The Hann - Byrd - EP
In anticipation of their recent LP Bits, Brooklyn rockers Oxford Collapse put out this 5 track EP as a quick appetiser. Sub Pop take a back seat on this one, with small label Comedy Minus One running up the 500 copy vinyl-only release. Not to worry if you're not a vinyl junkie however, as thanks to the digital revolution it's also available at your local download store.
The trade mark dual vocals of Micheal Pace and Adam Rizer are in full effect from the very start, as Internet Cafes in Micronesia are amongst the subjects covered in Bikini Atoll, before the vocals slip away and the song moves into a pounding instrumental jam. The call and response of Among Friends (mp3) doesn't quite take off, before bassist Adam Rizer takes a more central vocal role on The Pilgrim.
Things pick up with the almost line-dancing style of Genetic Engineering, peddling an amusingly sarcastic positive message. This more thought-out approach makes for a more engaging song - and once you are past the bizarre hip-hop intro, Bikini As Hole continues the approach, bookending the album with a beefed up re-working of the opening track.
While finding the band in their most familiar form - counterpoint John Hughes-esque stories of guys at parties over frenetic jangling guitars and pounding drum tracks - there's a more adventurous approach to the later music here, building on the success of Remember The Night Parties with a more considered sound. The songs don't quite have the same punch just yet, but for a mid-season EP it's a worthwhile effort. Let's hope things have beefed up for Bits, which I'll be reviewing tomorrow.
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The Windmill, Brixton, London
Boys And Girls In America
El Wurlitzer, Madrid
Remember The Night Parties
Enthusiasticly directed sequence of unrelated musical set pieces.
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Thoughtfully assembled montage doc.
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Decent origin story, with charm and some 90s nostalgia.
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The Rise of Skywalker
Freestyle bouillabaisse with all the ingredients, but no chef.
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Quintessential indie movie ...funded by Netflix. Great perfs, lovely camera work and solid direction.
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Superior modern thriller. Smart script and accomplished direction.
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Long, slow, thoroughly enjoyable loose jam through Scorsese/DeNiro/Pacino/Pesci/Keitel’s greatest hits.
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Batman via Scorsese, in impeccably art directed, neatly packaged origin story.
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Surprisingly strong sequel that gets going after a convoluted start.
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Casual drama from Clint Eastwood, with the man himself anchoring things through a charming turn.
16th Nov 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Luscious period drama. Beautifully put together - like Wolf Hall+.
3rd Nov 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Throw away Breaking Bad expansion piece with little tension or jeopardy.
13th Oct 2019Read more 2.5 star reviews
Stylish but incoherent Cheney biopic, hampered by another one-note turn from Bale.
5th Oct 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Mind numbingingly basic biopic, saved by the nostalgia for the music and moments.
5th Oct 2019Read more 2 star reviews
Interesting doc following the lives of 3 teens becoming adults, tied together by skateboarding.
28th Sep 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Painful, occasionally uplifting viewing with a grief stricken central performance.
28th Sep 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Into the Spider-Verse
Stylish, trippy concept animated superhero flick with some great moments.
21st Sep 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Young adult upgrade, with just enough Conchords humour to keep it enjoyable.
22nd Aug 2019Read more 2.5 star reviews
Decent Aussie surf drama, that nostalgically investigates the soul of surfing before losing its way a little.
14th Aug 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Somewhat unremarkable, but enjoyable music drama. Bit long.
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Predictably grim seaside coming-of-age indie. Decent enough, but you’ve seen it before
13th Jul 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Stylish sequel, hampered in places by some authentic 1960s pacing.
30th Jun 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Out-there kids fable with an old school Tim Burton vibe.
16th Jun 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Rock solid 90s style indie movie. Beautifully assembled at all levels.
31st May 2019Read more 4 star reviews
Fairly one-sided Police doc about the seemingly dislikeable trio.
7th May 2019Read more 2.5 star reviews
Decent, but slightly muddled parenting indie.
28th Apr 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Forgettable re-imagining of a not totally unforgettable Disney classic.
27th Apr 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Solid stop-motion animation that’s light on plot, but high on charm.
12th Apr 2019Read more 2.5 star reviews
Surprisingly stylish sequel that drops the ball in classic straight-to-VHS style halfway through.
6th Apr 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Opaque Alaskan thriller from Jeremy Saulnier, with little regard for convention.
1st Apr 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Low key indie spin on Rambo, as a father and daughter try and live off grid.
28th Mar 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Fun biopic that runs out of steam about when the band did.
25th Mar 2019Read more 3 star reviews
A diminished remake of Deadpool 1. Occasional LOLs.
25th Mar 2019Read more 2.5 star reviews
High concept sci-fi that stretches its concept a little thin.
19th Mar 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Unremarkable, cliche-ridden actioner. Utterly lacking in suspense.
17th Mar 2019Read more 2.5 star reviews
A disjointed patchwork of homages, nods and rip offs from dozens of other movies, with little to offer of its own.
11th Mar 2019Read more 2 star reviews
Laborious, high-concept alien horror. While the concept is good, the beats are all well telegraphed.
2nd Mar 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Witty, if a little obvious, post-meta rom-com.
1st Mar 2019Read more 3 star reviews
The Second Part
It’s literally a re-hash of all the themes of the first one with a few less jokes.
23rd Feb 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Slight, but sometime engaging iPhone feature.
26th Jan 2019Read more 3 star reviews
Decent modern spin on Mary Poppins. Bit uneven, but a nice soundtrack helps things along.
20th Jan 2019Read more 3.5 star reviews
Bog standard entry into The-Rock-action-movie genre. As much personality as a computer game.
3rd Jan 2019Read more 3 star reviews
This time it’s really, really serious. Seriously.
27th Dec 2018Read more 3 star reviews
It’s a musical ...but slick direction makes it just about bearable.
24th Dec 2018Read more 3 star reviews
Pop-culture bouillabaisse, hampered by numerous terrible accents.
24th Dec 2018Read more 3.5 star reviews
Pacey, emotional, old-fashioned indie pic. Beautifully observed.
15th Dec 2018Read more 4 star reviews
Surprisingly underwhelming biopic that doesn’t find its feet until 20m from the end.
24th Nov 2018Read more 3.5 star reviews
Utterly derivative / thoroughly enjoyable ‘Heat’ rip off.
21st Nov 2018Read more 3.5 star reviews