Tuesday, 18 September 2012


I actually feel quite bad about not posting anything in regards to fashion; so I thought I'd give it a shot today and tell the world what I decided to wear today!

      Acid Wash Denim Gillet - £40 Topman

I started with the basic denim Gillet, with an overall acid wash. This undermined with the red check around the collar makes it eye popping and you'd easily stand out in the crowd. Kinda hopping on the Gillet bandwagon I know but it is a major focus in both Topman/Topshop trends and even the likes of The Vaccines are wearing them. A clear influence from the 80's, so this encourages outfit combinations of white t-shirts and checked shirts. Another point I have to mention is the comeback of denim, with the likes of jackets, Gillets and jeans making a welcome return to the fashion industry; Exciting stuff eh?

                                          (not the actual shirt I wore but I couldn't find it online!)
                                                     Red/Blue Gingham Checked Shirt £30

Next, I went with a red checked shirt (yes not the one in the picture, but it wasn't on the website but I'm sure you get the idea!) to compliment the red checked undercoat of the Gillet and get a nice mix of red and blue. Because of course; those two colours compliment each other very nicely! Plus, the check style is one of Topman's big deals proving very popular with its target audience, another influence from the 80's. Especially the check/demin ensemble, VERY footloose.

Finally, I topped it all off with a pair of stretch skinny jeans (£38 Topman) and a pair of white converse (£38-£42 Any shoe retailer). Literally chosen for the simplest of reasons; black goes with pretty much anything and I couldn't have been doing with double denim (it scares me) that would've been too 80's! The black ones especially have been a top seller for Topman in the last few weeks, not only in my store but within the company across the UK. I put this down to the comfort factor; they stretch enough to give you room but not enough to become baggy, because guys I like my skinny jeans fairly tight. Baggy simply doesn't make the cut m'fraid. Converse just tops off a casual look, I'd recommend the pumps rather than the high tops, as you can then roll up the cuffs on the jeans; a trademark that's quite common with denim these days. Yes, it's more of a summer move but hey, it's still fairly nice outside.

Rather random but I hope you enjoyed my little fashion piece today!

Kieran x

Saturday, 15 September 2012

The Vaccines - Come of Age (Review)

So, what were you expecting from The Vaccines? I'm only joking kids for those who caught on, if not, that was the name of the London based band's first debut album. But ironically, that's what everyone was asking when 'Come of Age' hit the shelves, what exactly are we expecting this time around?

Basically, don't have any expectations. They're back with new haircuts, new outfits and a new sense of musical style. I went into this album with HUGE expectations and after I listened to the record in it's entirety I have to admit I was quite disappointed. I was expecting another 'Wrecking Bar' or another 'Norgard' and it never happened. So, I went away and came back to 'Come of Age' for a second round; and I loved it. The band have clearly grown up over the last 2 years and this is influenced in the darker tones, the heavier riffs and a lot more swearing "You know I'm fucking moody" Justin growls over the omniscient tones of 'Wierdo'. To me; it's like The Vaccines are trying to be the moody teenager that everyone hates, lyrically represented in tracks such as 'Teenage Icon' or 'Bad Mood'. Not everyone will like this heavily grown up Vaccines; as there was something quite childlike & pleasant about the first record, juxtaposed with the 'difficult' moody second album. Just do a quick comparison:

Wreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra) - The Vaccines

Bad Mood - The Vaccines

It's funny, it's like we're watching these boys become men. It's the record antithesis of the year! Compare the joyfulness of Wreckin' Bar to the bleakness of Bad Mood, the titling 'Come of Age' is no mere coincidence. This record is telling the story of youth, the dangers of growing up, the underlying sexuality ('I Wish I Was A Girl') and finally coming of age. On a further level, one could compare the 'Come of Age' story to the on growing success of the band itself. Maybe the record is a middle finger to the press; the aspect of commercialism. I personally see it as "We're being ourselves and if you don't like it fuck you". But then at times, it's like they're trying too hard to be rebellious, at 4-5 minute songs each...it can quite tedious. I found myself nearly falling asleep during 'Lonely World'.  So then, it seems like The Vaccines are stuck in a limbo of not knowing who they are.

But, I do admire the second record. Not many bands can pull it off; they either get slated for sticking to thier roots or get slated for going in to different of a direction musically. How can they win?! I then suppose this goes back to the 'fuck you' theory. The songs are catchy, with a nice 60's influence (see 'All in Vain') but they're not necessarily ground-breaking like the first record. It's catchy, you'll dance, you'll sing and most likely remember what it was like to be a teenager. (or start acting like one, take your pick.)

Kieran x

Thursday, 13 September 2012

The Dark Knight Rises Review

"We were in this together, and then you were gone. Now this evil... rises. The Batman has to come back."

Personally, I think Christopher Nolan is a genius. To take a mere comic (designed for children and young adults) and to twist it into the light of the modern world and includes cleverly written responses to corrupt Governments & terrorism deserves a solid pat on the back from me. 

The Dark Knight Rises is the third and (hopefully) final installment of Nolan's Franchise and boy, what a way to go. Nolan understands what the audience liked from the first two films and has successfully incorporated these aspects into a story with thought & heart juxtaposed with heart stopping action and visual masterpieces. Plot wise; it's been 8 years since the events of the last film and supposedly all is well in Gotham City. Batman is no longer needed and Bruce Wayne has gone into hiding looking like a hermit you see lingering in the subways.  But, this is a Batman movie so of course, he is forced out into the open thanks to new masked terrorist Bane (Tom Hardy) and the mysterious Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway). Obviously nothing is as simple as it seems, but that's all I'm saying without spoiling anything. The less you know, the better. 

The Dark Knight Rises Trailer #4

The first thing I have to talk about is the two new antagonists. Tom Hardy's portrayal of Bane is truly terrifying, what he lacks in terms of speech he makes up for in facial expressions and overall presence on screen. Bane is almost giant-like and as an audience member, you actually worry for Batman in the fact that he has met his physical match. An example being one memorable scene where Bane snaps a characters neck; a scene that shows his strength but also his lack of compassion in his eyes; you wouldn't want to run into him in a back alley. This is just a point about the most basic form of acting, Hardy focuses all his energy into his bodily/facial gestures and he excels. Hardy by all means is no Heath Ledger, but I put this down to high audience expectations, no-one was really going to live up to the Joker were they? So, I class them and assess them as separate villains. Another point I HAVE to mention was Bane's voice. I'm glad they tweaked it in post-production after the unveiling trailer at Christmas last year, but at times it was still REALLY difficult to make out some of Bane's dialogue. Especially when it could be crucial to the plot (see, no spoilers?) and it doesn't help when you have Christian "shout & grunt" Bale in the same scene, you may as well have two dogs barking at each other for all the good I could understand.

Next; Anne Hathaway. It was clear she was going to be the marmite of this franchise, but I loved her. For a woman whose traits go hand in hand with the innocent goody two shoes, it was good to see Hathaway play...well a bit of a minx. Her first scene with Bruce was excellent, the shift in mood that was reflected in the shift in music (by the by kudos to the fantastic score by Hans Zimmer) and the character's flirtatious nature. It could of veered in a horrible direction and become far too cringey but Hathaway kept the balance nicely. AND she can kick butt too, who knew? To me, it was like Hathway kept a metaphorical jar of all the women who portrayed Catwoman over the last 50 so years and took all the best aspects. Good acting prep Anne!

In terms of actual plot and length, at 3 hours long you'd think it'd snowdive in the second half. But, I found that it moved along quite nicely at a rapid pace, keeping me on the edge of my seat. It was only when I saw it the second time I found myself to be shuffling in my seat. I found the plot to be okay, not brilliant. I did like the influence from the original comic 'Knightfall' in which Bane breaks Batman's back but I just wished all the questions from the whole franchise could've been answered. But I suppose that's the beauty of Nolan's work, you don't have to know EVERYTHING. To save you from dozing off I'm going to make a short list of things that you should look out for:
*Michael Cane is just amazing, he really cranks up the emotion this time around
*The football stadium scene in the trailer OH MY LORD AMAZING (IN IMAX.)
*A cameo appearance in the court scene from an old friend....
*Cheesy ending...but somewhat fitting

Themes are a big part of the movie, especially if you're like me and literally read into ANYTHING. I liked the whole 'Rise' significance and how it applied to individual characters, Batman's rise from his fall, Bane's rise to power, Selina's rise through the social ladder and so forth. Obviously this wasn't about physical strength to rise, it was more about the strength of the mind, how can you rise from being so broken minded? e.g, Bane's destruction of Gotham while Bruce watches from a screen. I found it very clever and very thought provoking.

Nolan isn't God, so not everyone will be happy with The Dark Knight Rises as I mentioned earlier with different audience expectations and whatnot, but I was very happy. There wasn't an overload of new characters *cough* Spiderman 3 *cough* and it never felt crammed or rushed. Also, it was left quite nicely for a new director to take over, as I felt it symbolic that as Batman's time was over, so was Nolan's on this franchise.

Kieran x

I'm sorry for being so neglectful.

I've been so busy lately, with everything regarding University and work; it's just all been rather hectic to say the least! But, I have 2 weeks before I depart to Reading so in the meantime, I shall be catching up on last time. This includes film reviews, music reviews and just general rants; it's good to be back!
Kieran x