Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Nickelback - Here And Now

Hello everyone

How are you all doing? You may have noticed I haven't written anything for a while; well I finally emerged from underneath the huge pile of uni work that I have been so busy with and I am free for now. Three deadlines in one month with a week or two between each other has really kept me occupied; I handed in my last essay before Christmas yesterday so you can imagine a  huge burden off my shoulders.

I would also like to take time out to talk about Nickelback's brand new album Here And Now; eagerly opening the package I was wondering what the album would sound like. Dark Horse is one of my favorite albums to date and I was debating whether it could be topped or not. After listening to the album I realized that the album could be classified as a grower; the opening track This Means War is fantastic way to open the album, along with singles Bottoms Up and When We Stand Together. I also loved the heart felt Lullaby on the album. However listening to the end of the album I noticed they tried a new approach; more country western kind of sound that just was not working for me; Dark Horse still appears to be my favorite album from the guys but this album is not their best, I might learn to like it. Despite this I still have a huge amount of respect for these guys as they were the first rock band I listened to that made me realize who I am today.

Stand out tracks:  This Means War, When We Stand Together and Lullaby

Tuomaslotte rates:  TTT

Find Nickelback on Facebook, Twitter and their official website

Take care for now

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Turisas @ Southampton University; 15/11/2011

Eccentric Finnish folk metallers Turisas brought and fought the battle with the metal heads of Southampton.

Getting myself ready to go to Southampton Univeristy that consisted of dressing in a black and red combo, covering my face with black and red facepaint. I can tell you the reason for this; I was getting ready to see Finnish folk metal band Turisas for the first time and their colours are black and red. As soon as I got to the venue I got kitted out in my Turisas t-shirt I had just bought and was ready to take part in the night of heavy metal that was to be sprung onto me.

First band to play were fellow Finnish metallers Kiuas; I had only heard them briefly and liked their sound so I was looking forward to see what they brought to the stage.  They certainly were a great opening act for this night of metal; their charismatic stage prescence and passion was definitely a highlight for me. Kiuas are usually a five piece; their frontman was stuck in Finland so instead of cancelling their shows they carried on like true showmen and that was what I really admired about them. In the words of the very wise Freddie Mercury 'The show must go on'.

Find Kiuas on Facebook, Twitter and their official website

Taiwanese metallers Chtonic were up next to play; now not being the biggest fan of extreme metal I found these guys to be hypnotically incredible, bringing in oriental influences in the lyrics and music it gave Chtonic the mysteriously haunting vibe. It was amazing to see frontman Freddy Lim start to play a hena violin that arose a fantastic reaction; he also made a valid point that stuck with me for the rest of the night and that was no matter where you come from in the world that night was the night that metalheads unite together.

Find Chtonic on Facebook

The build up to the entrance of headliners Turisas was unbelievable; all over the venue fans started the call and response anthem Battle Metal whilst awaiting for them to conquer the stage. All of a sudden the lights went down; an intro piece of music was heard on the speakers and as the band members made their way onto to the stage the cheers got louder. Opening up with The March Of The Varangian Guard and performing it to the utmost perfection I could tell Turisas were well under way. I loved how they performed a mixture of material from Holmguard and Beyond to my personal favourite, Hunting Pirates, from the new album Stand Up and Fight. The violin solo half way through the set was so beautifully performed; with soft drums and piano in the background it was lovely to have a little break from the heavy music for a couple of minutes. Ending with Boney M cover of Rasputin and show stopper Battle Metal those were a clear indication Turisas gave us [the fans] exactly the show we had been asking for. From start to finish Turisas showed so much intensity, charisma, energy and passion in their performance; it spread amongst their fans as they showed the same kind of dedication for the band. That night with Turisas was one of the most fantastic experiences of my life and it has to be one of the best live shows I have seen so far.

Find Turisas on Facebook, Twitter and their official website

Tuomaslotte rates:  TTTTT

Words and photos by Charlotte Whittingham

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Could Gene Simmons help our economy? I think yes!!

Reading yesterday's Daily Mail I found out that Kiss legend Gene Simmons gave a lecture at the London Business School about how the country can save some more money to help us in this current economic crisis. I honestly think that there is no better person for the job; over the years Simmons has earnt so much money rocking out on stage covered in face paint whilst spitting blood and not forgetting his incredibly long tongue, he has made thousands of dollars from working for four decades on a empire selling thousands of his band's merchandise. Yet he doesn't go spending extravegant amounts on things he doesn't need and I think we could definitely learn from the guy; he quotes in the article that "you've got to make your money mean something" and yes that is very true, for a few months I have been saving for a trip around Europe and I work incredibly hard as a sales assistant for my money.

Who knew that Gene Simmons is the co-founder of ortsbo.com; the largest internet translation service? Or that he runs a financial planning business for high net worth individuals? Like a lot of us; Gene Simmons works very hard for his money. I think it is absoulutlely inspiring when a famous rock star, like Gene Simmons, takes his time out to help out people. Most recently reading in Kerrang! about how Ollie Sykes and Jona Weinhofen from Bring Me The Horizon taking some time to help us become more aware of internet safety. 

Find Kiss on Facebook, Twitter and their official website

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Lost Without Cause - Take Back Everything

Simon Marks got into contact with me and told me about his band Lost Without Cause. Who currently have two successful tours under their belt and a single breaking into the UK charts I just had to see what the album had to offer. The drum beat at the beginning of opening track Trigger reminded me of the song Everyday Combat from Lostprophets best seller Liberation Transmission;  the rest of the album certainly gets better as it progresses. I also loved how acoustic track Sense showed a softer side to the band and I think musicians who can show that on their first album then that is a fantastic sign the band can go very far. 

Overall a fantastic debut album; full of fun and energy. Highly recommended for fans of Lostprophets and Alkaline Trio. Catchy guitar riffs and light hearted vocals that are easy on the ears are what make this three piece original rock band amazing; keeping up the fantastic reputation the south of England has for fresh new rock bands.

Stand out tracks:  Trigger, Sense and Situation

Tuomaslotte rates it:  TTTT

Find Lost Without A Cause on Facebook

Monday, 7 November 2011

Top 5 Music videos of 2011

Well here are my top five music videos of 2011;

5. Theory Of A Deadman - Lowlife

This video was a fantastic one to show the bands return after three years; I love how the video matches with the concept of the song and I think that what we see in my top five videos. Like frontman Tyler Conolly mentions in this interview how the term has a negative connotation but the song is about how being a lowlife can be fun and there is a lowlife in all of us. This video demonstrates that perfectly; it starts with a man living in his trailer and it's obvious he doesn't care what people think of him, I particularly love the caravan exploding at the end with this man and the band walking away.

Find Theory Of A Deadman on Facebook, Twitter and their official website

4. Within Temptation - Where Is The Edge

Another band that quite a triumphant return via this song and video; the concept is a little bit darker this time however. The clip is taken from the film Me and Mr Jones which looks at the story from the aftermath of a young girl who was reported missing in Aruba five years. This song matches the mood of this video; intense, a fantastic comeback from Dutch Symphonic metallers I think.

Find Within Temptation on Facebook, Twitter and their official website

3. In Darklight - The Human Race

This music video from Andover alternative rockers is in my top three is because it is their first one and they pulled it off quite well. I like the structure of this video is simple but effective; I hope they make more music videos in 2012, you can also check out their brilliant cover of The Police classic Message In A Bottle.

Find In Darklight on Facebook, Twitter and their official website

2. Black Veil Brides - Fallen Angels

You either love them or you hate them but with two successful albums and many sold out shows Black Veil Brides have really done well in the music industry. Their music video for their popular song Fallen Angels to speak to everyone on so many levels; to me it shows people coming together to show us who they really are and this song does refer to them as Fallen Angels so I do think this video is a highlight of their career.

Find Black Veil Brides on Facebook, Twitter and their official website

1. Dommin - Closure

Now this music video is my top music video for 2011 because the concept of the song matches the video and Los Angeles goth rockers Dommin portrayed this in such a unique way. Getting the fans to send photos and videos of them showing their idea of what Closure is; I remember back in October last year frontman Kristopher Dommin asking for the fans help for the latest music video and I just thought what a fantastic way to get your fans involved. Especially when the final outcome of the video looked incredible; it was put together really well with footage of the band and the fans.

Find Dommin on Facebook, Twitter and their official website

Nightwish - Storytime

Very happy this morning that I found somebody had streamed Nightwish's brand new single Storytime from the radio and I got to listen to the full song for the first time. Only having seen and heard a teaser I can tell that Nightwish are trying a whole new concept in their music; in the past where it had been oceans and forests so I like how here they are trying like an alternate universe known as the Imaginareum. Anyways I love how this single opens with a keyboard tune from the musical genius himself Tuomas Holopainen accompanied by choirs, then the heaviness of the electric guitars and drums enter the song. It's been six years since long time vocalist Tarja Turunen was replaced with Swedish born Anette Olzon and I think the band have done incredibly well with Anette; I think this song particularly shows the band's growth with Anette as their singer. One of the things that attracts me to Nightwish like a moth to a flame is the beautifully written lyrics and this song is no exception; Tuomas is one my inspirations for writing and I have the biggest amount of respect for him.

Overall a fantastic new single from Finnish/Swedish metallers Nightwish; I now only eagerly await the new album to complete my adventure to the Imaginareum since I think my first step into this journey has been a magical one.

Tuomaslotte rates it:  TTTTT

Find Nightwish on Facebook, Twitter and their official website

Friday, 4 November 2011

Fozzy @ The Talking Heads; Southampton 3/11/2011

A night of hard rock, beer and wild crowds that were home to mosh pits are what made Fozzy's show last night at The Talking Heads phenomenal.

Entering The Talking Heads to see favourite hard rock band of the year Jettblack I was full of excitement; they were to be supporting Fozzy a fellow hard rock band from across the pond who are fronted by ex WWE wrestler Chris Jericho. I hadn't really heard a lot from Fozzy being since I was there for Jettblack last night.

I walked into the stage area and the first band Codejak were playing; they are a four piece rock band from Barrow in the UK. I did like the upbeat prescence they bought to The Talking Heads; their dirty, ballsy tunes were a great way to open up the night of hard rock mayhem that was to be unleashed into the atmosphere. I also love their crowd engaging stage moves such as frontman Daniel Turner showing us his guitar skills in the audience and of course giving me a high five. 

Find Codejak on Facebook, Twitter and their official website

Brighton boys Verses were up next to play; they had a slightly more punky sound but that didn't stop me enjoying the music. They definitely showed a lot of passion and energy in their performance; the songs I thought were great too. Very catchy and upbeat; it's great how they write songs about the little things that can make a huge difference. I bought a CD so you may see a post about them very soon and hope to see the boys back in Southampton very soon.

Find Verses on Facebook

Jettblack have so far pleased me highly with their slick guitar riffs and solos, sexy, husky male vocals put into some amazingly written songs. Last night's performance was no exeption; I love how they manage to bring a stadium like prescence to small venues such as The Talking Heads. Starting off with album opening track Slip It On I knew Jettblack were well underway with the fans. Performing what will be stadium anthems one day such as Two Hot Girls and Fooled By A Rose to a brand new song Inbetween Lovers from their upcoming album, the High Wycombe hair metallers shall definitely making it big one day.

Find Jettblack on Facebook

Headliners Fozzy did bring a fantastic crowd last night; I felt slightly out of place amongst the tough looking guys that were twice my height and worked out about three times a day. Fozzy did well to engage their fans and brining an energetic atmosphere to the venue. I did like the music Fozzy played last night but it didn't really have much of a variety and most of it did sound the same. Apart from that Fozzy did a fantastic performance; I will give them another chance I think.

Find Fozzy on Facebook and their official website

I'll leave you with some photos of me and some of the lovely boys of Jettblack; good day

Tuomaslotte rates it:  TTTTT