I’ve been hearing about the new Mortal Kombat movie for fucking ever now. Before I completely abandoned the MK fanpage I’d subscribed to since 2005 for being too much of a cluttered fucking mess (at least from a screen reader user’s perspective), I heard that they were planning on finally releasing the movie some time this year.
Then, earlier today, I found this video.
You know, I’ve really tried to let go of some of my more fanboyish tendencies anymore. Sadly, I will always love, live for, die for, and breathe Mortal Kombat. I’ve played the games since I was nine, and I’ve experienced the same ups and downs the rest of the fanbase has. Hell, I probably tolerate a lot more than the average fan does. I actually liked Mortal Kombat 4, after all.
Then I see something like this. And suddenly, my entire day is ruined. I’m infuriated beyond belief. I became that raging fucktard who throws a colossal hissyfit when someone says Final Fantasy 7 is over rated. I became that fanboy who wants Jason whatshisname to fuck off, die, and quit voicing Sonic the Hedgehog. I became that screaming lunatic who saw the trailer for the XCOM first person shooter that never came to be, and screamed “BETRAYAL!” all over E3 that year. And I became hellbent on writing up a rant that expressed just how disappointed I was going to be of the new Mortal Kombat movie.
Then my dearest friends on Facebook gladly let me know that this wasn’t the trailer for that movie. Instead, it was the trailer for some fan project from a few years ago or something. I couldn’t tell you if that fan project ever went anywhere, if it got canceled, or if this was pretty much it: all I know is that suddenly, I’m regretting getting so worked up. For god sakes, I’m twenty-seven, and I’m still getting pissed off at something as trivial as a film trailor? No wonder I’m single. That, and I keep smiling in all my profile pics on dating sites. According to a documentary I watched about five minutes of, apparently women find that to be a turn off.
Believe me, I’ve seen my share of terrible fan projects. For that matter, I’ve seen my share of terrible fan projects relating to Mortal Kombat. I even applied for a writing gig with a studio that was working on a few. I was polite to the guy back when I applied five years ago, but here and now, I can see why he was looking to outsource the writing portion to others. If I told you the plot of the movie revolved around Sonya Blade stealing “The Tobias Diamond” from Scorpion, would that clue you in on what sort of quagmire I’d have ended up in if I actually got the job? Although the chick they got to play Sonya was pretty hot. In that sort of butch cop sort of way, anyway.
Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that it’s a fan project, and I got all pissy over nothing. Still, I felt like sharing this major league left turn at Albuquerque to the two of my three readers who haven’t seen it yet.
Believe me, I’m not against reimagining. But there’s a limit. I was willing to see how it’d go if Scorpion was hired by the special forces to infiltrate Shang Tsung’s tournament. I was willing to except the fact Johnny Cage was an out of work actor as opposed to an oscar winning smug son of a bitch who hits people in the balls. Then you got into Reptile and Baraka. And you lost me.
But as I said in some of my more recent reviews, I seem to be becoming more and more of a contrarian with every waking moment. So what do you think?
Somewhere around February of 2013, my cable provider abandoned the severely crappy music channel services they had, and switched back over to Music Choice. This means that I once again have a metal channel to turn to when there’s nothing on TV! At least, that was what I initially thought. I have to say, between the fact two thirds of my music collection has been copied to my PS3 and my Android devices, and the fact Music Unlimitted exists, I almost don’t even use this channel anymore. I actually feel kind of weird tuning to channel 915 to listen to metal now because I’ve been doing it with my PS3 for the last three years now. And if I don’t like the song that’s playing, I just hit R1 and skip it. And if I like it and want to explore this band, I can do it like that. I don’t have to soldier through whatever shitty shriekfest is going on, and hope the next track will be something good. But hey, I still turn to that metal channel every now and then just for nostalgia’s sake.
I bring all this up because the band I’m talking about today was one of the first things I heard when we got the new Music Choice channels: The HAARP Machine.
The band takes its name from a real life device by the same name. I forget what HAARP stands for, but my research (by which I mean skimming through the Wikipedia article) tells me that it’s the holy grail for conspiracy theories. The most popular being that it’s the big bad government’s attempt at building a weather dominator.
Speaking of conspiracy theories, that’s The HAARP Machine’s shtick. Conspiracy theory metal. Hey, why not: we already have folk metal (Finntroll), Hollywood metal (Rhapsody of Fire), and Nintendocore (Horse the Band). Not to mention the countless other genres that bands coin for themselves. All that being said, though, conspiracy theories are something I really don’t get in to.
I’m not a conspiracy nut in the slightest. I do believe in sasquach, the chupakabra, the possibility that Howard K. Stern murdered Anna Nicole Smith to get her money, and that Ronald Reagan may’ve been the antichrist made flesh, but that’s about as far as my conspiracy theory beliefs go. Ralph Rene is an idiot, Loose Change are a bunch of fucking morons, that video on Youtube claiming Family Guy inspired the Boston bombing is a waste of time on everybody’s part, and anybody who says Sarah Palin would make a great president needs to do the world a favor and shoot themselves in the head right fucking now. I’m not entirely sure what that last one has to do with conspiracy theories, but I’m sure there’s something connecting the two. Get to work on that, tinfoil hat brigade! Your internet god commands you!
So yeah, virtually every song on this album is based on this conspiracy theory or that one. And if you’re a believer in this sort of nonsense, or if you just enjoy the subject matter, then you’ll probably like these guys that much more. I can say for sure, though, that these guys aren’t very good at lyrics. I’m not exactly asking for Otep level poetry readings here, but these guys seem to represent the exact opposite of that spectrum. They attack the subject matter with all the grace and tact of a neanderthal, reciting “facts” in rhythm with the instrumental.
The instrumental, meanwhile, is actually pretty impressive. I’ve really come to appreciate the mathematical sound (although The Dillinger Escape Plan still sucks out loud), and these guys keep it interesting. I’d say that if Meshuggah is calculis metal, these guys would probably be more along the lines of advanced algebra or beginner trigganometry metal. The addition of the citar adds to the intrigue, and never feels gimmicky in the slightest.
I haven’t found a whole lot of reviews on the internet about these guys, but I’ve read what the critics have had to say. By which I mean real critics, and not guys on Amazon.com, or halfwhits like me who have a blog and have little to no idea what they’re talking about half the time. When it comes to the general opinion of these guys… Well, let’s say the term “flash in the pan” comes up a lot. And it’s not hard to see how they come up with this criticism.
I was very interested in this album when I ordered it off of Amazon.com, and my first listen or two was an enjoyable one. However, the more I listened to the album, the more tiresome it seemed to get. I don’t necessarily think it sucks, but once the enthusiasm died down, it wasn’t quite as spectacular as I thought it was going to be. But unlike some of the critics I’ve read, I acknowledge that it’s their first album. A lot of good bands tend to have pretty meh first albums. Usually because they’re still figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Also, in The HAARP Machine’s case, I think they had to replace their vocalist during the recording, so there was a lot of rerecording… Long story short, I heard it was a mess.
And now, we get to the album itself. Let’s plug it in and spin this thing into oblivion!
NOTE: Just because I give a song a positive grade doesn’t mean I agree with the point they’re trying to make.
ALBUM ART: C+
Near as I can tell, it’s pretty much the band logo. I’ll admit, though, they really went all out on that logo. More than I can say for SoIL.
1. Esoteric Agenda
Ooh, esoteric. That’s a big word you just used there. The instrumental starts out with mostly citar, then builds up to something heavier. And then we get into the lyrics. Suddenly, this seems less like a song, and more like someone shrieking a political essay they wrote during the 2004 election when Dubya conspiracies were all the rage. Wherever you may stand on the issue, things could’ve been worse. They could’ve been a lot worse.
2. Lower the Populis
This is a pretty heavy song from start to finish, and if I’m not mistaken, I’m pretty sure this has to do with the AIDS virus. The references to “shutting down white blood cells” leads me to that belief, and I distinctly remember that being the key thing the AIDS virus does. If you like it loud and nonstop full speed ahead, this is for you.
3. Pleiadian Keys
This is probably the most radio friendly song on the album. It’s got moments of heavy, but they vocalist decides to sing in this one, and keep the shrieking to a minimum. Not entirely sure what a “pleiadian key” is at the moment, but it’s probably nothing a visit to Wikipedia couldn’t fix. The only real criticism I have about the song is that they could’ve easily shaved a good ten or fifteen seconds off of the ending. Okay, I get it: you can hit that one key on the pianno over and over again and it sounds haunting. Next track, please.
4. From Variety to Utility
We get back into the heavy with this one. At least for the first half. Call me unobservant, but I’m not entirely sure what the conspiracy is in this one other than the usual “fight the system” sort of crap Rage Against the Machine used to preech despite being part of the very system they preeched against. Sue me, I was always more of a Suicidal Tendencies guy. It’s not bad, but it suffers from the same problem the previous track did: the ending just drags on and on. Of course, rather than trying to sound haunting with the pianno, it sounds more… Hopeful? Optamistic? I don’t want to say upbeat, but those other two might apply. Still, you could’ve shaved some time off of that, and we’d be golden.
I’m not going to lie, this track kind of bored the hell out of me. It’s not bad, but it really struggles to hold my attention. Clearly, the band had more faith in it than I do. Otherwise, they’d have probably gone with one of the more intimidating sounding tracks for an lbum title.
6. The Escapist Notion
It’s a step up, that’s for sure. The instrumental’s a bit more lively when they’re actually mathcoring it up like this.
7. Extention to One
I know I said mathcoring it up tends to make the band more lively, but in the case of those first couple of measures, I may reconsider that. I found that to be more annoying than anything else. The rest of the song… Really isn’t anything special at this point. Skip worthy to say the least.
8. Machine Over
Imagine my surprise when I found out there was only eight tracks on this album. I don’t exactly have the times of each track, but I was pretty sure you could’ve fit maybe one more track on here for sure. Over all, it’s kind of disappointing everything has to end here. Again, not a bad song, but I’ve definitely heard better at this point.
OVERALL GRADE: C+
Again, for a first effort, this could’ve been a lot worse. It could’ve been a lot better, but it could’ve been a lot worse. I’m reserving my judgment until I see their sophmore effort. Assuming this isn’t one of those bands that’s a side project of six or seven other bands we’ll only ever hear from once or twice at best like Dark New Day or Demons & Wizards ended up being.
Wow. That’s pretty much all I could say about this movie after watching it at first: wow. I think I’ve only ever been this bored, unamused, and desperate for it all to be over with two other times: that time I went to see Napoleon Dynamite, and that other time I went to see Meet the Spartans.
I guess in the longrun, though, I only have myself to blame. Much like that time I went to see Meet the Spartans, oddly enough. I heard through the grapevine this movie was the darling of the indie film world, and while the indies aren’t quite as bad as the arthouse… Yeah, they’re up there. I’m not against shooting on a budget, I’m not against new ideas, and I’m in favor of something that isn’t another Adam Sandler manchild “joke every second” kind of comedy. However, the indies are a lot like the arthouse in the sense they tend to have some seriously pretentious dicks bouncing around in the background, demanding I ask them what this means, or what that means. But there are some indie movies that are actually good.
Unfortunately, Moonrise Kingdom is not one of those movies.
The second red flag came when the audio for the opening credits consisted of an NPR like program detailing how a synphony is put together piece by piece: first showcasing the flutes, then the brass, then the percussion, and so on. Clearly, I’m supposed to be paying attention to the stuff going on in the actual scene as opposed to the audio, but frankly, if it was worth my attention, it wouldn’t have been playing during the opening credits. Near as my blind ass could tell, it was just the girl character packing her shit and preparing to run away from home. And if you didn’t show this scene at all in the movie and just stuck with opening credits, it wouldn’t have taken anything away.
There are a couple of humorous moments in the movie. IE, the protagonist not only running away from the “khaki scouts”, but actually leaving a formal letter of resignation in his tent. I also appreciate that they got these kids in the voice-over studio to actually read the letters out loud. And that’s basically everything nice I have to say about this movie.
I suppose I can’t bitch about the kids’ acting ability too much. But yeah, these kids have a lot to learn. It’s one thing to have to read from cuecards, and it’s another thing to sound like you’re reading from cuecards. There were some actual good actors in this like Edward Norton and Bruce Willis (I feel sorry for the guy who had to direct), but for the most part, the kids were what killed this movie dead for me.
Overall, I found this movie to be more tedious than anything else. It bored the hell out of me, and I found myself wishing the start time for my job would hurry up and get here already. Despite the boredom, I felt compelled to at least see this snoozefest through to the end.
So after all that bitching, it’s only natural that every god damn critic on the planet absolutely loves this movie. I shouldn’t even be surprised by shit like this anymore, but here I am, scratching my head, wondering what fucking movie those guys were watching.
Seriously, guys, I’m not doing this on purpose. I’m really trying to see what you guys like about this or that when I go into things like this. But it seems like as time goes by, I’m becoming more and more of a contrarian. I just don’t get what people see in movies like this.
I suppose in the longrun, this movie could’ve been a lot worse. It could’ve been another Seltzer-Friedberg topical pop-culture referencing pile of vommit with absolutely no thought put behind it. but in terms of a good comedy movie in the last few years, my vote is still somewhere between Horrible Bosses and Hot Fuzz.
Okay, I’m done for the night. I will now graciously receive your hatemail.
Moonspell, for those not keeping track, is a band I’ve recently gotten back into. They’re a portuguese band who tend to alternate between heavy, loud, shrieker metal, and softer, more atmospheric rock. I imagine trying to find the right balance is one of the more challenging things about putting together a Moonspell album. How much loud ass shrieker metal is too much, and how much mellowed out rock is too little?
Well, in 2012′s “Alpha Noir / Omega White”, it would appear they approached the question by throwing up their hands, declaring “fuck it” out loud, and decided to make two completely different albums.
“Alpha Noir”, which for some reason is the white disk, contains all the heavy music. All the heavy guitar riffs that showcase a love interest with the E-chord (on my synthesizer it’d be E-chord anyway), shrieker lyrics with little if any actual singing, and all the stuff people love about the heavy Moonspell. It’s nine tracks long, and I honestly can’t find a single dud among them. Though I will own up to liking some songs better than others, it’s a pretty good first half.
“Omega White”, meanwhile, is the black disk that contains the more mellowed out tracks. They might have their own take on heavy, but Fernando Ribeiro sings instead of shrieks, and the music sounds a lot more relaxed. Or at least more relaxed than “Alpha Noir”. Personally, I found a lot of “Omega White” sounded like a Portugese Type-O Negative. Whether or not that’s a good thing is probably a matter of opinion, but I don’t have anything against Type-O Negative in the longrun.
Right off the bat, I must confess I’m not very fond of the album casing. The album comes in a box that has no hope of fitting in my CD wrack. Inside that box, however, is the true album case. The CDs themselves are contained in a case that looks more like a book than a jewel case. The booklet that contains the lyrics are the book’s pages, while the “Alpha Noir” and “Omega White” disks are placed on the inside cover. It’s not the first time I’ve seen an album do this, but it’s still a pretty nifty design. Unfortunately, if you want track lists, and don’t want to go to Amazon or Wikipedia, you’re going to need to keep the stupid box it all comes in. On top of that, the book like CD case also doesn’t fit on the CD wrack! I suppose I have an odd CD wrack, but yeah, it’s a wee bit of a problem.
But the casing rarely if ever amounts to more than a percentage point of my over all grade. After all, the important part is the music itself, and I got to say, this is actually a pretty good release. If you’re a fan of a specific type of Moonspell, you’ll probably like one disk more than the other, but if you like both styles, you’ll enjoy it that much more.
In an odd twist, I found that I personally got more enjoyment out of “Alpha Noir” than I did out of “Omega White”. It sounds weird, considering my tolerance for shrieking dumbassery has really gone down over the years. Of course, the more I look back on it, the more I find my taste in music is a tangled web of contradictions and double standards on a trigganometry level. And I can barely get three sides on a rubix cube, so maybe I should leave sorting that out to a professional.
All I know is I’m glad I picked this one up.
ALPHA NOIR GRADE: A
OMEGA WHITE GRADE: B+
OVERALL GRADE: A-
Last month, I purchased a collectionof vampire fiction from 1800 to present day. Present day, by the way, being 2007, but whatever. They have a lot of interesting stories in this collection, and a few duds that either don’t interest me personally, or just haven’t aged well for one reason or another. It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come along, and to see how ignorant we used to be. Yeah, apparently, blood transfusions make you immortal!
Needless to say, I’m a vampire fan. Zombies are cool (even in this day and age of oversaturation), werewolves aren’t without their charm, and I’ve always enjoyed Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein, but when it comes to the classics, vampires are my undisputed favorite. It probably ties into the fact Dracula was always my favorite classic horror movie from the 1930s, or perhaps it’s that whole “the things you fear most are the most exciting at the same time” tying into my phobia of bleeding to death. Hell, I don’t know: I just know that I’ve dabbled with vampire fiction throughout my life.
Of course, while I was almost positive the scifi projects of my middle school years, the parody fiction of my early high school years, the horror of my senior years and first year of college (yes, I said “years”), and even now in my four-year-long swords and sorcery kick, I’ve always played with vampire fiction. One of the oldest stories from my harddrive is a vampire story I wrote in 2003 that plays on the whole Legacy of Kain “vampires aren’t the evil everyone believes them to be” kind of senario. One of the mainstays from my E-federation days was a female vampire who changes names like European metal bands change lineups. One of my all time favorite anime series, from back when I was a lot more obsessed with that sort of thing, is Hellsing. In all its glorious, one-dimensional, trigger happy glory, I still love that show. Hell, the “hausdarah” race in The Jade Blade Legacy are basically vampires who can walk around in sunlight.
So yeah, I like vampires. Perhaps you noticed. Between that paragraph, and the rampages I tend to go on when someone like Stephenie Meyer pops up, you must be new here if you didn’t already know.
I bring up this anthology in the first paragraph for good reason. All those vampire stories got me thinking about one of my very first attempts at a vampire story of my own. It came when I was fifteen, heading into sixteen. I can’t remember what inspired the concept, but the concept was simply this: what if humans weren’t the only species prone to the vampire curse? I’m sure it’s not nearly as original as I thought it was, but mere concept alone is always up for grabs.
In my case, I came up with a vampire dog. More specifically than that, I came up with a vampire black lab. I remember certain concepts about the thing, like how it would sleep in its master’s closet during the day, how it apparently had bat wings that retracted from its back and helped it fly like a demon pegasus, and I remember it being able to make followers out of the neighborhood dogs. And that’s about it.
In truth, I don’t think I ever got around to actually putting together a story about the creature. I just remember ever having blueprints of how a vampire dog would work, and maybe a main character in mind. If I ever actually wrote anything, it wasn’t set in stone at that point.
The dog vampire I created ended up making a cameo in a story I spent most of 2012 trying to get “for-real published”. Though that story had more to do with a world of unspeakable horrors that awaited liars, adulterers, and all around horrible human beings in their dreams. But I won’t go into that one here. Between the fact I’m still hoping someone will accept it, and the fact it’s going off topic… Yeah, I won’t bother.
The original story idea I had… I can’t even remember. So I’m not sure if I want to feed it to the gods or not. All and all, I might go a different route in the long run, but this might actually have potential now that I’ve written it out like this.
If you told me twelve years ago that you could make Britney Spears metal, I’d have laughed you out of the building. If you told me that six years ago, I’d assume you were talking about 10 Masked Men: a British group whose goal in life is to make metal versions out of pop songs.
But then, one of the meme groups I like on Facebook posted this.
This may come as an absolute shock to everyone, but I FUCKING HATE THIS FUCKING BAND SO FUCKING MUCH!!!
In hindsight, I think I probably ought to have saved this one for the “Bad Girlfriendathon” last go around. I really have nothing to say about this song or this fucking band that I haven’t already said when I reviewed “Casual Sex” nearly a year ago. I can’t really complain about the air time this one’s been getting now that 103.7 The Damn is dead, and 98.9 The Rock doesn’t seem to be aware of the fact this band even exists. So why am I bringing it up?
Between this, and “Casual Sex”, I’m officially convinced that this is My Darkest Days’ shtick. I suppose I could go onto Music Unlimitted and listen to an entire album, but considering these two songs are their most well known, and I fucking hate both of them… Yeah, I may be stupid, but I’m not a masochist. I won’t deny the possibility of there being possible diamonds buried in a mountain of shit. Hell, even The Dillenger Escape Plan, in all their infinite suckitude, have one listenable song in their entire career. Two if you count a cover of Soundgarden’s “Jesus Christ Pose”. But no, I don’t see myself doing that.
It blows my mind that this mindless swill is popular with anybody. Wow, a song about a stripper. Wicked original, guys. Haven’t already heard infinity-billion of those yet. Also, I get the feeling My Darkest Days is about as subtle as an elephant doing the duggy on a 747 to a Meshuggah song.
On top of this sucky music, it pisses me off that the vocalist of this band is going to be the new vocalist for 3 Days Grace. I spent the last four weeks in WITCP talking about it, but I love 3DG. “Transit of Venus” wasn’t very good, though, and if this is the kind of song writing I can expect in future 3DG albums, I think it’s time to give up the ghost on that one. I’m done. Game over, man, GAME FUCKING OVER!
It’s possible that I might be over reacting. Maybe Matt Walst will respect that 3DG isn’t one of those bands, and actually write something that actually requires some god damn thought. Maybe. I’m kind of doubting it, but stranger things have happened.
In the mean time, I think a commenter on Youtube put it best: “Roses are red, violets are blue, Porn Hub is down, this’ll have to do.”
If I had timed this a little better, this would be where 3 Days Grace Month ended. Unfortunately, that would not appear to be the case. There’s still one week left in May, and I ran out of material. Although I have a sneaking suspicion that this last one is probably going to hurt.
I have to confess something right here and now: I bought this album a week ago. Compared to the other three albums that i’ve had for fucking ever, I have no experiences with it, I have no idea what the background is… Hell, I’ve probably listened to it from start to finish a grand total of twice at best. But based off the singles, I can tell you I was very reluctant to buy this album.
There was part of me that said you could’ve just accessed it on Music Unlimitted and not waste any money. Sadly, this is the problem with a band that I like. I feel compelled to give them my money! Even if I hate the album I’m reviewing.
I’ll say this much, though: the single, “Chalk Outline”, inspired absolutely no confidence. Suddenly, I couldn’t help but think our red shirt in the sea of blue shirts started wearing a red pop collar shirt and an up-side-down viser like the douchebags wear.
Oh, and if you were wondering at all, a transit of Venus is like a solar eclipse, except it’s Venus instead of the moon, and because Venus is significantly further away from us than the moon, it doesn’t have much of an impact on anything. The last transit of Venus, in fact, was last year. And it’ll probably be the last one I see unless I’m stubborn and stupid enough to live to be a hundred and something.
As for the album… Well, the only way we’ll know if the album is good or not is to listen. So let’s listen!
ALBUM ART: B-
ALBUM CASING: D-
Once again, we decided to go with the stupid cardboard envelope.
1. Sign of the Times
Why do I get the feeling this sounds more like a Jane’s Addiction song than a 3DG song? Oh well, in terms of intro tracks, this one at least cuts to the point.
2. Chalk Outline
This was the first single off this album. And boy did this not sit well with me. For a moment, I was almost positive that 3DG had gone dubstep: a genre that is really getting on my nerves anymore with all its random backwardy noises without reason or rhyme. I can appreciate the attempt that symbolism and all. The whole imagery of a chalk outline is pretty major league stuff. But I just can’t get over the way this sounds. Add on the fact it’s been played into the fucking ground since 2012, and it’s just irritating to me.
3. The High Road
Oh for fuck sakes! This has got to be the corniest ballad I’ve heard since “A Different Kind of Pain” by Cold was still new. So naturally, it would be the second single. We’ve got a little more of that not really dubstep but still kind of annoying techno esque stuff going on in this one, but it’s a lot more subtle than it was in “Chalk Outline”. Oh yes, and there’s the coris. “The mistake you can’t live without” is so fucking lame it’s almost headdesk worthy. It sounds more like a teen pregnancy the mom didn’t have the heart to terminate than that loveable deadbeat who means well but got stuck in the friendzone.
Okay, that’s more like it! This song is actually pretty good. Even if it does kind of sound like “Break” off of “Life Starts Now” in some ways. But hey, compared to the bullshit we had in the last few tracks, I’ll gladly take a song that sounds suspiciously like past material.
Maybe I’m missing the point of the song entirely, but I get the feeling 4chan just got burned. Of course, that’s not the main reason I like it. I don’t even like it for that reason, honestly. Rather, I just think it’s the single catchiest song off the album thus far. If you get nothing else, I recommend you at least pick up this track off of iTUNES or something.
6. Misery Loves My Company
Yeah, I can tell their trying, but this one really doesn’t hold my attention. Skip worthy is pretty much the best thing I can say about this one.
7. Give In to Me
This one is apparently a Michael Jackson cover. I got to say, it must be one of his more obscure hits, because I didn’t even recognize it. The coris kind of felt familiar, but it didn’t ring any bells until I looked it up on Wikipedia after the first listen. I suppose there are worse covers of Michael Jackson in the world, but yeah, this one’s not holding my attention.
I got to say, this is probably the heaviest I’ve heard 3DG get. The lyrical content not so much, but the instrumental… Color me impressed.
9. Give me a Reason
“Feed on me like a vulture eating a deer hit by a car.” Wow, we’re really stretching for symbolism here. I guess we used up our artsy-fartsy energies on “Chalk Outline”. Okay, all joking aside, this one’s another skipper.
10. Time that Remains
I’m running out of clever things to say in regard to how skip worthy a lot of this is.
Wow! This is a step up from what we’ve been getting. It’s a song with a story to tell, and I won’t spoil it for you. All I know is I like it, and I recommend it.
12. Broken Glass
It’s hard to top a song like “Expectations”, but this one certainly tries. And more and more, I start to realize these songs are all clustered into groups. All the crap is at the beginning, all the boredom enducing tunes are in the middle, and all the kickass tunes are sprinkled about in an attempt to make you dig for them. Of course, something’s more than welcome to come along and prove me wrong.
13. Unbreakable Heart
Yip, I think they just saved the good stuff for the end. It’s a pretty good ending to an otherwise meh album.
OVERALL GRADE: C+
Okay, maybe this ended up being more tedious than painful. Still, I’m just glad it’s out of the way.
It’s also worth noting that this is the last 3DG album vocalist Adam Gontier appears on. In January of this year, it was announced he and the band were going their separate ways. Taking his place is Matt Walst of My Darkest Days. And suddenly, I don’t want to live on this planet anymore. Well I suppose that means My Darkest Days is officially a one-shit-wonder, but yeah, that kind of kills any interest I had in 3DG dead. Not like this album helped any.
Well, that about does it for 3 Days Grace month. Tune in next week, and I’ll have something new for you to look at.
I got to say, I’m actually impressed that I forgot about this one up till now. Because this one was probably one of the stupiddest things I’d come up with that wasn’t funny on purpose.
It was the year 2000. Y2K had proven to be a bust, Windows2000 was somewhere between fresh off the press and the new gold standard, and I was all but living in my bedroom making do with a shitty computer that was running windows3.1. Because I was stupid, and unwittingly deleted important system files on my old Windows98 machine. Or maybe it was a Windows95 machine. Either way, it’s a rookie mistake that a lot of newbie computer owners from 95 to Vista make at least once in their life. I’m not sure if they idiot proofed Windows7, and I’ve only glanced at Windows8 for a couple seconds, but there you go.
And of course, the previous year, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was in theaters. And apparently, it was the single worst thing to ever happen in history since Eve ate the forbidden fruit. I’m not saying The Phantom Menace was good, but I honestly didn’t think it was terrible. I agree, Jarjar should never have existed, and they should’ve hired a better actor for Anniken. And maybe they should’ve let Darth Maul live to see Episode II at least, but that might just be my opinion. But once you look past that, it wasn’t that bad. Then again, I’m generally in the minority when it comes to everything. Trust me, it’s not like I’m trying or anything: it just keeps ending up like that.
Long story short, even if Episode I was a bad Star Wars movie, I was willing to enjoy it. I was fourteen, I didn’t know any better, and I was hanging out with other Star Wars fans throughout high school who quite honestly were pretty tolerant of a lot of the stuff the internet has been calling bullshit on. And of course, when I liked something at fourteen, I ended up “borrowing” elements of it for my own fiction.
Also, at the age of fourteen, I was getting better at not borrowing too much. I borrowed enough to show off what my influences were, but I didn’t borrow any more than that in order to avoid cat calls of plagerist.
I forget what I called my not-jedi, but in the longrun, the only thing I really kept that made them jedi-like were their morrality, and their “laser swords”. They had no telekenesis, they had no force lightning, and unless slight of hand counts, they had no mind tricks either. They just had their code, and their swords. And let’s face it, sacred orders with a code and the light saber have both been done to death. The former has been done since the old trilogy was still new.
So yeah, maybe it wasn’t the most original concept, but when you hear that by itself, it sounds pretty harmless. Then the rest of the story telling happened, and whew boy did it go down hill.
The villain was about as subtle as a brick wall falling on a train in Saudi Arabia. And I didn’t even have three episodes of back material to point at and say “Duh: you’re technically not supposed to know that yet because I made the movies out of order for some reason.” He wasn’t even part of the senate, and he didn’t even have mind control powers: the senate just elected this random glob with the power of “infection” to prime minister because shut up. And as memory serves, everyone already knew he had a “disreputable past”, and they elected him anyway. Hey, maybe I knew more about politics at the age of fourteen than I realized. ‘AYO! Oh yeah, and the villain was also some sort of living breathing computer virus thingy, because he infected robots and robotics whenever he touched them, and they would abandone all of their Asimov esque programming and kill anyone who blinked if their lord glob commanded it.
Did I mention he was a sentient red glob? Because that’s kind of important. A glob of what, I don’t think I ever specified, but apparently, it could give machines a red paint job and make them do everything he wanted.
The rest of the story was just as retarded, and filled to the brim with logic paradoxes. I think by the time I got to book 4 of the series, the mentor character that the glob killed in episode 2 came back from the dead as a cyborg. A cyborg who was rebuilt with infected robotics, and immediately turned on the good guys without a second thought.
GOOD GUY: We will stop you, villanous blob!
MENTOR: Indeed, your reign of terror ends here.
BLOB: Hey mentor guy. I infected the parts they used to build you when nobody was looking. Kill the good guy at once.
I don’t know how many episodes I planned on making. I remember stopping around five, realizing that this series was starting to get stupid even for a fourteen-year-old. And that takes some effort, I tell you what. There was plenty of other moments of stupidity involved, but compared to those, they’re pretty minor.
A lot of the stuff I’ve posted here in this series has had some sort of potential. Maybe an awesome character worth recycling, maybe a senario that’d probably work a lot better with a llittle extra dimension, etc. Looking back on this, though, I can say with one-hundred percent certainty that there’s absolutely nothing redeemable about this series. Nothing, I say. Nothing!
And so I give it to the god of failure in tact, and pray that he takes it somewhere where I never have to remember it.