videogameinhd - Euro Truck Simulator

I don’t think anyone’s booted up Euro Truck Sim for the first time and not made a huge mistake that led to the infrastructure of a small shipping port shutting down. It turns out that the line between ‘everythings fine’ and ‘potential economic collapse’ is about 3 inches between a local’s car and a lorry driver with 30 minutes experience (most of which was spent not stopping fast enough for red lights and driving 56mph in a 30mph zone).

crash test, dummy

videogameinhd - NEW COMIC COLUMN

Lets try something different! A new type of column with one BIG picture instead of lots of little words. This big picture is about Ace Combat 7, and how much fun I had crashing into the ground a lot. It’s more satisfying than Microsoft Flight Sim 98 for causing unnecessary damage to your aircraft, and maybe that’s what really matters.

Was that a review? Yeah, sure, why not?

myacecombat7review

You can find more of my comics by following me on twitter!

Monster Magnet + Puppy at Electric Brixton Review

Oh dang! Ya boy Tom finally pulled his finger out and wrote a review.

This past Tuesday (29th Jan), I attended Monster Magnet’s lone UK date of their ‘Mindf****r’ tour at London’s Electric Brixton, a gig that in many ways was 12 years in the making. Their 2007 album ‘4-Way Diablo’ was one of the first albums I ever owned myself, rather than stealing from my dad’s CD collection or a compilation of the Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4 soundtrack. Now, you’d be forgiven in thinking the 13 tracks that comprise ‘4-Way Diablo’, and indeed the wider Monster Magnet discography, are nothing more than self indulgent, over the top and derivative; but it was (and still is) for these reasons that I fell completely in love with the band. Yes, their leather-clad, rockstar schtick might be passé, but it’s entirely self aware and serves as a love letter to a bygone era of the genre. I’d never consider myself a stick in the mud, and I genuinely believe we live in one of the most exciting periods for alternative music in a good long while, but at a time where there’s a few too many ‘Oli Sykes’ types dominating headlines, it can’t hurt to have a few Dave Wyndorfs.

Monster-Magnet-Euorpean-Tour-2019-with-Puppy-ghostcultmag.jpg

Personal exposition aside, how did the New Jersey natives perform on a wintery Tuesday in Brixton?

Opening the evening’s proceedings was local rock trio Puppy, a band I’ve been vociferously singing the praises of for the past couple of years. If you haven’t heard of Puppy yet, the only way I can describe their sound is Wheatus tossed in a blender with Iron Maiden, with a garnish of satanism for good measure. Trust me, they’re THAT good. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your outlook), their intro music - the Terminator 2 main theme - fails to play, resulting in a hilarious acapella cover by vocalist/guitarist Jock Norton instead. Technical mishaps aside, the band crack on with a blistering set that encompasses their burgeoning, yet impressive back catalogue, including a couple of tracks from their brand new album ‘The Goat’, released the previous week. Tracks such as The Great Beyond and Black Hole sound particularly huge, evoking both voluntary and involuntary head banging.

Whilst there’s not quite the usual standard to banter with the audience (I once saw Jock offer free merch in return for a ham sandwich), we’re instead treated to a jam-packed 40 minute set that never lets up, and it’s clear as the band walk off stage that they’ve definitely left an impression on the hometown crowd. If you’ve slept on Puppy up until now, I strongly encourage you give them a listen asap. 8/10

After a brief intermission, the lights fade and the mighty Monster Magnet take to the stage, and boy, they didn’t disappoint. Dave Wyndorf and co. might be getting up a bit in age (Wyndorf himself nearly eligible to claim a UK state pension), but you’d never notice it as they jump straight into Dopes To Infinity, with the eccentric frontman matching the energy of the crowd from the first note to the last. In fact, I’m fairly sure he only unclenched his outstretched fist to occasionally strum his guitar, being the band’s third guitarist (whether his was actually plugged in is a matter I’m still trying to figure out). Not giving anyone a moment to breath, the band continue straight into Rocket Freak off their latest album, demonstrating that their new tracks shred just as hard as their singles from the 90s.

From that point on, their set continues at a frenetic pace, with the band’s light show often mesmerising as much as the songs themselves (I sure hope nobody suffered from epilepsy). From the psychedelic journey that is Ego, The Living Planet to the iconic Space Lord, it’s impossible not to have a massive, stupid grin on your face, experiencing one of the last true ‘rock ‘n’ roll’ bands. The band return for a 3 track encore that culminates with an impassioned rendition of Powertrip, before sending everyone off happy into the snowy capital. 9/10

Monster Magnet might be as subtle as a sledgehammer, but honestly, what did you expect from a band whose latest album is titled ‘Mindf****r’? In fact, what did you expect from a band called Monster Magnet? What they do might not be to everyone’s taste, but damn do they do it well.

By Tom Baker

The Teal Album by Weezer Review

The curious case of an unexpected album release I see! Not only that, it is a cover album I hear! I hope they have covered songs that I know! Oh well might as well just put it on without seeing the tracklist and hope I can sing along. In all seriousness though, despite all my mixed feelings (spoiler) on the album, I would recommend putting this on and being surprised by what they play. So stop reading this and listen to it (or read on if you really want too).

It has only been in the last year that I’ve started listening to Weezer and classifying myself as “a fan”. I’ve always known of them of course, ‘Island in the Sun’ was used in every advertisement ever, ‘Buddy Holly’ was always playing on Kerrang!, ‘Beverly Hills’ whilst not the most creative song was seemingly everywhere at the time, and of course I grew up with the Guitar Hero & Rock Band games so I knew ‘My Name is Jonas’ inside and out. The point I am trying to make here is that when people speak about  how their best ever work was Pinkerton or the Blue Album, I cannot join in as it is a painfully ignorant subject matter of mine, which might just paint my opinion of the Teal Album as a little different from the die hard fans.

The Teal Album by Weezer is such a strange album. I have spent a lot of time trying to describe my feelings but it has totally confused me. The tracks are not really that creative and there are more inspired covers by other bands but for the life of me I just cannot stop listening to this album. It is made up of some of the biggest pop songs that have been etched into pop culture over the years and because of this you’ll unexpectedly find yourself singing along even if you do not recognise the song at first. The track listing has been perfectly created to have the most perfect peaks and valleys of any album I’ve ever listened to and I think that is what makes it so damn replayable.

I believe the beauty of this album is listening to it start to finish, in this way you will you get the most out of it. However here is a quick tidbit on each song.

Credit: ‘Africa’ by Weezer. Atlantic.

Credit: ‘Africa’ by Weezer. Atlantic.

You start off with ‘Africa’ (originally by Toto) taking you through a nice stroll. Something we are all familiar with since they released it last year.

We then get ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’ (originally by Tears for Fears). Another 80’s classic that sounds similar in execution and you start to think that perhaps this album may be just a little one note.

‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)’ (originally by Eurythmics) plays and makes you aware that Weezer are not afraid of trying anything with the heavy synths and some high notes that you may question should not have been attempted by Rivers Cuomo.

‘Take on Me’ (originally by A-Ha) sounds so eerily similar to the original until the very last break. Here there are no instruments, just Rivers’ vocals enticing the goosebumps on your body.

‘Happy Together’ (originally by The Turtles) is the weakest song on the album. Of all the tracks ‘Happy Together’ sounds the most like a straight cover that they took from the band practice book and ultimately adds a lull in the middle of the album, just waiting to be picked back up by ‘Paranoid’.

‘Paranoid’ (originally by Black Sabbath) sees Weezer get heavy, so heavy in fact they employ their rhythm guitarist, Brian Bell, to sing this song. The heaviest track on the album and nothing comes close to matching the energy here either.

‘Mr. Blue Sky’ (originally by E.L.O) is so easy to sing along to it should be illegal. They were able capture the spirit of the original song here and get extra points for doing the outro too.

‘No Scrubs’ (originally by TLC) is the most surprising of all these sounds. The opening lyrics: “A scrub is a guy that thinks he's fly, And is also known as a busta” sound so bizarre coming from a band like Weezer, you’ll feel a lot of emotions here. Confusion, anger, slight arousal but in the end you will feel good.

‘Billie Jean’ (originally by Michael Jackson). There have been a lot of MJ covers over the years, sadly this is not one of the better ones. Like all songs on the album this is good to sing along to, but if you want something more creative stick to the likes of ‘Smooth Criminal’ by Alien Ant Farm.

Stand by Me (originally by Ben E. King) is the perfect track to end the album with. The vocals understandably are a lot different from Mr. King’s and I think that works in its favour.

Do yourself a favour and listen to this album, it is definitely a “greater than the sum of it parts” scenario. The Teal Album is not going to down in history as the next Pinkerton or Blue Album as it does not reinvent the wheel but more often than not adds their own rims to each cover. If you want something that is a fun time or something you’ll subconsciously sing along to then this album is for you. Just do not expect it to be the next great Weezer album you wanted it to be.

Craig Baughan

Lesser Known Chris Cornell Songs You Should Listen To

My aim today is to share some of the songs that Chris Cornell has had a hand in creating that I think more people should listen to, and hopefully open people’s eyes to an artist they may never have given a second thought about. This is neither a beginner’s guide nor a deep cuts collection. These are songs that maybe didn’t get as much radio airplay, album tracks that I think could have been put forward for the masses, and a couple of singles that are often overlooked. So, if you’ve ever found yourself grooving along to ‘Spoonman’ or headbanging to the outrageous noise of ‘Cochise’ but have never thought to go beyond the songs fed to you on a platter, this might just be the list for you.

Read More

M. Night Shyamalan's Glass Review

Nineteen years. Nineteen years! Six thousand, six hundred and thirty two days ago since Unbreakable was released in the USA. The “Eastrail 177 Trilogy” as it has come to be known is such an anomaly in the film world right now. We have had so many studios chasing Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) trying to release multiple movies in a singular year. Whether it is the mishandled DC Extended Universe, the ill-fated “Dark Universe” Cinematic Universe that got off to a non-start with Mr. Cruise’s The Mummy or even Fox’s “sometimes a hit, sometimes a miss” X-Men Universe which seems to be slowly (and sadly) getting shut down with the Disney merger.

I’m a big fan of comic books and the movies that are made around them. So to have something that is so different from the MCU I believe should be applauded. It takes restraint to create three movies over NINETEEN YEARS when in perspective that is Marvel’s output for a single year. It’s obvious that there is money to be made in superheroes and after all these years it could be argued that the universe being created here was not for the sake of making money but was actually a carefully thought out trilogy by M. Night Shyamalan. With all that time to refine does that make it a good movie however?

Read More

A Brief List of Cyberpunk Anime to Maybe Check Out I Guess

Did you know we’re living in the future? The future is NOW! Whatever you’re up to today, it’s almost certainly very cool and futuristic.

Ok, so 2019 might not be the future everyone was expecting, but that doesn’t mean bleak visions of the future have gone away. People have been dreaming of dreary cities full of film noir charm for the last few decades, so at least we’ve still got that to tide us over until the machine uprising grants us the true future we’re all desperate to die in poverty from.

 

Hey let’s look at some cool cyberpunk anime.

Read More

Doctor Who Series 11 – A Successful Regeneration?

Doctor Who is my favourite TV show, through and through. So why is it that Series 11 has left me feeling so conflicted about my love for the show? Am I having some form of crisis? Is the show all of a sudden really bad? Have I grown up? I don’t think it’s any of these things. Join me, as I take a look at some of the things I liked and disliked in Series 11 of Doctor Who in an effort to find some clarity.

Read More