CD Review: Bad Cop Bad Cop “Warriors”

“Warriors”
Bad Cop/Bad Cop
Fat Wreck Chords
Tracks: 11

Our score: 4 out of 5 stars

It’s been a hectic few years since Los Angeles punk quartet Bad Cop/Bad Cop dropped their debut full-length, “Not Sorry”. The band spent a huge chunk of their intervening time on the road like many bands do and in that time wound-up discovering some ugly things about themselves. Out of those experiences came a number of tracks which make up the band lasts release titled “Warriors”, the bands third album which features 11 new tracks which are once again being released via Fat Wreck Chords.

If the song titles and lyrics are just a glancing look at what was going on with Bad Cop/Bad Cop over the last few years it’s a miracle this album even happened at all. Thankfully things smoothed out with the four piece as the group’s latest offering “Warriors” is a gritty and searing album brimming over with pop-punk infused goodness making for a fun and enjoyable listen. Tracks like the albums opener “Retrograde” instantly had me moving with its sparkling guitar intro and catchy sing along chorus while songs like “Amputation”, “Wild Me” and the album’s title track “Warriors all hit with similar results.

Bad Cop/Bad Cop are living proof that good can come out of a bad situation and the group’s latest offering “Warriors” is a fitting testament to that statement. The band sounds better than ever and each of the albums 11 tracks has the potential to get stuck in your head for long periods of time. I found myself listening to the album multiple times and with each listen I was able to find something new to enjoy each and every.

Track Listing:
1.) Retrograde
2.) I’m Done
3.) Womanarchist
4.) Why Change A Thing
5.) Victoria
6.) Amputations
7.) Broken
8.) Wild Me
9.) Warriors
10.) Kids
11.) Brain Is For Lovers

Concert Review “Winter Warriors Tour” Rochester, NY

“Winter Warriors Tour”
Battlecross, Havok, Nekrogoblikon, Black Fast
Date: Monday, December 14, 2015
Venue: Montage Music Hall, Rochester, NY

Our Score:3 out of 5 stars

Metal Injection’s 2015 Winter Warriors tour made a stop at the Montage Music Hall in Rochester, NY as part of a brief 6 show run. The bill which featured Black Fast, Nekrogoblikon, Havok and Battlecross was certainly not one for the faint of heart as all 4 bands commanded the crowd’s attention before pummeling them with a barrage of bombastic sonic landscapes.

After a small spattering of local talent the main bills opener Black Fast would be first to take the stage. The 4 piece progressive thrash group hailing from St. Louis, Missouri did an impressive job with the short time they had as they did a great job loosening up the crowd with their set which was a mixture of older songs along with a couple from the group’s latest release “Terms of Surrender”.

Up next would be the group I was definitely most excited to check out. Los Angeles, CA natives Nekrogoblikon who up until now have been relatively scare here on the east coast made up for lost time as they shredded through a 30 minute set complete with several appearance by the bands mascot Mr. John Goblikon who assisted the band in working the crowd into a feverish frenzy. The band’s unique brand of mythical tinged metal rang through the venues walls as the band performed songs of their latest release “Heavy Meta” before closing out the set with an impressive rendition of the song “Powercore” which was complete with over the top synth and guitar work that easily made your head spin. Filling the difficult spot of performing after Nekrogoblikon on this night would be bestowed upon Century Media artist Havok. The band which formed in Denver, CO in 2004 mixed classic thrash elements with modern day accoutrements. The groups sound could be described as early Megadeth on speed as each of the bands 4 members are certainly no slouches at their respective instruments. Though lead vocalist/guitarists David Sanchez’s expletive filled rants became a bit tiresome as the bands set went on the group still did a solid job keeping the night’s energy level high.

Tour headliner Battlecross would close out the night in impressive fashion. Having just seen the band opening for GWAR in September I was anxious to see what the band from Detroit could do with a full length set. Needless to say I was not disappointed as the guys seem to only get better each time I see them. With the added time to their set the members of the band wasted no time going right for the throat. The set list was a solid blend of new and old as the band performed a variety of songs from its back catalog however the set lacked any material from the bands August 2015 release “Rise to Power”. Vocalist Kyle Gunther and company certainly appeared to be in top form despite being at the end of months and months of touring proving BattleCross can certainly bring it any place at any time. Though you can never be too sure of a Monday night club show the audience and bands alike seemed to enjoy the night’s festivities making this unseasonably warm night in Rochester, NY a good one for heavy music.

Battlecross Set List:
1.) Force Fed Lies
2.) My Vaccine
3.) Beast
4.) Ghost Alive
5.) Never Coming Back
6.) Flesh & Bone
7.) Get Over It
8.) Kaleb
9.) Push Pull Destroy

DVD Review "Hansel & Gretel​: Warriors of Witchcraft"

Actors: Fivel Stewart, Booboo Stewart, Eric Roberts, Vanessa Angel
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Lionsgate
DVD Release Date: January 22, 2013
Run Time: 90 minutes

Film: 2 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1.5 out of 5 stars

With “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” hitting theaters this month, here comes the low-budget DTV rip-off called “Hansel & Gretel​: Warriors of Witchcraft. The film is a dark modern day twist on this fairytale and aims to draws in the tweens and Twihard with casting Booboo Stewart of “The Twilight Saga” franchise and his sister Fivel Stewart. The film also co-stars Eric Roberts and Vanessa Angel, which just add more cheese to this already cheesy film. Unless you are a young girl, I would steer very clear from this.

Official Premise: Jonah and Ella Mazer (Hansel and Gretel) were happy, normal teenagers–sent to an elite boarding school. The Head Master, Sebastian, seems to know more about the brother and sister than they know about themselves. As both get to know their high school classmates, strange and frightening things begin to happen. When their new friends explain that they are all descended from powerful witches, and they’ve been waiting for Hansel and Gretel to join them and complete a new generation of the Coven, both refuse to believe them. But it’s not until Hansel discovers a message from his mother in an old leather-bound book of spells hidden in the school library, that he understands their true and dangerous destiny – slaying witches.

Some of the special effects look cool to be honest so it isn’t all bad. I was a little soft on my rating, since I had the priveldge of meeting and interviewing Mr. Booboo Stewart in person and he is really a super cool kid. I feel bad that he had to take on this role. The special features include an audio commentary track with the director David DeCoteau and the stars Booboo and Fivel Stewart. It is entertaining for the most part and Booboo and his sister Fivel seems like they are having fun together. Lastly there is a stills gallery including.

Blu-ray Review “Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale (International Version)”

Directed by: Te-Sheng Wei
Starring: Lin Ching-Tai, Umin Boya, Masanobu Ando
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Distributed by: Well Go USA
Release Date: August 7, 2012
Running Time: 422 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 4 out of 5 stars

When I reach out that “Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale” was the most expensive production in Taiwanese history (budgeted at around $25 million), I knew I just had to see it. I am a big fan of epic foreign films and definitely those produced by John Woo. When I say epic, this film delivers the epic. It runs over 4 1/2 hours long and split into two parts. If that is too long for you don’t worry there are two versions of “Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale” available on DVD and Blu-ray. There is also a cut two and a half hour version for the US. Though if you are looking for an equal amount of story to go along with the massive scale action sequences, then you are definitely going to want to watch the international version. The film was referred to as “Braveheart” meets “The Last of the Mohicans” but the film has the fierceness of these both and more.

The film itself chronicles the true story of Taiwan’s aboriginal tribes and their battle against the Japanese colonizers. That’s the short premise. The story takes us between 1895 and 1945, following the rival between a Japanese colony that inhabits the island and the aboriginal tribes who originally settled on the land. The Seediq leader, Mouna Rudo, (Lin Ching-Tai) recruits a number of other clans in order to band together to fight the Japanese. The film is beautifully different by Wei Te-Sheng (“Cape No.7”). The Taiwan landscapes are absolutely stunning, which are matched with some really top notch CGI. The action scenes are so amped up and also well paced within the story.

“Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale” looks absolutely fantastic on Blu-ray courtesy of Well Go USA. The 1080p transfer looks sharp and super clear within in aspect ratio of 2.34:1. It is a film that is meant for a high definition presentation and looks spectacular. There are two audio tracks, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks. Obviously, I feel that the 5.1 track works much better, especially with the action. The special features are only have extras but they are quite epic, just like the film. “The Epic Journey of the Warriors” runs well over 2 1/2 hours, just in case the film wasn’t long enough. It is very a intensive behind-the-scenes look at the production, which plays out like a graphic shooting diary. There are also additional “Interviews with Director Wei Te-Sheng and Producer John Woo” and “Make-Up and Visual Effects” included. Lastly there are the theatrical and international trailers included.