A Daft Legacy

With the release of the highly anticipated Tron: Legacy on December 17th it’s only fair that its unique soundtrack by French DJ’s Daft Punk gets the same treatment.

It seems only right then that the DJ’s who made their name in the 90’s house scene started their careers with a meeting a Euro Disney. Their unique brand of future-house-techno, as I’m labelling it, took the world by storm with such singles as ‘Around the World’ and ‘Technologic’ and their even more unique ‘style’ on stage is a uniform of leather suits with helmets shielding them from the rave happy crowds. Helmets you say? That sounds familiar. Yes Daft Punk are those guys that look they should have been in Tron. How perfect then that they happen to create music that suits the tone of the film like Cinderella’s slipper fits her own foot.

Jimmy takes a bite out of Manchester…

Knowing that Minus the Bear were supporting I had been excited about the gig for a long time and thus arrived early not wanting to miss anything. I don’t know if anyone has ever turned up to a gig at doors opening time, but I hadn’t before and it was a sight to behold. I was a bit shocked at the cleanliness and spaciousness of the Academy (which is much bigger than you think.) Luckily it paid off as drinks are half price till half 8 which worked out at treat, two cans of Red Stripe for £3.80 I think so my friend.

Arriving early is also an excellent idea for all us small people that populate the planet because it means you can see, which isn’t essential to the music, but you know, it’s a nice part of the gig-going experience since you paid 20 quid for a ticket. I still managed to miss what everyone chuckled about during the support set, but whatever it was probably shit anyway.

My Chemical Romance’s latest effort isn’t so much an album release as a well orchestrated apocalyptic art event. With the advent of listening parties the band last night offered fans worldwide an exclusive preview of the album as hosted by the elusive Dr. Death Defying.

Apparently this is the bands departure from concept albums, but you tell me, fans are ‘killjoys’, areas are ‘zones’, enemies are ‘draculoids.’ Now personally I don’t care about this, they are great at what they do and this whole new world is utterly engrossing, so why change? Though this is still a concept album, it’s a massive leap from their previous sound with everything bright, poppy, and dripping electro from its very core.

Within the first three songs two singles are showcased. The world has already heard ‘Na Na Na’ and is undoubtedly sick of having it infused in their brains, but ‘Sing’ is relatively new and I’m sure it will sneak its way into the charts. Structured like a 30 Seconds To Mars song it seems a bit too epic for such an early place on the album, but it does have some more traditional My Chem breakdowns thrown in.

Everything Everything Get Dancey With Us….

Everything Everything are the best British band you haven’t heard of, until now. With the release of debut album Man Alive here is a band everyone can be proud of and they don’t sound anything like Oasis.

Foals and the recent onslaught of bands that lure us in with their charming indie awkwardness and pop hooks is exactly where Everything Everything should sit on your shelf. Yet just as Foals swallowed themselves up in a pseudo-intellectual nightmare along came Everything Everything to make you dance.

The boys were sad to find that their vanishing cream was a little too effective...

The boys were sad to find that their vanishing cream was a little too effective...

Not to tarnish them with cool art-rock expectations too soon, but quirky is a word that comes to mind. ‘Photoshop Handsome’ starts off with 8-bit Nintendo sounds and morphs into all four band members melodically singing about being airbrushed in schoolboy style rounds.

The album opener and re-released single ‘My Kz Ur BF’ is a sure-fire club hit demonstrating the bands penchant for dark lyrics “and I haven’t seen the body-count lately but looking at your faces it must have been bad” and sing along choruses.

Everything Everything’s sound is at odds with itself, they are a definite product of the digital age and yet somehow it all manages to sound very natural. Any song would sound at home on Radio One and ‘Come Alive Diana’ could be an Interpol song if half way through it didn’t have a laptop induced breakdown. The production brings a clean, layered, almost angular sound to the album which is reminiscent of Minus The Bear’s icy math-rock.

Just as your giddiness has peaked out come the ballads ‘Nasa is On Your Side’ and ‘Tin (The Manhole).’ While the sentiment is a good addition to a great album, at four minutes plus the return to sharp electro for finale ‘Weights’ is welcoming.

Everything Everything and Man Alive are insatiable. If you don’t tap your feet or attempt to sing to nearly every song on this album then you’re probably dead.

The gig is a sell out, the band on the other hand are not…

My Chemical Romance are getting bigger by the year and now, with the release of Danger Days, they are set to go astronomical. The band had some trouble after The Black Parade with the departure of drummer Bob Bryar, an entire album scrapped, and about two years away from touring everything could have been a bit of a disaster for them. Luckily for them they know what they’re doing.

Storming on stage to riotous applause they waste no time and get straight into new single ‘Na Na Na’ out of the four or so new songs they play, which are all tinged with electro, this sounds the most polished and is a rowdy opener to get people going.

When you see My Chem you go to see a show rather than just a band, yet this was more of a minimal affair with little in the way of crowd-banter or showmanship. This new low-key style fit perfectly with their set which consisted of songs mainly from Three Cheers. This was a band embracing their roots with some ballsy pseudo-aggressive rock. Gerard stalked the stage like he was genuinely pissed off and even invited one lucky crowd member on stage to help sing ‘Honey This Mirror Aint Big Enough for the Two of Us’ from debut album Bullets. He was greeted on stage to “If you dare ask for fucking photo you’re gone” and then proceeded to miss the song queue three times. Fans eh?

With only the one song from Bullets played some of the older fans were inevitably disappointed. Though with a very young crowd (parents were involved for under 14’s) that went nuts for singles like ‘Teenagers’ this wasn’t much of a problem. That wasn’t the only problem with the evening. The Apollo is a great venue because you can see no matter where you are and it’s a pretty perfect size for a band of their stature to seem like it’s still intimate, but the sound quality just wasn’t good enough. This was more likely a problem with the band, who had slightly adapted some intro’s the fit with the ‘space music’ in-between songs, but they never seemed to pick up the pace again ‘Ghost of You’ was a particular low-point.

Despite all this the songs they do play well ‘You know what they do to guys like us in prison’, ‘Dead!’, ‘Give em’ Hell Kid’ etc…have thousands of people screaming the words and sound flawless. When they get it right there is nothing like it.

My Chemical Romance has a lot to offer and if you’re a fan of the albums then the raw energy of seeing them live is a must.

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