Car Quest Review (Nintendo Switch)

Car Quest is a clever little game. Imagine Rocket League, Super Monkey Ball and Monument Valley had a baby.

In Car Quest, you control… a car, who has to drive around Blocktaria in order to restore the world to its former glory. To do this, you must uncover several ‘artefacts’, that unlock new areas in the main hub that eventually lead to new areas, or ‘realms’, and also gradually your guide ‘Lord Blockstar’ remembers more about himself, and the world around him.

At the start, the game does feel a little bare bones, and the home world feels empty. However, the more you play, the more you explore and unlock meaning that it genuinely does feel like you’re restoring the world. The puzzles don’t vary much from ‘Find the next artefact’ but the ways you have to find them are very clever at times, and are surprisingly challenging.

Despite almost Metroid levels of backtracking, the game only feels repetitive in the beginning; as soon as the main hub opens up you can zoom around finding artefacts and pieces for the museum, and it feels very nice indeed. It runs very smoothly too, and with simple but effective graphics, it also looks great, and is a perfect fit on Switch.

Car Quest is a lovely puzzle game, and definitely worth a few hours of your time.

81%

Car Quest is out now on the Nintendo eShop for £7.69.

I was sent ‘Car Quest’ free of charge in exchange for a review.
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New Release Roundup 26th October 18

Singles:

Self Esteem- Rollout: The strongest track from Rebecca LT so far in my opinion. A great hypnotic melody with great harmonies over a great, funky percussion track. Very promising for a debut full length. 90%

Ian Brown – First World Problems: It’s good to have the monkey man back, with a new solo album coming next year. This new track is a groovy number, and Ian’s voice sounds on top form. Very exciting. 84%

Razorlight – Carry Yourself: A fairly pleasant, non threatening indie tune from Razorlight here, its not bad at all but it would fit in perfectly in a sofa sale advert or the opening of a cookery show. 70%

Lauren Jauregui – Expectations: A smooth, soulful slow jam from Lauren J here that really showcases her strong vocals; showing real emotion and passion while maintaining good control. Gooood. 80%

Bring Me The Horizon ft. Dani Filth – Wonderful Life: The second single from BMTH’s upcoming ‘amo’ album is another top tune. A bit heavier than Mantra, but just as catchy and not too over the top. Dani puts in a good feature too. 81%

Mumford & Sons – If I Say: This would be an alright, subtle growing track but Marcus’ voice is so grating, especially when its the focus of the track. Nah. 30%

Gerard Way – Baby You’re a Haunted House: This new track from emo king Gerard Way is a glam rock esque rock banger. It’s My Chemical Romance meets The Sweet, and its not bad at all. 80%

Cardi B – Money: Not a fan of this one at all. Usually Cardi has some funny bars that show she is still down to earth but this just seems like a big brag-fest. 20%

Albums:

Peter Raeburn – Note To Self: A lovely, thoughtful collection of songs from Peter here. Sounding somewhere inbetween Fleet Foxes and I am Kloot, ‘Note To Self’ has great, stripped back production. ‘Never Gone’ is an album highlight for me, with haunting harmonies throughout. 80%

 

 

Kero Kero Bonito – Time ‘n’ Place Review

Time ‘n’ Place is the second studio album from experimental British 3 piece Kero Kero Bonito, who on their debut EP ‘Intro Bonito’ and subsequent first album proved themselves to be one of the most exciting, inventive new groups around. Drawing from a wide range of influences, ‘Bonito Generation’ was a bright, colourful record.

Based on the opening track ‘Outside’, it is clear that KKB have not just made a ‘Bonito Generation 2’, with it being more guitar based and instantly heavier than most things on their debut. Don’t worry, the band’s charm is still here in abundance on Time ‘n’ Place, with KKB developing their sound while not losing any of what made them great the first time around.

‘Time Today’ is an early album highlight, with Sarah happily singing about how she has a day to herself. The album continues very strongly into ‘Only Acting’ which details how Sarah feels while performing live over a nice pop-punky backing, that brilliantly self destructs towards the end.

The whole album is just as strong, most songs telling specific, on the nose stories over innovative beats and utilising Sarah’s unique vocal style perfectly, with ‘Dump’ being a nice little story about a rubbish dump, and ‘Dear Future Self’ being a letter to future self.

Closing track ‘Rest Stop’ begins sounding like the end credit music to an old Sega game like Nights or Alex Kidd before exploding into what is essentially a few minutes of noise music with Sarah faintly singing in the background before fading out to just Sarah. Odd, but it works. Good.

93%

You can buy Time ‘n’ Place here, or stream it below.

Bohemian Rhapsody Movie Review

Bohemian Rhapsody chronicles Queen’s journey from their early pub days as Smile up until their iconic Live Aid performance. Despite press coverage leading up to the film’s release, it does not shy away from any aspect of Freddie’s life. While there was a slightly heavy focus on his relationship with Mary Austin, she was an important person in his life, and Freddie’s sexuality and illness are explored in full, and handled with respect, with a great performance from Rami Malek.

Rami absolutely shines as Freddie throughout, being almost the spitting image of him whether he is at his highest performing on stage, or at his lowest during his struggles with substance abuse and AIDS. The rest of the main cast were pretty spot on too, with Ben Hardy and Gwilym Lee perfect choices for Roger Taylor and Brian May respectively.

There were a few issues with pacing in the film, with the beginnings of Queen being very relatively quickly skimmed over, and I felt there wasn’t a need for a full recreation of their Live Aid set, but other than that I found Bohemian Rhapsody to be very enjoyable. Lighthearted and serious when it needed to be, and with great attention to detail when recreating iconic set-pieces.

76%

Track Review: The Good, The Bad & The Queen – Merrie Land

Another project from the man who never stops making music, Damon Albarn, is on the Horizon, with the second The Good, The Bad & The Queen releasing in November. ‘Merrie Land’ is the title track, and the first new music from the group since 2007.

Sounding halfway between early Blur and The Magic Whip, this first glimpse of the album is a very promising one. Melancholy lyrics about the state of post-brexit UK set to a carnival-esque instrumental. No idea how he had the time to make something this good whilst being on tour non-stop for the past few years.

The Good, The Bad & The Queen have been gone a long while, but they came back at the right time.

90%

You can pre-order Merrie Land here.

They have some upcoming UK dates in December, on sale Friday:

Dec 1st – The North Pier, Blackpool
https://www.seetickets.com/event/the-good-the-bad-the-queen/north-pier/1272677
Dec 2nd – SWG3, Glasgow
http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/event/3600554FD1925A60
Dec 4th – Hackney Arts Centre, London
https://www.seetickets.com/event/the-good-the-bad-the-queen/earth-hackney-arts-centre-/1272679
Dec 5th – Hackney Arts Centre, London
https://www.seetickets.com/event/the-good-the-bad-the-queen/earth-hackney-arts-centre-/1272681
Dec 6th – Hackney Arts Centre, London
https://www.seetickets.com/event/the-good-the-bad-the-queen/earth-hackney-arts-centre-/1272682

Ash live at Sheffield Leadmill Review

Ash played at the Sheffield Leadmill on Tuesday 16th October, with support from Death by Unga Bunga.

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Death by Unga Bunga

Death by Unga Bunga were one of the most entertaining opening acts I had seen in a while, with non-stop energy throughout their set, while still performing great musically. Check them out if you can.

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Northern Irish rock trio Ash performed a lengthy set, but at no point did they show any signs of drifting off, with even their new album tracks pleasing the crowd.

The earliest highlight for me came in the form of a blistering rendition of ‘Kung-Fu’, and the whole set was filled with hits, reminding me just how many they’ve had over the years, with the likes of ‘Oh Yeah’, ‘Goldfinger’ and ‘Angel Interceptor’ all coming thick and fast in the first half of the set.

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This tour is in support of their latest album, ‘Islands’, and while they did play a fair number of new tracks (6), they slotted in perfectly with their greatest hits and fan favourites, especially ‘Confessions In The Pool’ and ‘Did Your Love Burn Out’.

 

Ash put on a memorable performance, and the quality of the whole set is a real testament to just how good they still are. They seemed to be enjoying themselves on stage too, which is the most important thing.

90%

You can check out all of Ash’s upcoming tour dates here: http://www.ash-official.com/shows/

Gallery:

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Kiran Leonard and Let’s Eat Grandma team up for ‘Legacy of Neglect’

Coming in at around 9 minutes, this new track from Kiran is a long one, but miraculously it doesn’t drag on. This cut, featuring the amazing Let’s Eat Grandma, is from Kiran’s upcoming album ‘Western Culture’ out on the 9th November.

 

Kiran has an upcoming UK & Ireland Tour, check out the dates below:

20 Oct – Oxford, Ritual Union                                                                                                            22 Oct – Leicester, Cookie                                                                                                                  23 Oct – Cambridge, Portland Arms                                                                                                    24 Oct – Guildford, Boileroom                                                                                                          25 Oct – York, Crescent                                                                                                                      26 Oct – Huddersfield, Parish                                                                                                                27 Oct – Stockton, Georgian Theatre                                                                                                21 Nov – Galway, Roisin Dubh                                                                                                              22 Nov – Dublin, Whelans                                                                                                                  23 Nov – Limerick, Kasbah Social
24 Nov – Cork, Cyprus Avenue                                                                                                        26 Nov –Brighton,  Green Door Store
27 Nov – London, MOTH Club                                                                                                              28 Nov – Manchester, Soup Kitchen                                                                                                  29 Nov – Birmingham, Hare & Hounds                                                                                        30 Nov – Glasgow, Hug & Pint                                                                                                            01 Dec – Newcastle, Cumberland Arms                                                                                          03 Dec – Norwich, Arts Centre                                                                                                            04 Dec Bristol, Rough Trade                                                                                                            05 Dec – Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach

Photos by Manox and Charlotte Patmore