Customer Product Reviews

Reviewer: DrRockzo
Reviews Written: 27
  Top 10 Reviewer



Black Books - The Complete Series 1 To 3 (Box Set) - £10.99

More great British comedy

Black Books is one of my favourite sitcoms of all time. The humour is dark, often visual and generally offbeat, and it has some great characters. There's the miserable (yet hilarious) Bernard, owner of the book shop around which the series is set. There's Fran, the dizzy owner of a bric-a-brac shop who is friends with Bernard (one of his only friends due to his demeanor). Finally, there's Manny (Bill Bailey), a good humoured, although, persistantly strange fellow who happens upon Bernard and Fran completely by accident, soon forming a tight relationship with both.

The series follows the bizarre adventures of these three characters, and their journey through the annoyance of 'customers' and stacks of strange friends all through a haze of Bernards seemingly perpetual drunkenness. To get all 3 series of this fantastic show at such a bargain price is madness, so don't waste another moment reading this - buy now!


Once Upon A Time In America (2 Disc Special Edition) - £3.89

Expansive in more ways that one

The word 'epic' is banded about quite freely when it comes to movies, but this film really does deserve to be associated with the word. Not only does this Sergio Leone classic span the best part of four hours in length, but it covers pretty much the entire lives of the multitude of colourful characters involved.

Set in Prohibition-era New York, Once Upon A Time In America revolves around Robert DeNiro's character of Noodles and his friends, a bunch of crooks and bootleggers. Without wanting to give the plot away, I'd rather just say that this is simply a piece of cinematic history. At times stark, shocking, poetic and spellbinding, Once Upon A Time In America captures your interest throughout the frequent jumps forward and backwards through the characters' timelines, slowly piecing together the plot like a jigsaw, culminating in its sudden (and controversial) ending.

I can't heap enough praise on this film, and would recommend everyone to set aside the time to watch it at least once. In fact, it's well worth watching it multiple times to pick up on the bits you may've missed first time around.


L.A. Noire (PS3) - £16.09

Didn't quite match the hype, but still enjoyable

Before release, L.A. Noire garnered such huge attention due to the fact it was a Rockstar game (the same folks that made the Grand Theft Auto series, as well as the excellent Red Dead Redemption). It was also to feature the new 'facial capture' technology to give realistic expressions to the in game characters.

Anyhow, upon release, this flew off the shelves as you'd expect, but the feedback and reviews were very mixed. Personally, I did enjoy the game. However, I did miss driving around wreaking havoc as you would in the GTA games, but hey - you're the police in this game rather than a criminal so it's understandable! I must admit that I also found the game slightly repetitive at times (especially in the Homicide missions where all the cases seem to require you to do the same things every time). But with that said, there's a genuinely great storyline and involving gameplay with the realistic graphics, as well as an interesting interrogation system which adds to the suspense of trying to follow the correct line of questioning to solve the cases you're given as a detective.

All in all, this game will certainly eat hours of your time away, but it's not quite as awe inspiring as the highs set by previous Rockstar games. Still, worth a punt I'd say!


I'm Alan Partridge : Series 1 - £4.49

Comedy Perfection

I remember the first time I saw Alan Partridge, it never quite clicked for me. However, after seeing repeats years later, I've been hooked ever since.

The first series of 'I'm Alan Partridge' sees Alan dumped by his wife a while after his awful TV career was ended by him 'accidently' shooting a guest on his chat show. Now living in a travel tavern, his desperate attempts to make a comeback into TV (and, subsequent failures) are things of legend in my household. But Alan is not the only star attraction - Michael, the hotel's often unintelligible Geordie handy man and Lynn, his ever suffering mousy PA are also fantastic in their own right (not to mention the plethora of other bit parts and smaller characters).

So don't think twice about ordering this, as it's a shining beacon of British comedy gold. You'll be reeling off comedy quotes before you know it. A-haaa!!


The Peter Serafinowicz Show - £6.69

5 Stars all the way

I missed this series when it was original aired on TV, so this DVD was a must for me. I love Peter Serafinowicz's work in Look Around You, as well as his bit parts in the likes of Spaced, Black Books and Shaun of the Dead.

Serafinowicz's humour certainly wouldn't be to everybodies tastes, but no-one can deny the genius that is his Brian Butterfield character, Michael-6 - the robotic talk show host, and his incredible impressions of Robert DeNiro, Kevin Spacey et all in the Acting Masterclass sketches (not forgetting his fantastic portayal of Ralph Fiennes as Rigsby from Rising Damp - utterly bizarre yet hilarious).

If you don't mind your humour a little 'odd', this will be right up your street.


Megadeth - Risk (Remastered) (Music CD) - £5.39

Ouch...

This is bad. I mean really, there's no excuses here. Vocalist Dave Mustaine admits so himself. After a discussion with Lars Ulrich in which he was pushed to take a 'Risk' with their next album, Megadeth took that 'Risk' to become the next big thing, alienating 98% of his fanbase with this album of overproduced commercial pap. Not even listenable commercial pap. Just plain old pap.

Of the other 2%, 1% own and regularly listen to Cher records and the other 1% were fooled into thinking they were actually buying a real mouse trap (as illustrated on the artwork). In fact, one sits in someones attic to this day with a lump of cheese laying on it. True story.


Metallica - Francais Pour Une Nuit: Live At Nimes (Blu-Ray) - £14.49

Ehh... so so...

Metallica certainly spark a strong opinion from all metal fans, be it positive or negative. Either way, there's no denying that this looks fantastic in Blu Ray, with crisp visuals and the impressive stadium/amphitheater in Nimes to boot.

Most of the classics are aired (One, Master of Puppets, Enter Sandman, Seek and Destroy), a few songs from 'And Justice...' which I personally loved (Dyers Eve, Blackened, Harvester of Sorrow) and a fair chunk of the 'take it or leave it' material from Death Magnetic - which, depending on your personal taste are worthy or, my case, skippable. I will say that the likes of 'Broken, Beat & Scarred' and 'The Day That Never Comes' don't stand out like a sore thumb live like a lot of the old Load/Reload material did - but still, I'd much prefer any of these to be replaced by 'Damage Inc' or the sorely missed 'Battery'. But, of course - this is their tour for Death Magnetic, not their Master... Anniversary shows.

For me personally, Hetfield's vocals are too clean and polished these days, and he just sounds weird singing some of the old school gnarly lyrics in pitch perfect looking like an old grey man - I can't take what he sings seriously. Gone are the snarled growls, replaced by cleanly sung, vocal coached purity. At times, it's almost as if they're covering another bands songs - a band that were vital, exciting and fresh. I suppose they've been a pastiche of themselves for some years now though. Adding little vocal changes that sound like they're off Load to the likes of Master of Puppets is just blasphemy, not to mention Kirk's ongoing annoying insistance of ad-libbing or changing most of his solos - but hey, they're their songs - they can mess 'em up as they see fit I guess.

Anyhow - this is certainly worth watching for the older stuff - excellent visuals, and a fairly good performance overall.


Rodrigo Y Gabriela - Rodrigo Y Gabriela (Music CD) - £6.99

Instrumental, Upbeat and Acoustic

The team of Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero under the guise of Rodrigo Y Gabriela was a breath of fresh air for me personally. I was first made aware of the band after being blown away by an acoustic performance of Metallica's epic 'Orion', done entirely on two guitars on a TV show.

The thing that sets these guys apart from other instrumental acoustic music that I've heard, is that it has some real gusto and passion. Rodrigo and Gabriela met in Mexico city after being in a metal band, but splintered off to do their own thing outside of the usual 'metal' remit with a plethora of other more leftfield influences. Thus, the way which the guitars are played occasionally has a fast and intensely rhythmic feel, much like metal. But, rest assured - this is entirely acoustic, but stands out greatly due to it's unusual style and feel (who knows, the covers of Metallica and Led Zep might even get you investigating other styles of music if you hadn't come across them previously!).

Very different, upbeat and great to listen to - I can't recommend this album highly enough.


Jeff Buckley - Grace (Music CD) - £5.59

What a voice..

The tale of Jeff Buckley was a tragic one, as was that of his father. But, we were lucky enough to receive 'Grace', his one true finished full length album release before his accidental death in 1997 (bearing in mind that 'Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk' was a compilation of demos and studio outtakes).

I'd go as far as saying this is one of the finest singer/songwriter albums ever created. Not only does it have the likes of the stunning 'Mojo Pin' and 'Lilac Wine', but it also features a fantastic cover of 'Hallelujah' by Leonard Cohen, and also one of my all time favourite songs 'Grace'.

Not only is the songwriting top notch, but Buckleys voice conveys such a wonderful range of emotions, it really has to be heard to be believed. Check out the aforementioned song 'Grace' for evidence if any is needed. A must for any music fans collection.


Portishead - Dummy (Music CD) - £4.19

Nope, can't fault it...

Portishead's debut was undeniably huge in more ways than one. Not only did it have music to die for, but it has such an great vibe - this was much more than just electronica and trip-hop.

Along with Massive Attack and Tricky, Portishead helped to fashion the genre known as trip hop, and this album certainly made it's mark on refining its sound. As a whole, this is a fairly gloomy album in tone, echoing a lot of the bands who were releasing music in a similar style at the time. The thing that sets 'Dummy' apart however is not only the hip hop beats, jangling guitars and deep, throbbing bass that is pretty much ever present, but the astounding smoky vocals of Beth Gibbons. She really has such an incredibly soulful voice, and her soft (and occasionally, abbrasive) tones fit the downbeat music perfectly.

All in all, this album is well worth investing in, and is certainly Portishead's greatest moment by a country mile.


Moby - Play (Music CD) - £5.69

My favourite Moby album

This is easily my favourite Moby album, and, from what I've heard of his material, most definitely his most accessible and commercial release.

With 'Play', chances are you'll have heard snippets of a fair chunk of this album before if you were around in the late 90's - not just from radio play, but from the various TV adverts and various other media the tracks found their way onto. It really did suffer from exposure overkill! But, with that said, some of these songs really are great - the stand out songs being 'Porcelain', 'Find My Baby' and 'Why Does My Heart...'.

This album is melancholic, poppy, super catchy and packed with well used samples - so if that sounds up your street, you could do a lot worse than checking it out.


Green Day - Dookie (Music CD) - £4.79

The album that pulled Green Day into the mainstream...

Yes, 1994's 'Dookie' was the album that pulled Green Day into mainstream attention. Thanks to such tracks as the fantastic 'Basket Case', 'Welcome to Paradise', 'When I Come Around' and 'Longview' - all of which were released as singles (with 'Basket Case' in particular receiving huge amounts of MTV and radio play at the time), this album saw the start of the bands meteoric rise to popularity.

Before this, they'd been a fairly edgy pop-punk band playing with underground success from their previous album 'Kerplunk' - 'Dookie' most definitely had the hooks, the snarling vibe and great tunes to push them into the stratosphere - and that it did.

I used to love this album as a kid, and it's still not been bettered by anything which they released after it in my opinion. Forget Blink 182 and Sum 41 - pop punk purity is right here!


Original Soundtrack - Bugsy Malone (Music CD) - £5.99

A guilty pleasure?

I imagine this soundtrack to be a guilty pleasure of many people who enjoyed the movie in their childhood. Whether the songs would stand up without the visualisation of what was happening in the movie at the time is a tough question, but if you're a fan of the film as I am, you'll love this bunch of cheerful little ditties written by Paul Williams & Alan Parker.

After pressing play, you'll soon be jigging along to 'So You Want To Be A Boxer' or ducking splurge gun pellets to 'Bad Guys' - depending on your disposition, naturally! Now if I could only find myself a peddle car....


Radiohead - Kid A (Music CD) - £5.19

A very different Radiohead, but the quality is still there...

Kid A was quite a divisive album for Radiohead. After the critically acclaimed 'OK Computer', expectations were high for this, their 4th album. When it actually came to the release, it showed a very different Radiohead to the one we'd previously known. Sparse, electronic soundscapes and computerised beats now replaced the rocking guitars and drums that most recognised as Radiohead, with many shunning the change in sound.

But, delving deeper into this album over time, it's pure Radiohead at its heart. This isn't just down to Thom Yorke's recognisable voice, but the songwriting and arrangements - even though different - are still 100% Radiohead. Opener 'Everything in its right place' sets the eerie, intriguing and claustrophobic tone of the album, with Yorke's repetitive refrains crooning softly over gently layered keyboard melodies. Although the rest of the album follows similarly in vibe (discounting the likes of the more uptempo 'Idioteque'), there is still a great variation to the songs on offer here, not to mention a great deal of strange experimentation which more often than not works excellently.

The album flows perfectly once given time to bloom, but is likely to be a challenging listen to non-Radiohead fans who'd perhaps only know of the songs 'Creep' or 'Paranoid Android'. Thus, although this isn't an instant album, it rewards multiple listens greatly - and it's well worth investing the time to indulge.


Johnny Cash - Man Comes Around, The (American IV) (Music CD) - £6.99

A large percentage of covers, but 100% Cash

Johnny Cash was a legend in his own lifetime. Personally, I prefer his later material as I feel as he aged, his voice took on even more soul and emotion which pours out of every moment of this album.

The 4th album in his 'American' series (and the last to be released in his lifetime), this album features some of the greatest cover songs I've ever heard. The best example for me would be his cover of Nine Inch Nails 'Hurt', which Cash makes his own with ease, outshining the original with his heartfelt lyrics and emotional musical swells.

Some other great moments are the opening song 'Man Comes Around' (a song of his own), 'I Hung My Head' (originally penned by Sting), and the Beatles classic 'In My Life'. But to be honest, although these are my own personal stand out tracks, the album as a whole is fantastic. The closing track 'We'll Meet Again' takes on even more poignancy considering it was the last track of the last album released in his lifetime. A fitting album for Cash, which features a feast of musical gems.


Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath (Deluxe Edition) (Music CD) - £7.39

Monolithic!

The debut album for Black Sabbath. Not only was this Ozzy Osbourne's first foray into the music world, but it pretty much single-handedly invented heavy metal. Great songs, a great 70s vibe (as you would expect as this was released in 1970) all topped off with Ozzy's shrill vocals. His range was much improved back in the days, these days his vocals sound shot compared to this album.

Tony Iommi's riff fest was only in the embryonic stages here, later to be improved upon in the coming albums, but you can deny the impact this had on people when it originally came out - it actually scared people as they thought the band were a bunch of devil worshippers!

A great, doomy, album filled with great tracks and memorable tunes. A classic in every sense of the word.


Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath (Music CD) - £8.49

Monolithic!

The debut album for Black Sabbath. Not only was this Ozzy Osbourne's first foray into the music world, but it pretty much single-handedly invented heavy metal. Great songs, a great 70s vibe (as you would expect as this was released in 1970) all topped off with Ozzy's shrill vocals. His range was much improved back in the days, these days his vocals sound shot compared to this album.

Tony Iommi's riff fest was only in the embryonic stages here, later to be improved upon in the coming albums, but you can deny the impact this had on people when it originally came out - it actually scared people as they thought the band were a bunch of devil worshippers!

A great, doomy, album filled with great tracks and memorable tunes. A classic in every sense of the word.


Megadeth - Peace Sells...But Whos Buying? [Remastered] (Music CD) - £5.79

Megadeth's best? Certainly one of...

Clearly Dave Mustaine was still feeling bitter after being booted from Metallica several years earlier, as the overwhelmingly angry feeling from the band's debut 'Killing is my business...' is still here for all to hear on this, their second release.

This time however, Megadeth had the songs to back up the rage. Classic hits such as "Peace Sells", "Wake Up Dead" and "Devil's Island" all still feature in the bands live sets to this day, 25 years after they were originally written. A true classic album from the burgeoning 80s thrash scene, that still sounds great to this day. Well worth investing in.


Guns N Roses - Appetite for Destruction (Music CD) - £5.89

A True Classic

Everyone knows a Guns N Roses track. This wasn't just their debut, it was none other than the bands biggest (and best) album.

Hitting the shelves in 1987, 'Appetite for Destruction' thrust this glammy crew into the mainstream consciousness with such hits as "Welcome to the Jungle", "Paradise City" and "Sweet Child O Mine". The rest of the album, whilst not necessarily as catchy upon first listen, soon works its way into your mind with its sleazy, snarling songs of paranoia, angst and miscreant teenage life in 80s LA.

The only negative I can think of is the 'censored' artwork of this CD - the original uncensored cover was much better! But don't let that put you off. This is a prime slab of great rock music.


Alice In Chains - Dirt (Music CD) - £5.59

More great grunge

The team of the late Layne Staley (R.I.P), and Jerry Cantrell was a match made in heaven. This, the bands second album, has a slightly different sound to the debut 'Facelift' - much more grungey, less 80s sounding and with great guitar driven songs.

The album opener "Them Bones" is the best track on offer here for me, with a really sinister pounding vibe, but this isn't the only jewel, as "Angry Chair", "Rooster", "Down in a Hole" and "Would?" all class as some of the best tracks that AIC ever wrote. The band carried on after Layne Staley's death to great plaudits, but this album really encapsulates the band's greatest moments with their 'classic' line-up in one easy package. Don't think twice - buy!


Soundgarden - Badmotorfinger (Music CD) - £5.99

Rocking...

Soundgarden went onto bigger and better things after this album (with the album that followed this one 'Superunknown', and the excellent track "Black Hole Sun" that got a lot of TV and radio play), but Badmotorfinger was my first introduction to the band after seeing the videos for "Rusty Cage" & "Outshined" on MTV back in the early 90's.

Although a grunge album a heart, this also has plenty of nods toward heavy metal, especially noticable in the aforementioned "Rusty Cage", and the excellent "Jesus Christ Pose". There are a couple of tracks that I felt were filler way back when ("Drawing Flies" & "Face Pollution" in particular), but these grew on me over time, and now fit well into the album whenever it's played - which is regularly.

The greatest thing about this album however are the incredible vocals of Chris Cornell. Never had I heard such power, range and emotion as I did on this release. He was on fire in his Soundgarden days, and never sounded the same during his solo career or with Audioslave. A great rocking record for fans of grunge and metal.


To-Mera - Delusions (Music CD) - £2.19

Not as great as the debut, but...

I'd been looking forward to this ever since I was drawn in by the band's debut album Transcendental, which entirely changed my opinion of female fronted bands with clean vocals. However, when it came down to it, this doesn't quite match up to the greatness of their debut unfortunately. This is not to say that this a bad album however, it just seems a little muddled with too many influences sucked in to the melting pot this time around.

Highly progressive riffage pounds and soothes in equal measures, binding Cynic-like jazziness with late period Emperor-esque controlled disorder. Julie Kiss's vocal work is the calming contrast to the plethora of churning riffs which tumble and fade spasmodically, running in and out of phase with the intertwining lounge and jazz influences that are spattered throughout. Sure, it's pretentious — but at the end of the day, the music contained within this album isn't just the technical display of musicianship that it may be mistaken for upon the first couple of listens. Given the chance to truly sink in, intriguing structures and impressive song compositions seep into the listener's consciousness, planting seeds that begin to flower slowly with every additional listen.

To be honest, it annoys me that some people insist on blindly comparing To-Mera to the likes of Lacuna Coil or Nightwish, as musically they're nothing alike at all (in fact, their brand of music destroys the profitable pop metal of those two in my eyes). There's no blatant stabs at commercialism to be found here which will strike a chord with many, but when they do write a catchy chorus, they don't milk it like many others would, instead letting it linger just long enough to demand another spin. Worth a punt.


Faith No More - Angel Dust (Music CD) - £5.59

A great album

Faith No More's 2nd album with Mike Patton behind the microphone was the album that truly set their place in the pantheon of rock history. I love all the bands albums (barring the early years with Chuck Mosely) but this album really sums the band's penchance for weirdness amongst their great songwriting sensibilities.

There's quite a variation of sounds in this album, with a huge range of influences and styles. 'Caffeine' feels somewhat bi-polar, lulling you into a false sense of security before blasting you with untempered rage, 'Mid-life Crisis' was somewhat of a brooding radio hit for the band (though, not quite as much as their cover of the Commodore's 'Easy' - which is also featured here). 'Be Agressive' is a funky, cheerleader lead(!) song and 'A Small Victory' has a authentic oriental feel thanks to Roddy Bottum's great keyboard work.

Well worth looking into for fans of dark, heavy rock. I highly recommend!


Alestorm - Leviathan (Music CD) - £7.79

A bit of a stopgap

I thought Alestorm's first album was fantastic fun, so was expecting another fine dose of pirate related shenanigans on this their new EP. However, it seems that Leviathan turns out to be simply a stop gap to keep the fans hungry for their next proper slab of pirate metal, without much to offer in the way of interest compared to their debut.

For me it's a bit TOO short, with only 1 original new track (the remaining three tracks being made up of a re-recorded track from their Battleheart days, 1 cover and a German lyric version of “Wenches and Mead” from their debut album). The new track has the same bounding enthusiasm as the shanties from their debut, but with a less tongue in cheek lyrical approach this time around (the song being about… well… a massive sea creature ripping crew limb from limb, naturally).

Their re-recorded Battleheart song also sounds 100 times fresher than its original version. The biggest shock is that the cover of 'Wolves of the Sea' by the dubious ‘pop’ band Pirates of the Sea (yes, the same group that made a Eurovision song contest entry for Latvia) is surprisingly catchy in it's newly 'metalized' form. Finally, “Weiber und Wein” adds nothing to the original version of “Wenches and Mead” – so no shocks there then. All in all, Leviathan is all well and good for what it is, but just don't go expecting too much from it - it merely adds up to the sum of its parts - nothing more, nothing less.


Metallica - Master Of Puppets (Music CD) - £11.89

Flawless

It's been written many times before about this album, and the word masterpiece is chucked around all too freely when it comes to albums these days, but Metallica's Master of Puppets truly is a shining gem amongst thrash metal albums.

Although the bands fifth album (1991's The Black Album) garners most of the attention in the press, THIS, their third release from 1986 is the album that stood the band apart from all their contemporaries, helping them to take the first step into becoming the one of the largest metal bands ever.

Whilst other bands merely bludgeoned their points home, Metallica took a step back, and composed an album of epic proportions. Packed with melody, intelligent lyrics and incisive songwriting - I really can't fault a second of it's runtime.


Foo Fighters - Foo Fighters (Music CD) - £8.19

Rough and ready Foos

The debut of Dave Grohl's Foo Fighters is my personal favourite release from their discography. Likely to have wanted to shaken off any association to Nirvana from the off, they came across as a bit of an uncut diamond on this release. The songwriting ability is certainly there, but they also have a great 'rough around the edges' sound which really sets the album going from the opening drums of 'This is a Call' - something they lost on their more commercial leanings of their later releases.

Tracks such as 'Weenie Beenie' show the band at their savage best, with Grohl's vocals distorting to a incomprehensible stream of bile, and the catchy chorus of 'I'll Stick Around' is up there with the best of their material. As a whole, a great album - well worth looking into.


Adele - 21 (Music CD) - £9.49

Pure talent

It's good to see that this album has done so well - deservedly garnering mass attention and praise from the mainstream press, and selling like hotcakes throughout the UK and beyond. Adele's talent shines through - for once it's not about image or marketing - it's simply down to her fantastic soulful voice and her ability to pen a selection of great, memorable melodies.

A lot of artists struggle with their 'difficult' second album, but Adele has become even more popular as her talent has developed (let's not forget, the girl is still only 21). You simply can't help but get sucked in by the quality of this album, no matter what genres of music you usually listen to. A real grade A premium album - do not hesitate to buy it.