I went to the cinema. Again. Not really a surprise I guess but given the recent Covid-times I think that maybe sitting in a room with other people isn’t a good idea. But then, I think that the cinema needs money to survive and so far there haven’t been more than 20 people in the films I’ve seen and the distancing is quite good. It’s nice to be back [I’m not counting this film].

I went to see Land and it was in screen 8 of the Cineworld cinema in Rochester. I do like screen 8, it was meant to be the “posh” one many years ago but now it’s just slightly more comfortable than all the others with its better chairs and fewer seats. I’m reasonably sure I’ve seen films in there just because it was in screen 8 and not for any other reason.

As I drove along the riverside towards the cinema I noted the state of the tide and it was low. I could see all of the mudbanks and only the central channel was buoyancy-providable. The weather was actually quite nice given the previous day where it rained the whole day and I was silly enough to go for a walk to see the Medway Megaliths, my shoes were soaked but the sun dried them nicely. After I’ve seen a film I rate it on IMDB and there’s a guide to the rating system within this communication. Normally I would then tweet the result from my phone but I removed Twitter a long time ago so the tweets have to wait for the next opportunity when I’m on my home PC.

So, I had to reread my IMDB communication to remind myself of the scoring system. Then I rated this as a 6. It was a perfectly fine film but not one I’d watch again. I booked whatever film I thought looked most interesting. I had slight pangs of concern when I entered the theatre as all the people in there were women and I ended up being the only man in the room. All the trailers were for what I would call “emotional” films – as stereotypical it is I like space films and then thrillers and action films I guess although most action films are stupid. These are not my usual style of film to watch but I was here now and so it was time to soak up what was on offer.

For me the star of the film was the Wyoming countryside. It looks just absolutely gorgeous. It made me think of doing the same and abandoning all of the trappings of modern life and to head off and lead what would feel like a simpler life. When I say get rid of modern life this woman still have tinned food, knives and a rifle. I wonder if everyone feels that they would like to survive by their “wits” rather than our current world system?

The film was broadly speaking enjoyable and told a nice story, one of emotional recovery and trying to learn to live again after tragedy. I know it was for the purposes of the film for the main character to survive after the midpoint of the film but I’m not sure she would. You end up wondering “what are the odds” but it is dealt with very well although all films suffer survivor bias.

The only part of this film that irritated me slightly was that it made shooting things look really simple and easy. I’m not talking about the pulling of the trigger or the moral problems of killing life but I am talking about how hard it is to hit a target with a rifle. Films make this look much simpler and easier than it really is. The funny thing is I actually know what I’m talking about here – I’m a weapons instructor, coach and a range officer – hilarious I know but I do have those qualifications and use them regularly. Me, having official qualifications in something extreme, I find it a curiosity.

The Golden Age Of Grotesque – Marilyn Manson

I quite like the music of Manson. That’s Manson with an M rather than Hanson with an H. I think this chap’s real name is Brian and he sure knows how to write a good song. Can I tell you the name of a single track on this album? Nope. I can tell you that it’s likely I wouldn’t skip a song if it came on. But this isn’t a band I seek out to play.

I’ve just had a look at the track listing and “This Is The New Shit” is a song I know along with Mobscene. Other than that I couldn’t tell you how these tunes go. I get what Manson is doing. He’s being provocative and pushing boundaries and anything that scares the boomers or adult generation is fine by me – yes I know I’m old but I’m still a rebel at heart. I have heard that recently Manson has been accused of being a dick and while I hope he hasn’t behaved like that – because it is wrong – I don’t think I hold up anyone to hero status because they pretty much always end up letting you down or become dicks.

The Downward Spiral – Nine Inch Nails

I’m not sure when I first heard this or when I bought it or how I got into Nine Inch Nails. I do know that this album is really important to Smith because of when it came out and what he was listening to in those days. It has less importance for me. That said this is an album of industrial metal that is well worth getting and absorbing. All the songs are multi-layered and every one has a hook for you.

All tortured souls need to have this album. As do all normal folk.

While writing this I’ve been listening to the album and it’s got me thinking why songs are three minutes long. Not all the songs on this album are that long but, in general, why are songs 3 minutes long? Is it that for some deep psychological reason that is the music average of humans? Is it because that’s where the technology was limited in the early days? Films are kinda ninety minutes long. Is that because of technological limitations or is it because that’s a bladder length? I wonder if it’s to do with the standard reel length of old cinema projection systems? We know that CDs hold the amount of data that they do because of how long one of Beethoven’s things is [could be Mozart]. There are too many things that seem to be standardised and the reasons could be lost in history. I think it’s time for me to do some research.

The Day Is My Enemy – Prodigy

I was really into The Prodigy when they released Jilted Generation and then when they put out Fat Of The Land I was super excited, such a marvellous album. This album was released after those and not one that I bought at the time. I was persuaded back to Prodigy by Shredder and so I got this album to catch up. I honestly don’t think I’ve played it all the way through but individual songs will have been played when my phone is on random shuffle. Here’s the thing. The Prodigy are excellent and the time I saw them at M’era Luna is in the top three for gigs.

Great Stuff.

The Book Of Souls – Iron Maiden

I think I remember that this album was bought for me by JH. I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t think I’ve listened to it. I think generally I’ve moved on and have discovered enough Maiden. The albums produced after the 80s don’t have anything new for me. I know there are a few good songs post 90 by Iron Maiden but I’m not that bothered to discover them. I’m currently going through an “industrial” phase along with aggrotech and EBM. Sometimes I’m sad that the older music doesn’t bother me anymore but at the same time the discovery of new bands really thrills me. I am about to look up one of my current favourite music labels and see what bands on there I’ve not heard before and see if I can buy something.

The Crimson Idol – W.A.S.P.

I had this album playing in the background yesterday to prepare for writing this communication. It was a W.A.S.P. album and that’s pretty much it. When I was younger W.A.S.P. were a bit of a shock band. They went out of their way to be controversial with their music and their antics. I suppose they were a bit like the Alice Cooper of the 80s but without the higher levels of fame. There are two albums by them that are stunning in my opinion and they are Live . . . In The Raw and Headless Children. I think when you are a stupid teenager this stuff seems edgy and amazing especially the songs: Mean Motherfucking Man, Animal [Fuck Like A Beast] and even D.B. Blues. Don’t get me wrong all of those are very good metal songs in their own right but are made better by shock value. In my current age it’s just rather hard to be shocked.

As for this album, I don’t remember what it was like. It’s W.A.S.P. sounding and therefore listenable.

The Best Of Coal Chamber – Coal Chamber

I saw Coal Chamber at Download in 2013 and I remember thinking they were ok. I did note that they had a female bass player and I was impressed with her leather coat. Now, before I Google images to see how my memory matches up to reality we could have a discussion about how memory works. But maybe I’ll leave that for another time. The short version is that memory doesn’t work the way you think it does and is quite fallible.

Chela Rhea Harper
Chela Rhea Harper

OK, so it wasn’t a leather coat but rather a denim outfit. I was close. I suspect I conflated my memory of Coal Chamber and Gary Moore from a Wembley Arena gig back in the early 90s when he came on stage in a glorious long leather coat.

You know when you buy a “best of” and then you do sometimes wonder. If this is the best then was is the rest like? I would say the first four songs on here are really good. But after that I’m not that fussed by them. I think it might be something to do with the sound of this band. It has a Korn feel to the sound and I’ve never quite got on with that. I’m not sure why given that I have been having an industrial revival recently. The overall sound of this band just misses me.

The song Sway contains lyrics from the 1984 single “The Roof Is On Fire” by Rock Master Scott and the Dynamic Three. I guess for shocking the establishment it works perfectly.

The Best Of 1980-1990 – U2

I think I bought this is around 1996 or so. I got this album in a moment of weakness I think. I don’t like U2. I don’t really like their music. I don’t really like them. I just remember having a conversation with MD after I bought it and he was surprised. I genuinely can’t remember when I last played this album.