MLC

A building.

I love how this photo turned out.

The shading makes a lot of the details and structure really just stand out and feel so much more prominent.

I like the way the MLC building appears to frame everything and its contrast in architectural style to most of the other buildings in the shot.

I hope you enjoy.

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Five-Hundred Word Challenge 502: River Search

There are many stretches ahead. That is what I thought to myself as I journeyed the land beneath my feet. The land beneath what I would usually refer to as home.

I took a step forward into the unknown, toward the sound of what could have been a river. I needed water. I had thirst to quench and I heard something that was beckoning to me to approach. Thus it seemed appropriate to follow.

Of course I had to admit that it could have been an illusion. If could have been a trap. It could have been anything. However, my survival was more important than the possibility of entering a trap and therefore toward the sound I approached.

Despite which, if it were a trap then I’m sure that I would be able to find a way out of it sooner or later. It just would take time.

Down the hills and following the contour lines was my mission as any other direction or following seemed to point in going the way that I did not want to go at that particular moment in time. I followed and crossed over fallen logs and open spaces until vegetation picked up its density to a point where the sky and the sun began to become blotted out, and shade and dark fed into the visibility of the area.

The sound of what could have been a river grew louder and more apparent. It was clear that something was being approached, although at times it seemed as though it was approaching more than I was approaching it.

The sky had disappeared, completely obscured by the canopy and the slope began to make the idea of trying to perceive orientation disorienting. Still, I needed to push on downward. My thirst needed to be parched and the sound that I could hear needed to have its source divined.

Further down and the cold, refreshing feel of moisture hung in the air. Or at least that is what it felt like. A dampness was around, There was some on rocks and there seemed to be a form of moss or lichen growing on some of the bark of some of the trees. I pushed on further, deeper into the thick forest that was around me. I kept on moving downward. The water on the surrounds was, to me a good sign. This was a sign that I would find a river. This was a sign that I would find a water source. I needed to make haste and get down there soon. I was dry and my body began to feel like my stomach acid was going to come up and into my mouth.

How long had it been since I last had water? It did not matter. I could almost smell the water.

And soon the river revealed itself to me. I went down and began drinking. It moved fast, it was clean and I drunk freely, until the net rose and carried me upward.

The time it took to write five-hundred words: 06:45:41

Fiction. Hooray.

Kind of okay with this one. I think that toward the end I was trying to express a sense of urgency, but there’s no real buildup. I’d like to blame the five-hundred word constraint, but really I just need to keep on working on becoming a better writer.

Written in Redfern.

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Biffy Clyro: Ellipsis Review

As Cool Try is no longer running I’ve decided to  share some of the reviews I wrote that went up there.

Here’s one of those reviews.

Other than spelling, this has not been edited so as to preserve it as it was.

I hope you enjoy.

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Biffy Clyro took a brief break and now they’ve released a new album.

Ellipsis starts with the anthemic “Wolves of Winter”, a very “rock” track which works well as an opener. From there it moves through rock and some electronica that seems to have been influenced by pop music.

Most of the album is by-the-numbers verse-chorus-verse (with an occasionally slightly different section thrown in) songs, but there’s some music that works pretty well, such as the closer, “People”. It follows a fairly simple melodic pattern, but it has a rather lush, relaxed sound to it. “Small Wishes” is a fun, small ditty that seems more like it was meant to be an affectionate parody of country music. “On a Bang” is, sans the choruses, a somewhat-frenetic rocker that stands out whilst not feeling out of place.

It’s unfortunate that these moments are marred by songs like the obligatory acoustic-and-strings balladry of “Medicine”, seemingly placed in the middle of the album as though it’s to serve as a breathing point before the remainder, as well as the “funk” influenced “Animal Style” and “Flammable”, sounding as though they’re written to push as singles.

There’s not necessarily anything wrong with this, but they (as well as other songs) feel as though the band is playing it safe.

The vocals are strong and remain on point and it’s difficult to find fault in delivery.
However, the lyrics needed much more work than it seems like they received.

For instance, when Simon Neil sings ” Cause I would never break your heart / I would only rearrange / all the other working parts / won’t stay in place / Listen to me when I say / Darling you’re my everything / I didn’t mean to hesitate/ please stay with me” on “Re-arrange”, or the seemingly over-serious lines of (IIRC) “life illuminates darkness / all of our sadness / provides us a home / I said I’m going to make you / completely reshape you / make you my own / home is a place I don’t belong / ’cause I’m a man / you should never love / my words are like a bomb” on “People”.
The former is sung in a pseudo-fragile falsetto, whilst the latter is sung with a bit more strength behind it. They both come off as though a teenager with little life experience wrote them and, combined with the delivery, has Simon Neil coming off more desperate and creepy instead of, say, romantic or impassioned.

There are plenty of other moments when the lyrics fall flat or are at odds with the vocal delivery (“I’ve got the rage / always have the rage”, found on “Howl”, whilst working as a nice call-back to “Herex”, feels at odds and almost cringe-worthy due to being delivered in a rather happy-sounding tone despite not seemingly not being happy) throughout the album, leaving Ellipsis being weaker.

Still, with all this being said, the album as a whole sounds rather fun.
Whilst the album is mostly straightforward and formulaic, the songs are delivered tightly and with great energy, and the choruses are generally pretty catchy.
Most could be sung along to at a festival and the mood does feel lighter than what the lyrics would suggest.

Ellipsis isn’t a great album. It might not be a good album.
It’s hard to say as to whether Biffy Clyro have reached their peak, or if this is just a misstep.
Either way, it needed a bit more work.
However, despite sounding fairly reliant on being formulaic and lyrics that sound quite underdeveloped, Ellipsis doesn’t feel cynical.
It’s successful as an enjoyable and fun collection of songs.

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Singer’s Form

Another photo from the Kamelot gig.
Another photo taken from Valhalore’s set.

I like the form of the singer.

I think that it’s highly expressive in a really positive way.

This is my submission into the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge for this week.

The theme this week is “Celebrations“. This photo feels kind of celebratory to me, and music can also be celebratory, so… yeah.

This challenge is hosted by four people and cycles weekly:

Week 1 – Patti

Week 2 – Ann-Christine aka Leya

Week 3 – Amy

Week 4 – Tina

This week is hosted by Amy and next week’s will be hosted by Tina.

I suggest following and considering participating, but also seeing how other people have responded to the photo challenge from The Daily Post ending.

Anyway, I hope you  enjoy.

 

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Glitoris: The Policy Review

This Review can also be found on Culture Eater.
Please check out the site and see what other people are contributing.

Anyway, here’s the review.

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Glitoris’s The Policy doesn’t bother with an introduction. The album jumps straight into the uptempo “Warriors” and lyrically begins the message as quickly and economically as possible. Right from the start you know what to expect: Furious, fun and lean music with a blunt and direct message.

A blend of a few different musical styles dictate the sound and direction of The Policy quite well. There’s an urgency only when necessary, and both anthemic and slower moments sit nicely with the faster songs. There’s an edge that carries through; even in softer moments, and the songs sound tight and punchy – as they should. This has much to do with how hard Glitoris play, as Glitoris play hard and skilfully. They sound like a band that have spent much time rehearsing, but not to the point where they sound soulless and robotic.

Lyrically The Policy discusses a number of political concerns. The lyrics are as direct as the music and even more blunt. Even in more indirect lines it is hard to not feel the impact. That said, these are lyrics that are not alienating, ham-fisted or clumsily handled. The intent and meaning of the lyrics carry with ease and only with as many words as necessary.

Of course, aside from the writing style, this has a lot to do with the vocal delivery. Each member of Glitoris is deft in their vocal delivery and each member makes the most of their range. There’s bite and a bit of grit, and there’s anger without the aggression. Lines see emphasis when necessary, but the emphasis doesn’t weigh the words down. Furthermore, the delivery helps keep the mood of the album feeling fun without hiding its serious nature. Ultimately whilst the music is great, the delivery of the lyrics and the way they work with the music is a testament to Glitoris’ ability to make great music.

If there is one thing working against The Policy, it’s that it could have had one or two less songs. However, it is difficult to work out as to which songs would be best to drop. Each song sounds like it received equal care and attention and each song is equally strong and important. The Policy feels a bit longer than it should, but there’s no filler and all the songs feel important to the album.

It’s safe to say that The Policy is, overall, a well-made album from a good band. However, I think that it’s more important to recognise that The Policy comes from four powerful voices that know what they’re looking to get across. The topics contained on the album come across as fully developed and direct, but there’s still room for thought. The Policy sounds fully-formed in a way that many artists and bands are still unable to achieve well after their first album. At the same time, The Policy does not sound like the peak of Glitoris’ abilities.

In a world full of political music, Glitoris are one of the few bands doing it well.

Glitoris’ The Policy is available here.

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Five-Hundred Word Challenge 501: Move and Groove

Well, here we go, once more into Monday. Once more standing up. Can hear and feel the groove. The rhythm pulses and throbs its way into my heart.

Loud music for loud people. Or loud music for quiet, diminished people.

Need to cycle. Need to get back on the bike. Need to practise pedal power more often. Need to do the things that lead me elsewhere.

Need to photograph. Actually need to speak to my camera guy to find out  if it’s too late to get the camera in for cleaning on Thursday.

Hopefully it is not. That would be a good thing it it was not. I would be pretty happy, to be honest.

There is a rhythm and it makes me want to dance and bounce around, but what I am feeling right now is stiff, except I’m not. I just feel tired. I feel the bags under my eyes grow and get ready to make me lift off with the strong breeze that I will find once I am in the field of eyes as they all stare and chatter their teeth at me.

Massive and massive of waves of noise and glorious down hit me. It’s all low end in such a most wonderful way. This is the feeling that I need at this hour of the morning.

I am being inspired by what I hear. I want to move and groove and become part of the rhythm. I want to be in that thick sludge that is being created. I want to become the sound and I am being enveloped by it all. I can feel the bass.  I can feel the beginning of the morning as it wakes me toward something greater than myself as my mind opens and experiences it all. There’s something great here that I cannot reach and tell the details of, but it’s rising and falling and moving so rhythmically. There is motion to the invisibility and I am growing into something else entirely. Not new, not old, just something else. There certainly is far more to this than I would normally expect. So warm, so cold, and all of the things that I want to see, feel and hear, and yet it is all invisible and merely a fleeting moment that stretches itself out on the precipice of eternity. There is no end, even though it will come to one sooner or later.

The day will start soon and I will have to resume what it is that I need to do in order to earn that delicious coin. However, for the time being I can be wrapped up in this noise blanket and just embrace it all as it washes over and through me and takes me away like the bags under my eyes carry me along the breeze that I cannot help but be carried along by.

This is a most glorious of morning and I can only be here to experience and embrace the fleeting glimpses

The time it took to write five-hundred words: 04:58:34

Written in the morning, shared in the afternoon.

It’s been a bit of a busy day.

Had some great music playing this morning.

Now I just have the shrill customer voices.

Written at work.

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The Audience Sits

I was at the Kamelot gig at Manning Bar on Friday for the purposes of gig photography.

This photo was taken during Valhalore’s set.
Valhalore asked the dance floor to sit down as they were going to play an “acoustic” song.
It was one that they recently recorded and it was quite acoustic.

I’ve never seen an audience be this respectful to a loud band playing a softer song.
The crowd on the dance floor sat down and they were quiet. If there were people taking, I could not hear them.

Leanne Cole begun a new photo challenge.

This week’s theme is “Enclosed“.

I suggest checking out Leanne’s photography, as well as checking out what other people submit into the challenge.

You can find the challenges here.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy.

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