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Review: Melissa Etheridge @ Riverside Theatre

 

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Article: 5 Stars that Will Continue to Rise in 2016


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Article: Fat Freddy’s Drop Back Themselves With New Material


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Article: The Franklin Electric Announce Australian Tour


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Review: Jacob Diamond – Chum EP


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Review: AC/DC, The Hives @ Domain Stadium


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Review: AC/DC, The Hives @ Domain Stadium

Article: Ben Harper to Kick Off Headline Tour at Sydney Opera House


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Review: Teij ‘I’ll Never Be A Wife’ Single Launch @ Indi Bar


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Review: Matt Corby @ Astor Theatre


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Article: Electric Garden Announces Three New Artists and Perth Sideshow


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Live Review: Riley Pearce + The Julius Lutero Band @ Northbridge Piazza


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Interview: Ruby McGregor (Babaganouj)


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Interview: Sean Mackay (Black Stone From the Sun)


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Live Review: PULMAC May Event @ The Civic Hotel


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Interview: Johann Beardraven (The Beards)


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Interview: Dennis Kooij (Tell the Shaman)


Tell-The-Shaman-475x175Interview: Tell the Shaman

Live Review: Nathan Kaye + Riley Pearce @ Mojo’s Bar


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Article: KISS Visits Australia for Anniversary Tour


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Article: KISS Visits Australia for Anniversary Tour

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Article: The Amani Consort Launch New Album

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Article: Black Stone From the Sun Single Launch 

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Article: Noel Gallagher Lashes Out


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Article: Noel Gallagher Lashes Out

Live Review: Sinead O’Connor @ Perth Concert Hall


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Article: The Music Writers’ Poll 2014


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Article: Sheppard Announces US Tour Plans

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Article: Shane Howard Releases New Album


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Article: Angus and Julia Stone Release New Special Edition Album


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Live Review: Australia Day Eve @ Red Hill Auditorium


Review: Australia Day Eve @ Red Hill Auditorium

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Article: Iggy Azalea – Anything But the Realest


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Single Review: Lime Cordiale – Hanging Upside Down


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Single Review: Lime Cordiale: Hanging Upside Down

 

Live Review: Passenger @ Red Hill Auditorium


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Live Review: Madre Monte @ Mojo’s Bar


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Live Review: Paul Kelly @ Fremantle Arts Centre


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Article: Thee Gold Blooms Announce New Album


Article: Thee Gold Blooms Announce New Album

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Interview: Nathan D’uva (Transcendence)


Interview: Transcendence

Interview: Bex Chilcott (Ruby Boots)


Interview: Bex Chilcott (Ruby Boots)

Interview: Brooks Neilsen (The Growlers)


Interview: The Growlers’ Brooks Nielsen

Live Review: Abbe May @ The Bird


Review: Abbe May @ The Bird

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Live Review: Timothy Nelson & the Infidels @ Odd Fellow


Review: Timothy Nelson & the Infidels @ Odd Fellow

Live Review: The Datsuns @ Astor Lounge


Review: The Datsuns @ Astor Lounge

Live Review: Matt Gresham @ Quarry Amphitheatre


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Live Review – Joan Armatrading @ Astor Theatre


Review: Joan Armatrading @ Astor Theatre

Live Review – The Hoodoo Gurus @ Scarborough Amphitheatre


Review: The Hoodoo Gurus @ Scarborough Amphitheatre

Interview – Timothy Nelson & the Infidels


Interview: Timothy Nelson & the Infidels

Live Review – David Bridie @ Astor Lounge


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Live Review – Toby @ Indi Bar


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Live Review – Hot Dub Time Machine @ Astor Theatre


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Live Review – City of Wannerro Presents 2014: Eskimo Joe


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22 Jump Street Soundtrack Review – Adrenaline Rushes


Group/Singer: Various

Label: 2014 Republic Records

Genres: Rap, Hip-hop, Pop, RnB 

4/5

Whenever we think about film scores and soundtracks, we normally concentrate on those that send goosebumps streaming across our bodies. Those of John Williams, Hans Zimmer, and Danny Elfman usually cause this type of reaction, as their work is almost always bombastic and gripping. Nowadays, we look to these composers to propel certain blockbusters into the Hollywood stratosphere. But what about the little guys in Tinseltown? What about those who don’t aim to soar, but seek to enlighten in a believable manner?

Normally, scores and soundtracks serve as efficient back-ups for action flicks and hysterical farces. They don’t seek to overwhelm or enrapture, but to be as quaint as possible to let the visuals do all the walking and talking. In the case of 22 Jump Street, with comedic talents like Jonah Hill and physical specimens like Channing Tatum gracing the screen, the soundtrack puts the pedal to the metal exactly like its lead characters do.

The soundtrack, with an eclectic mix of RnB and hip-hop tracks, delivers the perfect walk-away-from-explosions-in-slow-motion compilation. From the first note to the last, this soundtrack utilises the most engaging commercial music on offer. This might seem like an out-of-touch description, but this soundtrack’s willpower is bafflingly astonishing. From an outsider’s perspective, this compilation looks like yet another marketing ploy used to sell tickets and albums. However, like the movie, it’s far better than it has any right to be.

Recommendations: ’22 Jump Street (Theme from Motion Picture)’, ‘Models & Bottles’, ‘Work Hard, Play Hard’

After delving into this soundtrack’s invigorating line-up, I took it upon myself to research how and when they’re used throughout the movie. The first track is, unquestionably, the most satisfying of the bunch. This may be considered a negative, but it gets the album off to a cracking start. Entitled simply ’22 Jump Street’, this number matches the movie’s light-as-air tone and humorous aura. Chronicling everything the movie has to offer, Angel Haze and Ludacris’ track is a sure-fire rush. Clinging onto this fun theme tune, the next few tracks honour the material’s rough-and-tumble vibe.

From the opening track onward, the album takes advantage of this-and-last-year’s best dance-floor hits. The Bingo Players and Far East Movement’s  ‘Get Up’ fuses a lively electronica rhythm and catchy lyrics to become a seminal party anthem. Beyond this, tracks including Blind Scuba Divers’ ‘Models and Bottles’, Diplo and Nicky Da B’s ‘Express Yourself’, and Flosstradamus and Waka Flocka Flame’s ‘TTU (Too Turnt Up)’ are visceral and vivacious electronica/pop smashes that move faster than the action-comedy they’re featured in. However, sadly, some of these tracks are difficult to distinguish from one another. Nacey and Angel Haze’s ‘I Own it’ is a forgettable and uninspired pop number.

Effortlessly, the album’s back-end alone is worth a lot more than most blockbuster soundtracks. Electronica anthems including Shermanology & Grx’s ‘Can’t You See’ and Steve Aoki, Diplo, Deorro, and Steve Bays’ ‘Freak’ are relentless numbers that boost this dynamic compilation. By album’s end, it comes back around to being one of the year’s best compilations. RnB hits including Travis Barker, Juicy J and Liz’s ‘Live Forever’ and Whiz Kalifa’s ‘Work Hard, Play Hard’ are two of modern music’s best efforts. Going down like a smooth vodka shot, this Spring Break-worthy compilation pummels and romances its way into the consciousness.

Verdict: A raucous and electrifying soundtrack. 

Inception: Music from the Motion Picture Review – Pure ‘Zimmetry’


Composer: Hans Zimmer (composer)

Label: Reprise

Genres: Score, Orchestral

4½/5

 

In the 2000s, one British director came out of nowhere to rise up through the ranks of the Hollywood system. This director, taking on twist-fuelled narratives and iconic characters, has garnered a large fan-base of critics and enthusiastic filmgoers. Of course, I’m talking about Christopher Nolan. Gracefully, several of his features helped shape the past decade’s impact on cinema history. Arguably, his magnum opus is the mind-bending heist-thriller Inception.

To further deliberate on my affection for Nolan, I should bring up his overwhelming process. Seeking originality and resonance, Nolan’s style seeks to fold cities, destroy superhero laws, and turn amnesia on its head. His artistic endeavours boil down to his pitch-perfect team of professionals, working around the clock to build upon his grand visions. One such player is award winning and idiosyncratic composer Hans Zimmer. Known for birthing some of Hollywood’s most infectious scores, Zimmer brings a level of sophistication to every note, track, and compilation.

With Inception‘s soundtrack, Zimmer and Nolan craft a lively aura and epic scope to immerse the listener in. Here, Zimmer’s style throws each track into idealistic dreamscapes. The album, developing a strategic list of the movie’s scenes and twists, clicks with this game-changing sci-fi flick’s structure. The first few tracks slowly build up to the sprawling crescendos and ‘Bwah’ sounds prevalent throughout the film. The first track, ‘Half Remembered Dream’, utilises the score’s opposing forces. The touching, profound moments clash with the bombastic notes Zimmer’s oeuvre is known for.

Not to be overshadowed, tracks like ‘We Built Our World’ and ‘The Dream is Collapsing’ further examine Inception‘s intensifying universe. With expansive rhythms and experimental riffs controlling the score’s climactic moments, this compilation appropriately establishes itself as a gripping labyrinth. From there, Zimmer’s style grows steadily more potent as the proverbial clock ticks down. ‘Radical Notion’ and ‘528491’ highlight the album’s immaculate attention to detail and tonally consistent turns. Moving between orchestral leaps, these tracks amp-up an already stellar compilation.

Recommendations: ‘Half Remembered Dream’, ‘Mombasa’, ‘Time’

Taking this confident score in a wholly different direction, ‘Mombasa’ further elevates Zimmer’s sterling nuances and intricate tangents here. Hurriedly turning to a more percussive and pace-oriented number, this track successfully pushes the score toward its meaningful denouement. Raising the stakes, this multi-faced track is one of many highlights in this immeasurable gem. The next few tracks, however, reset the moody vibes before launching into memorable flourishes. At this point, it’s worth pointing out that this score has gone deeper than expected.

‘One Simple Idea’, flicking this epic compilation from one tonal shift to the next, sticks to a consistent and infectious beat throughout. Addressing the movie’s dulcet tones and relentless nature, this memorable track is worthy of multiple listens. Upping the ante, however, ‘Dream Within a Dream’ and ‘Waiting for a Train’ are the album’s two gutsiest and most insatiable highlights. Switching the mood from collected to disturbingly creepy; these tracks succeed where their imitators falter.

Efficiently, this transcendent score reaches its due course. Providing a succinct and note-worthy end to Nolan’s production and Zimmer’s artistic endeavour, ‘Time’ hits like a jump from the floor to the ceiling. Achieving the correct balance between addictive and conclusive, this track warrants a significant level of focus and reflection. Assuredly, this album deserves careful and definitive analyses. Even those unencumbered with Nolan’s works will have something to add to the conversation. Rightfully so, we must conquer several layers to truly appreciate Zimmer’s haunting work here.

Verdict: Zimmer’s most engaging score, so far. 

Tron: Legacy Soundtrack Review – Totally Daft!


Group/Singer: Daft Punk (composer)

Label: Walt Disney

Genres: Score, Electronica, House, Trip-hop, Classical, Orchestral

4½/5

In 2010, the music world came into contact with a refreshing and infectious fad. The DJ-fuelled electronica movement, still in full bloom, is comprised of super-star sound mixers and singers experimenting with everything around them. One of the world’s most popular electronica/house groups is Daft Punk. A few years ago, this era-defining, helmet-and-jumpsuit-donning duo – Thomas Bagalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo – cast aside its iconic sounds to deliver a soundtrack that lived up to our ridiculous expectations.

Daft Punk, exploding long before this fad began, has added several dance anthems and number one hits burst to the pop-culture stratosphere. However, the duo’s best work belongs to an overlooked sci-fi action flick. Tron: Legacy, now known primarily for its score, showcases all of pop-culture’s hidden desires. Beyond the alluring aesthetic and eclectic direction, its standout score elevates it above the competition. Fortunately, Daft Punk succeeds in placing a greater emphasis on the movie’s positives.

Robbed of Oscar consideration, the Tron: Legacy soundtrack has radically altered our blockbuster-laden landscape. With electronica groups like M83 and the Chemical Brothers learning from Daft Punk’s efforts here, this soundtrack is more of a game-changer than the movie its made for. Setting up certain sequences and deconstructing others, this score bolsters the movie’s ominous aura and exhilarating action beats. The first track introduces/re-introduces us to a brave and impressionistic universe. ‘Overture’, building upon the awe-inspiring Tron universe, is a refreshing burst of energy.

Recommendations: ‘Son of Flynn’, ‘End of Line’, ‘Derezzed’

From there, the soundtrack makes a habit of tying each concept and thread to the movie’s intricate layout. ‘The Grid’, chronicling the movie’s mind-bending prologue, touches upon the ever-lasting connection between score and narrative. With Jeff Bridges voice delivering a tinge of brevity, this magnetic track leads us through the score’s most alarming motifs. From there, the soundtrack obliterates expectations and examines our love of modern dance music.’Son of Flynn’, setting the tone for the entire score, is a wondrous and brisk creation. Speeding through its short duration, this track warrants multiple listens whilst on the go.

From there, Daft Punk’s greatest effort mixes and matches different sounds to create extraordinary tracks. Fusing thunderous orchestral sounds and electronica motifs for ‘Recogniser’, this album becomes nothing short of exhilarating. In addition, the following two tracks, ‘Armory’ and ‘Arena’, shift gears and bolster the soundtrack’s burgeoning scope. Building upon Daft Punk’s sterling vison, these tracks reprogram and reinvigorate everything we believe about soundtracks and electronica. Further on into this sprawling creation, tracks like ‘Outlands’ and ‘Adiago for Tron’ outline the benefits of Daft Punk’s think-outside-the box processes.

However, despite the aforementioned tracks’ overwhelming prowess and sturdiness, the album’s central tracks live up to Daft Punk’s unbelievable reputation. ‘End of Line’ clicks from the get-go, as its infectious beat pushes this soundtrack through its darker periods. In addition, ‘Derezzed’, I dare say, is the album’s most electrifying and intensifying effort. As its synthesiser beat pulsates, the track’s repetitious rhythm becomes stuck in the consciousness. Boosting Daft Punk’s enthralling vision, tracks like ‘Solar Sailer’, ‘Disc Wars’, and ‘C.L.U’ set the mood for the rest of the album’s phenomenal twits and turns.

By album’s end, thanks to influential and succinct tracks like ‘Flynn Lives’ and ‘Tron: Legacy (End Titles)’, Daft Punk establishes itself as modern music’s most ambitious and transcendent group. Highlighting electronica’s immense worth, their music continually reshapes and improves the genre’s layout. The Tron: Legacy soundtrack, delivering idiosyncratic harmonies and unique sounds, places scores and soundtracks back into the neon-lit spotlight.

Verdict: Daft Punk’s most impressionable and addictive work yet. 

Tokyo Drift Soundtrack Review – Revv-worthy


Group/Singer: Various 

Label: Universal Motown 

Genres: J-Pop, RnB, Hip-hop, Soundtrack

4/5 

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The Fast and the Furious franchise – you either love it or hate it. If car racing and action flicks tickle your fancy, this series will sweep you up in a wave of testosterone and exhilarating explosions. If your someone who can’t stand this series, you’ll uncontrollably let out an audible groan each time a new instalment comes around. With this series collecting an exorbitant number of fans and dollar bills, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to ignore this gargantuan creation.

With an exhaustive amount of money given to each instalment, Universal throws every idea at the wall in the hopes they’ll stick. With this in mind, its noticeable that their cinematic and music-related endeavours are continually taken for a spin. So, for 2006’s Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, the studio pulled its resources together to deliver a memorable soundtrack to salvage this otherwise forgettable instalment. For this threequel, Universal took its influential franchise to the other side of the world. Speeding through Japan, Tokyo Drift‘s soundtrack utilises J-Pop’s best offerings. Here, we’ve got several hits just aching to be blared through sub-woofers across the world.

The first track, developing a solid base-line for this impactful soundtrack, sets up this instalment as a catchy and entertaining offering. As a cognitive part of this mechanised beast, the Teryaki Boyz’ rev-head anthem ‘Tokyo Drift’ stylishly kicks off this sublime soundtrack. From there, the soundtrack paints a badass mental picture of this series’ aesthetic and thematic glory. After Kid Rock’s ‘Bawitdaba’ blares into your headspace, RnB discovery Juelz Santana diverts this soundtrack back to where it should be going. Combining an idiosyncratic rhythm with a head-bobbing beat, this track is one of many highlights in this lively compilation. But what does this all mean? Should we be thinking this hard about a set of songs placed together to sell merchandise?

Graciously, the album picks up speed and delivers pitch-perfect reasons to stick around. With several hits helping us recall certain scenes from this kitsch sequel, its pleasant vibes and pacy beats suit the dumbstruck material. The album goes on to deliver several refreshing and laid-back hip-hop tracks. Embracing the franchise’s penchant for enviable settings, impressive sights, and sexy characters, tracks like Far East Movement’s ‘Round, Round’, Evil Nine’s ‘Restless’, and N.E.R.D’s ‘She Wants to Move’ are infectious numbers that suit the movie’s light-as-air tone.

Recommendations: ‘Tokyo Drift’, ‘Six Days’, ‘Speed’

Delving into multiple genres and influences, this compilation contains enough inspired choices to depart from its commercialised roots. In true Fast and Furious Fashion, Puerto Rican rap/reggae star Don Omar is treated to a couple of vital spots on this spectacular list. His tracks, ‘Bandolero’ and ‘Conteo’ suit this album the way singlets fit Vin Diesel’s muscular frame. Further examining this series’ punchiness and flair, the album hurriedly delves into several fast-paced yet forgettable electronica/rap numbers. Dragon Ash’s ‘Resound’ and Atari Teenage Riot’s ‘Speed’ stall this vivacious compilation, but only slightly.

However, the final few songs amp-up this album’s core merits and believable charms. The film’s opening track, ‘Six Days’, is a surprisingly poetic and unique track fit for this conquering compilation. DJ Shadow and Mos Def’s remix hits several high points and powerful interludes. Perfect for the album’s dynamic aura, this is a note-worthy highlight fit for every car stereo. In addition, GRIFTS’ ‘My Life Be Like (Ooh Ahh)’ is a fun rap number separating itself from everything else. Drifting from one track to another, the Tokyo Drift soundtrack proves that sub-par movies can be elevated by powerful and momentous music-driven moments.

Verdict: The series’ greatest soundtrack, so far. 

Man of Steel Soundtrack – Soaring Superhero Score


Composer: Hans Zimmer (composer)

Label: WaterTower

Genres: Score, Orchestral

4½/5

Each year, acclaimed composer Hans Zimmer picks a handful of blockbusters to cover. Having scored for everyone from Christopher Nolan to Ridley Scott, Zimmer’s glorious style caters specifically to what audiences want from their summer tentpoles. However, by taking on such a high number of popular superhero-action-dramas, people begin to confuse one score with another. For every good Zimmer score (Inception) there’s a tedious one that knocks him back down (The Amazing Spider-Man 2).

Last year, one blockbuster he conquered was the controversial Man of Steel. Despite the movie’s mixed response, everyone agreed that his soundtrack was a super-heroic knock-out. Soaring well-above most sombre orchestral scores, Zimmer’s work redefines the blockbuster soundtrack for the next ten years. The first few tracks, chronicling the movie’s intensifying mood and dreary tone, throws John Williams’ original Superman score into the stratosphere to float away from this new universe. The first track, ‘Look to the Stars’, delivers something most superhero movies fail to deliver – a recognisable theme tune. This uplifting track, building to a ravenous and quintessential crescendo, is one of many highlights in this transcendent compilation.

Surprisingly, this soundtrack flexes its muscles early on. The second track, ‘Oil Rig’, bangs on the drums – emphasising the danger of certain sequences. Cranking up the rousing orchestral aura, this track further bolsters Zimmer’s encompassing vision. Noticeably, like our titular character’s cape, this soundtrack flutters as it soars gracefully from one track to another. Without compromise, Zimmer’s emotionally resonant harmonies and deft nuances seek to lend as much character as inhumanly possible.

Recommendations: ‘What Are You Going to do When You Are Not Saving the World?’, ‘Oil Rig’, ‘Look to the Stars’

From the touching strands of ‘DNA’ and the percussive, mind-melting interludes of ‘Goodbye my Son’, the soundtrack flows in rapid succession from one revelation and unique touch to the next. As is custom for this note-worthy composer, many tracks mould into an idiosyncratic and familiar mass. Drawing us in, each track’s opening chords rise with Superman before zooming into explosive climaxes. Despite the inherent joys and affecting moments, several tracks blend together without lending any time to reflect.

However, hitting the audience like Superman punching his adversaries, these walloping tracks hit where we’re most vulnerable. ‘Krypton’s Last’, coming in at a vital moment in this compilation, tells an intimate narrative about pain and vengeance. With Violin-based notes kicking off this track, its only a matter of time before the intense percussive beats kick in. After a repetitive yet wondrous mid-section, with tracks including ‘Launch’ and ‘I Will find Him’ blending into each other, this compilation ends with its most enthralling and memorable track. The aptly-titled ‘What Are You Going to do When You Are Not Saving the World?’ is an extensive homage to the movie’s awe-inspiring vision.

As one of Zimmer’s more interesting and nuanced scores, Man of Steel blends thunderous percussive beats with impressionable rhythms to set an appropriate tone for this relentless blockbuster. Despite the slight repetitiveness,  several tracks stand above the bold competition. Delivering a thundering aura, this soundtrack will make you believe in Hollywood’s true potential again.

Verdict: A rigorous and energetic score. 

Interview – Bedouin Sea


Interview: Bedouin Sea

Interview – Tim Nelson


Interview: Tim Nelson

Interview – Shell & Avahn


Interview: Shell & Avahn

Interview – Oakland


Interview: Oakland 

Interview – DJ Allira


Interview: DJ Allira

Interview – These Winter Nights


 

Interview: These Winter Nights

Interview – Our Man in Berlin


Interview: Our Man in Berlin 

Interview – Dallas Royal


Interview: Dallas Royal

Live Review – Public Enemy @ Chevron Festival Gardens


Review: Public Enemy Proves they’ve Got Punch…

Interview – The Flower Drums


Interview: The Flower Drums 

 

Interview – David Ross Macdonald


Interview: David Ross Macdonald

Album Review – Better than the Wizards


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Review: Better than the Wizards