Album Review: Every Time I Die “Radical”

“Radical”

Every Time I Die
Epitaph
Producer: Will Putney
Tracks: 16

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Buffalo-based hardcore band Every Time I Die have released their ninth studio album titled “Radical”. Produced by Will Putney (Acacia Strain) and released via Epitaph Records “Radical” is the follow up to the bands 2016 release “Low Teens”. Consisting of 16 brand new tracks which could be described as a swampy summoning of southern rock and coarse poetry and clever wordplay.

Chants of LET’S GO BUFFALO! will undoubtably be raining down across the Queen City on October 22nd however not for its football team but instead for its native sons, hardcore legends Every Time I Die and in celebration of the bands newest studio album simply titled “Radical”. Packed with 16 mind melting tracks the band consisting of vocalist Keith Buckley, Guitarists Andy Williams and Jordan Buckley, Bassist Steve Micciche and drummer Clayton Holyoak put all their cards on the table and swing for the fences with this new album. Opening “Radical” is the track “Dark Distance” which begins with the wail of a warning siren which then fades into the background as the lyrics “Spare all the ones I love and slay the rest” are belted out via Buckley’s signature rasp only seconds before the rest of the band kicks in with a bombastic break down capable of doing mass damage if played in a confined space. As the album progresses listeners are treated to a unique variety of tones, noises and verbiage that is both frantic and thought provoking. Tracks like the catchy “Post-Boredom”, the hauntingly delightful “Desperate Pleasures” and “Distress Rehearsal” are all in your face, riff heavy bangers while tracks like the laid back, sonic landscape titled “Thing With Feathers” and the sludgy bass heavy “White Void” showcase the band stretching their musical legs while not straying to far from the sounds they are synonymous with.

No matter if you’re an early era ETID fan or you are into the more recent releases “Radical” is the album to unite all fans into one joint faction. Mind boggling guitar riffs and overdriven, grindy bass runs mix perfectly with bombastic drum beats and razor like vocals which will captivate listeners while punishing their senses. Don’t be left out in the cold this fall as “Radical” may not the album you want but it’s the album you NEED!

“Radical” Track Listing
1. Dark Distance
2. Sly
3. Planet Shit
4. Post-Boredom
5. Colossal Wreck
6. Desperate Pleasures
7. All This and War
8. Thing With Feathers
9. Hostile Architecture
10. AWOL
11. The Whip
12. White Void
13. Distress Rehearsal
14. SexSexSex
15. People Verses
16. We Go Together

Film Review “No Time To Die”

Directed by: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Starring: Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Léa Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes
Distributed by
United Artists Releasing
Running time: 163 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

James Bond has been played by several different actors and has been on 25+ on-screen adventures in the course of nearly 60 years, but it has never once felt like his story had closure. Most of the time, actors come and go from the role because that’s the idea of the character – that the story and adventure never ends. No Time to Die shakes things up a bit by definitively putting a cap on Daniel Craig’s tenure as Bond and delivering a true finale for a full circle, five-film arc.

The film opens pretty soon after Spectre, with Bond enjoying retirement with Madeleine Swan (Lea Seydoux) and trying to keep a low profile. But after a riveting action sequence that pulls them back into the action, the film makes a pretty significant time jump that not only seasons Bond even further but makes the world around him change more than he ever expected. The biggest changes are that of the mantle of 007 being taken up by Nomi (Lashana Lynch) and a new villain arising with Safin (Rami Malek) with ties to both James and Madeleine’s past.

I’ve seen every single James Bond film ever produced and particularly have grown up watching Daniel Craig’s ventures since I was pretty young, so perhaps I’m biased when saying that I think he is the quintessential Bond in my eyes. From the genuine grit behind his action to the way he knows not only what to say but how to say it in the most suave way possible – it just doesn’t get better than him, in my opinion; and Craig gives perhaps his best performance as Bond here in his final outing. Yes, he’s delivering one-liners and punching the baddies like there’s no tomorrow, but there’s sincere emotion and nuance in his performance this time around that makes for what is easily the most emotional James Bond movie to date.

Cary Joji Fukunaga takes over directing duties this time around, and it absolutely shows. You can always count on the 007 franchise to deliver top notch action, but Fukunaga goes the extra mile to adding some truly impressive one-shots in there and matches it with absolutely gorgeous cinematography – perhaps the best looking James Bond film, aside from Skyfall? However, it’s evident that the reason why Fukunaga was the guy for the job is how he blends classical spy elements into the story while also balancing really solid character work and a true send off for Bond.

At 163 minutes, No Time to Die spares no expense when it comes to telling its story with various locations and a vast array of characters. While I greatly enjoyed the film, I do think it would have benefitted from a bit of a tighter edit at the end of the day. My only other real gripe here is that I thought Rami Malek’s villain, Savin, was somehow undercooked by the end despite such a long running time. It’s hard to elaborate on why he’s disappointing without diving into spoilers, but it feels like there’s a lot of setup for him and not a ton of payoff for the actual character and his motives.

Even with those gripes in mind, they really feel miniscule when everything is said and done – because what the film needs to get right, it absolutely nails with immense class and bravado for Craig’s final bow. After years of being delayed, the film does not disappoint in the slightest and somehow feels like both the most genuinely big blockbuster we’ve gotten in almost two-years as well as the most ideal and emotional final chapter you could ask for when it comes to that of James Bond.

EVERY TIME I DIE SHARE NEW TRACK “PLANET SHIT”

NEW ALBUM RADICAL OUT OCTOBER 22

Photo By: Michael Watson

Buffalo-based hardcore heroes Every Time I Die have unveiled another track in anticipation of their ninth studio album Radical out October 22 via Epitaph. Today, the band unleash “Planet Shit,” which takes an unflinching look at the inevitable social upheaval born of generations of inequity. “I was just calling it like I was seeing it,” expresses vocalist Keith Buckley. The track follows the previously released “Post-Boredom,” “AWOL,” “A Colossal Wreck,” and “Desperate Pleasures.”

Produced and mixed by Will Putney (Acacia Strain, Body Count, The Amity Affliction), Radical is 16 tracks of peak-ETID, alchemized by a swampy summoning of southern rock and coarse poetry, the music swirls beneath sardonic and clever wordplay, cementing the band as leaders, not followers.

CHECK OUT “PLANET SHIT” NOW
WATCH | LISTEN

While inspired by the unrest and upheaval around the world over the past five years, Radical focuses on humanity, decency, self-worth, and even a bit of spirituality more so than politics.

“I’m dealing with difficult matters this time that isn’t only personal for me but are also universal and more communal experiences,” Keith explains. “The songs are realistic in that they acknowledge that things require a lot of work. But it’s ultimately a very hopeful and uplifting record.”

RADICAL TRACK LISTING
1. Dark Distance
2. Sly
3. Planet Shit
4. Post-Boredom
5. A Colossal Wreck
6. Desperate Pleasures
7. All This And War
8. Thing With Feathers
9. Hostile Architecture
10. AWOL
11. The Whip
12. White Void
13. Distress Rehearsal
14. sexsexsex
15. People Verses
16. We Go Together

Every Time I Die has a handful of tour dates throughout the rest of 2021 including their holiday extravaganza, ‘TID The Season taking place in their hometown of Buffalo, NY on December 10 & 11. The band has also just announced that they will support post-hardcore band Underoath on the road early next year. Tickets are on sale now. For more information, visit https://everytimeidie.net/.

EVERY TIME I DIE TOUR DATES
2021
9/23 Memphis, TN Growlers
9/24 Birmingham, AL Furnace Fest
12/10-11 Buffalo, NY ‘TID The Season

2022
supporting Underoath
2/18 Dallas, TX Southside Ballroom
2/19 Houston, TX Bayou Music Center
2/20 San Antonio, TX The Aztec Theatre
2/23 Phoenix, AZ The Van Buren
2/24 Los Angeles, CA The Wiltern
2/25 Anaheim, CA House of Blues
2/26 San Francisco, CA The Warfield
2/28 Seattle, WA Showbox SODO
3/1 Vancouver, BC The Vogue Theater
3/2 Spokane, WA Knitting Factory
3/4 Salt Lake City, UT The Complex
3/5 Denver, CO The Ogden Theatre
3/7 Minneapolis, MN The Fillmore
3/8 Chicago, IL Radius
3/9 Detroit, MI The Fillmore
3/11 Toronto, ON History
3/12 Cleveland, OH Agora
3/13 Wallingford, CT The Dome
3/14 Boston, MA House of Blues
3/15 Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE
3/17 Brooklyn, NY Brooklyn Steel
3/18 Silver Spring, MD The Fillmore
3/19 Philadelphia, PA The Fillmore
3/20 Sayreville, NJ Starland Ballroom
3/22 Cincinnati, OH ICON
3/23 Charlotte, NC The Fillmore
3/25 Atlanta, GA Tabernacle

Every Time I Die is Keith Buckley (vocals), Jordan Buckley (guitar), Andy Williams (guitar), Steve Micciche (bass), and Clayton “Goose” Holyoak (drums).

EVERY TIME I DIE ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM “RADICAL” AND TOUR

RADICAL
OUT OCTOBER 22


SHARE NEW TRACK “POST-BOREDOM”

WATCH | LISTEN

Buffalo-based hardcore heroes Every Time I Die have just announced their highly anticipated ninth studio album Radical out October 22 via Epitaph. Produced by Will Putney (Acacia Strain, Body Count, The Amity Affliction), Radical is the follow-up to 2016’s acclaimed Low Teens.

Today, the band shares “Post-Boredom,” a mixture of the nihilistic realism and persistent irritated optimism that powered punk rock in the late ‘70s and post-hardcore in the early ‘90s. “’Post-Boredom’ was the first song I ever wrote that gave me the feeling of real Truth,” explains vocalist Keith Buckley. “I wasn’t hiding any secret confessions in metaphors, I was very much fed up with living an unfulfilling life and felt that I needed a death (either figuratively or literally) in order to have a fighting chance at finding new meaning. I see this song from a distance. It’s reflective but also, finally, detached. not a full ego death, but indicative that the process needed to start immediately in my own life. If you read the lyrics and it resonates with you, then you also need to recognize that you might be feeling unseen in your current form. So, what are YOU going to do about it if given the gift of death?”

CHECK OUT “POST-BOREDOM” NOW
WATCH | LISTEN

While inspired by the unrest and upheaval around the world over the past five years, Radical focuses on humanity, decency, self-worth, and even a bit of spirituality more so than politics.

“I’m dealing with difficult matters this time that isn’t only personal for me but are also universal and more communal experiences,” Keith explains. “The songs are realistic in that they acknowledge that things require a lot of work. But it’s ultimately a very hopeful and uplifting record.”

Radical is 16 tracks of peak-ETID, alchemized by a swampy summoning of southern rock and coarse poetry, the music swirls beneath sardonic and clever wordplay, cementing the band as leaders, not followers.

TRACK LISTING
1.    Dark Distance
2.    Sly
3.    Planet Shit
4.    Post-Boredom
5.    A Colossal Wreck
6.    Desperate Pleasures
7.    All This And War
8.    Thing With Feathers
9.    Hostile Architecture
10.  AWOL
11.  The Whip
12.  White Void
13.  Distress Rehearsal
14.  sexsexsex
15.  People Verses
16.  We Go Together

Every Time I Die has a handful of tour dates throughout the rest of 2021 including their holiday extravaganza, ‘TID The Season taking place in their hometown of Buffalo, NY on December 10 & 11. The band has also just announced that they will support post-hardcore band Underoath on the road early next year. Tickets are on sale Friday, August 20 at 10am local time. For more information, visit https://everytimeidie.net/.

EVERY TIME I DIE TOUR DATES 2021
8/28           Worcester, MA      The Palladium*
9/23           Memphis, TN        Growlers
9/24           Birmingham, AL    Furnace Fest
12/10-11   Buffalo, NY            ‘TID The Season
* supporting The Ghost Inside

2022
supporting Underoath
2/18         Dallas, TX                    Southside Ballroom
2/19         Houston, TX                 Bayou Music Center
2/20         San Antonio, TX           The Aztec Theatre
2/23         Phoenix, AZ                 The Van Buren
2/24         Los Angeles, CA          The Wiltern
2/25         Anaheim, CA                House of Blues
2/26         San Francisco, CA       The Warfield
2/28         Seattle, WA                  Showbox SODO
3/1           Vancouver, BC             The Vogue Theater
3/2           Spokane, WA               Knitting Factory
3/4           Salt Lake City, UT        The Complex
3/5           Denver, CO                  The Ogden Theatre
3/7           Minneapolis, MN          The Fillmore
3/8           Chicago, IL                   Radius
3/9           Detroit, MI                    The Fillmore
3/11         Toronto, ON                 History
3/12         Cleveland, OH              Agora
3/13         Wallingford, CT            The Dome
3/14         Boston, MA                  House of Blues
3/15         Pittsburgh, PA              Stage AE
3/17         Brooklyn, NY                Brooklyn Steel
3/18         Silver Spring, MD         The Fillmore
3/19         Philadelphia, PA          The Fillmore
3/20         Sayreville, NJ               Starland Ballroom
3/22         Cincinnati, OH              ICON
3/23         Charlotte, NC               The Fillmore
3/25         Atlanta, GA                   Tabernacle

Every Time I Die is Keith Buckley (vocals), Jordan Buckley (guitar), Andy Williams (guitar), Steve Micciche (bass), and Clayton “Goose” Holyoak (drums).

Singer/Actor Lizzy Borden discusses his role in the new film “Die Influencers Die”

Lizzy Borden burst on to the Los Angeles heavy metal scene in the early 1980’s with their debut EP “Give ‘Em the Axe” and subsequent full-length release “Love You to Pieces”. The band also appeared in Penelope Spheeris rockumentary “The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years”. Media Mikes had the chance recently to talk with Lizzy about his newest movie titled “Die Influencers Die” where he plays a dark and sinister character known only as Otherworld-Coyote.  

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us how you got involved with the film “Die Influencers Die”?

Lizzy Borden: I was good friends with the director Gary Orona.  We both were moving to Las Vegas around the same time and he mentioned he was thinking of doing a move. He had asked if I would be in it and I said yes but, I was heading out on touring. While I was out on the road, they contacted me about the part and said that they were going to be doing table reads. I missed all of those and only had gotten the script about a day and a half before I was set to film. Everything just sort of happened while I was out with the band.

AL: What can you tell us about your character?

LB: It’s kind of weird because when I first got the script was trying to figure out how this character was involved with everything. There was no backstory for him, so I tried to figure out what his motives are. This character literally has no name and appears out of nowhere. I had to try and figure out how to really play this character. I thought of things like “Othello” and made this guy a real instigator. We have actually talked about doing another film that would explore this guy’s back story. There is just this unexplained nature about this guy that made it a lot of fun.

AL: Being there wasn’t a lot that was known about the character were given creative freedom or did the director have you stay within certain parameters?

LB: We knew this was going to be a supernatural character so I kind of knew where to take things, but I still didn’t know even what he was going to look like. On the first day of shooting, I had about five or six different looks we could go with for this character. Gary came in and the one you see is what he picked. When I then went into hair and makeup, they suggested I should just put a ton of gel in my hair. They put probably a half gallon of gel in there and it really sold the character and took it in another direction. We were kind of improvising. As far as the acting went when I looked at the lines it always seemed to me that he was screaming and very angry. I thought back to all of the great scenes where someone has portrayed being angry and those were usually done in a very calm way. I wanted to bring his presentation down to a whisper and if he did get angry, I wanted whoever else was in the scene to feel his intensity without me having to scream at the top of my lungs. I remember the first thing we shot with everyone there Gary asked to do a practice. We did the scene and he ended up getting really mad. I asked what was wrong and he was mad that he didn’t film it because it was so good. From then on, he filmed everything.

AL: At what point did the option to have a song in the film come up?

LB: That was an afterthought. The film was finished however it was taking awhile to release. It was originally supposed to go to either Netflix or Amazon Prime but there were some paperwork problems. We couldn’t even promote the film. Then Covid-19 hit. We had planned to do a red-carpet event in Las Vegas where we showed the movie and then my band would play. We had it booked and set up but then COVID-19 happened. We had done a soundtrack video for the film “The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years” that turned out really good and a lot of people got to see clips of the movie through that video, so we started with that same idea. It came down to a matter of picking the song and the scenes and we landed on “My Midnight Things” which is the title track from our last album.

AL: Can you tell us a little bit about the video for the song?

LB: The whole point of the video was to make a commercial for the movie. I really wanted to do something interesting and asked how could we do some new shots of me singing the song while also incorporating the scenes from the film. We talked about a lot of things and a bunch of those were unrelated to the movie. I wanted for the video to look like it was another part of the movie. We ended up using the same studio we filmed in and we also brought in green screens which was a lot of fun. Ultimately, we needed something to promote the film and help tap into people who might not normally go see a movie like this. Through the video they can get a good representation of the film through the four-minute video.

AL: When you perform with the band it is very theatrical. Did you notice any similarities in how you prepare for a live show and how you prepared for the film?

LB: It was almost identical. Other than memorizing lines that was the only thing. I had the lines, but it was all about the delivery. That is where my focus was. I do the same thing backstage when I am working on the show. I think about the previous night’s performances and what I liked or didn’t like and how I can make those things better. I do a lot of pacing. (Laughs) They gave me my own spot at the studio and I just wandered around between shots until they were ready for me.

AL: Having now done the movie do you think you will take what you learned from there and apply it to your live performances?

LB: I think so. There is a subtlety to it as my live shows are pretty over the top. What I got out this character is that there was nothing flamboyant about him in any way. I tend to try and pull out all of the stops with my shows but, maybe if I am in a support slot where I am not able to do that by having played this character, I know I can go out there in a stripped-down format and still deliver a highly theatrical and interesting show.

AL: In 2020 you released “Best of Lizzy Borden” Pt. 2 which included two newly recorded cover songs. (Blue Oyster Cult’s “Burnin’ for You” and The Ramones “Pet Sematary”) How did you go about selecting those songs being they are quite different from one another?

LB: Almost all of my influences are set in the 1970’s. They are all established, big bands which I saw when I was a kid, so they are just imbedded in my brain. I could have chosen two hundred songs! There are just so many good songs. Blue Oyster Cult is one of my favorites and definitely one of the top ten best song writers that I love. On an earlier record we recorded a cover of their song “This Ain’t the Summer of Love” as we had been playing it at our live shows. I originally wanted to do “Burnin’ for You” for the album but was out voted by the producer so that was a song I have been wanting to do. I am a huge Ramones fan and love all their work. I thought about all of their songs and a majority of them have to be done in a punk a style. “Pet Sematary” is one that you really don’t have to do that. We did a Halloween show at the Whiskey in Los Angeles and I had the band learn the song prior to the show and people loved it. That’s ultimately how it ended up getting chosen.

AL: With the uncertainty of 2021 are there any other projects that you are currently working on or have coming up?

LB: I am almost halfway completed with a new album. It is coming along but it is very slow. I can imagine this being one of the most favorite albums I have ever done. I still see myself doing four or five more but this one is coming together in a really fun way. I have never had more fun putting a record together. I am not sure how that will translate over to people responding to it but as far as making it I am really enjoying it. I have been doing one song at a time and am about halfway done. I have been getting show offers as well but it doesn’t make sense to me to book shows only to have them cancelled. I see others starting to get out there, so we have to just wait and see. Everyone is ready to go we just don’t want to book something and have to cancel.

AL: When you are writing do you do that all your self or is it a more collective effort?

LB: I do it differently for every record. I have done records in the past where I record everything myself. On this new album I am having the musicians replace what I have already put down with their performances. I will play all the parts then have Joey Scott add in drums and then we build from there. Usually, my vocals are done as well so we kind of work backwards. I like to hear how it sounds in my head rather than putting just a scratch track out there for everyone. A lot of time when you do that a song can change quite a bit and when you are all done its not what you had envisioned. This way I get my idea out there the way I want it and if someone adds something really great to what I have already played we will keep. So far with this record things have stayed pretty much the same as I wrote it.

For more info on Lizzy Borden, you can check out www.Lizzyborden.com

EVERY TIME I DIE RELEASE TWO NEW TRACKS

“A COLOSSAL WRECK” & “DESPERATE PLEASURES”

LIVESTREAM EVENT DECEMBER 19

Photo Credit: Chuck Abbott

Buffalo-based hardcore heroes Every Time I Die share two powerful new tracks “A Colossal Wreck” and “Desperate Pleasures.” Produced and mixed by Will Putney (Body Count, Kublai Khan, The Ghost Inside), the tracks offer a glimpse at the band’s forthcoming ninth studio record.

According to vocalist Keith Buckley, the tracks are “two sides of the same reactionary coin. While ‘A Colossal Wreck’ looks around at the current state of the world and says ‘life is a punishment and only the worst of us thrive’ and, ‘Desperate Pleasures’ takes a more optimistic approach and renounces the nihilistic/accelerationist attitude of the voice that came before. It says that without hope, even in the face of such universal anguish, only death is certain and to give up now when those around us need it most is a treacherous act of pure cowardice. That said, I’m not sure which is worse, bein-g a coward or being a cynic. Probably a coward. At least cynics have a sense of humor.”

CHECK OUT “A COLOSSAL WRECK” & “DESPERATE PLEASURES”

Acclaimed for their energetic and intense live shows, Every Time I Die have announced a live stream event for December 19 @ 2pm PT/5pm ET. Tickets for “Every Time I Die’s Online Telethon Extravaganza” can be purchased at https://tidathon.com.

The Buffalo, New York band have been forging their own musical path for over 20 years. Since establishing in 1998, the band has released eight studio albums; Last Night in Town (2001), Hot Damn! (2003), Gutter Phenomenon (2005), The Big Dirty (2007), New Junk Aesthetic (2009), Ex Lives (2012), From Parts Unknown (2014), and Low Teens (2016).

Every Time I Die is Keith Buckley (vocals), Jordan Buckley (guitar), Andy Williams (guitar), Steve Micciche (bass), and Clayton Holyoak (drums).

Film Review: “The Dead Don’t Die”

  • THE DEAD DON’T DIE
  • Starring: Bill Murray, Adam Driver
  • Directed by: Jim Jarmusch
  • Rated: R
  • Running Time: 1 hr 44 mins
  • Focus Features 

Zombie movies have been a part of the cinema landscape since the 1930s with Victor Halperin’s “White Zombie” in 1932 among the first. George A. Romero’s 1968 “Night of the Living Dead” is regarded as a cult classic with its depiction of cannibalistic zombies. Since then there have been dozens and dozens of zombie flicks, often of low budget origins, featuring the undead scaring the life out of the living. Director Jim Jarmusch (“Paterson,” “Broken Flowers,” “Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai”) has thrown his hat into the zombie arena with his comical horror/fantasy “The Dead Don’t Die,” which features an all-star cast that’s sure to make anyone alive look twice. While it may have some clever laughs and some dry one-liners that only star Bill Murray can deliver, Jarmusch’s effort is about as mundane as watching Selena Gomez act.

 After responding to a complaint by racist Farmer Frank Miller (Steve Buscemi) that his chickens are being killed by the disheveled eccentric Hermit Bob (Tom Waits), Centerville police Chief Cliff Robertson (Murray) and Officer Ronnie Peterson (Adam Driver) notice something odd is going on. Animals are disappearing, cell phones no longer work, and its daylight way into the night. All of this is blamed on polar fracking, which is denied in news reports by the companies who are doing the fracking. With the poles shifting their positions, it has altered Earth’s rotation, which of course means that the dead begin to rise from their graves.

 The town is littered with other recognizable faces including Danny Glover, Chloe Sevigny, Gomez, and Tilda Swinton as, you might guess it, an off-kilter character. I know it’s shocking, but who else could play a Scottish accented, samurai sword wielding, funeral home director? With so many different faces it only makes sense there are several little side stories as the townspeople struggle to avoid having their intestines eaten. They often fail as they are typically slower than the undead and even slower than the film’s pacing, which is often excruciating to sit through.

 Besides some great interaction between Murray and Driver, who talk in character about Jarmusch’s script and the repetitive-to-the-point-of-annoying theme song by Sturgill Simpson, the only bright spot of entertainment is Swinton’s performance. Otherwise, the plot is looser than someone who has drank a bottle of Metamucil in one setting. Characters vanish and unidentified objects appear for no reason. The acting is bland, punctuated by Gomez who seems to have no idea what she is doing and would have probably been better off just playing herself. Lastly, the nonsense becomes ridiculous when Jarmusch’s script turns political when he has Wait’s character go on socialist, metaphoric ramblings about consumerism, among other things. If I wanted that then I could have stayed at home and watched a documentary on PBS.

CD Review: Doyle II “As We Die”

II“As We Die”
Doyle
Monsterman Records
Tracks: 13

Our score: 3 out of 5 stars

Former Misfits guitarist Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein is back with a brand new full-length solo album titled II”As We Die”. The album which was initially recorded during the “Abominator” sessions will be the second release from Doyle via his Monsterman Records and once again features Cancerslug’s Alex “Wolfman” Story handling vocal duties over the course of the albums 13 macabre tracks.

Over the course of the last few years Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein or Doyle for short has been on a relentless pace of record, tour and repeat. Throw in a handful of Misfit reunion shows as well and it makes you wonder when the band has had time to sleep let alone put together another full length release. II “As We Die” is the second portion of what was intended to be a double album. Originally recorded during the sessions for “Abominator”, II “As We Die” is the result of those sessions amassing an impressive amount of quality material that the band felt warranted two separate releases. I couldn’t have agreed more with the decision as where “Abominator” sets the stage, II “As We Die” solidifies the band’s sound with darker subject matter and even heavier instrumentation than its predecessor. Tracks such as “Beast Like Me” and “King of the Undead” blast out of the gate kicking and screaming with a bombastic amount of force and energy while tracks like “Darkside” and “Virgin Sacrifice” are reminiscent of Michael Graves era Misfits giving the album an eerie since of familiarity while remaining new and fresh. Though I found the guitar hooks to be less prominent this time around Doyle’s latest offering is still everything you would expect from the annihilator wielding beast.

Track Listing:
1.) Kiss Me As We Die
2.) Beast Like Me
3.) God of Flies
4.) Run For Your Life
5.) Darkside
6.) Witchcraft
7.) King of the Undead
8.) Virgin Sacrifice
9.) We Belong Dead
10.) Show No Mercy
11.) Dark Gods Arise
12.) Blood on the Axes
13.) Night of Sin

Blu-ray Review “A Million Ways to Die in the West”

Starring: Seth MacFarlane, Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Liam Neeson, Neil Patrick Harris, Giovanni Ribisi
Director: Seth MacFarlane
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Universal Studios
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Run Time: 116 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 4 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

“Ted” is a very funny film and a real tough act to follow for Seth MacFarlane. “A Million Ways to Die in the West” tries its best and really succeeds. The film is also a Western, so right off the bat, that is a really hard act to sell. The film is funny as hell and also extremely raunchy. My only issue is that it is falls into the category of running about 30 minutes too long. It features an amazing cast including Seth MacFarlane himself along with Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi, Sarah Silverman and Neil Patrick Harris. Honestly, I enjoyed the second viewing is more enjoyable. I recommend this for some great laughs.

Official Premise: Seth MacFarlane directs, produces, co-writes and plays the role of the cowardly sheep farmer Albert in A Million Ways to Die in the West. After Albert backs out of a gunfight, his fickle girlfriend leaves him for another man. When a mysterious and beautiful woman rides into town, she helps him find his courage and they begin to fall in love. But when her husband, a notorious outlaw, arrives seeking revenge, the farmer must put his newfound courage to the test.

“A Million Ways to Die in the West” comes in a great Blu-ray from Universal. The 1080p transfer in 2.40:1 looks amazing. The location outdoor shots are gorgeous and totally unexpected from this film. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is also great and delivers well on Joel McNeely, perfectly themed Western score. The special features are nothing special. There are commentary tracks on both cuts with Director/Producer/Co-Writer Seth MacFarlane, Co-Writers and Executive Producers Alec Sulkin & Wellesley Wild and Star Charlize Theron. This is worth checking out if you enjoyed the film.

There is an Alternate Opening and Alternate Ending, along with about 10 minutes of Deleted / Extended / Alternate Scenes and a Gag Reel.  There is a basic EPK making of look with “Once Upon a Time, in a Different West” with package’s EPK, with some fun behind the scenes footage and interviews. The Blu-ray also includes an Extended cut of the film which runs about 2 hours and 15 minutes but honestly, it is way too long. I love comedies but they honestly need to be around 90 minutes.

3D Blu-ray Review “Live. Die. Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow”

Actors: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson, Kick Gurry
Directors: Doug Liman
Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Warner Home Video
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Run Time: 113 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
3D: 5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

When I watched the trailer for “Edge of Tomorrow” immediately I was hooked. I mean “Alien crossed with Groundhog Day”…sign me up! Let me tell you though, the trailer does no justice at all for the film. “Edge of Tomorrow” is in fact, my favorite film of the year so far. It is very underrated and deserves much more attention. “Transformers: Age of Extinction” is a decent movie and it made a billion dollars, so obviously quality doesn’t win in terms of success. Tom Cruise is completely badass, as is Emily Blunt who was outstanding. The visual effects are the best I have seen all year and the film is not only NON-STOP (that’s right all in caps) but also funny as all hell! This is a must see movie and I highly recommend it.

Official Premise: The epic action of Edge of Tomorrow unfolds in a near future in which an alien race has hit the Earth in an unrelenting assault, unbeatable by any military unit in the world. Major William Cage (Cruise) is an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously dropped into what amounts to a suicide mission. Killed within minutes, Cage now finds himself inexplicably thrown into a time loop, forcing him to live out the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying again and again… and again. But with each battle, Cage is able to engage the adversaries with increasing skill, alongside Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Blunt). As Cage and Rita take the fight to the aliens, each repeated encounter gets them one step closer to defeating the enemy.

Warner Bros is releasing this film under a new title to hopefully drum up some new business  “Live. Die. Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow”. They are bringing this together in a combo pack with a Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + UltraViolet digital copy.  The 3D is some of the best and most relevant that I have seen in theaters in a long time. It is well placed and adds tons of depth and even a few good scares in the film. On Blu-ray, it translates just as well. The 1080p transfers is simply outstanding. The film feels like a live-action video game in many scenes. The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 is also mind-blowning. I love the score to this film and it really is represented well with the crazy amount of action.

The special features are good but I would have loved to had an audio commentary track as well. “Storming the Beach” features director/producer Doug Liman taking us behind- the-scenes featurette for the film. Along with this feature is a three-minute alternate Adrenaline cut of one of the “Operation Downfall” sequences. “Weapons of the Future” features cast and crew talking about weapons. “Creatures Not of This World talks about creating the film’s aliens and their story.  “On the Edge with Doug Liman” is a fantastic nearly 45 minutes in-depth documentary on the production. Lastly there are seven deleted scenes included.

Own “Edge of Tomorrow” on Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD, and Digital HD on October 7th

Film Review #2 “A Million Ways to Die in the West”

Starring: Seth MacFarlane, Charlize Theron and Liam Neeson
Directed By: Seth MacFarlane
Rated: R
Running Time: 116 minutes
Universal Pictures

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

There are actually some lofty expectations for “A Million Ways to Die in the West”. Weird, right? Two summers ago Seth MacFarlane put out the comedy sleeper hit, “Ted”. It combined his “Family Guy” style of random, filthy humor with the likeable personas of Mila Kunis and Mark Wahlberg coping with the next step of their relationship. Once again MacFarlane throws everything and the kitchen sink from his bag of humor in the hopes of pulling a throaty laugh from his audience and for the most part he succeeds. “A Million Ways to Die in the West” also stirs up a worthy farce of Western movies.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves and hail the second coming of “Blazing Saddles”. MacFarlane is the lead, which deters him from drawing some of the biggest laughs in the movie. As Albert, a spineless sheep farmer, he does have some very good quips, but the supporting cast padding is what makes “A Million Ways to Die in the West” a comedy gem. Friends of Albert, Edward (Giovanni Ribisi) and Ruth (Sarah Silverman), are a Christian couple who are waiting until marriage to make love; which is constantly complicated by the fact that Ruth is a prostitute with customers who continuously find more unique ways and inopportune times to tell her to get upstairs and bang them. Louise (Amanda Seyfried) is Albert’s ex-girlfriend who is the butt of jokes, but is now dating the master of mustaches, Foy (Neil Patrick Harris). NPH is an absolute pleasure in every scene, selling every moment more than anyone else in this movie.

Then there’s the warm and beautiful Anna (Theron). A smart, quick trigger gal who finds her way into Albert’s slice of hell town called Old Stump. Upon meeting and slowly falling for each other, she fails to mention to Albert that her husband, Clinch (Neeson), is one of the most dangerous and deadly outlaws in the west that has a sadistic code of ethics when choosing who to kill. Anna and Albert complement each other with their smartass remarks and craving to be with someone who appreciates them for who they are. MacFarlane and Theron sport some decent on-screen chemistry which probably comes as a shock for the thousands who were up in arms over MacFarlane’s “We Saw Your Boobs” at the 2013 Oscars.

The characters in this movie have an odd, child-like approach to plenty of crudeness which makes it all the more humorous and ridiculous. Comedic scenarios feature a combination of sight gags, one-liners and a visually gross punctuation. Also slip in the unnecessary violent death to further accent the title of the movie. With such a palette of absurd and juvenile humor, there’s something for everyone in this rapid fire executions of jokes, at least anyone who isn’t afraid of a little inappropriate, sexual and racial provocation. Some of my more favorite scenes feature a hyper violent bar fight and the interactions between Albert and his aging father who speaks his emotions through expletive hyperboles.

While “Ted” was a perfect blend, cast-wise, “A Million Ways to Die in the West” feels incomplete. The lengthy running time starts to show as we continue to wait for the climactic showdown between Albert and Clinch. Also I can’t quite heap on the same amount of praise to MacFarlane that everyone else got. He isn’t admirable enough to be the improbable hero. He has a low level of smugness that ruins the high octane levels of every-guy so we don’t quite see him as amiable. NPH would have been miles better in the lead role and it’s a puzzle as to why no one pointed this out to MacFarlane when the script was being read. Regardless, “A Million Ways to Die in the West” is the comedy to beat so far this summer.

Film Review “A Million Ways to Die in the West”

Directed by: Seth MacFarlane
Starring: Seth MacFarlane, Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Neil Patrick Harris, Giovanni Ribisi, Sarah Silverman, Liam Neeson
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 116 minutes

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Seth MacFarlane is easily one of the best comedic minds in the business right now. He has taken over the animation world with his shows “Family Guy” and “American Dad” and recently crossed over into film with the huge summer hit “Ted”. “Ted” was a great film that had a heart and yet was still extremely raunchy and also very funny. “A Million Ways to Die in the West” really had some big expectation shoes to fill. Fans are going to be looking for more of what “Ted” delivered and in my eyes it delivers that and more. When I saw the trailer for “A Million Ways to Die in the West”, I just knew I was going to love it. One of the problems I had with the film was that it shows quite a bit of its key jokes in the trailer. There is still much more fun to be had but I would imagine that people that haven’t seen many of the trailers will enjoy this a bit more. Nonetheless, I was hollering out loud for this film and I wasn’t alone either, if people compare this to “Ted”, they are going to be disappointed because they are two very different films but if you look as a stand alone you will have a blast watching “A Million Ways to Die in the West”.

Our story takes place in a small Frontier town called Old Stump in the year 1882. We meet Albert Stark (Seth MacFarlane), who is a sheep farmer that loses his beautiful girlfriend Louise (Amanda Seyfried) due to not having enough courage to face a gun duel. While Albert tries to win her back he ends up meeting a newcomer to the town named Anna (Charlize Theron) and the two hit it off. She helps Albert discovers his missing confidence and courage. After spending time with each other they seem to develop feeling for each other but Anna doesn’t let Albert in on the fact that she is the wife to the infamous outlaw Clinch Leatherwood (Liam Neeson). When Clinch arrives in the town, he is looking to call out the man that wooed his wife and it is up to Albert to stand up to him.

I think we have to blame Judd Apatow for running the comedy genre since I feel that he set the path for 2+ hour comedies. I feel that all comedies work best when short and to the punchline. 90 minutes, tops, is what a comedy should be. This film nears the two hour mark and could have easily been trimmed to be much tighter. “Ted” was the same way as well, the film was great in a whole but there were certain parts that dragged major ass, same happens here. You got to give it to MacFarlane though because this is his first film with him in the spotlight, in the leading role, and not hiding behind a voice role. I felt that he really nailed it. He turned out to be a great leading man. I thought he still had great comedic timing and really nailed his jokes. I hope he plans to act more in the future for sure. Charlize Theron was also a nice surprise, I haven’t been a huge fan of her recently but this film really gives her a chance to let loose and have some fun and her performance benefits from it. I like to think that every role can’t be a Oscar winner.

To be completely honest, the rest of the supporting cast including Amanda Seyfried, Neil Patrick Harris, Giovanni Ribisi, Sarah Silverman and Liam Neeson are really just background in the film and don’t contribute anything major to the film. NPH is always a riot an,d of course, he sings and dances in this film. I still can’t get that mustache song out of my head. There are also a handful of super quick cameos throughout the film including Alex Borstein, Ralph Garman, Gilbert Gottfried, Ewan McGregor, Ryan Reynolds, John Michael Higgins, Jamie Foxx and Bill Maher. So see if you can catch them on the screen because they are there and gone before you know it. Great Scott, I almost forgot keep an eye out for the great Christopher Lloyd, who pops in for a great cameo as well.

When it comes to Western films, they are a honestly just a hard genre to pull off. People usually don’t come out in droves to see film’s like this but MacFarlance has the balls to try and essentially nail it. I couldn’t help but compare “A Million Ways to Die in the West” to the classic Mel Brooks film “Blazing Saddles”. That film is celebrating it’s 40th anniversary this year and I remember the first time that my father watched it with me. This film reminded me a lot of what that film and what it would have been like if it was made today. This is raunchy, racist, over-the-top and generally offensive. There plenty of foul language, fart jokes and animals getting knocked over. I would be curious to hear Mel Brooks’ comments on the film as well. The locations where this film was shot were also absolutely amazing. Having this be a comedy, you don’t expect amazing visuals but this one really caught my eye and delivered a nice view of the Frontier. This might not be the best comedy ever but I definitely laughed more than not and definitely will be recommending this film!

Blu-ray Review “Die Monster Die (1965)”

Actors: Boris Karloff, Nick Adams, Susan Farmer
Directors: Daniel Haller
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Shout! Factory
Release Date: January 21, 2014
Run Time: 80 minutes

Film: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out 5 stars
Extras: 1/2 out of 5 stars

I am a sucker for classic 50/60’s horror films. I love these films. They are definitely not perfect but they have that certain charm and special feel. “Die Monster Die” did not have that feel for me though. The film is 80 minutes long and nothing actually interesting happened in the movie until the last 10 minutes, which caused me to fall asleep which is quite rare for me to do. Boris Karloff is always great to see though since he is the king of horror. I would recommend this specifically to long-time fans of the film and that is all.

Official Premise: “Die Monster Die” is based on “The Colour Out of Space” by H.P. Lovecraft. A young man visits his fiance’s estate to discover that her wheelchair-bound scientist father has discovered a meteorite that emits mutating radiation rays that have turned the plants in his greenhouse to giants. When his own wife falls victim to this mysterious power the old man takes it upon himself to destroy the glowing object with disastrous results.

Shout! still delivered this film with an impressive Blu-ray presentation for the nearly 50 year old film. The 1080p transfer was cleaned up quite well with little noise showing. The DTS-HD Master Audio Mono track works well the 60’s horror score and the classic sound effects. There are no special features listed on the Blu-ray case but when you get to the main menu it lists that there is a trailer included.

CD Review: Panic! at the Disco “Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die”

Panic! at the Disco
“Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die”
Produced by: Butch Walker
Release Date: October 8, 2013
Label: Atlantic Records

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

I was introduced to this band by my cousin back in 2005 with their album “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out”. The album has never left my phone over the years and is one of my favorites to rock out to. Unfortunately, I have felt that band has never really taken it up a notch since that album. I thought that they changed their sound too much with “Pretty. Odd”. I actually did like a few tracks on “Vices & Virtues” but nothing memorable. “Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die” still doesn’t top the band’s 2005 album either but I feel that it comes the closest since and has been a blast to listen to.

First of all, I had a feeling this album was going to rock just being it has a wicked cool title. If you are a Hunter S. Thompson fan than you will enjoy that “Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die” comes from his book “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”. Easily one of my favorite quote of all-time. The album really brings up the energy that the band had with “A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out” and also tries a few different tricks, most successfully with “Miss Jackson” which is a funky yet rockin’ track.

The album is produced by Butch Walker (Fall Out Boy, Weezer). I love the energy in the tracks like “Vegas Lights” and “Nicotine”. But I have to give the most risky song on the album, “The End Of All Things”, props since it feels really personal and delivers on an emotional level. I would say if you haven’t been big on this band or are just finding this, this album is definitely worth taking a look at. I do warn you though get ready since from the very first track, this album kicks off and doesn’t look back until after it’s over.

Track Listing:
1. This Is Gospel
2. Miss Jackson (feat. Lolo)
3. Vegas Lights
4. Girl That You Love
5. Nicotine
6. Girls/Girls/Boys
7. Casual Affair
8. Far Too Young To Die
9. Collar Full
10. The End Of All Things

Blu-ray Review “A Good Day to Die Hard”

Starring: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Cole Hauser, Sebastian Koch, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Yuliya Snigir
Director: John Moore
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: 20th Century Fox
DVD Release Date: June 4, 2013
Run Time: 98 minutes

Film: 1.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I have to admit, it might affect my “man-card” but I am not a big fan of the “Die Hard” series as a whole. The first film has its moments and plus who can say no to a Christmas-themed action movie. Also I am a fan of the third film, which teams McClaine up with Samuel L. Jackson. I never even saw or wanted to see “Live Free or Die Hard” and yet we are getting a fifth installment of this seemingly tired franchise. I know that Bruce Willis was once badass as John McClane but he definitely seems to be getting to old for this shit. The plot to this film is such a mess and, in fact, barely exists. It is just a massive bunch of explosion mixed together and set in Russia. Not a big fan of Jai Courtney at all either. But as it pains me to say this, the boys will be back again and “Die Hard 6″ is moving forward with Fox.

Official Premise: Bruce Willis is back in action – mind-blowing, heart-stopping, rip-roaring action – as John McClane, the heroic New York cop with a knack for being in the wrong place at the right time. John’s latest predicament takes him all the way to Russia to track down his estranged son, Jack (Jai Courtney), who has been imprisoned in Moscow. But the mission takes a deadly turn as father and son must join forces to thwart a nuclear weapons heist that could trigger World War III!

Despite this film being a big mess, in terms of audio and video though it is absolutely kicking! 20th Century Fox delivers a nice Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack. The digital copy includes an UltraViolet and iTunes digital copy. My copy was delivered missing a code, so I hope that isn’t happening for others as well. The Blu-ray disc includes both a theatrical cut and an extended version, which features a few changes to the beginning and end of the film. It doesn’t make the film any better off either. The 1080p transfer is solid and delivers the scale of the film quite well. The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 is a beast and really kicks some ass, especially with the action – which is non-stop.

The special features are impressive, despite the painfulness of the film itself. There is an audio commentary track from director John Moore and first assistant director Mark Cotone. “Making It Hard To Die” is a 15-part behind-the-scenes documentary, which runs an hour and covers all aspects of the production. “Anatomy of a Car Chase” is a featurette on the opening action sequence. “Two of a Kind” looks into the father/son relationship. “Back in Action” is a piece on the return of John McClane…again. “The New Face of Evil” focuses on the three villains. “Pre-Vis” and “VFX Sequences” looks into the special and visual effects from the film. Lastly there are seven deleted scenes and five storyboards sequences included, as well as a Concept Art Gallery and Theatrical Trailers.