Rampart is an anti-thriller, the reverse Training Day; in that film the muscular Denzel Washington and his corruption were dismantled by a white knight rookie. Rampart has no white knights; built around the zombielike ‘Date Rape’ Dave Brown; racist, homophobe, misogynist, philanderer; officer of the Los Angeles Police Department, out of the infamous Rampart division at the tail end of that long-running late nineties scandal. The century is about to change, and there is a definite echo of the Wild Bunch in Rampart. Brown is a dinosaur who considers the truth, lies, justice, injustice, violence (including murder), subterfuge and exploitation of his past, or present role as an LAPD beat cop, as equal methods of getting what he wants. Whether that is to hold on to his job after a vicious beating ends up on the nightly news, or to ditch a stubborn Internal Affairs officer digging around a dirty shooting. He talks a defence lawyer into bed, and abuses and abandons his few friends. He is the emotional centre of the film, but seems to have no centre himself.
“Why do you hate pop?”
“You’re such a critic, you hate anything that is good fun”
“You only like obscure stuff nobody else likes”
“Nobody actually listens to the stuff you like”
“You just pretend to like all that stuff to seem cool”
You miserable little commenting bastards; I’m double checking right now that I can’t explode people’s heads with my will, because I’d hate to find out later that I could and think I missed the opportunity to use it on you. I like pop! I like the Killers [‘ first album], I like Marina and the Diamonds [‘ first album] and I even think Lady GaGa’s post-Madonna sub-Bowieism has a certain sumthin’ sumthin’ if she could just wear jeans and a teeshirt sometime. If someone pressed me, the pop album I like most at the moment is Edinburgh’s own Spook School and their 2013 debut Dress Up. They have just enough pop pop, while maintaining a perfect Sense of Place with a tangible back-of-the-bike-sheds charm. If you were a Scottish teenager in the early noughties, you already know these songs, you just need to pick up the album. If you weren’t, it’s merely essential.
"Death by Burning" will help you fall back in love with old-fashioned heavy metal - IN SEARCH OF SPACE #203
In the circles I move, it’s fair to say we’ve fallen out of love with heavy metal. The old hands have become more and more florally embellished, and the new blood seems determined to ape this overcomplicatedness with gusto. Anyone can appreciate genre-defying gems like The Body’s excellent I Shall Die Here (which you should totally hear, if you haven’t already) but mainstream metal hasn’t been scratching any of my itches of late, until I found Mantar’s Death By Burning. I picked it up because of the cover, and the title, and figured it was the same pseudo-intellectual metal that still has merit, but it’s stripped-down standard heavy metal, and it’s excellent.
Don’t listen to the new the Body album. Seriously, don’t! Don’t even read this article. It’s too toxic. Everyone who touches it dies. The Portland band previously making music like that found on their 2013 album Christs, Redeemers and the utterly superb dirge on Master, We Perish have teamed up with one-man outfit Haxan Cloak to produce something far beyond any of their previous works. I Shall Die Here is a revelation. It’s a seismic shift in the way I perceive heavy music. It’s a new yardstick. Forget Silencer, forget Earth, forget Metal Machine Music; without fear of hyperbole, I can say I Shall Die Here is the Heaviest Record of All Time. The sky too, is falling under you. It’s all over now baby blue.