Monthly Archives: February 2013

The Joy Formidable – Wolf’s Law (2013)

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For my money, The Joy Formidable are one of the most interesting and exciting bands to come out of the rock scene in the last decade. For all the hipster clichés that inhabit so much music that is lauded by so many alleged faux-authorities on indie rock, TJF actually feel like the real deal, making diverse, original and loud rock music. Blending indie aesthetics with fuzzed up psychedelia and an attitude akin to My Bloody Valentine or Sonic Youth, with a Smashing Pumpkins type melancholy also present in their style. At least that was their debut album, 2011’s The Big Roar and prior EP, A Balloon Called Mourning. The much-anticipated follow-up from the Welsh trio, Wolf’s Law, shifts their stance bit. Having received a decent amount of exposure and attention in independent circles due to those extraordinary releases, the band have capitalised and by the sounds of it, endeavoured to see where they can take this “thing”, producing an album much more streamlined, polished and filled with songs that almost sound unremarkable in comparison to earlier work. Is it a “safe” second album? Maybe, as it will possibly garner a fresh fan base, but is it a compromised and crap album then? Well, not at all, but it may take a while to appreciate what, if any type of achievement Wolf’s Law is. The core members of the band have been around longer than it seems, and here and now, shenanigans are over and we have a serious attempt at breaking through.

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Django Unchained (2012)

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This is an extra long review than usual, so thanks for your patience if you get through it! Ultimate thanks go to MissNJ! for the edit.

Quentin Tarantino has never been shy about his love for the Spaghetti Western, nor his being influenced by the likes of Sam Peckinpah and Sergio Leone. A lot of that influence has crept into his previous films, including Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill and Inglorious Basterds. The director has also demonstrated his love for Blaxploitation-era cinema in the past with the likes of Jackie Brown. All these elements and genre styles make their way into his latest epic, Django Unchained. For all its expected whimsical dialogue, quirky visual nuances and clever edits, the film eventually becomes the closest thing to Tarantino (finally) producing his very own literal meld of Blaxploitation and Spaghetti Western; and to view it in any other way would be a mistake, doing one of the most recognizable and popular American directors a disservice. There is no need to be confused, take overly seriously or, god forbid, be offended by Django. A film of two distinct halves, if you do make it through the often brisk but occasionally gruelling 165 minutes to the post credits visual quip, the main thing you should be, is entertained.

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