Thursday, 31 January 2013

Biffy Clyro - Opposites

Ever since it was announced, I've been waiting patiently (and recently, not so patiently) for this album to be released. I pre-ordered it mid-September, and it arrived Tuesday morning (a day after release, much to my dismay), and am only just listening to it for the first time now. After reading other people's reviews I have mixed expectations, hence delaying listening to it. The band are incredibly happy with the album but I've seen quite a few reviews shit on it, although those people don't seem to know what they're talking about. A lot of the positive reviews I could say the same for, with someone describing the music on it as 'grunge' (err, what? They may have arguably been borderline grunge in the nineties and early noughties, but come on).

But enough babble, here it is:

I bought the all-singing, all-dancing boxset version. It smells damned good, although the £45 price-tag was somewhat steep (but still cheaper than the Muse boxset).

Alongside the double vinyl, there was a lyric book, guitar tab, leaf & film cutting, play-along disc, and the deluxe edition of the album (2 CDs and a DVD).

The Sand At The Core Of Our Bones

Before release, I'd actually heard 8 of the 10 tracks from this disc. 7 of those were from live or radio, the remaining one a friend sent to me when he got his review copy and I listened to so as to not hurt his feelings!

First track Different People is a fair opener, followed by the lead single Black Chandelier which I don't doubt is being overplayed on the radio right now. Sounds Like Balloons is a little edgier, although I still prefer the way it is played live as the riffs sound beefier. The Joke's On Us was one I loved when I heard it live, and I think it has translated very well to disc (shame the shoutier bits were left out, but I know they'll be back in March!). Biblical seems to be getting a lot of love from those on Tumblr, this being my third listen I'm definitely preferring it more now although I can't dismiss people's comments that it is ridiculously pop (still rocky and progressive though...?). A Girl And His Cat has a great electronic-y intro and is much more like classic Biffy once it kicks in. The Fog is the first track that's new to my ears, nice and slow, although I miss Simon's older, more fragile, falsetto. The crescendo is great on this track though (although it's reminding me of Muse a little, perhaps due to the classical influence I'm sensing). Little Hospitals is the real kicker on this disc with ridiculous lyrics, thumping bassline, heavy guitars. The Thaw is the closer, also a nice little track although it reminds of something else I can't quite put my finger on (the ending of the song sounds so...emo, I don't know haha).

The Land At The End Of Our Toes

From this disc I only knew 3 tracks previously, and only 1 of those had I heard the studio version of. So this disc felt rather like adventuring into the unknown.

The best-known song of course was Stingin' Belle, which has grown on me a lot after all the listens, although the extra section in the album version is somewhat jarring on first listen due to the unfamiliarity. Modern Magic Formula is another I'd loved hearing live, again sad that it isn't as shouty as it could have been, but could have been a lot worse (my friend had me worried by saying it sounded really different!). Spanish Radio has the mariachi band, I was expecting something a bit more 'out there' from this song to be honest...also I recognise this song and I don't get how, unless it just really sounds like something else or it was used in a video I've seen. Victory Over The Sun is another I'd heard live before, not a lot different on the record which is great as I'd worried that the backing vocals may have lost a bit of emotion in translation. Pocket I was curious about as apparently it has been in the works for a long time, but Simon was never happy with it. I personally think it would have benefitted from being slowed down considerably. Next track feels a lot more like older Biffy stuff (in places, at least), Trumpet Or Tap. Some nice riffs in there too, although it feels like an odd song to me, probably because of the strings. Skylight is another slow track, some very nice sounds in there but it just doesn't feel like Biffy really. Perhaps it's because I woke up quite early, but starting to get a bit bored by the track Accident And Emergency. Some great guitar sound on Woo Woo (although again reminiscent of something else). Last track Picture A Knife Fight wouldn't seem out of place on Puzzle or Lonely Revolutions (possibly because it just sounds like several other songs of that Biffy era unceremoniously smushed together). It provides a nice positive end to the album however, with the repeated ending line 'we've got to stick together'.

Overall I enjoyed the first disc, but part way through the second had a sense that the album is lacking something and that it is definitely too mainstream pop for my tastes. Which I didn't think I'd have a problem with, but there's something about it that just seems a bit forced and unimaginative, which isn't what I was expecting from the interviews I'd read leading up to it. I know my opinion will change and it'll grow on me as I get to know it better, and there are some really great songs on this. But I wouldn't recommend it to anyone as a first Biffy album to listen to. Even though it will be that for a lot of people I'm guessing, what with it looking good for being number one album in the UK this week.

I'd really liked the concept of the album, with the first disc being more negative and the second more positive, but the themes weren't particularly evident to me while listening, which was a shame. I had expected Sand to be slower, darker, quieter, more strings, and Land to be louder, faster, more aggressive. Instead both are mixed. I'll have to pay closer attention to lyrics on my second listen.

I should probably point out that at this point I'm tired from an early start and in a bad mood, which is probably affecting my judgement of the latter portion of this double album. I guess only further listening will tell. Afterall, it took a lot of listens of Blackened Sky for me to like it, and it's one of my favourite albums now.

Meanwhile, my vinyl copy of Black Chandelier is lost to the world, having been dispatched two weeks ago and no non-automated reply from HMV since they went bust in that time. Have had to reorder from Banquet as they only had 2 copies left, so basically I've made a £6 loss which is a pain in the butt.

Update:// Second listen through and my opinion is a lot more positive already. Helped along by the fact that I'm listening to it at twice the volume!

Sunday, 27 January 2013


Last night our comm celebrated its 4-year anniversary! This year we went to Lollipop karaoke for singing, dancing, and boozing.

I failed at my hair but it turned out okay in the end, I think. Looking at the photos I feel that I look a bit Baby Spice...must be the high ponytails and fluffy jacket.

I wore my Jewelry Jelly set. I struggle to wear this as it's so OTT for me. And well, the jacket is just cray.

Make-up and nail detail.

Fabulous karaoke-ing! And peeking pettis.

I tried to get everyone in one shot, but the room was too small (I was right in the corner of the room with the camera).

In addition to karaoke, Amy also organised a loli pop quiz with fabulous (and very sparkly) prizes. I somehow managed to win, despite not even knowing that Metamorphose HAD mascots, let alone know their names!

Soooo looking forward to using that palette, I love sparkly shadows so much ♥

Afterwards we went to the pub! I don't remember much but somehow photos got onto my camera.

And a wild Bexy appeared!

Already excited about the next meet! May have to wear that ridiculous jacket again, and hopefully I'll be able to wear my lucky pack.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Lolita 52 Challenge: Week 4

~Favourite thing to put on my head~

I'm not really a huge fan of hair accessories, and never have been. I was always the girl who get the 'omg you have such nice hair, you should tie it up!' comments, even though if my hair looks nice, why the heck would I want to hide it by tying it up?

I tend to just wear pretty plain headbands or bows, although my favourite at the moment is my spike headband from Topshop and it matches in well with my lolita style since I wear my engineer boots all the time.

Other than that, I wear matching headbows where I can, as long as they don't look ridiculous. Most DO look ridiculous though. The Angelic Pretty ones stand up too much, which looks silly on my super-flat hair. The matching Baby, The Stars Shine Bright one I have just would never suit anyone who doesn' have bangs. As such, I generally stick to my plain side-bows that I got from H&M as they're not so over-the-top.

A part of me wishes I could wear hats, as they can look really cute in casual coords. But they just don't stay on my head!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Lolita 52 Challenge: Week 3

~What my own Lolita lifestyle is like~

That's rather a presumptuous question. I am not a lifestyle lolita by any means, and I rarely wear lolita outside of meets currently as I love wearing shorts and hoodies far too much.

However I guess there are aspects of my life that many would consider parts of the lolita lifestyle, although for me they are just parts of being British!

I drink a LOT of tea, sometimes over 10 mugs a day. I'm hoping to get a nice tea set when I have my own place, but for now I have to stick with my mug.

I also love to cross-stitch, and it is something I have been doing since I was a child. I may start something new today actually if I can find some spare aida, but I'm pretty sure I'm all out! I also need to buy more yellow so I can finish my Pinkie Pie.

I guess one last thing would be the walks in the countryside, although I don't stroll along leisurely with parasol in hand.

And with that, I'm now up to date on this challenge! I shall endeavour to update once a week from now on (although I may just draft them now since I'm snowed in), in addition to any other entries I might make.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Lolita 52 Challenge: Week 2

~5 movies for Lolitas~

I realise I already did one this week, but it's already the third week of the year so I have a bit of catching up to do! Plus my exam that was supposed to be today has been postponed and I slipped over and got snowballs thrown at my head when I left the house, so I'm stuck indoors with nothing to do (and the roads aren't safe, so my boyfriend can't come see me =[)
  1. Kamikaze Girls/Shimotsuma Monogatari. The obvious one, but I do really love this movie. I can relate to Momoko really well, even though she isn't an entirely likeable character. Probably everyone reading this has watched it already, but if not, it's about a lone lolita who ends up reluctantly becoming friends with a yanki. Also I recommend reading the novel, it's one of my favourite books!

  2. Marie Antoinette. The costumes in this are just gorgeous, that's pretty much the only reason I like this movie! Well, and I love Kirsten Dunst as an actor too. Lots of rococo decadence and cakes!

  3. Interview with the Vampire. Sticking with Kirsten here! I figured I'd put something in this list that would appeal to the darker among you. Back before vampires sparkled, and let's face it Brad Pitt is much better eyecandy than Robert Pattinson.

  4. The Dutchess. More fantastic costumes! Although I've only watched this one once as there are some scenes I was really uncomfortable with, so trigger warning for this one.

  5. Ella Enchanted. Okay, the book is much better. But who doesn't love a cutesey girly fantasy story? Plus it has Anne Hathaway in it, as a girl who must be obedient.

Does anyone have any other good suggestions?

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Lolita 52 Challenge: Week 1

~5 pieces that every Lolita wardrobe should have, regardless of style~
  1. Blouses. Even if you wear OPs, blouses are still handy. I'd recommend a black one and white/cream for starters as they go with most things, and then you can add in other colours as you go.

  2. Bloomers. I know a lot of people don't bother, but I think they're a must. I even wear them with regular dresses, if I don't wear shorts under. It's nice to know that no one will see your panties if it's windy, and little extra pouffiness and lace never hurt anyone.

  3. Petticoat. Doesn't matter which style, you're going to need one. Cupcake or A-line to start depending on style, but Bodyline tutus are super handy for those shorter pieces and for layering. White goes with everything, black may show through thinner fabrics.

  4. Comfy boots. I guess you don't NEED them, but I'd be lost without mine. Pick a colour that will go with anything, and then you can wear them if you're needing to walk a lot or just want a more casual look.

  5. A lolita bag. Doesn't matter how plain it is, but it should match the style and be an appropriate colour that features elsewhere in your coord. Nothing makes an outfit look more off than a mismatching bag.

What would your choices be?

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Lolita 52 Challenge

Taken from here.
  1.  5 pieces that every Lolita wardrobe should have, regardless of style
  2.  5 movies for Lolitas
  3.  What my own Lolita lifestyle is like 
  4.  Favorite thing to put on my head
  5.  My wardrobe turnover
  6.  My favorite Lolita brand
  7.  Why I wear Lolita?
  8.  Why don't I wear Lolita more often?
  9.  5 keywords that describe my personal Lolita style
  10.  How I first found out about Lolita
  11.  3 trends I wish would come back
  12.  Combining other fashions with Lolita
  13.  Lolitas I have met in real life
  14.  Lolitas I would love to meet
  15.  3 things I wish I was told when I was a new Lolita
  16.  10 facts about my Lolita wardrobe
  17.  My first meetup
  18.  Trends I thought I would never get into, but I now love
  19.  Trends I thought I loved, but now I'm not too keen on
  20.  How satisfied I am with my current wardrobe
  21.  Plan for a trip! A week's worth of Lolita outfits I can fit in a small suitcase
  22.  How I accessorize
  23.  What influences my Lolita style
  24.  What's in my makeup bag
  25.  Best places to wear Lolita
  26.  How I get out of a wardrobe slump
  27.  Purses that I love
  28.  Bloomers or no bloomers?
  29.  Lolitafying things in my everyday life
  30.  How long it took me to build a complete wardrobe
  31.  Impulse buys that were totally worth it
  32.  My best deal
  33.  Something that I made
  34.  Wardrobe blunders! Things I bought that I ended up regretting!
  35.  What I thought when I got my first real piece of Lolita
  36.  Nails to match my favorite looks
  37.  Something that's not my style, but I love anyways
  38.  Favorite hair style
  39.  Most versatile Lolita item I own
  40.  5 inspirational fictional characters
  41.  Fondest meetup memory
  42.  The ways in which I fit the cliche
  43.  The ways in which I do not fit the cliche
  44.  How strangers react to my clothes, and how I react to their reactions
  45.  Something that was a gift
  46.  Parasols: Vital or frivolous?
  47.  The item in my wardrobe that was the hardest to get
  48.  My "signature" outfit
  49.  My favorite Lolita print
  50.  What's in my closet, but I haven't worn yet!
  51.  Predict the next Lolita trend!
  52.  How Lolita has changed me
Figured I may as well try to give this a go since I've been rubbish! I probably won't do one a week though, I will do whenever and maybe in groups, depending on how I feel.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Wardrobe Post 2013

Cross-posting from EGL.

This is my third year making a wardrobe post! HUGE 2012 post can be found here (apologies for not replying to comments, I shall endeavour to this year). For full history of lolita clothing (and other) check out my Poupée Girl

Unfortunately (or perhaps luckily) this year isn't a full post as my mum decided to shove most of my lolita clothes in storage without consulting me first, so I'll just be posting the pieces I have with me at university (which will be rotated once I've worn them all) and the few new pieces I have acquired, although not a great deal has changed (though I have sold a few more pieces). I haven't included jewellery of accessories due to time constraints, and I generally just wear a few understated gold or black pieces in coords anyway.

Angelic Pretty: Wonder Story, Sugary Carnival, Soap Bubble

Angelic Pretty: Lyrical Party/Bunny, Happy Girl (I actually wear this to death, I hope to find another colourway in future)

Angelic Pretty: Night Moon Theater

BTSSB/AATP: Garden Alice, Halloween Alice/Trick-or-Treat, Dance of the Black Cat

Bodyline, handmade (Emily Temple Cute fabric)

Angelic Pretty, Bodyline, Bodyline, NafNaf

Off-brand, Next, Super Lovers

Angelic Pretty, BTSSB

Angelic Pretty (still need to coord this! But it keeps raining)

Angelic Pretty x2, BTSSB, Drop Dead (handy in salopette coords)

Angelic Pretty, Primark, Metamorphose

All Angelic Pretty (but I usually wear plain thick tights)

Montreal, G.L.P., BTSSB, Dr Martens, Rocketdog (I admit, I wear these in almost every outfit as they're most comfortable)

Angelic Pretty (have 2 barrettes too but forgot to include them), H&M x3, Topshop

Aaaand waiting for an Angelic Pretty lucky pack. I just can't resist these things, third year in a row buying! Trying to get a black JSK pack too.

Recently I have been having a lolita identity crisis again as I've loved classical lolita for a long time, but I still love Angelic Pretty and it just seems more accessible and fits me well. I also haven't had many opportunities to wear lolita as I just find it a hassle. But hoping I can get back into it! Although I'll still need to sell off a lot as I won't have much space when I move out of home for good.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Christmas & New Year

Christmas was a bit naff this year due to exam and essay and presentation stress, but it was nice to take a bit of time off from that and see my family.

I made some awesome Christmas cakes...

I also got a whole bunch of CDs as gifts!

Only a couple of Hello Kitty items...(although I'm tempted to get Hello Kitty Vans in the sales)

And also a princess Cadence ♥

This year I guess I actually have new year's resolutions for once, off the back of what has been one of the crappiest years of my life. Looking back now it doesn't seem so bad though as all the crappy stuff feels like forever ago already! Here they are:

  • Get fit! I used to go for a walk every day until the Summer, and I've only been once since I moved back here. I love walks, but I guess they've become associated with wanting to get out of the shithole I was living in. Plus the weather has been pants and it gets dark too early. But I'd like to walk lots again so I can get fit enough to run again.
  • Give blood, even if it is only the once. I have to wait a while because of my tattoo though, so I guess I'll have to do it before the next one.
  • Make fewer bad decisions, and hopefully better mistakes. Because everyone makes mistakes, right?
  • Stop being so damn naive. I'll definitely be trying to not trust men, because every time I think I've made an awesome new friend they draw me in and then try take advantage, and when I turn them down they ditch me instantly. It blows and I really don't want to fall for it again.

To end on a lighter note, I did a little look around the sales and fell in love with this dress.

I'd seen the fabric before and loved it, but it was a long pleated dress which was a horrid style that wouldn't have suited me at all. They had a bunch of those, but this one was nestled in the middle. I tried it on thinking it wouldn't fit as their sizes generally run small and it was XS, but it fits like a glove. Hooray for growing sizes! It's all floaty and layered and lovely, the photo really doesn't do it justice.

Here's hoping I get through the rest of this month's stress!.

And hope everyone had a great end of year, of course!