State Magazine http://state.ie Music news, reviews, photos, features, films. Wed, 05 Aug 2015 06:58:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Premieres and podcasts from Ireland's foremost music site. State Magazine yes State Magazine philudell@gmail.com philudell@gmail.com (State Magazine) Music news, reviews, photos, features, films. State Magazine http://state.ie/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/State_Podcast_icon.jpg http://state.ie Fantastic Four - Why so serious? http://state.ie/film/fantastic-four http://state.ie/film/fantastic-four#comments Wed, 05 Aug 2015 00:15:41 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=71223 Director: Josh Trank
Cast: Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Michael B. Jordan, Toby Kebbell, Tim Blake Nelson and Reg E. Cathey
Certificate: 12a
Running Time: 100 minutes
Release Date: August 7th

Back in 1992, 20th Century Fox gave a visionary director the keys to a major franchise, but the vision they were presented with wasn’t exactly what they were expecting. Too dark, too different, too dreary… and as the story goes, they took over the reins from that new hotshot, unhappy with being given exactly what they asked for, and between the reshoots and jarring edits, left themselves with an unholy mess. Now, nearly a quarter of a century later it appears that they’ve done it again, as Fantastic Four is likely to be to Josh Trank what Alien 3 was to David Fincher.

Ten years ago, the Fantastic Four were met with middling box office and atrocious reviews, but this was before Marvel came and changed the game with Iron Man. Superhero movies can make billions of dollars and even get tipped for Oscars now; there’s no room at Comic Con for anything less. Word leading up to the release of Fantastic Four had been too quiet… until it wasn’t. Leaving aside all of the nasty behind-the-scenes business, Trank was telling fans that his primary influences for this movie were David Cronenberg’s body horrors, and would have less in common with Marvel’s light-and-airy MCU. So far, so good.

Getting the hot, young cast of Teller, Mara, Jordan, Bell and Kebbell was another big step in the right direction, but the script, co-written by Trank with X-Men: Days of Future Past writer Simon Kinberg, gives them absolutely nothing to do. Or maybe it did, before the supposed reshoots and jarring edits took it all away. For the first hour, we’re just repeatedly reminded of each character’s primary characteristic – smart, smarter, brash, loyal and crazy, in that order – before we finally get to the actual plot. Having used a matter transporter to travel to an alternative universe, they’re all infused with new powers, ones the government want to use for – you guessed it! – nefarious purposes.

To be fair to Trank, there are some glimpses of the movie this could have been. When the group first return to Earth and witness their transformations for the first time, that Cronenberg shading is there for all to see. Later in the movie, when Kebbell’s big bad guy Victor von Doom decides he wants to destroy the Earth, the scene where he shows off his new found powers is pure, out-and-out horror and the film is almost worth watching just for those brilliant, jaw-dropping five minutes.

Everything else surrounding these scenes is either wasted potential or just a complete waste of time. There’s a real sense that this version of Fantastic Four wants to be taken very seriously, complete with some hard sci-fi to go with the superhero drama, but the scientists undergo massive IQ dumps from scene to scene – the decision to inter-dimensionally travel is done on a drunken whim, and these geniuses suffer from that Prometheus problem of actively recognising danger and walking blindly towards it – while the science itself (this other dimension sometimes has a toxic atmosphere, and sometimes it doesn’t) doesn’t follow its own set of rules.

The obvious entertainment level of a superhero movie is for the most part nowhere to be found, and it hasn’t been replaced by anything to fill that void. Whereas last time round Fantastic Four was too dumb to be fun, this time it’s too smart and too serious to be enjoyable. The hints at horror throughout betray a different vision, one which disappears altogether for an extremely short third act action climax– the movie’s only real action scene, mind you – which clashes violently with the subtle (or drab, depending on how much coffee you’ve had) build-up.

Taking a look at the trailer, there are A LOT of scenes in there which are nowhere to be found in the finished movie. While that’s not exactly a phenomenon unique to this movie, it does tell the story that there might be a different, better version of this story on a cutting room floor somewhere. In 2003, Fox released the ‘Assembly Cut’ of Alien 3, a much-improved version of the movie and it is now seen as something of a misunderstood classic. So you never know, come 2026, we might get to see what Trank really had in mind for the currently not-so-Fantastic Four.

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Pixels - Game over, man http://state.ie/film/pixels http://state.ie/film/pixels#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2015 21:06:57 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=71061 Director: Chris Columbus
Cast: Adam Sandler, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Monaghan, Kevin James and Josh Gad
Certificate: 12a
Running Time: 106 minutes
Release Date: August 14th

There doesn’t really seem to be much point in banging on about Adam Sandler at this point anymore. We all remember his hey-day, but we all know that it was back in the late 90s. The likes of Punch-Drunk Love or, at a push, Funny People are more likely to be CV anomalies than anything else, so let’s put the Sandler-flogging to rest, because this particular horse has been dead for quite a while. Instead, let’s take a look at Chris Columbus, the guy who once directed Home Alone and Mrs. Doubtfire, the guy who once wrote the screenplays for The Goonies and Gremlins? Whatever happened to that guy?

After directing one of the worst Robin Williams movies (Bicenntenial Man), one of the worst Arnie movies (Jingle All the Way), the worst two Harry Potter movies (the first two), that terrible adaptation of Rent, that terrible Percy Jackson sequel, and the so-bad-we-actually-forgot-it-existed rom-com I Love You Beth Cooper, Columbus has now wound up being mentioned in the same breath as the likes of Shawn Levy and Dennis Dugan. In short, Columbus is now relegated to directing Adam Sandler movies.

The sad thing is we know both these men are capable, but their recent efforts seem to lack exactly that: effort. With the god-awful Grown Ups 2 making $250 million or those two dull Potter movies clocking close to a billion a piece, who cares if the movies are good or not, right? There doesn’t need to be accounting for taste when your accountant’s eyeballs turns into dollar signs every time they see your box office.

The even sadder thing is that one of these guys actually brought their A-game this time. As the alien-invaders attack Earth based on ‘80s classic arcade coin-ops, former nerd Sandler and all his former nerd friends (a screechingly unfunny Josh God, a what-are-you-doing-here? Peter Dinklage, a “He’s playing the President of the USA? For reals?” Kevin James) are the only ones who can save the day. But within Pixels itself, it’s only Columbus who saves the movie from being a total waste of time. Sandler and co. remain defiantly unfunny throughout, with only a few saving grace one-liners from an overly serious army commander (Sean Bean) and the contractually obliged, out-of-Sandler’s-league love interest (Michelle Monaghan).

Around the comedy void however, Columbus directs some eye-popping visuals and competent action scenes with aplomb, and even injects some of the darker moments that you just don’t get anymore. Soldiers get killed screaming in agony, young children get snatched from the parents, limbs are bitten off in one bite; they’re the kind of child-therapy-session-in-waiting moments we used to get all the time with “family movies” back in the day. Here though, rubbing up against Sandler’s slack-jawed brand of drooling comedy, it just doesn’t work as well as it should.

Close your eyes and imagine Seth Rogen in that lead role, or imagine that cert pushed up from PG to 15a, or imagine that plot did a bit more than just blatantly rip-off that awesome Futurama episode (seriously, Matt Groening, talk to your lawyers!), and you can see there was seriously some potential here. Seeing what Columbus pulled off, and it’s clear that there’s still some potential with him. But as long as his movies keep making money – and don’t be fooled by the negative reviews, Pixels will definitely make its money – Sandler will still be around to ruin any potential there might be.

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New Music: FKA Twigs – ‘Figure 8′ http://state.ie/news/new-music-fka-twigs-figure-8 http://state.ie/news/new-music-fka-twigs-figure-8#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2015 14:23:42 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=71055 After her debut album LP1 was released to universal acclaim last year, FKA Twigs has pretty much been on a non-stop touring and residency with no real word of a follow up in sight. That is until she’s just revealed that Melissa, her new EP, is on the way (one she’s actually finished last November), and has just premiered it’s first single, ‘Figure 8′.

You can listen to it below – sandwiched between an interview by Zane Lowe on his Beats1 radio show – and the actual release date for Melissa itself is simply “August 2015″, with the only additional information so far being that Beyonce producer Boots is somehow involved. Keep ‘em peeled!

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I’m Your Vinyl to support Ryan Sheridan tour, drop new ‘Erase It’ remix http://state.ie/news/im-your-vinyl-to-support-ryan-sheridan-tour-drop-new-erase-it-remix http://state.ie/news/im-your-vinyl-to-support-ryan-sheridan-tour-drop-new-erase-it-remix#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2015 14:12:02 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=71051 Are you a fan of I’m Your Vinyl? Good, because we’ve got a glut of happy days news for you! The Dublin-based indie-pop duo have been snapped up by Ryan Sheridan to support him on his country-wide tour. Kicking off in Whelans in Dublin on August 28th, before travelling around to Wexford, Monaghan, Kerry, Cork, Castlebar, Kilkenny and Limerick before finishing up in Roisin Dubh in Galway on September 29th, the full information can be found on their official website.

Meanwhile, Galway-born producer Daithi has given the duo’s hit track ‘Erase It’ a house’y once-over to fantastic effect, and you can enjoy that right here!

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Live stream new material from Battles http://state.ie/news/live-stream-new-material-from-battles http://state.ie/news/live-stream-new-material-from-battles#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2015 14:02:38 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=71052 In the wake of the announcement of their new album La Di Da Di, which is due out September 18th via Warp, Battles are now currently streaming four new tracks from the upcoming release. The live stream will be on loop for the next 24 hours and can be accessed right here. Happy listening folks!

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Sextile – Visions Of You - Brazen Beginnings http://state.ie/features/sextile-visions-of-you http://state.ie/features/sextile-visions-of-you#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2015 13:15:22 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=71048 Ahead of the release of their debut album A Thousand Hands on August 21st via Felte, LA via Brooklyn noiseniks Sextile have shared third single ‘Visions Of You’. Soaked in reverb and floating in new-wave ether, Sextile have already half-proved their point with screeching guitars, airy synths and insistent tempos. Now for the full-length…

 

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Saul Williams to headline Lingo Festival http://state.ie/news/saul-williams-to-headline-lingo-festival http://state.ie/news/saul-williams-to-headline-lingo-festival#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2015 12:58:28 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=71046 Rapper, Poet, Musician, Actor; the list goes on for Saul Williams. The renaissance man has been revealed as a headliner for Dublin’s spoken-word Lingo Festival which runs from 16th – 18th Ocotber. Information is slim at the minute, but we’ll keep you updated on more acts and festival events as they are announced. Tickets, which are €18.69, are available here now, while early-bird weekend passes can be purchased from August 18th for €57.50. Intriguing, no?

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Dr. Dre to release first new album in 16 years later this week http://state.ie/news/dr-dre-to-release-first-new-album-in-16-years-later-this-week http://state.ie/news/dr-dre-to-release-first-new-album-in-16-years-later-this-week#comments Mon, 03 Aug 2015 09:30:38 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=71043 Dr. Dre has just announced on his Beats 1 radio show The Pharmacy that he would be releasing Compton – A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre, what he claims will be his last album ever, and that it will be made available from Friday August 7th! Along with releasing the album cover (above) and the full tracklist (below), Dre also quickly paid lip-service to his abandoned 2010 album Detox: “[It] didn’t come out because I didn’t like it. It wasn’t good. I’ma keep it 1000. I couldn’t do that to my fans.”

Apparently Dre was inspired by upcoming movie Straight Outta Compton (released here Aug 28th), which tells the story of the birth of his group NWA in the mid-’80s. The album is available to pre-order on iTunes right now, and he’s got quite the impressive line-up of collaborators on board…

1. “Intro” (Dr. Dre)
2. “Talk About It” (Feat. King Mez & Justus)
3. “Genocide” (Feat. Kendrick Lamar, Marsha Ambrosius & Candice Pillay)
4. “It’s All On Me” (Feat. Justus & BJ the Chicago Kid)
5. “All In a Day’s Work” (Feat. Anderson Paak & Marsha Ambrosius)
6. “Darkside/Gone” (Feat. King Mez, Marsha Ambrosius & Kendrick Lamar)
7. “Loose Cannons” (Feat. Xzibit & COLD 187um)
8. “Issues” (Feat. Ice Cube & Anderson Paak)
9. “Deep Water” (Feat. Kendrick Lamar & Justus)
10. “One Shot One Kill” (Feat. Snoop Dogg)
11. “Just Another Day” (Feat. Asia Bryant)
12. “For the Love of Money” (Feat. Jill Scott & Jon Connor)
13. “Satisfiction” (Feat. Snoop Dogg, Marsha Ambrosius & King Mez)
14. “Animals” (Feat. Anderson Paak)
15. “Medicine Man” (Feat. Eminem, Candice Pillay & Anderson Paak)
16. “Talking To My Diary” (Dr. Dre)

For a reminder of why it’s probably a good thing that Detox was cancelled, here’s the first and only single released from the project. Yeesh.

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Listen to Lil Dicky – ‘Professional Rapper’ ft. Snoop Dogg http://state.ie/news/listen-to-lil-dicky-professional-rapper-ft-snoop-dogg http://state.ie/news/listen-to-lil-dicky-professional-rapper-ft-snoop-dogg#comments Sat, 01 Aug 2015 15:24:16 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=71041 One of the perks about pouring our hearts and souls into a platform for all things musical and beyond is discovering things that genuinely make us happy and being able to share those finds with you, our dear readers. That’s why it’s so pleasing to be able to share with you all this absolute gem of a hip hop track from Philadelphia rapper and comedian Lil Dicky that’s fresh, witty and hilariously clever. ‘Professional Rapper’ ft. Snoop Dogg is the tale of David Burd’s ambitions and attempts at breaking in to the “Rap Game” and it’s done so well that it’ll (hopefully) leave you with a cheesy grin. The animated video is a hoot too, but that flow…

Professional rapper, Lil Dicky’s debut album, is out now

 

 

 

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Nothing But Thieves to play nothing but music in Dublin this November http://state.ie/news/nothing-but-thieves-to-play-nothing-but-music-in-dublin-this-november http://state.ie/news/nothing-but-thieves-to-play-nothing-but-music-in-dublin-this-november#comments Sat, 01 Aug 2015 12:27:50 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=71039 With their debut, self-titled album due for release on October 16th, one of the UK’s most exciting new band Nothing But Thieves will embark on their UK & Ireland tour, hitting up The Academy on November 28th. Tickets go on sale August 7th, with prices starting at €14.55.

Drawing inspiration from the likes of Muse, Arcade Fire and Kasabian, this will be some good first exposure for Irish fans to what could potentially be their new favorite band.

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Marlon Williams brings worldwide tour to Dublin later this year http://state.ie/news/marlon-williams-brings-worldwide-tour-to-dublin-later-this-year http://state.ie/news/marlon-williams-brings-worldwide-tour-to-dublin-later-this-year#comments Sat, 01 Aug 2015 11:58:11 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=71037 After dropping his self-titled debut album back in April of this year to critical acclaim, New Zealand based country crooner Marlon Williams has been riding high on the wave of fantastic reviews and massive sales. After touring most of the world with the album, it’s time for him to bring his unique sound to this side of the world.

As part of the UK & Ireland leg of his tour, Marlon Williams will be performing in The Academy on October 23rd, with tickets on sale now priced at €13.

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The Lemonheads to perform in The Academy in October http://state.ie/news/the-lemonheads-to-perform-in-the-academy-in-october http://state.ie/news/the-lemonheads-to-perform-in-the-academy-in-october#comments Sat, 01 Aug 2015 11:51:11 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=71035 With eleven albums over fifteen years with more than a dozen different configurations of their line-up, The Lemonheads are enjoying a resurgence thanks to a series of live gigs around the world, and the look to continue that new uptick in popularity when they bring their tour to Dublin later this year.

They’ll be heading to The Academy in Dublin to perform on October 5th, with tickets on sale right now from the usual outlets for €23.

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Listen to ‘The Vine’, the new single from Meltybrains? http://state.ie/news/listen-to-the-vine-the-new-single-from-meltybrains http://state.ie/news/listen-to-the-vine-the-new-single-from-meltybrains#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 15:43:03 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=71033 Arguably our favourite Donegal electronic-indie ensemble, Meltybrains? have shared their joyous new single ‘The Vine’, via Boiler Room debuts, ahead of its release on August 1st. Positively steeped in good vibes and blissful melodies, ‘The Vine’ is distinctly tropical in its rhythm and an entirely infectious listen. Absolutely more of this please, lads.

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One Direction won’t let you ‘Drag Me Down’ with their new single http://state.ie/news/one-direction-wont-let-you-drag-me-down-with-their-new-single http://state.ie/news/one-direction-wont-let-you-drag-me-down-with-their-new-single#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 13:56:16 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=71030 In the same week that their former fifth band-mate signed big solo deals with both Turn First Artists management and RCA Records, the newly Zayn-less One Direction have dropped the first single from their upcoming fifth album without so much as a press release beforehand!

‘Drag Me Down’ was co-written by Jamie Scott, John Ryan and Julian Bunetta, with Ryan and Bunetta providing production duties as they did on the likes of previous One Direction hits ‘Best Song Ever’, ‘Steal My Girl’ and ‘Night Changes’. Was Malik in-Zayn to leave the band? Or after the tepid reaction to their most recent album Four, did he get out at the right time? Is that song actually about him? Either way, you can take a listen of ‘Drag Me Down’ below:

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Led Zeppelin’s Last Three - A troubled legacy http://state.ie/features/led-zeppelins-last-three http://state.ie/features/led-zeppelins-last-three#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 13:52:58 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=71026 Inevitably, after the re-lived joy of Led Zeppelin’s first six albums released in all their “deluxe” glory, we come to this, the final triptych in the Zep legend. Here’s where the story ends.

The final three offerings, one of which is a compilation of outtakes that spans their career, have never been held in the same regard as their predecessors. Presence had the unenviable task of being the follow up to 1975’s magnum opus Physical Graffiti, an album brimming with ideas and spread over two disks. It was at this point where an almost tangible decline started for the hitherto biggest band on planet Earth.

Recorded amid the turmoil of being exiled from their own country for tax reasons, and after Plant had suffered a serious injury in a car crash (recording his vocals from a wheelchair), it differed greatly from its predecessor – eschewing the varying styles and lush instrumentation for more straightforward ensemble performance.  Four lads, jamming together, making the rock noise.

The stripped back performance reveals the tightness and vim in Bonham and Jones’ playing, particularly the album opener ‘Achilles’ Last Stand’, where Jones’ high-end plucking propels the tempo of the track. While ‘Royal Orleans’ grooves with the rawness of Bonham’s drums, and Page pulls out the old blues idioms with the epic ‘Nobody’s Fault But Mine’, the rest of album, rushed and exhausted sounding, is a shade of grey on the otherwise vibrant Zep spectrum. ‘Tea For One’ is an inexplicably wan facsimile of ‘Since I’ve Been Loving You’ and Plant especially hated the process – seated and recuperating as he was throughout – and at times it shows.

If Zep thought they had problems going in to record Presence, they were nothing compared to those that preceded the recording of their next studio album, In Through The Out Door. During the US tour of 1977, Plant received the devastating news that his five year old son, Karac, had died suddenly of a viral infection. The tour was cancelled, and Plant returned to his family, adamant at the time that he was finished with rock and roll, going so far as to seriously consider a new career in education.

During this time, it was Bonzo Bonham who was there for Plant, something Plant himself attributes to Bonham’s Northern-ness. Page, Jones and manager Peter Grant failed to even turn up to Karac’s funeral, creating serious tension within the group and in order to keep the band going, Page had to admit to the grieving frontman that without him, Led Zeppelin couldn’t exist. As if to prove the point, In Through The Out Door featured less Jimmy Page than ever before and instead was driven by Plant’s vocals and Jones’s various keyboards.

Page had his own problems at the time. He was, according to tour manager Richard Cole, in the midst of heroin addiction. Page has never admitted to an addiction, although he has said that drugs were very much part of the band, and that cocaine had helped with the swift recording of Presence. Rumours abound that Page’s lack of ostensible input into In Through The Out Door was a result of his “addiction”, rumours that he has refuted, claiming that his main job was as producer. Who knows? What’s clearer is that Bonzo was at this stage in the throes of his own alcoholism, and unchecked, it would eventually lead to his death. His influence is notably muted.

Despite all this, In Through The Out Door does not sound like an insular or difficult album. The sharpness of Jones’s synths helps cut through the fug, and keeps things moving. Like old times, they put various musical tropes through their paces, though not always successfully. The countrified stomp of ‘Hot Dog’ fails to be quite as charming as it thinks, and Page’s guitar work is uneven throughout. It sounds like The Band warming up. The odd samba of ‘Fool In The Rain’ doesn’t work. It’s incongruous and weird, out of place even on this melange of a record. But there are moments of triumph. ‘In The Evening’ could open any Zeppelin record (post ‘III), and ‘South Bound Suarez’ has an infectious jaunt.

In the context of the record itself, ‘Carouselambra’ is the standout. But even in the context of their entire career, it’s still special. It features Bonzo’s last great drum performance. The stabbing synth sound would be borrowed from heavily during the next decade, by dodgy hair metal bands, mostly.

Page had ceded ground to Plant in his attempts to keep Zep a going concern. The result was an album he didn’t particularly rate. It was too soft for Jimmy’s tastes. He went so far as to claim that ‘All My Love’, Plant’s paean to his recently deceased son to be “not us” in an interview in 1998. You get the impression that Page is somehow stuck there, in 1980, having appeased Plant and before Bonzo died, plotting Led Zeppelin’s next step. More riffs. More loud. More guitar. More like the Zeppelin of old. It didn’t happen, as John Henry Bonham was found dead on September 25th 1980, after a day of rehearsals and booze. Bonzo, 32 at the time, had three pints of vodka in his system and choked on his own vomit as he slept. The group disbanded, rather than carry on. Enervated by touring and drugs and death, it seemed the natural reaction to the loss of their friend and drummer. Much to Page’s chagrin, you’d think, In Through the Out Door was to be Led Zeppelin’s last album.

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Hot Pursuit - Give Reese a chance http://state.ie/film/hot-pursuit http://state.ie/film/hot-pursuit#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 12:56:51 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=71016 Director: Anne Fletcher
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Sofía Vergara, John Carroll Lynch, Matthew Del Negro & Michael Mosley
Certificate: 12a
Running Time: 87 minutes
Release Date: July 31st

From the opening strains of a hacked-up, karaoked version of Tom Petty’s ‘American Girl’, you can tell Hot Pursuit isn’t going to be easy. Adopting the prisoner and captor road movie that was so expertly done in Midnight Run, and has lately made for some of the best Game of Thrones‘ partnerships, Hot Pursuit teams a shrill, stuck-up jobsworth cop with a shrill, loud-mouth wife of a Colombian drug dealer.

Cooper (Witherspoon) is a San Antonio Police Department cop, relegated to the evidence desk after shooting a minor with a taser who had called ‘shotgun’, rather than actually wielded one — you can see the jokes come pretty thick and fast. Her captain gives her the role of accompanying a detective bringing two informants on a drug cartel leader because apparently a woman needs to accompany another woman. A shootout at the house leaves everyone dead except for Cooper and her charge Daniella (Vergara) who have to make the not-so-long trip to Dallas.

Between director Anne Fletcher (The Proposal) and writers John Quaintance (Joey) and David Feeney (2 Broke Girls/New Girl), Hot Pursuit struggles to barely illicit a smile in its ninety minute running time. They’ve made their leads almost entirely without merit. An opening credit montage shows Cooper growing up in the back of her dad’s cruiser, learning call signs and helping tackle crime, but as a grown up, she’s entirely useless, as fastadious to her incident report log and by-the-book as Nicholas Angel in Hot Fuzz but without even a smidge of the competency. Her dedication to the force has made her undateable so of course meeting free-spirit Daniella leads her to wearing a summer dress, and a laboured and uncomfortable lesbian encounter, and taking cocaine (cause you know, she’s Colombian). It’s trite and lazy stereotypes at their worst.

Which is a shame, because as bad as the material is, Witherspoon throws herself into entirely. She’s naturally a great comedic actor, one whose natural energy and exuberance is second only to Amy Poehler. In fact, Cooper bares quite a resemblance to that season 1 Leslie Knope, herself a Michael Scott facsimile, that was scrubbed from all memory and replaced with the bottle rocket of effervescence we all now know and love. She has a habit of falling into comedies that Katherine Heigl might even pass on, when she really needs to be setting up camp with Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy.

Vergara tends to have one note, one ear-piercing, Scanners’ head-bursting note. Hot Pursuit sees it at its most amplified, she’s not so much playing a character but the caricature of Sofía Vergara. Jon Ronson recently wrote about Muslim-American actors consistently being typecast in roles as terrorists, for Vergara it’s hard to tell whether her repetitive one-dimensionality is down to the laziness of those who cast her or her acceptance of her own limitations.

Hot Pursuit ends on the comedy staple of a gag reel, bloopers to send you home with one last laugh, but even that doesn’t hit home, only pulling back the curtain on how much of a drag this looked to make. At least you’ll know you’re not the only one.

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CFCF – Radiance and Submission - "A triumph of elegance over endeavour." http://state.ie/album-reviews/cfcf-radiance-and-submission http://state.ie/album-reviews/cfcf-radiance-and-submission#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 11:03:57 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=71021 Incandescent chill-out fusing some interesting elements of traditional folk music, Radiance and Submission, the third full-length album from Montreal-based electronic musician Michael Silver, aka CFCF, is a lovely, yet largely unexciting listen.

A self-taught artisan of the modern electronic sound, CFCF has followed up 2013’s engaging sophomore LP Outside with a more subtle, nicely structured, yet highly subdued creation. Lacking in the atmospheric, sometimes foreboding magnetism that characterised its predecessor, Radiance and Submission is a far more serene, unobtrusive animal.

Loosely focused around the theme of innocence, with an ongoing motif of children’s voices appearing throughout, the record’s silky flow is rooted in its crisp production and tranquil composition. Some intriguing musical variations (including the addition of the xylophone, wind chimes, and an acoustic guitar), introduce a freshness to proceedings, but as a whole the record lacks spice. 

A mere 32 minutes in length as well, it often struggles to capture the imagination, and although ethereal numbers like ‘In Praise of Shadows’, ‘A Various Language’, and ‘Blanketed in Snow A Place Returned’ do add substance, in genre terms, it remains a far shot from the dark ambience of someone like Fever Ray, or the delicate authenticity of Yann Tiersen’s 2014 album Infinity. A triumph of elegance over endeavour.

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ICYMI: Thundercat releases video for ‘Them Changes’ http://state.ie/news/icymi-thundercat-releases-video-for-them-changes http://state.ie/news/icymi-thundercat-releases-video-for-them-changes#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 10:17:51 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=71017 Our favourite jazz-funk-hip-hop bass virtuoso, Thundercat, recently released a video to accompany his uber-soulful track ‘Them Changes’ and it’s everything we ever dreamed it could be. Weird, drenched in noir tones and featuring Samurai Warriors…what’s not to like? Have a look –

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!!! (Chk Chk Chk) are back with a new album http://state.ie/news/chk-chk-chk-are-back-with-a-new-album http://state.ie/news/chk-chk-chk-are-back-with-a-new-album#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 09:47:22 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=71014 Warp Records mainstays and longtime groove-providers !!! have announced the release date for new album As If, this coming October 16th. The dance-punk troubadours have also shared two new tracks taken from the forthcoming release – the superbly funky ‘Freedom’ and raucous ‘Sick Ass Moon’ – and you can check them out right here. Fun Fact: If you run a google search for !!!, you’ll get zero results. Weird.

 

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Prince drops new song ‘Stare’ as Spotify exclusive http://state.ie/news/prince-drops-new-song-stare-as-spotify-exclusive http://state.ie/news/prince-drops-new-song-stare-as-spotify-exclusive#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 18:36:19 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=71012 After the vaguely lackluster ‘HARDROCKLOVER’ was released a while back as the first single from his new album, we all just kinda forgot that Prince even had a new album coming out.

However, he’s just released new track ‘Stare’ from the upcoming The Hit & Run Album, and it’s an old-school, horn-heavy corker. Just check out that reference to ‘Kiss’ half way through! Sounds like Prince is back to reclaim his crown. The album in full is due “sometime in 2015″, but you can listen to the new song below.

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Foals unveil 360-degree music video for ‘Mountain At My Gates’ http://state.ie/news/foals-unveil-360-degree-music-video-for-mountain-at-my-gates http://state.ie/news/foals-unveil-360-degree-music-video-for-mountain-at-my-gates#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 15:14:41 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=71011 Heading on to album number four with What Went Down, after the warm reception of the album’s self-titled first single back in June, the lads in Foals have just dropped the music video for single number two, ‘Mountain At My Gates’.

Not dissimilar to Bjork’s 360-degree music video for ‘stonemilker’, Foals have gone all edgy and technologically minded with their new video, which you can check out below.

‘Mountains At My Gates’ will be available as a single from September 11th, while the James Ford (Arctic Monkeys, Simian Mobile Disco, Florence + The Machine) produced album What Went Down will be available to purchase from August 28th.

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One half of Run The Jewels has helped compose the score for Fantastic Four http://state.ie/news/one-half-of-run-the-jewels-has-helped-compose-the-score-for-fantastic-four http://state.ie/news/one-half-of-run-the-jewels-has-helped-compose-the-score-for-fantastic-four#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 14:38:26 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=71010 Musicians getting involved with scoring movies is no big deal these days. Trent Reznor works with David Fincher a lot, M-83 scored that Tom Cruise sci-fi flick Oblivion, and Daft Punk helped elevate the otherwise “meh” Tron: Legacy. Still though, when somebody cool gets involved, we’re still allowed to get more than a little excited.

EI-P, perhaps better known as the one who isn’t Killer Mike from Run The Jewels, has scored the closing credits main theme, also known as ‘Another Body’, for the upcoming Fantastic Four movie, which you can listen to right now.

 

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New Video: The Weeknd – ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ http://state.ie/news/new-video-the-weeknd-cant-feel-my-face http://state.ie/news/new-video-the-weeknd-cant-feel-my-face#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 14:26:10 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=71008 After dropping Kiss Land back 2013, it appeared that The Weeknd was going to be a promising but niche voice in the world of Alt-R&B. Since then he’s worked with Sia, Diplo, M.I.A., Drake and Ariana Grande, and we watched as he slowly got caught up in the pop riptide. He’s since announced that he wants to be the biggest and best pop-star in the world, and early indications from his new album Beauty Behind The Madness reveals just that.

While the first two singles – ‘Often’ and ‘The Hills’ – hark back to that hipster’n’b sound of his first album, single number three takes aim at the charts. Co-written and produced by none other than Max Martin (Britney, Katy Perry, Backstreet Boys), ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ is already a huge hit in the States, and he’s just dropped the accompanying music video.

Very, very MJ, no? With word of Ed Sheeran, Kanye West and plenty of other big names involved in his new album, expect our full review when it drops on August 28th.

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Hudson Mohawke to perform Dublin gig this December http://state.ie/news/hudson-mohawke-to-perform-dublin-gig-this-december http://state.ie/news/hudson-mohawke-to-perform-dublin-gig-this-december#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 14:07:42 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=71007 Someone has had a busy 2015! After releasing his much anticipated second album Lantern just a few weeks back (our review HERE), as well as performing a killer set at Longitude (our reaction HERE) and potentially working on Kanye West’s upcoming album, Hudson Mohawke has only gone and announced his own gig in Dublin before the year is out.

Fans of the trip-hop producer can buy tickets right now to his gig in The Olympia Theater in Dublin on December 9th, with tickets starting at €22.90.

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Lianne La Havas – Blood - Growing pains http://state.ie/album-reviews/lianne-la-havas-blood http://state.ie/album-reviews/lianne-la-havas-blood#comments Thu, 30 Jul 2015 10:20:42 +0000 http://state.ie/?p=71001 “I was using music to discover what I liked,” explained Lianne La Havas in a recent interview, “Womanhood, feeling like an adult, but not being quite mature yet – I wanted to celebrate that.” The 25 year old singer-songwriter’s second album Blood is just about to be released after a three year hiatus which saw debut Is Your Love Big Enough? gain commercial success.

And, while Is Your Love Big Enough? introduced us to her honey-sweet vocals and confessional lyrics, Blood is an altogether more comfortable affair. ‘Green and Gold’ reads like a diary entry and while it’s not explicitly vulnerable in any way, it still makes her endearing and likeable. Unfortunately this doesn’t last long and La Havas gets too comfortable mid album, with the likes of ‘Wonderful’ and ‘Grow’ falling flat despite their blissed-out delivery.

The album does, though, return to the glory heard on opener ‘Unstoppable’, with ‘Can’t Get Enough’ and album finale ‘Good Goodbye’. Both songs are beautifully written and beautifully delivered, but any poignancy sadly becomes lost amongst the filler material of their predecessors. Blood should be a deeply personal album, given La Havas took inspiration for it from her Jamaican heritage, but instead we are only allowed glimpses of someone with a flawless vocal technique and strong songwriting style. Just when it seems La Havas is going to let us in to her world, exposing all her hopes and doubts, she converts back into old, clichéd love-lorn territory; offering sweet songs that seem to fade into background music.

La Havas did say that she doesn’t feel quite so mature yet, so hopefully with her next offering she will have grown into the fearless, soul bearing woman that is clearly hiding behind that soulful voice.

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