Monday, 25 September 2017

Taya Valkyrie in Impact Wrestling

(Sorry I haven't updated for a while. Life kept getting in the way.) 

   I have to admit, when I heard that Taya Valkyrie was coming to Impact/GFW/Whatever it is this week I perked up somewhat. 
  
   I've been thinking for a while that the Knockouts Dvision desperately needed some more depth, especially since half their current roster doesn't actually wrestle that much.  Taryn Terell has only done run-ins, Allie mainly does mixed matches or backstage stuff and poor Laurel Van Ness has spent recent months alternatively insane, acting as arm candy for Kongo Kong or being courted by Grado.  I wonder if she's upset somebody... 

  So having a statuesque, bona-fide Lucha Libre star rock up in the Impact Zone could only be a positive thing. I'm already looking forward to some fun matches against Rosemary and with a bit of luck Taya Valkyrie will bump into Sienna at some point down the line. 

There's just one thing I have an issue with and I acknowledge it's a bit petty. 

Taya's ring gear.

Not all of it though. The robes are awesome, perfectly suiting the Warrior Queen look she's going for. And I like the one-piece leotard which makes more sense to me than the crop-top & shorts Rave Gear that's the vogue these days.  The only bit I have an issue with is what's on her feet.


 Sorry Taya but much as I think you're awesome, I really don't like the Neanderthal legwarmers you're rocking here. Don't they slow you down at all?

  Please don't track me down and hurt me.

I'll leave with one final thought.

Look at this picture.

 One of these women is a much-loved babyface. If you don't follow Impact Wrestling, can you work out which is which?

Hint: it's the woman with a skull for a face.

Wrestling gets strange sometimes. 

That's all folks. 

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Heavy Metal Cover Girls: A Whiter Shade of Pale

   Heavy Metal Cover Girls is a semi-regular feature where I post Metal/Rock CD covers that share a common theme. They also feature attractive young women who may or may not be wearing clothing. This is purely coincidental. 

  The theme today is all about colour or rather the lack of it. 

One of the things I've made several posts about is the way artists use colour to make an impact and to play into established  tropes. Red for the little girl lost in the woods. Black for the dangerous outsider. White for the virgin in peril. You get the idea. 
 But what about taking that idea a little further? What about using white and then making it as white as you can get? 

 All the covers today aren't about women wearing white, they're about women who are so white of skin and hair  that it becomes almost inhuman. 


Ancient Myth - Aberration "Pt1" (Japan 2016)

pale skinned women artwork
 Damn that's a big monocle. 


Catharsis- Prima Scripto Demo (Russia 2003)

Metal album art women
 Technically this is white with a greenish tint.
However her eyes are white as are certain other bits on prominent display. 

One of the things you're going to be seeing a lot is that when out heroines have white skin, they have a lot of white skin. 


Architects of Agony- Down The Rabbit Hole (USA 2016)

Heavy metal cover girls
That's not remotely creepy, is it? 
It's basically 50 Shades Of Wonderland. 

The band have a homepage here:

https://architectsofagony.bandcamp.com/



Dreadful Minds - Love / Hate /Lies (Germany 2014)

The artwork is quite simple but I quite like the way it gets over the message and I find myself asking "What's the story here?" 
Is the card in her hand for her or for the viewer?


Snake-o-phobics look away now. 


Red Queen - Star Blood (USA 2016)
Not a lot of red on display here. 
Also, Jesus Christ the snakes, man. The freaking snakes!

Ahem. Now I've stopped shivering, you have to admit that is a very striking image.
Hints of Classical Statuary maybe? 

Band homepage here:

http://redqueenband.com/


 Sex & Sin - Mother's Therapy (USA 2016)

   Whereas the inspiration for this bit of artwork is easier to work out.

Picture sourced from http://ladydeath.wikia.com

I have no idea what the cover has to do with Mothers or therapy but that's common with these covers. 

It actually fits the music quite well as Sex & Sin are a  reformed 80s Hair Metal crew. 
Check them out here:


Opus Arise - Revelation (Canada 2016)

Albino naturist accidentally finds herself in Hell. Is naturally startled. 

Speaking of hell...

Cruenta Lacrymis - Sweetness and Blasphemy (Italy 2015)

White definitely not representing purity here. 
This is more the white of things that live in the dark, deep underground.
I can feel her blind eyes staring into my soul. 

That's all folks.  


Saturday, 2 September 2017

DVD Review: Batman And Harley Quinn

  When Poison Ivy and rogue Tree-spirit Jason Woodrue break into S.T.A.R Labs to steal some biowarfare research, Batman and Nightwing have to track the flowery duo down before they can unleash mayhem on the world. 
   To do that, they need to enlist the help of somebody who knows Ivy better than anyone. 


 Unfortunately that somebody is Harley Quinn.  


  This DVD is a pleasant surprise to those of us who have happy memories of the old DCAU cartoons - Batman: TAS, Superman and Justice League - as it uses the signature stylised animation style and witty dialogue of the "Diniverse"

 As a useful bonus, Harley is the loudmouthed, fruitcake we know and love, rather than the darker-edged psycho of recent media.

  Since the writers are well aware that their DCAU audience is now older, they use the DVD format to push the envelope just a little bit. There's a couple of low-level naughty words, more graphic violence and then there's this ...

Harley underwear.

     It gets even less kiddie-friendly after this, believe me. 

  I loved this DVD. The cast are all excellent, especially Kevin Conroy who may be the definitive Batman.  There's plenty of action, plenty of funny bits and some developments that the writers clearly threw in for the hell of it. The oddball team-up of Batman, Nightwing and Harley is marvellous in itself and serves as a springboard for more fun-times.

   I think I made this face a few times. Minus the boobie-shake obviously. 

  Why's Harley looking so pleased with herself? 

Oh God. That's why.

  Batman suggests you buy this DVD. Or else.  

  
  To sum up: if you loved  the DCAU, loved Harley Quinn and want to see a DC movie that isn't grim and a slog to watch then check out Batman and Harley Quinn. 

  

Monday, 28 August 2017

Black Metal Crew Sataninchen Sing About Cats And Stuff

I wish I knew why Metal attracts so many strange and ...unique... bands.  The scary part is, you are never quite sure whether they're a parody, genuinely nuts or skipping back and forth over the DMZ dividing the two.  Take Manowar.  After 30 years people still aren't sure if they're tongue in cheek or not.

Luckily there are some clues that German Black Metal band Sataninchen are playing for laughs.

There's the cover of their latest album for starters. 



  After I stumbled across the memorable artwork above I knew I had to go check out some of their music and that's where I found this 2016 promo video.  It's in German, a language I can barely order a beer in, so the subtleties of the lyrics are sadly lost on me.  There's a bit about cats and I'm sure there's something about dicks in there too. 
  Why? Buggered if I know. 

   Either way the end result is rather catchy. See for yourself.


 if you want to hear more, pop over to their bandcamp. : https://sataninchen.bandcamp.com

That's All Folks. 


Saturday, 26 August 2017

Giant Ass Cuttlefish

   I can't remember when I first noticed something different about one of the old buildings on Museum Road, Portsmouth. I do remember that I kept forgetting to take my camera along to capture  what I found.

   Eventually I managed to arrange it that I was walking down Museum Road in daylight, with a fully charged camera in my hand and i proceeded to take some photos of Pompey's newest bit of wall-art.


  A really, really big Cuttlefish. 

This might give you some idea of the scale.

  The building is part of the Portsmouth Museum complex although as far as I know, this block is unused. 
(Which, by the way, means I am dying to see what's inside. D'you think if I asked nicely they'd let me have a poke about?) 

  A quick Google turns up this piece from the Portsmouth news, explaining that the local wildlife Trust asked wall artist ATM to paint something commemorating the  Portsmouth area's marine life. 

 
 I didn't actually know that you got Cuttlefish round here, let alone that they bred locally so that's a nice surprise.

 I like the painting. I'm all in favour of anything that makes blank walls a little less blank and city spaces a little more colourful.

 Here's some more pics. 




If you get up close you can really see how many intricate brush strokes ATM used. 

Shame there's a bloody great pipe in the way but it's impressive how he managed to work around it. 

   So there you have it. I'm hoping this big cephalopod stays up there for a nice long time and causes great confusion to passing tourists for many years to come.

   That's all folks. 



Tuesday, 22 August 2017

A Surfeit Of Bags

  When the UK Government introduced the Carrier Bag Charge in 2015 I think I ended up doing what a lot of people did.  Given the option of a flimsy bag for 5p or paying a little more for something that could be reused, I naturally went for the reusable bags.

 And this would have been great if I'd ever remembered to reuse them. 

 What tended to happen was that I'd decide to do some shipping on the spur of the moment, realise I'd forgotten to bring the damn bags once again and pay for yet another reusable bag which ended up on top of my kitchen cabinets.

 After two years, that sort of thing really mounts up so when I went on an uncharacteristic decluttering binge I pulled all the bags down from the tops of my cabinets and ended up looking at this.  


  Well crap, That's a lot of bags, isn't it? 

 I shudder to think how much all this lot cost me. 

  There isn't really a punchline to this post, except to say that once upon a time I had a stockpile of cheapo carrier bags. I still have a stockpile of carrier bags except they're bigger, more expensive and more difficult to slip into my back pocket on the offchance that I decide to nip into Iceland.   Oh joy. 

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Terrible Metal Album Covers- Chapter XXVI

Hello and how has your weekend been?  Mine's been mostly OK although I really wish the seagulls that have been squawking non-stop since 4AM would pack up and sod off to somewhere far away from me.

Tell you what. Let's have a look at some album covers that are a bit shite, shall we?

Some bands have a good concept but do it badly, some have a bad concept and do it really badly and some just threw a handful of crayons at the wall and used  the result. I leave it to you to decide which is which.

 Before we go any further I'd like to issue my usual disclaimer.

Bad cover does not equal bad band. 


Now read on. 


Chaos Injected - S/T 2016

Terrible metal album covers

There's a man surfing in a toilet. 
That's the not even the most bizarre thing about this cover.
Ho Boy.


Roctum - Nothing To Do With Hell EP (Finland 2017)


These Finns make it perfectly clear that they aren't Satanic.
Still not exactly people you'd invite around for milk and cookies though.
They seem entirely too keen on stabbing dudes for my liking.

Demon - Blow-Out (UK 1992)

Question: If you didn't know this band, what do you think they'd sound like based on this album cover?
Dodgy Teutonic Speed Metal?
Raucous South American Thrash?

Here's a perfect example of a band being let down by their artwork because this Staffordshire
crew have been delivering sophisticated, intelligent hard rock since 1980 and
sound more like Magnum than whatever mental image that cover brought up.

Great band.
Terrible cover.

Dark - Sex N Death (Cz. Rep. 1992)

awful metal artwork

So what does this cover have to do with "Sex", exactly?

Dark have a song called "Sex Shop of Doctor Fuctor" which amuses me more than it should.


Harrow - The Pylon Of Insanity (NLD 1994) 

Bad metal album covers

The pylons are apparently made of  turds so that's pretty insane.

Sticking with giant-ass eyes... 

Dizziness - On The Rocks (Sweden 2013)

awful metal album covers
 The artist is trying to be clever, isn't he?

He also seems to think it's still 1984.

Dawn Hawk -S/T (1990)

terrible album cover metal hawk
I'm going to have nightmares about giant, clutching pink claws tonight, I just know it.

Time for me to go shout at some seagulls so I'll knock it on the head.

That's All folks. 

Saturday, 5 August 2017

The Osborne Road Gallery

 While on my way down to the seafront to snap some ships I took a moment on the way to document some of the current artwork decorating the defunct Grosvenor Casino.  Hope you like them.

Southsea Osborne road murals
  One of the trademarks of this artist is birds looking pleased with themselves. 
The seagulls round here are even more arrogant and, sadly, nowhere near as charming. 
  A pair of surly looking dogs. I think they're dogs. Definitely scoring higher for "muscle" than brains though.

  I don't really understand this one but that's OK. It's still pretty cool. 
  Another satisfied bird. This one has wandered over from France and is enjoying his day out. 
 I find this picture to be interesting. The combination of skull faced guy and birds works really well.
Again, I only have the vaguest idea of what the artist was trying to say but I've never been good with that kind of thing. Something about a scary visage not being a clue to the man inside?   Comment below if you feel differently.

  All credit to the artists involved and I look forward to seeing what you're going to do next. 

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

HNoMS Helge Ingstad in Portsmouth

  Yesterday was bright and sunny so I decided to wander down to the seafront to see if I could some pictures of the American carrier that's been parked in the Solent all week.
  This means that there's been several thousand American sailors wandering around Portsmouth looking a bit bemused and no doubt complaining about all the rain.  Still, the pubs and clubs did good business I'm sure.

 As it turned out the USS George W Bush had already pulled up her anchors and was heading out to sea by the time I got there but even as a silhouette on the horizon, she's still a striking sight.

 
  The George W Bush cruises past one of the Palmerston Forts protecting the harbour.  

    Sorry about the haze. I couldn't see shit in my camera screen so I was pointing vaguely and clicking.    

  I like this pic. Sea, Sky, a bit of Southsea seafront and an American supercarrier all in one shot.  


  But while I missed the a carrier I did manage to get something else instead.  As I was ambling across Southsea Common I spotted something over the top of the Arcade: An angular grey shape slowly moving seaward and starting to pick up speed.
   
   I picked up speed myself - or as much speed as I can manage these days - and got to the seafront just in time to catch the Norwegian frigate HNoMs Helge Ingstad heading back out to see.

 
It's a very cool looking ship, isn't it? 
 You can see why I recognised that superstructure immediately, can't you?

 The Norwegians had been in harbour along with a brace of US cruisers. Escort to the USS George W Bush I'm guessing. I wonder if they got annoyed at people assuming they were Americans?

As I mentioned earlier, I was mostly aiming by guess work so this is one of many shots where I missed entirely. 
Bugger. 

After the Helge Ingstad headed out to sea I caught a few pics of the Isle of Wight hovercraft coming and going.  

 Word of warning. If you ever decide to watch the hovercraft coming in, make sure you stand well away because the bloody thing kicks up a ton of spray and you will get absolutely soaked.  I speak from soggy experience.
  And there she goes. 
 I would love to have a go on that one of these days. I think I'd need to win the lottery first though. 

 I took some more pics but since there aren't any ships in them I'll save them for another day.


That's All Folks. 

Monday, 31 July 2017

The Metal Project: Metal From The Rising Sun

Heavy metal from japan. Metal songs bout metal, Heavy Metal Blog

 Evening all. 

  For tonight's post I thought I'd stick with points east and revisit a nation that has been a stronghold of Heavy Metal since the 1970s producing a long line of bands with a unique character to them.

 I am, of course, talking about Japan. 

Enjoy. 

 Sabbat  - Black Metal Scythe (2011)


 Honour to: Teodoro Chivata Bedoyo


Sex Machineguns - Metal Monster (2015)


Honour to: MushroomMetalhead


Personally I think the Japanese language is perfectly suited for Metal.

Hellhound - Metal Zone  (2006)


Honour to: Kristos666


I also find it fascinating that a country famed for politeness and careful social order has produced so many bands playing deranged, filthy, take-no-prisoners, punk-metal. Like this next lot.  

Barbatos - Metal Hangover (2006)


Honour to: depatwiarotz


Sabbrabells - Metal Saber (1985)


Honour to: Rafael Sabino

And to finish:

SSORC- Black Metal Terrorism (2005)


 Honour to: HolocaustBlackMetal

 If you liked any of these songs please remember to check out and support the channels listed above. 
 The only way I can do this Project is by taking advantage of their hard work so believe me, I am grateful.

That's all folks.  

Saturday, 29 July 2017

The Metal Project: Metal Islam



  Hello and welcome to another edition of the Metal Project, which is where i find songs on Youtube that have "Metal" in the title and share them with the world.

  Today's selection of songs are all from countries that are majority Muslim in population. Right away this means that the local scenes have issues that bands in say, Sweden, don't have.  Without wanting to go into crass generalisations, Metal fans in certain countries face astonishing levels of persecution and hostility from the Powers-That-Be. It says a lot for the enduring appeal of heavy metal that despite this, young men and women continue to play loud, hammering music.

   I hope you find something you like and despite whatever differences angry, stupid people put between us,   in the words of Tommy Vance "It's the music that matters"

Nightchains - Metal Storm (Lebanon 2005)

(Starts soft then gets loud real fast.)


 Honour to:  hesherpunk


Zix - Metal Strike (Lebanon 2012)

(I am aware that Lebanon has a large Christian minority so if I have offended anybody I can only plead my ignorance.)

Honour to: Zix Band


Thrashfire - Chainsaw Metal (Turkey 2015)


Honour to: XtreemMusic

  What I do find interesting is that it seems to be the more abrasive forms of metal that have the most fans outside of North America & Europe. I wonder if that's a reaction to cultural and religious norms? 
Somebody smarter than me would have to answer that for you. 

Beton - Anak Metal (Indonesia 2011)


Honour to: ahs pedal


Kalabanganz- Blood & Metal (Malaysia 2012)


Honour to: Angelfornication


Bestial Hordes - Street Metal Bitch (Malaysia 2017)


Honour to: EDP666

If you want to explore further you might find this link helpful.



That's All Folks. 


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