Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Music IN ONE GO! - Top 10 Forgotten Nu Metal Records

Credits to the owner (c).

For those who didn't know, Nu metal is a sub-genre of metal which fuses a lot of music elements you wouldn't imagine would mesh well with metal, which includes; hip-hop, electronic, funk etc. 

Believe it or not, Nu metal has a large impact on metal/rock music until today, encouraging metal/rock acts to experiment with their sound and to not be afraid of thinking outside the box. This genre was so big in the late-90's artist from this genre are still active as of today. 

But, despite of it's everlasting influences, Nu metal just ended being irrelevant by today's musical standards. Forcing bands of this genre to either abandon their Nu metal image altogether and go full on metal or experiment in the fields of alternative rock. 

As the first episode of Music IN ONE GO!, I have gathered 10 Nu metal records that some of us used to loved and have forgotten as time goes by. My basis for this list are simple:
  1. These records must have failed to succeed at any charts, but has gained attention from the underground scene.
  2. These records are completely unnoticed by the time of its release, but has gained attention after the band has achieved success with succeeding records. 
  3. These record have succeeded on the charts and have very popular singles, but has completely vanished from the radar, along with the band themselves, as time goes by. 
Keep in mind that this is not an exhausted list. There are many more forgotten Nu metal records out there that might not have made it to this specific list. I have gathered the ones that I am familiar with. 

Time to wash those baggy clothes and wear them again, spike up your haird dye them with color and wear all your piercings 'cause here are...

Top 10 Forgotten Nu Metal Records

1. Tribal Ink, Surrounded By Freaks (2003)

If you're one of those people who pirated Linkin Park's single What I've Done, you've probably heard of this band, or more specifically their song Refugee. Taken from the album Surrounded By Freaks, this Swedish rock band has completely shown great potential of showcasing edginess to their more alternative driven Nu metal record. It's no doubt a fan mislabeled their song to those of Linkin Park's, Tribal Ink has seriously picked up what Linkin Park has left off from Meteora.

2. Crazy Town, Darkhorse (2002)

Let's be honest, no matter how bad the song is, we all used to love Crazy Town's mega-hit single Butterfly. But it looks like the band themselves hated that record as well, and their follow-up Darkhorse is case-in-point. Featuring heavier and much more aggressive sounds, Shifty and the crew has proved that they are much better than the Red Hot Chilli Peppers rip-off band they used to be. Sadly, seems like almost everyone gave up on them before they could prove they're worth the time. 

3. Hed PE, Blackout (2003)

In case you didn't know, PE stands for Planet Earth. Hed stands for something that I honestly don't know and probably never will. Regardless of their confusing name, this band has achieved moderate success at the billboard charts with this record and has been touring with acts like Korn and System Of A Down. To me, that's a lifetime achievement. 

4. Static X, Wisconsin Death Trip (2003)

If you have trouble listening to Ariana Grande's sweet, but non-audible voice, wait until you hear this guy. Wayne Static and  company debuted their Industrial-inspired Nu metal record Wisconsin Death Trip. Imagine flashing neon lights on an underground pub with a pretty hot mosh pit, this is probably the record you should give to the DJ. Now enjoy dancing to the song and try to sing every single word this guy's saying. 

5. Thousand Foot Krutch, Set It Off (2001)

You know there has to be at least one Christian metal act on this list and Thousand Foot Krutch definitely deserves that spot. After all that hard work Trevor McNevan had to go through, his efforts finally pay-off with their first indie label record Set It Off. With a little help from his friends, T-Rawk has gained success locally with this hip-hop inspired nu metal record and has gained even more attention after the success of their follow-up Phenomenon. 

6. Incubus, Enjoy Incubus EP (1997)

Before vocalist Brandon Boyd looked like a slimmer, sexier version of Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty with a beard, he used to look like a cave man with dreadlocks and he smells a lot like a crack head. This EP serves as the band's first major label release which features remastered versions of songs from their first record Fungus Amongus made to sound a bit closer to the Nu metal sound we're all familiar with S.C.I.E.N.C.E. Don't worry, the lyrics haven't changed, they still love cocaine. 

7. Helmet, Meantime (1992)

The oldest record of this list, this record takes us back to the early years of creating Nu metal. Sure the band themselves hated to be classified as Nu metal, it's completely understandable. The record itself sounded more alternative than Nu metal. But if Nu metal acts praises this band and consider them as heroic inspirations, even going as far as featuring vocalist Paige Hamilton on Linkin Park's latest release The Hunting Party, the deserve a spot on this list.

8. Mushroomhead, XX (2001)

This list can never go on without a Slipknot-knock off band, or it was actually Slipknot who is the rip-off. Doesn't really matter, they're both cool with each other now. But no offense, they both sound the same, at least just a tad bit different. If Slipknot went more industrial, it's the Mushroomhead, if the Mushroomhead went with a more Nu metal sound, it's Slipknot. Don't get me wrong, they both sound really good in what they do and I'm happy that both have been very essential and even friendly to one another nowadays. If only the fans could stop this war like what the band members themselves had. 

9. Alien Ant Farm, Anthology (2001)

The most family friendly record of this list, this Cali based rock band has hit the airwaves and has gained success on the charts with their pop rock inspired Nu metal debut album Anthology. I personally used to be very dismissive about this band, seeing them nothing but a cash cow on the Nu metal scene by just making a Nu metal version of Micheal Jackson's Smooth Criminal as their first single. Perhaps I was a bit unfair, even their follow-up single Movies proves that they can establish an image of their own. 

10. Evanescence, Fallen (2003)

Easily the most successful record of this list. We're talking about chart topping singles, Top 5 at the Billboard charts. Singles played everywhere 24/7, dozens and dozens of covers from radio, YouTube to American Idol. We're talking about Grammy nominations on top of Grammy nominations and Grammy awards on top of Grammy awards. Some might argue they are the pop version of Lacuna Coil, but these people are thinking way too much. Amy Lee and her friends have successfully injected Girl-power to the Nu metal industry and by doing so have gained massive success throughout the entire world. After that, it was just a spiral downward journey for the band as the hype goes colder and colder each record. Where are they now? That's the point, three albums in and PUFF! They just disappeared. And that is why they deserve a spot on this list. 

Special Mention:Drowning Pool, Sinner (2001)
Puddle Of Mudd, Come Clean (2001)
Sevendust, Animosity (2001)

Now that was a long editorial. After going through all this genre binding music, maybe listening to Babymetal ain't such a bad idea..

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Friday, August 15, 2014

The Expendables 3 MOVIE REVIEW

Let's just pretend none of us saw the leaked copy online. 

The Expendables 3 is.. you guessed it.. the third installment of The Expendables franchise which stars your favorite 80's-early 2000's action stars as they team up in the ultimate throwback to 80's action movies.

The shortest verdict I could give this.. it is bad. It's a bad movie. Done, go on and move on with your life. Still here? Okay, let's talk about it. 

If you've seen the previous movies, you'll know what you're into with this one. You don't expect Academy worthy writing and performances, you just want old men kicking butts and throwing 80's cliched lines at one another. This specific movie, tries to deviate itself from the formula in a certain extent. 

Starting with the new blood, just like the old men they're okay. Kellan Lutz's character is actually the best one out of them. I mean they're all bad actors and they all play mediocre characters, I'm just saying that out of all of them he's the one who did a decent job of making his character at least likable and at some point relatable, I was actually rooting for this guy in the movie. 

Let me address something first about Ronda Rousey. For those of you who didn't know, she basically said what most haters would say about Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman (who is set to appear in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) which included; she's not physically imposing and she [Ronda] would make a better Wonder Woman than Gal. First, she's right about kicking Gal's buns, she can. She is fully equipped to take down bad guys and her figure compliments that. Plus she's a really good looking person, she's beautiful you can't deny that. What I thought was "..well if she wanted to be Wonder Woman, why didn't she audition for the role?.." Physically, she has that Wonder Woman body, I can see that. But Wonder Woman/Princess Diana/Diana Prince isn't just all about outer beauty and buff-ness. I'm just saying, if her performance as an actress from this film serves as her audition tape for that role, I can see why Zack Snyder would pick Gal Gadot over her. Gal's a mediocre actress, but compared to what Ronda has shown here, I'm just saying she'll have a tall mountain to climb to be Wonder Woman. But who knows? Maybe she'll improve next time, maybe she can play Hawkgirl next time. 

Basically the point of this new blood is that Sylvester Stallone's character couldn't take his old team to missions anymore so he tried new stuff. The premise wasn't terrible to be honest, it adds new flavor this rather old and rehashed movie. I'm just saying it didn't stand up to me like this movie wanted it to. 

The best actors of this movie are definitely Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford and Wesley Snipes. You can tell they are the three that had the most fun. Especially Mel Gibson, which the character he portrays I call the best villain of this franchise. The rest just plays a parodied, Jar Jar Binks-ed version of themselves and they're getting tired of it. 

Actually, the movie is getting tired of itself. It's just the same thing over and over again, now for the third time. For me there's nothing wrong with that, all they have to do is to give their best at what they do and what they're supposed to achieve. That is not the case here, the old cast looks tired, it's the same writing again. Everything just looks and feels tired and weary, and they also edited the action scenes that felt Rated-R to fit the PG-13 rating? C'mon!

Seriously, the movie's too tired of itself even I'm too exhausted to write a review for it.

New faces, but same old tricks and they're not even giving their best on this one.

Still a fun time when the action happens
At least it tried new things
Best villain of the franchise

Dumb writing
Tired movie
PG-13, seriously?

Score:  C-

The Expendables 3 in theaters now.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) MOVIE REVIEW


Today we welcome this generations live-action adaptation of our beloved four ninja, mutant, turtles, teenagers or as we call them- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

I'm not going to pretend that you don't know what the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are, if you've seen this movie and you're reading this review YOU KNOW what the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are. But I'm guessing some of you didn't know or at least haven't seen the previous live-action films.

I was tempted to do a ..MOVIES IN ONE GO! article for the previous movies, then I saw the movies. What I have to say is very short...

I saw all four previous films and I know there are huge fans of the films out there. But I'm sorry, they are just bad movies, all of them, and this one isn't different. If you're going to crap on this film because it's ruining your nostalgia, please don't, those TMNT movies of your generation are just as bad as this one. Don't worry, all the kids of this generation's film will probably say the same, don;t worry I'll tell them the same thing when the time comes. But again, I'm sorry, but they are what they are, a bunch of really bad movies made to entertain kids. Let the kids of this generation have their fun, same as you had yours back in the day. 

The four turtles; Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo, are all spot on. From their characteristics and their interactions and chemistry not only towards each other, but also from every other character is spot on. I'm not even bothered by their looks, I think it worked pretty well for me, and for them for the most part. The turtles are easily the best thing in this movie, which the film itself is sadly a mess. 

My main problem with this film is that they got the Turtles right, but we don't get to see enough turtles. I don't really like comparing movies from one franchise to another film from another franchise, but this film could have been as fun as Guardians Of The Galaxy. I can look past the silly writing, the villains that I don't care about, the illogical thinking this film has IF we had the Turtles leading us on this adventure. The problem is, they're not the drivers of this bus, she is..

I mean, I get it, the filmmakers believes that this film would need a touch from a sex symbol, so BAM! Megan Fox as April O' Neal. But she never goes away on this movie, she is everywhere. I want less April, more Turtles, how hard can that be? But considering how badly this character was written, I'd say Megan did a decent job as this film's April O' Neal.

There are so many useless and wasted characters in this movie, but the one that bugged me the most is Shredder. Again I apologize for the comparison, but Shredder is like that Marvel Cinematic Universe villain that is so physically imposing, but is so shallow in-depth like Malekith, Ronan or even Whiplash. 

This film obviously has some terrible writing in it. I mean I know that the concept of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is just plain silly from head-to-toe, but at least it deserves a decent writing and logic to it.

But I will say this, the film has some pretty hardcore action scenes. The first couple of fights, the fight on the snow and even the The Amazing Spider-Man-esque climax, they all looked really awesome. 

Lastly, even though Michael Bay is attached to this film as a producer and not a director, I kinda wish that he directed this instead of Jonathan Liebesman. Because if you're gonna make a Bay-tastic film, there's no other guy that can make this look authentic and real Bay-tastic than the Bay-man himself. Don't hire a director that would abandon his own style just to project a Bay-tastic film, just get Michael Bay. It's that simple. 

Regardless of how silly and dumb this movie is, you're still going to have a fun time with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. That is if you can wait for them to spring into action.


Everything else

Score: C+

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in theaters now. 

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Friday, August 8, 2014

The Vamps "Meet The Vamps" - ALBUM REVIEW

That record that makes you dance on the first tracks, makes you sleep instantly mid-way and wakes you up at the last moment.

These are my exact thoughts while listening to this record. 

Planet Earth just can't seem to enough love for these boy bands. The Vamps are a group of British young lads that all met each other on YouTube and signed a record deal to release this album, at least that's what I know. 

It's quite funny, since they sound like OneRepublic if Ryan Tedder haven't hit puberty yet. some of there songs sound like that band as well, but we'll get into those in a while. 

To be honest, it was the songs Last Night and Somebody To You that made interested into listening to this record. And to the band's credit, those are actually really good songs. these singles felt like it was the best out of all the other songs from other boy bands out there, they just obliterate the rest.  

Last Night, in my opinion, is the best song of the record, hands down. This was a song that makes me want to go out and hang out with my best buddies and have the best party in the world and simply just end the night with all of us hammered. 

Somebody To You is one of favorite out-door summer-love song of late and is one of the best recently. Espescially when they add Demi Lovato into the single mix, her powerful voice adds more magic to the song.

The experience I have listening to those two songs were simply amazing. It was fun and energetic. Sadly, most of the other songs in this record wasn't able to capture that.

Right after the first three tracts, the energy starts to die down and it kept going and going. You can't blame me if I want boy bands to be full energy with their songs, but that was not the case here. 

Listening to this album made my brain into a mash potato. Is like going to a party on a beach, dance and drink for a few minutes and just sit down and watch everything and everyone having fun from a far in your seat for the rest of the night. Unless you came there to wander, the overall experience wasn't worth it. 

With singles full of immense spirit, Meet The Vamps seems too melodramatic. But if this is the kind of sound The Vamps was after, then I guess they did a good job because to be honest this album didn't have any bad songs, just painfully slow songs and pacing. 

Track-by-track thoughts:
  1. Wild Heart - If you push your imaginations a little further, this song sounds like Counting Stars
  2. Last Night - Definitely my favorite from the record
  3. Somebody To You (ft. Demi Lovato) - I like this version better
  4. Can We Dance - Dance? No, i'll pass. 
  5. Girls On TV - Creepy lyrics for a good summer-love beat
  6. Risk It All - Case-in-point, boy-band OneRepublic
  7. Oh Cecilia (Breaking My Heart) - Energy's dying out
  8. Another World - Seriously, this song is powerless my neighbor fell asleep right away
  9. Move My Way - I feel a little jump-y, finally
  10. Shout About It - If this keeps going, I might fall asleep
  11. High Hopes - too bad the energy wasn't that high
  12. She Was The One - Yeah, this record could use a song like this
  13. Dangerous - Yeah, I can get behind this. 
  14. Lovestruck - I swear, I've heard this song before somewhere in this very same record
  15. Smile - Well, finally it's over. At least in a good way. 

Score: B-

The Vamps' Meet The Vamps now available. 

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Guardians Of The Galaxy MOVIE REVIEW

Marvel with ADHD... in Space!

(No disrespect to people with ADHD)

Isn't it refreshing to see a Marvel movie that deviates from it's famous franchises like The Avengers, Spider-Man and X-Men? Guardians Of The Galaxy is Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Pictures' attempt to introduce the Marvel Cosmic Universe in a whole new different perspective in the silver screen.

Let me get this one down first. if you're going to the theater thinking that you're going to see the Citizen Kane of Marvel in space? Get out of the theater. But if you happened to enjoy sci-fi movies like JJ Abrams' Star Trek movies or you're expecting something better that is as good but not as epic as Star Wars, you can stay. 

The best way I could describe Guardians Of The Galaxy is like going to your high school field trip. like your history teacher arranged a field trip to the museum that will give you that sensational feeling of visiting historical places that is very essential to the world that you live in. But you would most likely won't remember any of them. Instead, you will hang out with the cool kids on your bus who makes the most fun out of the experience by taking selfies, reliving old stories and old jokes and just clowning around. And when your history teacher gives an exam that is based from your field trip, your best chances of getting a passable score is that essay you have to write about your unforgettable experience with your classmates on the field trip. Which was hanging out with the cool kids who made the most fun out of the trip, taking selfies and reliving old stories and old jokes. 

Let's start off with the cool kids, the Guardians. The focus is mainly on Peter Quill/Star Lord, played by Chris Pratt. Chris is perfect as Star Lord, his attitude and his energy really is the strongest foundation of the group. The other Guardians did have characters of themselves as well and the film did a great job of giving each time to shine on showcasing the skills, talent and chemistry towards each other. Some have back stories that somehow did warmed your heart, others you just don't seem to care. Probably because of the established humor, but will get into that more later. 

The villains in this movie did a great job of demonstrating their overwhelming power, especially Ronan the Accuser, played by Lee Pace. It's just that most them just seem to be there without any solid purpose. So we need a powerful villain, here's who. We need someone to counter Gamora, here's Nebula. Why them? because this and that, why this and that? Well I don't know. Die-hard fans may know, but regular viewers could care less. 

About that field trip, yeah you wouldn't probably care much about that field trip. Even if die-hard fans have cogs inside their brain spinning like crazy when the characters visit places here and their and even with the Easter eggs, regular views might find themselves isolated because even with an explanation they would still want to know most of the answers, it's just that they won't get it here. In the sequels, probably. Theirs a big universe out their, but even the story didn't feel obligated to even just get most of the tip of the ice bergs, making it sort of paper thin. Without the Guardians and some of the other characters, the movie could have been easily boring and forgettable.

But what made this movie totally worth it is the action pieces. They are just epic, amazing and they look great on IMAX 3D. If Star Wars VII can't live up to that then they are in big trouble. Also the humor is surprisingly really good, I didn't have to set my brains to stun like in Iron Man 3 so I could consume the humor. They are calculated, but they do pay-off big time.

The biggest compliment I can give this movie is getting the tone right, which is this film is a fun roller coaster ride. The soundtrack did helped a lot of getting the timbre flowing smoothly. But it bugs me when people at my theater laugh at those scenes where they shouldn't laugh, I don't know if it's my problem or just theirs.

I can say, out of all the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, this was the one I had MOST fun time with. They are sincere with the grit, the humor is calculated, but like the action when it all goes down they pay-off big time. Even if the film alienate non-die hard fans, they still would enjoy this film a lot. This film wouldn't be as fun without the Guardians and no other Marvel cosmic characters can make this experience as entertaining and lively as Guardians Of The Galaxy.

The chemistry of the Guardians
When they kick ass
Great humor
Epic action
The Guardians.. (again, I know, they are)

Big universe crammed in just one movie
Too many unanswered questions
Lack of dramatic touch

Score: B+

Guardians Of The Galaxy now in theaters.

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