripoff or torture porn always just feels like the writers are assholes. How can you be revolted or fearful at the prospect of violence when the movie doesn’t care about its own characters, and is just violent because that’s what it has to be? The Loved Ones, however, absolutely delights in its own sickness. The fun to the antagonists have with their cruelty, and their uncomfortable relationship creates the perfect atmosphere of unease, and when something bad happens. There is not a mean-spirited second in The Loved Ones.

Too comic to be funny, too serious to take seriously

See The Human Centipede for this. When a horror has no moments to let the audience breathe. The situation becomes so over-examined that it slips into silliness. If there’s too much comedy, or downtime, then the humour ceases to be funny as it feels like it’s just putting off the horror. The Loved Ones uses its comedy sparsely and brilliantly to juxtapose its sickness, and makes the laughs louder and the shocks bigger.

Lack of tension

My God, is this one of the major sins in horror. Again, this can go back to not caring about the characters. How can I care Vorhee’s is hiding around the corner when I don’t even remember the name of the girl he’s chasing? Horror can also fall short due to outright lack of tension – the movie eagerly and hurriedly rushes into its kills or gruesome scenes, without giving the time images to settle or the horror time to build. The Loved One’s is a hold-your-breath experience. Brent acts realistically, and as a result, when he’s in danger we aren’t just scared as an audience by the movie, we feel his fear.

Useless Characters

You know the ones. Throwaway kills. Same song and dance – you can’t be afraid for characters that don’t matter, yadda yadda yadda. In The Loved Ones, however, every single character on screen serves a purpose, from Brent’s family, to his friends and to his fiends family. There is never a moment where it cuts to a character and you sigh because, oh no, “it’s one of their scenes”.

Shows you everything

There’s an old idiom in film that goes “Show, don’t tell”. It’s a smart saying and relates mainly to depositing exposition, but can apply to storytelling in general. A good example of messing this up is at the end of Burn After Reading, when it just cuts to a character at the end of the movie telling us what happens. Conversely though, horror tends to show too much. Horror films often blow their wads early, and are left spinning their wheels and forcing a third act (if they even really have one). The Loved Ones may be a violent movie, but it doesn’t lack subtly – it lets tensions and relationships build and actually have payoff, and while it has its share of on-screen gore, it keeps enough hidden to remain intriguing. Finally…

Respect, respect, respect.

The Loved Ones is a triumph because, unlike virtually every horror movie that I’ve seen in recent years, it operates under the utility of respect. It respects itself enough to not rely on clichés, it respects its audience enough not to spoon feed them anything, it respects its characters enough to have actual payoff, it respects its actors enough to write good characters and the horror genre enough to innovate. It’s a movie that feels resoundingly, overwhelmingly whole.

So please, do yourself a favour, reader, and get yourself a copy of The Loved Ones, and share it with your friends. Spend Halloween right.


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The Underground: Sims – Bad Time Zoo http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/10/the-underground-sims-bad-time-zoo/ http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/10/the-underground-sims-bad-time-zoo/#comments Fri, 28 Oct 2011 08:33:02 +0000 Will Donelson http://thesilvertongueonline.com/?p=49870


Sims is an underground rapper who is not afraid to experiment. He incorporates a huge range of influences into his music, from traditional African-sounding chants to New Orleans flavored funk reminiscent of Galactic. “Bad Time Zoo” features prominent brass work, fast tempo and lyrics that manage to be both effective, memorable and clever. There are

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Sims is an underground rapper who is not afraid to experiment. He incorporates a huge range of influences into his music, from traditional African-sounding chants to New Orleans flavored funk reminiscent of Galactic. “Bad Time Zoo” features prominent brass work, fast tempo and lyrics that manage to be both effective, memorable and clever.

There are some misfires on “Bad Time Zoo”, though that’s to be expected on an album that does so little by the book. It’s an album that takes risks, and even if they don’t always pay off, no song ever becomes dull, especially impressive considering the record is fourteen songs long. Every song is both mixed and paced well, with a good understanding of tone and composition. There’s a stretch of three perfect tracks in a row in “Bad Time Zoo”, starting with “One Dimensional Man”, which-really demonstrates how good things can get with Sims when it all comes together. It’s a cool, ingenuitive, dark song that I’m sure will remind a lot of you of Lupe Fiasco’s early days.

“In My Sleep” shows off an unwavering confidence (even if it does reference the Resident Evil films) that makes “Bad Time Zoo” an undeniably cool record, and the long build of “When it Rolls in” is a song that completely captures the listener.

“Bad Time Zoo” is a unique, challenging breathe of fresh air in the ever-crowded underground rap scene.

Listen to and purchase “Bad Time Zoo” here, for only ten bucks!

Get Sims’ Lazerbeak-produced EP “Wildlife” for free here. It’s a good introduction to the artist, though it’s highs don’t really meet “Bad Time Zoo”.

Check out Sims and fellow underground artists on Doomtree.

See Sims on Myspace here.

Like Sims on Facebook here.

- The Underground (or Notes from the Underground if you’re a Dostoyevsky nerd) is a new weekly segment on TST where we examine the very best in unsigned, undiscovered and underground music. If you know a band or artist you think should be featured on The Underground, tweet their info @AnOrangeFellow or @Thesilvertongue.


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Review: Girl in a Coma – Exits & All the Rest http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/10/review-girl-in-a-coma-exits-all-the-rest/ http://thesilvertongueonline.com/2011/10/review-girl-in-a-coma-exits-all-the-rest/#comments Mon, 24 Oct 2011 09:26:21 +0000 Will Donelson http://thesilvertongueonline.com/?p=49194


The term “girl rock” is often unfairly used as an insult. It’s a throwaway comment that is used to dismiss rock outfits comprised of women, but the sad thing is it seems to be critically accepted in the music industry nowadays. It’s an okay form of, perhaps not sexism, but certainly elitism – and everyone

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The term “girl rock” is often unfairly used as an insult. It’s a throwaway comment that is used to dismiss rock outfits comprised of women, but the sad thing is it seems to be critically accepted in the music industry nowadays. It’s an okay form of, perhaps not sexism, but certainly elitism – and everyone is apparently okay with it! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen Warpaint casually and tragically dismissed with the phrase. I don’t know whether it’s mean to insinuate that female bands can’t make rock music – that it’s a “guy thing” or something – or simply that no women rock is worth anything. That it’s dainty, or floaty, or “rock light”, or some other stupid assumption. It’s something that’s bothered me for years, but no one seems to acknowledge it.

Then along came Girl in a Coma. More specifically, along came their latest release “Exits & All the Rest”, not only one of the best, catchiest rock albums of the year, but dare I say the most masculine.

I think one of my favorite things about Girl in A Coma, which really manifests itself on this album, is how headlong and passionately they throw themselves into their music. It’s impossible to imagine a temperate performance of any of the songs on “Exits & All the Rest”, and throughout the run-time of every track I can easily envisage Girl in a Coma freaking out. That’s not just endearing, or charming; it’s downright heart-warming. They absolutely throw themselves kicking and screaming into every song. They do so with a vigor that says they honestly don’t care about how they look or come across from their music, which expectedly, makes them all the more cool. It’s a real proto-punk attitude towards songwriting and it’s damned fun to listen to. It wouldn’t work as well if there were any hesitation on the bands part; but there isn’t. They’re a band that, for lack of a better term, isn’t afraid to “ugly up” for a song; playing violently, singing soulfully and performing forcefully. Girl in a Coma have a clear love for music and the process of making music that manifests itself in a terrific way on “Exits & All the Rest”.

Not to undersell the technique on “Exits & All the Rest” – the songs, despite their powerful and sometimes even appropriately violent nature, never seem sloppy or incoherent. You can easily reconstruct the delicate and intelligent songwriting on “Exits & All the Rest”. The best way to describe the album would to say that it sounds like it was carefully thrown together. This comes across in one of the albums other greatest strengths; its pacing. While I wouldn’t outright say there’s a bad song on “Exits & All the Rest”, I will say that it absolutely rockets towards its conclusion. The tracks overall just become stronger and stronger, and listening to “Exits & All the Rest” as an album is a really rewarding experience.

I feel like Girl in a Coma have established a tradition of using their opening songs on each of their releases to sort of reintroduce themselves for every album, and I think it’s a tradition that really works. The opening tracks on “Exits & All the Rest”, the punk-ballad “Adjust” and energetically catchy “One Eyed Fool” give the listener a great feeling for what the band is about without giving away any of their great tricks too early. By the time the surf-rock infused lullaby “She Had a Plan” kicks in, you’ll have a great appreciation for what the band have put together – and if you hadn’t heard of them before, your loyalty should be assured by the time the song finishes. When the song spirals towards its finish, Nina Diaz loses herself in it, bellowing and shouting in a glorious gravelly-voiced display. While it sounds nothing like it, it’s reminiscent of how Isaac Brock will toss himself into a song, placing a greater importance on performance than anything else.

Then the record outdoes itself again; from the enthralling, grotesque, explosion of “She Had a Plan”, “Exits & All the Rest” drops us into “So” – a slow, heartfelt melody that sounds like it’s from a different phase in the bands career entirely. This drop manages to be incredibly effective, and more so, when “So” develops into the strained wails it does it reclaims its sense of placement on the album. When the chant of “Baby love sold you, back when you were unborn” starts up towards the end of the song, it becomes meaningful and personal in a way you couldn’t have expected when the tack initially kicked in. That lyric cleverly leads into the beach-friendly, catchy, caterwauling of “Cemetery Baby”. Like I said, cleverly, carefully thrown together.

Another distinctive point on the album is “Control”. It demonstrates the versatility of Diaz’s voice, but there’s also a great style present in the song. The lyrics tell us “Happiness is warm inside”, but the song itself is so grim and gritty that it transforms the dark, though at the same time still completely sincere. There’s something undeniably cool about taking such a warm sentiment and somehow finding a way to make it sleazy. It’s a skill Greg Dulli often demonstrates (Most noticeably the crooning of “Love is Good” on “Love”), and its executed flawlessly here.

All in all, Girl in a Coma have released what is probably their best album to date. Channeling the spirits of their heroes to create something entirely their own, they’ve released an album full of great songs and an unmistakable personality. After “Exits & All the Rest”, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to hear the term “girl rock” as an insult again.

 ★★★★☆ 


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