All posts by Jade

Music Recs: Ren, FFDP, Hacktivist

Music Recs is an attempt at regular Friday content, the sharing of good music that I found this week, and honestly, just an excuse to promote my favourite old/new bands.

Ren – Jenny’s Tale

Sometimes, all you need is a guitar, a story, and ungodly talent. Singer-songwriter Ren does well to prove it, telling the tragic tale of Jenny on the streets of Brighton with his striking spoken word, flair for theatrical lyric, and a touch of reggae influence.

Part murder ballad and part alternative anthem, his infectiously rhythmic composition bursts with powerful emotion and staying power. This is no one-off either; there is much devastating beauty in his other personal works. Ren is one to watch.

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Review: Us (2019)

Us (dir. Jordan Peele, 2019) – A family’s beach vacation turns into a living nightmare as they come to face their violent doppelgängers.

Verdict

Following Get Out, Jordan Peele presents another fiercely intelligent and thoughtful sophomore work, though its ambitious narrative fails to bear the weight of scrutiny.

4/5

Review (Warning: Spoilers)

Once upon a time, there lived a happy family, each with suffering shadows whom they knew nothing about. Then came the day when their doppelgängers broke their silence and rose above ground, demanding to take their places.

As a home invasion thriller, Jordan Peele’s sophomore horror effort Us succeeds as an original masterwork of sustained tension. The horrifying premise puts an original spin on the home invasion trope, revealing The Strangers to be more than familiar faces.

A brilliant cast make the uncanny duplicates grotesque through subtle actions and crooked smiles.  Michael Abels’ score with its chilling vocalisations work well to go along. But amongst its many technical accomplishments, what genuinely stirs interest is the meaning that Us urges its audience to infer.

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Music Recs: Burning Rain, Periphery, Hämatom

Music Recs is an attempt at regular Friday content, the sharing of good music that I found this week, and honestly, just an excuse to promote my favourite old/new bands.

Burning Rain – Face the Music

They are back with their gift for riffs. Hard rockers Burning Rain has finally ended their five-year hiatus, boasting a shiny new line-up this year, with Doug Aldrich (ex-Dio/Whitesnake), vocalist Keith St. John (ex-Montrose), drummer Blas Elias (ex-Slaughter), and bassist Brad Lang (ex-Y&T).

It is no surprise that their new album Face the Music would fit right in the 80s if it had been released then, with its echoes of Aerosmith and Quiet Riot’s early years. Rock ain’t dead, is right.

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Review: Mirage / Durante la tormenta (2019)

Durante la tormenta / Mirage (dir. Oriol Paulo, 2019) – Two storms connect a woman’s murder and a child’s vanishing, 25 years apart.

Verdict

Director Oriol Paulo has produced yet another compelling genre film that delivers in suspense and heart, despite predictable turns.

4/5

Review

25 years ago, during a 72-hour storm, young Nico (Julio Bohigas-Couto) was killed in a car accident after witnessing a murder. Present day sees another storm occur, during which Vera (Adriana Ugarte) find a way to reach Nico before his death. She prevents his death with a warning, only to be swept up in the butterfly effect of the altered events.

Something a small as the flutter of a butterfly’s wing can cause a typhoon halfway around the world, so claims the Chaos Theory that rings true for Vera. Her perfect life falls apart when she learns that her child Gloria was never born, and that she is no longer who she believed herself to be.

Continue reading Review: Mirage / Durante la tormenta (2019)

Music Recs: Rage of Light, Brymir, Plague Vendor

Music Recs is an attempt at regular Friday content, the sharing of good music that I found this week, and honestly, just an excuse to promote my favourite old/new bands.

Rage of Light – Battlefront

Electronic music is far from something that I enjoy, but Rage of Light comes close to changing my mind. Successfully integrating trance into metal, they have somehow drastically improved the appeal of something I used to despise with a vengeance.

So does their debut album Imploder, which also features an audacious cover of Twilight Of The Thunder God. They did surprisingly well for an untouchable classic metal anthem, thanks to Melissa Bonny’s vocal prowess, which is a genuine stunner, clean or otherwise.

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Review: The Photographer of Mauthausen (2019)

The Photographer of Mauthausen / El fotógrafo de Mauthausen (dir. Mar Targarona, 2019) – Francesc Boix, a Spaniard inmate in the Austrian concentration camp, tries to save the photographic evidence of the horrors committed within.

Verdict

Boix’s subtle rebellion against the Nazi death camps proves one of the most important events in history, and The Photographer of Mauthausen is necessary telling of these less known heroics.

4/5

Review

The Mauthausen Concentration Camp was one of Nazi Germany’s most brutal concentration camps, meant mostly for the Reich’s political prisoners. Over 8,000 Spaniards were interned at the camp, of which more than half lost their lives to the Nazis’ atrocious abuse and murders. These war crimes might have gone unpunished, if not for the courage of Francesc Boix (played by Mario Casas).

The warden’s right-hand man and reluctant photographer gained privileges that few had. But even at Boix’s young age, none of that was important to him. Instead, he plotted a rebellion and risked his life, all to hide the evidence that the Nazis wished to destroy. The Photographer of Mauthausen is a long-due homage to the bravery of Boix and the other Spaniard heroes, who succeeded in saving over 3,000 photographs from destruction.

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