Gorillaz – “Humanz” [ALBUM REVIEW]

Among musicians, and music fans, pop music sometimes gets a bit of a bad rap. Personally, I’ve found the world of pop music across the decades to be a fascinating and enjoyable one. While I zoned out of the pop world for years, I could always rely on Gorillaz to fill that hole. From Clint Eastwood to Plastic Beach (The Fall doesn’t really count), Gorillaz have been a surefire hit-factory. Unfortunately, whenever they would come out with a fresh batch, they’d inevitably bugger back off again for a handful of years.

Everyone knows that Gorillaz are, in fact, a cipher for Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett.…   [continue reading]

Kendrick Lamar – “Damn” [ALBUM REVIEW]

It’s always unfortunate when an artist has to follow an epochal album. Considering Kid A in the wake of OK Computer was never fair. Pink Floyd‘s awful Final Cut was doomed after The Wall. Placing Kendrick Lamar‘s previous album, To Pimp a Butterflyin such a legendary ballpark is obvious to anyone who’s heard the record without blinkers. As a result, Lamar’s fresh follow-up was always going to find itself trapped under expectations and heft. Released five days ago, Damn has more written about it in comparison to its predecessor than its own merits.

This is natural.…   [continue reading]

A Smark’s Guide to: WWE Fastlane 2017

WWE‘s fledgling Fastlane event is still, in many ways, just finding its feet.  It’s not a bad concept for a Pay-Per-View either, introducing last minute twists and turns to the Road to WrestleMania.  This year, the main point of contention was Kevin Owens‘ Universal Title defence against Goldberg.  With the victor going on to face Brock Lesnar at the imminent WrestleMania, it’s something that the WWE Universe had their eyes set keenly on.  Of course, the finish was always going to end up predictable.  We’ll discuss that in the end but, first, there’s quite an undercard to comb over.…   [continue reading]

Secret Cave Office Chart [MARCH 2017]

This month’s playlist is much more varied than the February edition.  I tried a lot harder to make it a bit more representative of my overarching tastes.  That said, quite a lot of this material was new to me.  I’m finding that making these is helping me to discover a few things myself.  That, at the very least, makes it worth doing.  Overall, i’m really quite happy with this one.  However, I do have a couple of problems i’d like to iron out for April’s Office Chart.  For example, I feel the two halves are slightly too separate.  After a more upbeat opening, it’s quite a bit more chilled out by its conclusion.  …   [continue reading]

Hearing Damage: A Personal Aside

Secret Cave has been a quiet dwelling since the turn of New Year.  Indeed, only seven days into it, time taken off in this period is somewhat natural and understandable.  It’s been the case for the two Bens after all, both of whom have had swathes of personal and professional flotsam to attend to.  As a freer agent however, I would usually have posted a couple of things up by now.  Truth is, something terrifying has reared its head; something I didn’t expect until at least my fifties.  For the past week, I have been suffering immense hearing damage.

I’m going to try and use this as a jumping off point for talking about a few things.  …   [continue reading]