It appears that after one week of re-vamping the blog the challenge of a weekly post has already proved itself a strain, however, I was away last week and such an offence should not happen again apart from in extenuating circumstances. Well I have two weeks worth of media consumption to consider for this post and I have chosen a few of my most interesting excursions.
First of all, on the music front this Monday saw new releases from two bands that at some point in my life I have called my favourite, Linkin Park return with ‘Living Things’ and The Offspring offer us ‘Days Go By’ both of which I have given my opinions on below. In terms of movies I have not been watching anything particularly new but I have watched, for the first time, ‘Clerks’ and ‘Mallrats’ so below I shall have a section dedicated to Kevin Smith and his ‘View Askew-niverse’. With TV the past fortnight has seen me finish Game of Thrones and start on my next project; Boardwalk Empire, but I have decided since I have two episodes left of the first season I shall save my opinion on that one until next weeks post.
Its been just a couple of months under two years since Linkin Park’s last offering which isn’t bad going after the band challenged themselves to make a new record every eighteen months just after the release of ‘A Thousand Suns’. This new album is a notable improvement from said release, gone are the short tracks that feature just sound or clips from speeches, also gone (mostly) is the political slant to the lyrics, instead the majority of the album has full musical tracks and more personal lyrics.
I, personally, have quite enjoyed the bands last two offerings despite the fact that they seem to have trashed their original style and sound and I think its a bold move when they had something so unique and popular. But I think this album marks a, possible, conclusion to this particular area of exploration which started with ‘Minutes to Midnight’. In a statement the band have spoken out about feeling much more comfortable in their own skin with this record and it shows. It seems a much more complete record covering what they’ve learned from their experimentation and caters itself to what they do best. The discs strongest songs are found within ‘Lies Greed Misery’ which coming in at under three minutes manages to cram in a full collection of sounds that you can see influence of in all of their previous albums and ‘Victimized’ although only brief is a great sum up of all their experimentation. Lets hope with whatever they release next they continue to offer something diverse and perhaps go in a new direction, experimenting with some new styles.
Days Go By
Back in my early teens The Offspring could do no wrong in my eyes, being a young wannabe punk their whiny pop punk was ideal for me and with their last album ‘Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace’ which is now, quite unbelievably, four years old they showed that they’re never going to grow up but have still got it in them to create a perfectly passable album. When I first listened to ‘Days Go By’ I was beginning to think they may have even improved upon 2008’s LP. Opening track ‘The Future is Now’ and title track ‘Days Go By’ both exceed anything on ‘Rise and Fall…’ then just as you think this band could have reinvented themselves you are met with track six. ‘Cruising California (Bumpin’ in my Trunk)’ within about thirty seconds all your good feelings of the previous five tracks are obliterated and then their shards are shat on by a terrible pre-chorus which seems like a lame attempt to make a new ‘Pretty Fly…’ and it doesn’t stop there, as well possibly ruining their own name within the space of about a minute this travesty also pisses in the face of one of punks fore fathers The Ramones by quoting their famed ‘Hey Ho Let’s Go’ line. After this abomination of a song, which I have since found out is actually the first single, the band have set themselves with the impossible task of redeeming themselves and unfortunately no other tracks are worthy of even staying in my memory. It seems such a shame as in the first five tracks I was getting quite excited, but maybe it’s time that Dexter, Noodles and Greg K took some time, did some growing up and perhaps come back in a decade with something completely different because this is surely the last nail in the coffin for pop punk.
I must admit I feel I should have began watching Kevin Smith films a long time ago since I have heard nothing but praise for the nerdy comedy director but have only decided to make an effort in the past few days, I must say having seen Red State in the cinema at the end of last year I had lost some of the excitement of exploring his back catalogue but I decided it was time and I began at the beginning, with ‘Clerks’ which I very much enjoyed. Although clearly on a budget the dialogue was so funny it didn’t need anything more the introduction of Jay and Silent Bob, the universes main recurring characters was superb and it wasn’t long before I made some time to watch the second entry, ‘Malllrats’ clearly with a bigger budget and having learnt a few lessons from ‘Clerks’ I found this film much easier to watch and the comedy even maybe a step up from his debut as I find myself starting to recognise his unique style of comedy. However, I must express some disappointment at what has become of Smith particularly with his horror/thriller Red State which was an ordeal at best, he has stated that he’s probably not going to do any more view askew productions which I think is a shame but I suppose until I’ve seen them all I can’t really judge on whether it’s time or not, but when I’m finished I will, surely, let you all know.