New toys, new music, new year!

Apple-iPad-Air-2Well it’s a new year and I managed after dipping into some savings to get myself a new toy.  Therefore I recently purchased the iPad Air 2 which following buying directly from Apple I got engraved with my name and my website address.  So far I’m finding it invaluable to further explore my growing interest in music, and having subscribed to Apple Music in recent weeks it’s given me a way of discovering new music and having more variety in what I choose to listen to … something I hadn’t really being doing for a long time.  It’s also enabling me to get more into some TV shows I previously missed out on and am currently enjoying Super Girl and also hoping to start watching Blacklist.

Garbage Autobiography Ltd EditionIn related news I was happy to see that last night Garbage’s lead singer Shirley Manson received the ‘powerhouse’ award at the She Rocks Awards ceremony in Los Angels that is held annually to promote women in the music industry, both on stage and behind the scenes.  In addition to this news I also saw a separate interview with Garbage drummer / producer Butch Vig where amongst other topics he revealed that the band is to release a cover of Cat Stevens’ “Where do the children play” as part of forth-coming charity album Music to Inspire – Artists UNited Against Human Trafficking.  It’s to be released on January 31.  In other Garbage news the band also recently revealed a limited edition of their forth-coming autobiography ‘This Is The Noise That Keeps Me Awake’ which for the first 1000 copies sold will be signed by the band and come with an exclusive vinyl consisting of 6 unreleased live recordings as well as a presentation box.  I some how managed to nab one of the first 1000 so am ridiculously looking forward to July when it will finally be in my hands!

Having been unwell last week and the week before I haven’t really been in the right mood to play games or watch movies, and have mostly spent my spare time chilling.  However now better I’ve been getting back into the sublime The Last Guardian which from the maker’s of cult PlayStation games Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, is a breath of fresh air in an industry full of shooters and well, violent games like Grand Theft Auto and Mafia 3.  I love the exploration, puzzle solving and the look of the fantasy world the game inhabits, and well the icing on the cake is the unique concept of a little boy and his enormous dog / bird-like creature – the two having to work together and rely on each other to get through the world in one piece.  Seven years in the making, many rumours of it’s cancellation and the end result is everything I could have hoped for.  I’m also towards the end of Gears of War 4 to go back to a gun-obsessed kill-fest but hey, this series has really struck a cord with me and the fourth entry is just as action packed and gorgeous as the other games and I’m enjoying it a great deal.  However I’ve never been able to gel with the multi-player, which granted has become a big part of the franchise but I’m sorry…I just don’t find it ‘fun’. 

The Last Guardian

There’s also several movies I’d like to see but haven’t got around to as of yet.  The Golden Globe winning La La Land and also Passengers, Hackshaw Ridge and especially the imminent Trainspotting 2 are all on my radar.  Hopefully you’ll get to see reviews of all of these at some stage, so keep your eyes pealed.

That’s all from me for now.  Until nest time.


Off topic: Garbage new material


Sort of a follow up to my earlier post regarding Garbage’s new releases to mark Record Store Day.  Well today marked the release of these two tracks on iTunes, consisting of the collaboration with former Distiller’s singer Brody Dalle for ‘Girls Talk Shit’ and then the more instrumental, previously tour-opening / closing ‘Time Will Destroy Everything’.

Well I thought I’d finally offer up my opinion of these two tracks, as a long term fan of this band, starting with the first track.

The collaboration with Brody Dalle starts off with a haunting guitar / playful mixing combination that sounds distinctly ‘Garbage’.  Scottish front woman Shirley Manson’s lyrics again catch your attention as soon as they appear, even if her voice sounds more eerie and floaty, the singer again showcasing subtle variations, as seen in the band’s other releases over the years.  She continues to sound great.  The chorus also is very catchy, edgy and strong – ‘girls talk shit and make no bones about it’ delivered with real attitude.  When Dalle turns up, her very different, throaty tone is jarring at first but welcome and she suits the song’s edgier feel.  The only slight difficulty I have with this track is Brody’s screaming lyrics, bringing a fierce grunge style to Garbage’s sound that hasn’t been heard before – and for me, takes some getting used to.  However this remains an affective, loud and pounding track that builds in ferocity as it reaches it conclusion.  Again Garbage doing what they do best – surprising us.

The second track is Garbage returning to (slightly) more familiar territory, even if the electronica-heavy vibe isn’t usually as prominent … this feels like a Chemical Brothers track, and has distorted, heavily mixed vocals from Shirley that are sometimes hard to hear over the admittedly block rockin’ beats … the sound is very powerful and the synthesized ‘time will destroy everything’ lingered in my head.  I felt there were at times too many sounds and effects going on here … something the band can get a little carried away with … but I still enjoyed this as a total polar opposite to the other track and for it’s full on in your face lack of restraint.  It feels a bit more ‘experimental’ than Girls Talk… but still pretty cool.

As we saw last year with Garbage’s collaboration with The Screaming Females on ‘Because The Night’ the band aren’t afraid to try new sounds and new approaches to their output, and this release felt like the band really exploring and delivering something maybe the fans might not have been expecting, but again ending up with a professional and brilliantly produced piece of work.

Exciting times I’d say to be a fan of this band.  You can see the official video for ‘Girls Talk Shit’ below…