music review – Marilyn Manson, Heaven Upside Down

Whoever was lucky enough to see Marilyn Manson perform this summer got a taste of his new music, following the minute-long ‘SAY10’ preview from November last year. It immediately sparked buzz: Manson’s new material was more aggressive than anything on The Pale Emperor, his 2015 record. But does aggression equal a great Marilyn Manson album?…

music review – The Naked And Famous, Simple Forms

One of the beauties of The Naked And Famous’ work is that they have crafted their own distinctive sound. Another is that they’re not afraid to take that sound into new and varying directions. Simple Forms is no exception. While 2013’s In Rolling Waves took a stripped-back and subdued approach to TNAF’s unique sound of…

music review – Silversun Pickups, Better Nature

One thing’s immediately apparent when you listen to Better Nature‘s title track “Cradle (Better Nature)”: Silversun Pickups’ first album on their own label New Machine Records marks a decidedly different direction for the band. It’s much bigger and louder than previous efforts, and significantly more produced. While the band has collaborated with producer Jacknife Lee…

tv review – HBO’s True Detective, season 2

Let’s get one thing out of the way first: True Detective Season 2 is written by the writer of its first season, but other than that it has nothing to do with Season 1. True Detective‘s second season tells a new story with an entirely different cast of characters in a new setting. This needs…

film review – The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

2015 is a good year for spy movies: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation was a spectacular thrill ride that bested the previous entries in the┬áMI franchise, and November sees the release of the much-anticipated 24th James Bond film, titled Spectre. In between these two juggernauts Guy Ritchie’s The Man From U.N.C.L.E. has arrived, a Cold War…

tv review – NBC’s Hannibal, episode 3.13

Ahead of watching ‘The Wrath Of The Lamb’ many viewers were cautious: could and would this season finale wrap up the story in a satisfying manner and not leave its audience wanting more? It’s an understandable concern given Hannibal‘s cancellation: the last episode of this particular season turned out to be the note the entire…

film review – Sinister 2

The first Sinister, directed and co-written by Scott Derrickson, was released in 2012 and was a genuinely scary horror flick: the blend of nasty snuff films and the supernatural worked very well, and all of it was grounded by Ethan Hawke’s wonderfully earnest performance. The solid direction and eerie soundtrack also added a lot of…