Miscellaneous

22 Jump Street, film review.
From the Clash film column, June 2014.
“Come for the dick jokes and stay for the meta humour” would be an accurate if commercially unappealing tag, for amidst the blokey humour there’s something of real substance bristling away at the edge.

Back To BASICs: The Pioneering Football Management Games.
From Backpass, summer 2012.
Budgets being what they are, not all companies could afford to splash their cash on a Clough, Dalglish or Lineker, which is probably how Dundee’s European Challenge came to life. This offered the less than appealing challenge of being Archie Knox’s player / assistant manager in the team’s battle for a European spot.

Break-Up Songs: Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Jr.
From a cancelled book project, March 2014.
The most damning piece of evidence is almost obscured by its position towards the end of the song. Whereas Bryan Adams had the sense to hide the holler “ME AND MY BABY IN A SIXTY-NINE” as Summer of ‘69 faded out, Parker Jr. gives the game away with the lascivious glee of “Busting makes me feel good!” I bet it does, Ray, but keep it to youself.

Break-Up Songs: Song For Whoever by The Beautiful South.
From that same cancelled book project, March 2014.
Jennifer. Alison. Phillipa. Sue. Deborah. Annabel, too. And Cathy and Mary and Shirley and Julie. Song For Whoever co-writers Paul Heaton and David Rotheray must’ve been unlikely lotharios. Sure, they weren’t bad looking lads (although Heaton’s dancing ability suggested that he had no left feet), and their musical ability mixed with wry sense of humour must’ve helped with the ladies, but that’s quite a remarkable list of conquests for two men who wouldn’t stand-out from the usual suspects who are featured on Crimewatch. Indeed, there were so many that they admit that they can’t even remember all of their names.

Faith No More: The Complete Guide.
From Clash, July 2014.
The San Franciscan quintet spent much of their initial six-album career flirting with genres and switching without notice from sweet to savage.

Faroe Play: Fulham kick off the 2011-2012 season.
From Just Football, July 2011.
Looking livelier than he has in years, Damien Duff runs into space on the left-wing in anticipation of a pass. Desperately calling for it, he makes an otherworldly high-pitched yelp that sounds like a pterodactyl being tortured. For the remainder of the game he’s mercilessly targeted with furious squawks and a particularly compelling impersonation of Duffman from The Simpsons.

Flicks That Kick: A Football Film XI.
From Clash, June 2014.
Stupidly hilarious, it’s basically Eric Cantona and Nigel de Jong cast in Crouching Tiger: Hidden Dragon.

How ‘Your Sinclair’ Magazine Changed Video Games Journalism Forever.
From VICE, July 2015.
The octo-coloured palette meant that games tended to look at best atmospherically minimalist or at worst as garish as having Enter the Void injected directly into your retinas.

Iron Maiden, ‘A Matter of Live and Death’ album review.
From Record Collector, summer 2006.
A baroque style acoustic introduction finds Dickinson acting as a court jester; a style at odds with the horrific tale of a mustard gas attack that accompanies it.

Loss Adjustment: A Salute to Peep Show.
From Clash, November 2015.
Maybe the future of the London housing market will mean that everyone from number-crunching drones to second rate Bezs will be forced to flat-share in Croydon well into middle-age in some form of Oyster Card purgatory.

Nevermen, album review.
From Clash, January 2016.
A first spin of the record is akin to trying to cram three erections into one orifice: it’s excellent in theory, but in practice there’s too much busywork going on to fully satisfy anyone.

PUP, album review.
From Record Collector, May 2014.
PUP’s greatest strength is in doing the simple things well: succinct melodic firecrackers delivered at a frenetic pace with gang-call vocals deployed at every feasible opportunity.

Sin Ciy 2, film review.
From Clash (magazine and film column), August 2014.
Barely a moment passes without the kill count shooting up like a busted thermometer or without flesh exposed like a rerun of Basic Instinct on a black and white TV – but violence and sex usually provokes something more substantial than indifference.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2, film review.
From Clash (magazine and film column), April 2014.
Unfolding over the course of over 140 minutes, as if grandiosity is a desirable trait in its own right rather than a misfortune, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 masks the paucity of its largely obvious A-Z plot with enough visual spectacular to trick your mind into believing that a whole lot more is happening than it really is.

We Are What We Are, film review.
From the Clash film column, February 2014.
Just like a people-eater trying to find sustenance at a catwalk show, the world of indie horrors generally offers slim pickings. Remakes. Reboots. Uwe Boll. It’s enough to cast you into an eternal Nietzschean funk.

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