How can you see a band called Stupid Flanders and not want to click on that play button. The band's name did catch my fancy when I was looking for some ska bands on Reverbnation. And when I clicked on the track "My Way", I knew I had to follow this band. And when they did their crowdfunding campaign for their debut album, I had to pitch in. And when the album came out, I knew that I was gonna get one hell of a record.
If you were a fan of 90's ska/punk, then you know what to expect on "Flanders' Dozen". These blokes from Fullerton, CA really brought their "A" game when recording their debut album. As soon as the horns come in on "Story", you can't help but start bouncing around. "One Touch" is another jam that you can dance around to. Have to give them huge kudos for their mash-up of Nirvana and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles called "Smells Like TMNT". And of course their cover of Harvey Danger's "Flagpole Sitta" who have fond memories of the late 90's. The album version of "My Way" sounded much better than the one I heard on Reverbnation. And "Donuts" is such a fun closer, you are most likely gonna hit the repeat button.
Everyone sounded really tight on "Flanders' Dozen". The brass section sounded really great. You can hear the drums pounding really well. The bass and guitars keep things rolling (nice solo on "Infectious" and "Mistakes"). Jeremy's vocals has that feel of an underdog, who's down on his luck, and you just want to root for him to rise above. For sure, "Flanders' Dozen" is a album you have to check out if you're a fan of 90's ska/punk. And if you haven't seen them live, I highly recommend checking them out. It's guaranteed to be a great time.
When you're a young, new band with a successful debut album, there is a lot of pressure to make the second one better than the first. When they don't, they fall victim to the "Sophomore Jinx". For a band like Kantation, recording their 2nd album, "Nephilim", seemed like it wasn't gonna be a problem. The only problem they had was when some of the band members and their families caught the bug. But non the less, "Nephilim" was completed and the wait was worth it.
"Walk Through Desire" is a perfect choice to open up with. The first riffs does grab your attention. Pretty much can see why they're making this their next single. "Forget Me" is a song that I've grown very close to. Especially going through a rough depression, where I just wanted to be non-existence to everyone. That machine gun riff is a perfect opening for "Tragedy", seeing that it's a song about fighting in the battlefield and the soldiers who fall. And then we go out and search for the Crystal Skull with Kantation's epic tale, "The Invasion Suite". A great soundtrack for those who enjoy sci-fi and fantasy. Of course we get a bonus track. A cover of Saxon's "Power & The Glory", in which the Kantation guys do it some real justice.
We're 15 years past the new Millennium, and Kantation are able to continue a throwback sound without making it sound outdated. The songs do sound heavier and catchy than "Discovery". But the one thing I really loved is the way Vinny's double pedal sounded. I don't know if it sounded like that on the last album, but the double pedal did catch my attention on "Nephilim". Kantation did not disappoint with their sophomore effort. And seeing how all the members have lots of experience, I'm pretty sure that helped to make "Nephilim" sound awesome. And once again, Hitler will have to feel the fury of DeBourge, Lugo, Jimison, Khairullah, and Galore.
In this day and age, it's pretty easy to point out the bullshit and hypocrisy of religion. Turn on the telly and hear what's happening in the Catholic church. Open a newspaper and read about a terrorist attack by a extreme Muslim. Walk down the street and see some preacher talking about helping the poor, then drives off in his Rolls-Royce.
I've seen many films who try to show the dark side of religion. Some are pretty interesting. Others say the same old shit that I've heard many times. It's very rare that someone throws their own twist in a very interesting way. And I like to think that's what Rob Dimension did when he wrote his third short film, Rabbit Hole.
The story takes place on a sunny day, in a nice suburban area, Tina is outside playing, just being a normal little girl. Her mom, Dottie wasn't feeling well, so she takes a nap while her Aunt Em looks after Tina. Later in the film, Tina goes missing when she spots a bunny while playing in the yard. When Aunt Em notices that Tina wasn't in the yard, she goes looking for Tina She would stumble to a house, where a old religious man lives. The old man invites Aunt Em to his house and join his service, But Aunt Em just wanted to find Tina and get back home. Sadly, Aunt Em finds out that the old man has some dark intentions.
Later, Dottie wakes up from her nap, and sees that Aunt Em and Tina aren't around. She drives around town, asking people if they've seen her daughter. Dottie would finally stop by the house where the old man lives. When she goes inside, Dottie would be captured by the old man, and held captive. What Dottie will later witness, is a very terrifying religious service. Trying not to become a sacrificial victim, Dottie tries to make her escape from this nightmare. What happens later, many have described it as a punch to the gut.
Just like with "Baggage", "Rabbit Hole" is also shot in black and white. But where "Baggage" had a Hitchcock-ian feel, "Rabbit Holes" owes more to early Lynch films. In the end, there is a part that does have a midnight movie atmosphere. And Markus A. Caign does provide a excellent score to go along with it. The acting of Megan Cunard is well done. Loved how Rob Dimension's portrayal of the old man. In this one, he gives this character a little Southern accent May need a little work, but it's good for now. I guess since I hear Rob Dimension many times in his podcast, when Rob gets into a character, I want to hear someone else. I want to believe that this is another person, and I want to see Dimension do this more. And of course, many props to director Mike O'Mahony. Knowing about Mike's other films "Rabbit Hole" seems to fit him really well. The shots that him and Rob were able to get were really good.
Fans of O'Mahony and Dimension should give "Rabbit Hole" a try. The DVD comes with commentary with Mike and Rob, three short film, one shot by O'Mahony called "Don't Try This At Home", and a second disc called "The Journey", which documents 16 yr old, Curt Robinson, as he tries to become a professional wresler. If you want to check this flick out, you can purchase the DVD at http://youvebeenrobbedfilms.blogspot.com/p/merchandise.html.