Form feet and legs. Form arms and body.

And I’ll form the head.

Archive for August, 2008

Review: Hawthorne Heights – Fragile Future

Posted by rapaleeman on August 25, 2008

So I was asked to write a review of this for a friend.  So after the initial tease the other day here is the final word from me.

To preface, I am a fan of HH.  Really.  Unlike most who write them off as some stupid emo shit that only kids who cut themselves listen too, I don’t.  True in their earlier albums and then so in the new one as well, their lyrics are a tad childish at times.  However the combination of screaming (for emotional effect really) and the singing kept me coming back to their debut “The Silence In Black and White” and their other album “If Only You Were Lonely”.  On to the review.

So upon first playing the record, I heard a really annoying version of the lead singer from the first 2 albums just go on and on.  Not listening to the lyrics, just that painful sound.  See, when their other singer died last year they refused to replace him out of respect.  I can understand that, but when your gimmick is to sing and have a screamer then you need to either not make the record, or write better to make up for it and change the way the songs go.  They only did part of that.

The songs are all well written, I will say that.  They have great meanings and overall make sense in terms of where they are as people (mourning the death of their friend).  “The Business of Paper Stars” the first track seems annoying, but is actually well crafted and has a great hook.  The audience is just missing the contrast of singers.

The same with “Rescue Me” and “Somewhere In Between” just to name a couple.  Great songs, just lacking the dynamic that I signed up for.  Almost like what Linkin Park did by cutting out Mike Shinoda except Mike is still in the band.

“Four Becomes One” is an amazing song though and perfect the way it is.  It is just powerful and when you realize how these guys feel when they lost their friend and how they are coping you will just say “wow”.  Really good track.

And that is really what can be said about the entire album.  It is actually really good.  Well-written and on the whole performed well, just the way they are played.  They are written well, but they are performing the songs as if their other singer was still there.  I expect to hear him scream in some of the weird bits of silence or lack of vocals in the tracks. 

Maybe they needed to do that.  Maybe they still do hear him singing.  I’ll never know, but it is that reason that I can only recommend “Fragile Future”.  The singer’s voice gets kinda annoying very quickly.  If you can get past that though you’ll find a bunch of meaningful, heart-felt tracks that are really well done.  For any fan, it is a must listen.  For others it’s just recommended.

RECOMMENDED

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Random: 08/21

Posted by rapaleeman on August 21, 2008

Well, been a while since I did a random and I kinda need to.  So let me blow my load here and give yall some of my knowledge.

First up is the word “knowledge”.  Come to find out if you ask a gang member what their “knowledge” is they tell you who they are, where they been, wrapsheet, and particulars.  Interesting fact. 

I really want a pair of Heely’s to roll around in my office.  I know they are kiddy, but really it would be cool.  We have some really long hallways and to “heel” down them would be sweet.  True they are kinda childish, but really who doesn’t think it would be cool.  Anybody?  Anybody?  Screw you guys, it would be sweet.

Anyway, I just bought Mass Effect for the 360.  Got it on sale.  I really wanted Too Human but due to a lack in fundage couldn’t afford a full priced title.  I really needed something after the letdown of Soul Calibur IV.  I doubt I’ll ever play that crap again and EBGames only want to give me $30 bucks for it.  Screw that noise.  It cost me $60 dude.

I did pick up a few DVDs for cheap and am watching some of those.  I watched Birds of Prey and honestly it was a lot better than I actually remember it.  Good show.  The new music is ok too (except for the final fight, it needed t.a.t.u. in there).  Got and watched Fastlane too.  Great show as well and the music wasn’t a huge deal except for the theme song and it was missing “I Wanna Be Sedated” by The Ramones in one of the episodes.  The other missing music wasn’t a big deal.

Shwayze had an album drop on Tuesday and it is just really good.  Rap, acoustic, folk, and good ol’ California Pop mixed in is a great combination.  Highly recommend everyone go and buy.  NOW!!!

Hawthorne Heights new album “Fragile Future” came out too and it is just ok.  They lost quite a bit when their other vocalist/guitarist died.  The problem is that they still write the songs as if he is still alive and singing with them.  The problem that is created is that the music is just a really whiny guy singing and a ton of blank spots where there should be screaming.  No contrast in music that really needs it.  The songs though are actually well done, and well written.  Just the delivery and a musician is only as good as the delivery.

Final thought is that the Sidekick LX actually has a screen protector on it out of the box.  Thank you Sharp/T-Mob.

That about does it.  I’m tired and really want to go home.  Watch Burn Notice and Flashpoint on tonight.  Both really good shows.

End Transmission

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Review: Soul Calibur IV (Xbox 360)

Posted by rapaleeman on August 20, 2008

So I finally decided to spend some money and get a new game.  I was really bored and skate. is getting old though I still play it online.  I decided to buy the new Soul Calibur game since I loved the originals and the last one I played (number 2) stayed in my system for months.  Well, not this one.

I rarely make a bad decision when it comes to games and this wasn’t a bad decision, just a hasty one.  I wanted a fighting game and with the added Star Wars characters this seemed to be the perfect game.  It’s not, though not a bad game by any means.  Mainly stale.  Read on if you will.

So I fired up SC4 and started to battle.  I realized the same tactics and button mashing tricks from the past worked again here and that the same unbalanced characters were back.  Kilik is a tad slower, but considering how strong he is, he staggers almost any opponent damn near every hit.  Same can be said about many other characters, though Maxi is a weak tool now.  Yoda, a cool bonus character is broken.  He can’t be grabbed and honestly has terrible combos, though his force powers are pretty good.  Same with The Apprentice from the new Star Wars: The Force Unleashed game (demo coming tomorrow, yeah!!!!).  He is a little more balanced but is just Mitsurugi with a new skin and style with a little bit of force thrown in.

Anyway, as you can tell the characters are the same.  I wasn’t too happy, but at least I don’t have to relearn the entire game.  The characters do look great.  Gorgeous graphics and little to no aliasing.  Background are pretty and actually believable in terms of settings within the Soul Calibur world.  Though the chesticles on most of the female fighters are way too big to be effective in combat and cause a few of the fighters to be horribly misproportional.  But I digress.

The story mode is short.  5 fights.  That’s it.  Arcade mode is short.  8 fights.  That’s it.  The biggies are the online fighting and the tower.  To start the tower is lame.  You can customize your character, but really it is just a different  skin on one of the others and not being able to create a custom Jedi is bullshit.  The online play is absolutely phenomenal though.  Almost no lag, full voice, and other than the spammers and people who only pick the same damn fighters it is great.  Good community too.  Not like Halo or Gears where it is a ton of little kids.  I think the average age is more like 16 instead of 12. 

I’m not going to drag this on anymore.  The game is good.  It is just really the same as the other incarnations and really the Star Wars characters are a desperate gimmick that I think I sorta fell for.  Not ashamed or pissed off since I’m going to continue to play online, but really this game isn’t worth $60 of my hard earned money.  Look for a price drop soon.

INDIFFERENT

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Review: Sidekick LX

Posted by rapaleeman on August 19, 2008

So the Nokia I bought off the internet was not exactly new and as such I was unable to unlock it.  I’m taking care of the matter, but that did not help me this weekend.  I needed a phone.  So I said eff it and I bought the LX.  I know, $400 cash for a phone is a tad steep but damn is it not actually worth it.

So I have previously owned a Sidekick 3, Sidekick iD, Sidekick 2008, and now a Sidekick LX and the LX is the best of the bunch.  I opted not to spend the extra 50 on the Tony Hawk model.  It looked cooler and all, but not worth fifty bones.  I bought Soul Calibur IV instead.

I’ll start with the first thing that people will see: the gorgeous 3 inch screen.  This thing is absolutely amazing.  It is made of the same tech that the Sharp Aquos TVs are made out of and it shows.  Clean, crisp, and surprisingly thin.  The screen is easy to read and makes reading even the smallest fonts readable.  Amazing.

The next thing is the form factor.  It is typical Sidekick (meaning held like a PSP), but the thing is so damn thin. From the front it looks huge what with the giant screen and flanking controls, but seriously, rotate this thing to the side and you won’t see much.  With that said it is still physically big in you hands and easy to hold up to your ear.  The controls are dead on and not as small as the buttons on the Sidekick 2008 which were almost too hard to press/find by feel.  The only button issue is the easy to press keys on the spine.  I have accidently turned the speakerphone on more than once.

In all though the feel of the phone is great.  The keyboard hidden under the is the best on any phone.  Hands down.  Perfect.  Plus, the phone doesn’t have that cheap Feeling of the 2008 version.  True the shell doesn’t come off, but the rubberized back is sweet and makes it easy to grip.  Plus the camera is in a little better spot.  I don’t keep putting my finger on the lens.  It just feels better overall to me than the 2008 did.  Easier to use and hold.

Ok, so I haven’t received the update yet, but even without it the phone is still worth it.  The camera, though less resolution, takes slightly better pictures and has an almost too bright flash.  It is speedy and while it has less RAM than the other models, it hasn’t skipped or locked up on me yet.

The software is again, typical Sidekick/Danger.  Everything is easy to find and use.  Plus with the Jump/Menu button shortcuts, life is a breeze.  The catalog is still there, but custom themes are cool.  I put the Tony Hawk one on.  It is sweet.  Also the e-mail, IM, and music player are sweet as well (thank you for the 3.5mm headphone jack).

I’m not going to keep beating the dead horse.  This is an awesome phone.  Period.  Quality, usability, and just overall form factor make this worth owning.  If you text a lot and need a powerhouse of a phone without all the Windows and Blackberry nonsense then this is it.  True it is a little bigger than the Sidekick 2008, but it is easier overall to use and has a sexier screen.  Definatley worth it.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

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Update on the Sidekick

Posted by rapaleeman on August 14, 2008

So it has been a couple of days and yes I still like the Sidekick 2008 and yes I still think the review is right.  With being said (typed, read, whatever) I took the damn thing back.

Why you may be asking well, I’ll tell you.  For one the model that I had a bad screen and it also had something wrong with the shells.  It wasn’t locking into place correctly making it painfully difficult to get them on and off.  Plus it was $300 bucks.  That’s a lot of cash for a phone that I wil lprobably break in a few months.

So I bought a Nokia 9300 off of the eBays and hope to have it today.  I am phone-less.  I feel naked.  Like some girl just kicked me in the goodybag and is laughing.

Side-note:  I should probably write an article based on how people are dependant on having a phone constantly shoved up their ass (myself included in the statement).

End Transmission

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