Video: The Lawrence Arms – “Them Angels Been Talkin”

Chicago punk rockers The Lawrence Arms have debuted their new video for the track “Them Angels Been Talkin”. The track comes from their 2009 EP Buttsweat And Tears.

The group have also been announced as performers for Asian Man Records’ upcoming 15th Anniversary extravaganza where Mike Park is attempting to reunite every single Asian Man band to perform for the festival.

On a side note, Brendan Kelly still has the best alcohol-fueled voice in punk rock.

Album Reviews, Music

Review: The Damned Things – Ironiclast

In “Friday Night (Going Down In Flames)”, Damned Things frontman Keith Buckley (of Every Time I Die) sings “all I want is another good time”, and from here, we get what this new heavy metal/rock group is all about. Featuring Buckley and Josh Newton from ETID alongside Scott Ian and Rob Caggiano from Anthrax and the other two guys from Fall Out Boy, The Damned Things do their best to bring what Motley Crue, Anthrax and Thin Lizzy have done in the past into the present. Not surprisingly, it’s what you’d expect if you mashed Anthrax with Fall Out Boy; heavy metal riffing, cigarette/booze-laden vocals and the melodic chops of mainstream pop punk.

Tracks like the aforementioned “Friday Night” and “Bad Blood” are the kind of brooding metal/rock hybrid that would easily kick start your Friday night party. Alcohol soaked, drug-fueled and cavorting half-naked women of the night is the best visual description of what The Damned Things sound like. It’s cheesy, but certainly balls out, and the potential for some of these tracks to be become staples at the strip club is high.

Songs like “We’ve Got a Situation” however, while plugged in diligently into the heavy metal psyche, are a little too meandering and play on just a little bit too long. But Keith Buckley is no slouch, and easily one of the best frontmen in metal/rock today. He’s got the kind of vocal swagger that made the likes of Vince Neil and Axl Rose household names through the 80s.

“A Great Reckoning” is a stand out track, and it’s a ballad. And if The Damned Things can make a ballad rock, they’ve got to be pretty damn good. (Mercury)

[xrr rating=3.5/5]


The Farros leave Paramore

Josh and Zac Farro, siblings and co-founding members of American rock/pop outfit Paramore, have announced their departure from the group. MTV confirmed the pair had left the band, stating the wheels had been set in motion months ago.

In a post on the band’s official website, remaining members have written a statement explaining the departure;

For the last year it hasn’t seemed as if they wanted to be around anymore. We want Josh and Zac to do something that makes them happy and if that isn’t here with us, then we support them finding happiness elsewhere.”

They continue on to say that while the departure is certainly an unfortunate event, they will continue on as Paramore;  “three of us who are still here are ready to take on another chapter of our journey together.”

In a recent tweet, frontwoman Hayley Williams put any rumors of their demise to rest; “Paramore is (still) a band.”

We had no idea there were other members of the band. We thought it was just Hayley and a bunch of robots. Paramore last released brand new eyes in 2009.

Film, Trailers

Trailer watch: Bradley Cooper in ‘Limitless’

Writing is hard. Unless you’re on drugs. So goes the basic premise of the new Neil Burger (The Illusionist) thriller Limitless.

Starring Bradley Cooper (The Hangover), Robert DeNiro and Abbie Cornish, Limitless details the life of a struggling writer who discovers the secret of an experimental drug (given to him by that guy from Empire Records!) that expands the use of his brain. With the new, limitless power of his mind, Cooper’s character discovers that new talents and accomplishments are but a mere step away … but it all comes with a price.

Looks like a fairly intelligent thriller with a somewhat implausible premise, but one that looks to be done well enough to be worth your time.

Limitless opens March 18, 2011.

Film, Trailers, Videos

Trailer watch: Brad Pitt in ‘The Tree Of Life’

Notoriously secretive filmmaker Terence Malick has given audiences the first glimpse of his new film The Tree of Life. The director’s famed career is notable for its length (going on 35+ years) and its extremely limited output (this is only his fifth feature film). His work however, tends to leave a lasting mark on the industry.

The Tree of Life, starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, is a period drama set initially in the 1950s. It follows the story of Jack and his evolution from a young boy living under the tutelage of his stern father (Pitt) to an adult ‘lost in the modern world’ (played as an adult by Sean Penn).

From the trailer, we see hints that the film is far more than your conventional drama. Malick’s vision and scope will ultimately test audiences once again with what we can assume are his interpretations of life’s grander quest.

Written and directed by Malick, the film premieres May 27, 2011.

Film, Trailers, Videos

Director Tom Shadyac gets serious with ‘I Am’

Tom Shadyac is known more for his funny, having directed noted comedic fare like Ace Ventura, The Nutty Professor and Bruce Almighty. His latest cinematic venture however, strays far from the laughs and seeks to find humanity’s greater cause, the documentary-based film I Am.

Inspired by events that altered Shadyac’s life (a serious bike accident), I Am is a quest to find the answers that fuel our world; what is wrong with it and what we can do to change it. Armed with nothing but his innate curiosity and a camera crew, Shadyac embarks upon a journey to discover how he as an individual, and we as a race, can improve the way we live.

The film’s cause is not just celluloid based either, proceeds from the film will go to The Foundation For I Am, a not-for-profit established by Shadyac to fund various worthy causes and to educate the next generation about the very issues and problems explored in the film.

Is Shadyac on to bigger and better things, or is he, quite possible talking out of his ass? Nonetheless, the film’s promise is a great reason to get behind what looks to be an interesting piece of work.

I Am opens February 2011.

Film, Trailers, Videos

Trailer watch: Robert Pattinson, Reese Witherspoon in ‘Water for Elephants’

Based on the award-winning book by Sara Gruen, Water for Elephants is the big screen adaptation of the period novel. It details the story of Jacob Jankowski (Robert Pattinson), an old man recalling his time spent with the Benzini Brothers Circus where he met Marlena (Reese Witherspoon), the wife of a cruel animal trainer (Oscar winner Christoph Waltz). The story unfolds as the bond between the three (and an elephant named Rosie) becomes tested and frayed during the time of the Great Depression.

Directed by Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) and scripted by Richard LaGravanese (The Bridges of Madison County), Water for Elephants is scheduled to open April 15, 2011.

Looks to be an impressive collection of beautiful imagery, sound, and expression. The kind of film you take your date to and the kind of the film that wins awards.