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Holding onto Strings Better Left to Fray

By That Guy

Eether is a band that this writer considers should be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame soon, even if only for the achievement of turning George Michael's “Careless Whisper” into a good song. Their last album, 2007's “Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces” was greeted with negative reviews from critics but did herald the cult hits “Fake It” and “Breakdown” and of course, the aforementioned Careless Whisper cover. The grunge/ alt. rock band make their return after four years with their album “Holding onto Strings Better Left to Fray”.

Four years out of the spotlight can do a lot to a band (go to Google and search “Sieber Seether”) and this album is Seether's first to feature lead guitarist Troy McLawhorn who left the band to rejoin Evanescence just before the album's release. But the guitarist isn't the only change present in this new album. Shaun Morgan's screams are virtually gone and have been replaced by heavy, strong melodic lyrics. Initially a bit alien, it does start to grow on you.

Their second single from the album “Tonight” is full of chugging riffs and has a solid beat but is surprisingly catchy and is reminiscent of the likes of Foo Fighters. The metal-tinged licks on “No Resolutions” blazes the way for another shout-along anthem in Seether's arsenal. Morgan's snarled, barked verses piercing through a crazy swirl of bass and guitar on “Fur Cue” make that one of the stand-outs of the album, and most impressively, he manages to sound coherent throughout his furious delivery of the lines. But for all the anger and fire, there are some slower numbers to break the charging pace such as the power-ballad, “Master of Disaster” which was my personal favourite song from the album.

But for all the good, there is also the bad. Sometimes you can have a “Y U NO LOVE ME” song and it's all good, but to have Morgan stabbing his melodramatic “pain” at an anonymous “you” over and over again in songs like the self-explanatory “Down” is painful to listen to. “Pass Slowly” doesn't seem to pass fast enough.

Seether is one of the few remaining occupants of the hauntingly barren arena of good modern rock bands. This album, even with it's few below par songs, should still instil some comfort in rock fans' hearts that there are still bands out there trying to relive the glory days gone by.
Rating: 7/10



By Musarrat Rahman

Before SNL and The Flight of the Conchords, there was Monty Python's Flying Circus. It was a completely meaningless name given to the comedy troupe of John Cleese, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Terry Gillian and Graham Chapman. Their distinctive brand of surreal, impertinent sketch comedy and satire amused the public and the critics on BBC 1 and BBC 2 from 1969 through 1974. Their shows, and later their movies, were mainly spoofs of European history, repression of the British establishment, parodies of prominent intellectual and cultural personalities and lots of men in dresses.

For comedy lovers everywhere, Monty Python's controversial, yet hilarious, film 'The Life of Brian' is a must watch. It tells the story of Brian Cohen (played by Graham Chapman), a young Jewish man who is born on the same day - and right next to - Jesus Christ and is therefore mistaken for the Messiah by the three wise men. Such is the life of Brian Cohen, who even as a young man is continuously the object of confusion and is followed by people looking for answers to their mere existence in this world.

Monty Python's brand of comedy is a clever satire in the dialogues, somewhat droll humour, slapstick comedy, ridiculous costumes and a catchy tune now and then. So if you are into the 'Beavis and Butthead' (which BTW is also brilliant, no doubt) of it all, then maybe you won't enjoy is as much but watch it anyways.

But if you enjoy this movie, you might also be into the other Monty Python classics:

'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' which is based on the legend of King Arthur, his squire Patsy, the Knights of the Roundtable [Sir Bedevere the Wise, Sir Lancelot the Brave, Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-As-Sir-Lancelot and Sir Galahad the Pure] and the Black Knight who never gives up despite the loss of all his limbs. The movie is, of course, about how Arthur and the Knights go on a quest for the Holy Grail after receiving a message from God.

'Monty Python and the Meaning of Life' has a more dark comedy approach compared to the other two movies. It's more like sketches thrown together to show the cycle of life from birth to death. Some parts even break the fourth wall and commentate on its own scenes and creations. It still stays true to Monty Python's personal brand of funny, intelligent comedy and is a must watch for other fans of this group.

So sit back and enjoy these films with some friends or on your own and remember to “always look on the bright side of life!”

By Selima Kabir

You've been super busy. You hardly have any time. When you do, you're usually too tired or too lazy to be bothered to do anything. It's a global phenomenon now. We know about all the things you've missed because of this. All the movies you couldn't watch. It's no excuse but we get it. More importantly however, Angry Alien Productions gets it.

What is Angry Alien Productions? What is it that they 'get'? How is any of this related to not having any time?

It all started in 2004 when animator Jennifer Shiman got really bored and wanted to create a funny web comic series. She felt especially inspired and made a 30 second recap of The Exorcist (that's where the time and the 'get'ting comes into the picture). It was such a hit that she made 70 more.

Somewhere in between these 70 re-enactments, in 2005, this American Premium Subscription Channel (kudos to those who know that this is, Google is my advice to those who don't) called 'Starz!' commissioned Shiman to make more of these shorts. They were aired by Starz and then put online.

Since then they've gained a lot of publicity. They've been featured on CNN, won two Webby Awards and a People's Voice Award, added Crackle - another hotshot company - to their distribution partners, created a website, went on hiatus and came back with more shorts.

Okay, cool. Thirty second films sound kind of fun, but what's with all the buzz? What's so great about it?

Brace yourselves. These animated shorts - each only thirty seconds long - replaces cartoon-people-actors with... BUNNIES.

Yes, the epitome of cuteness: bunny wabbits. Except, these bunnies are a little creepy and demented. But that's hardly the point. Yes, just imagine your favourite classic movie - the one you've been putting off re-watching because you can't make time for it - summarised perfectly in 30 seconds with bunnies in it.

Remember when you were imagining what Kill Bill would be like with animated bunnies in it? Well, imagine no more. Just go online and search for 30 Second Bunnies. It's everything you would hope for from it and more - mainly because Shiman isn't afraid to add her own touch to the story lines.

These movies are perfection redefined. They're just the break the world deserves from its stressful, hectic life. To make things easier for you, we'll even recommend some.

Make sure you take a peek at: Borat; Die Hard; The Exorcist; Fight Club; Harry Potter; Jaws; Whatever Superhero movie they've got there; Star Wars; Superbad; Titanic; and of course, Twilight.

Or, you could just watch all of them. They're only 30 seconds after all.


By Mahir

The success of Arkham Asylum back in 2009 was unexpected but Batman: Arkham City pretty much ensured profit for Rocksteady studios. Whether it's a movie, comic or game, Batman is fabulous everywhere and the Dark Knight returns once again at the gamers' disposal and this time, with a number his psychotic and iniquitous nemeses.

The plot begins with Bruce Wayne being kidnapped during a press conference, by Hugo Strange, the warden of Arkham City which is situated right in the middle of Gotham. There he finds out about a mysterious protocol 10 but before he could settle his score with Strange, the other villains intervenes. Penguin and Two-Face have started a gang war in the city and it seems Joker is dying in a disease and he somehow manages to infect Batman with his blood hoping that Batman would find the cure for him. Simply put, Batman has to stop Protocol 10, prevent an all out gang war, find the cure for his disease and stay alive during the process! Impossible? Nah, its Batman after all.

The game maintains Batman's usual dark theme and the graphics synchronizes perfectly with the gloomy environment of the besmirched city. The story is sinister, twisted and will keep the gamers guessing which criminal will strike next. Batman gets a few new gadgets like the remote electric charge (a ranged stun gun), freeze grenade and smoke pellets besides the old ones he used before. The introductions of new characters like Ra's al Ghul, Deadshot, Hush, Dr. Freeze and Mad Hatter elevates the game and last but not least the hot Talia al Ghul, too bad she……oops that's a spoiler.

The game can also be played as Robin and Nightwing as well and Catwoman has her own storyline but all these needs to be downloaded. The thing which sucks the most in this game is the lame navigations system. It takes more time to locate the mission then actually doing it. The game keeps gamers informed about the activities of other super villains as batman can pick up radio frequencies and the inmates while talking among themselves pass around a lot of interesting information.

Unless you are hardcore fan of the man of steel (who apparently gets wasted in the presence of a specific green pebble which also seems to be found abundantly in earth) you'll love this game and the by the end of it you are bound to admire this flawless game; all you have to do is ignore that annoying Riddler.


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