Catdice Vs Cack Handed



  1. New Jersey’s finest unveiled their newest video for lead single Get Hurt taken from their forthcoming album due for release August 11th (UK), also titled Get Hurt. The video itself sees the band portrayed in a very dapper fashion as the tales of forgone romance take control of the bars occupants, perfectly recreating and channeling the weight upon this songs heavy shoulders. As a huge Gaslight Anthem fan, I really welcome this change with open arms. As they’ve recently said, whats the point of making the same record over and over? It’s something that happens far too often in today’s scene. Either way, this album is going to own this Summer and potentially this year.

     

  2. The Story So Far - Navy Blue

    This track has been doing the rounds on my ears for the past few weeks as I proudly fly the flag for “acoustic pop-punk”. They really are becoming stronger by the year and I haven’t seen an artist or group push their limits for their retrospective genre like this for quite sometime. Taken from their Songs Of EP due for release in the UK on June 16th, the Californian band have complied a handful of new acoustic tracks, new renditions of their own songs and even a Bob Marley cover.
    They also receive a huge bonus for the wonderful artwork!

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  3. Aaron West and The Roaring Twenties - You Ain’t No Saint

    I’m a big fan of The Wonder Years, so much that their album The Greatest Generation was my top record from last year!
    So I was incredibly pleased when I heard that lead singer Dan (Soupy) Campbell would be starting a new project under the alias of Aaron West And The Roaring Twenties. Dan has created a character who’s had a fairly bad year, and this album We Don’t Have Each Other will tell that very story. It’s a near stark step away from the more rapid pop-punk found on various Wonder Year’s records as this humble and honest track goes to show. The record is due out 7th July here in the UK and I’ve certainly marked my calendar!…

     

  4. Why Metallica Could Recapture Glastonbury’s Spirit

    After months of speculation and rumour, LA’s heavy rock giants are set to make their first appearance at Worthy Farm as Saturday’s headliners. Before I begin my ramblings, I’d like it to be known that I’m not the biggest Metallica fan, putting to rest any bias opinions. Granted I spent a fair chunk of my teenage years devoted to heavy metal/hard rock acts, although I never really stuck with Metallica. Yet there’s some form of fascinating appeal behind them and to be fair, they’ve done tremendously well to stay relevant over their 30 year lifecycle. Here’s why I’m excited to witness history in the making…

    For starters, Glastonbury grew up on controversial foundations, so to have a band cause as much debate as this is certainly a good thing. If anyone has seen the simply titled documentary Glastonbury then you’d be familiar with the amount of “despair” and “end of the World havoc” it would cause when the local and average working class citizen heard about the festivals bookings in it’s early days. They were petrified due to the many unorthodox acts playing over the weekend that went against the mainstream grain. This however is where Metallica will be at their strongest, by challenging and channelling this age old spirit. Just like Jay-Z did in 2008, they will challenge the “rights and wrongs” of what is best suited at Glastonbury. Although I was never too convinced by Jay-Z’s headline slot, it felt appropriate for Glasto to once again go against the mundane routine so many other festivals blindly follow. By booking someone different, dangerous and out of their comfort zone, they’ve retained that spirit.

    Previous headliners have been fantastic although over the years a pattern was developing, an almost predictable phase as headliners were making Glasto look like any other festival. Even with the exception of last year’s Rolling Stones, you couldn’t help but think Arctic Monkeys and Mumford & Sons presented a very stale and safe choice. 2011 was the same, big bands but predictable and safe choices, as was 2010. In fact that last 10 years have done very little to spice up these legendary slots, with the exception of Jay-Z of course who challenged this routine. Perhaps the heaviest band to pull off a headline slot would be Muse, although a handful of heavy acts have appeared lower down over the years. Probably the most famous of the lot is Rage Against The Machine with their 1994 performance. So don’t think for one minute that heavy metal is A) new to Glastonbury or B) doesn’t suit the festival. In fact I doubt there’s a genre as politically aggravating as rock n roll, which is what Glasto strives against isn’t it? Am I wrong?  Does the festival not challenge the “men in suits” just like many rock bands do?

    All in all, I saw the band headline Reading Festival back in 2008 and although I knew very little of the material being played that night, I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. They are more than capable of pulling off this headliner set. You’ve got one of the biggest bands ever at the World’s biggest festival, a perfect combination. They also have a lot to prove, since the average Glasto punter is likely to avoid heavy metal at any costs, they have to create some appeal. Whether it’ll be a vicious selection of riffs or blinding pyrotechnics, they’ll draw the crowd one way or another! Time will tell!

     

  5. Lykke Li - Gunshot
    The latest track to be taken from Lykke Li’s soon to be released third studio album I Never Learn certainly caters for my more reserved and calmer moments when it comes to my musical taste. As with the majority of her work, this track comes packed with its fair share of daunting vocals. Although on this occasion, they seem to have been wonderfully layered between sheets of glossy production and a sombre palette full of powerful percussion. With a UK release date of May 5th, my yearning for this record is nearing to an end.

     

  6. The Menzingers - I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore
    Yesterday I got my hands on their new album Rented World and it’s been sitting in my CD tray quite comfortably ever since. The above track starts off the record in superb punk-rock fashion and this humorous video suits it perfectly. Loving these guys at the moment!

     

  7. Really want to play this now! Throwback classic!

    (Source: newgamepressstart, via fuckyeah1990s)

     


  8. Gigs of 2014

    You Me At Six
    Support: Young Kato and Don Broco
    Venue and Date: Plymouth Pavilions, 2nd April 2014

    Setlist:
    Too Young To Feel This Old
    Fresh Start Fever
    Stay With Me
    The Swarm
    Little Death
    Loverboy
    Forgive And Forget
    Room To Breathe
    Underdog
    Liquid Confidence
    Cold Night
    Wild Ones

    Encore:
    Reckless
    Bite My Tongue
    Lived A Lie

    I usually begin by shining some light on my past experiences of the many shows that have taken place within the chosen venue over the years. Although in this case I’ve already done that with February’s overview of Frank Turner’s gig, which can be found here. I will however state that this was my second time seeing the Surrey legends do their thing, with the first time being last year when they performed with Thirty Seconds To Mars at the Pavilions.

    Just like any other gig, there were also a couple of support bands on the bill that night. One were great…….one not so much. First act of the night was Cheltenham’s six piece indie pop-rock band Young Kato who gave a full-hearted performance, albeit a lukewarm one. For starters, they’re overall lure didn’t seem to sit on the same fence as the accompanying bands that night. Throughout their set, the band were doused in blue lights that remained motionless during their near half hour stint. This seemed to have a reverse effect on their suggested stage presence though as instead of projecting a “deep/moody” aurora, you were simply left with a slightly stale and dozy atmosphere. I will however admit that if I saw them supporting a more indie based band, then their presence would have definitely fitted a lot better and comfortably. In the end, the music is the most important part and their mix of electronics, tiny bits of synth and indie layered guitars, did very little to win me over. Without putting too much weight on comparisons, their sound sits somewhere between a mix of early Friendly Fires and Dog Is Dead. I tend to think to myself that a support band needs to either get the crowd warmed up or bring something new, exciting and different to what the main band will be providing. Granted Young Kato deliver a sound very different compared to Don Broco and YMAS, albeit a rather alienated, if not a tad isolated one during that evening.

    Next up were Bedford four piece Don Broco who delivered their heavy pop rock “lad” antics with the utmost precision and excellence during their entire performance. I’ve seen these guys twice before, both playing their own headline shows last year, so this was my first taste of viewing them as a support band. Needless to say they excelled in doing so. Opening with last year’s single “You Wanna Know”, the Bedford group were well on their way to getting the crowd pumped and ready for tonight’s main act. Even though this track is dubbed as one of their “bigger hits”, I was quite amazed by the amount of positive feedback and crowd participation throughout its performance. After a full hearted start, the band kicked in too another popular single of theirs “Whole Truth” which once again saw another burst of energetic involvement within the crowd.  Later on “Thug Workout” made its presence shown with singer Rob Damiani declaring “this one’s a bit mental, look after each other out there” as it’s artillery of rapid roaring vocals and dangerous rifts tore the crowd apart, eventually creating a few mosh pits. One of the more entertaining and special moments of their performance wasn’t actually their music, as singer Rob was celebrating his birthday on that very day. The band presented him with a candle lit birthday cake and started singing Happy Birthday, to which the majority of the crowd joined in, ultimately filling the Pavilions up with birthday cheers. After some joyous celebrations and a few more songs later, the band finished off their 9 song set with “Priorities” which received huge fan appreciation. By now the atmosphere and stage was firmly set for You Me At Six to deliver their much awaited show.

    After the white curtain that had restricted our view during setup time had dropped, the band joined the stage, which admittedly seemed a little odd to me. During the half hour preparation, I was thinking how good it’d look when that curtain would finally fall upon the first beat of the drum of within the first verse. Although the curtain had no real effect, the opening track “Too Young To Feel This Old” supplied great impact. As the opening track on their newest album Cavalier Youth, it seemed the perfect choice to start with. When it’s overly epic intro died down and singer Josh Franceschi delivered the first line “We’re not young anymore, what are you so scared of?” the crowds vocals were almost as loud as his. To my surprise, a track as new as that receiving that kind of reaction was a little bit of a shock, albeit a good one.

    Since this tour was in support of the new No1 album Cavalier Youth, it was no surprise that “Fresh Start Fever” made its way onto the setlist. The track never made its impact on me when released as a single a couple months ago. Although within its context on the album, it works really well and even better live, especially since it finished off with an explosion of confetti. When touring a new album, you can’t leave out the old material or classics, so Hold Me Down fan favourite “Stay With Me” ticked that box and gave a little bit of nostalgia to a now more mature and grown up band. Perhaps the weakest part of their set was one off single “The Swarm” as I’ve never really viewed it as a true You Me At Six song, purely because it sounds too distant from their other material lyrically. Next up saw two tracks from 2011’s Sinners Never Sleep make their appearance. First up was “Little Death” which earned a rapturous crowd sing-along, particularly during the choruses “We are not your lovers, we are not your friends, fuck what you believe in, cause this is the end”. This was followed up by “Loveryboy” which enjoyed another healthy dose of support from the crowd, especially during the intros pirate esque chant and devious chorus.

    After a few tracks from their extensive back catalogue, it was time to delve back into Cavalier Youth with the incredibly touching “Forgive And Forget” (one of my favourites) and the colossal “Room To Breathe”. The former provided some down time and a moments rest for a deeper and more meaningful performance while easily earning and deserving all your attention. The latter picked up the pace again with bigger rifts and an overall grander emphasis of being on the attack as opposed to being on the defensive.

    After two fresh servings of new material, it was time to retract towards some older hits. Once again drawing from Hold Me Down was the ever catchy “Underdog” and the even sweeter “Liquid Confidence”. The first of which continued the lively atmosphere that “Room To Breathe” had left behind while the second song helped to slowly simmer the mood and bring the energetic crowd to a near halt of mass appreciation while witnessing and participating in such an endearing song. By now a little pattern was starting to develop, a few new ones, a few old ones, back and forth. It was down to another two new tracks to finish off the main part of their show, the super soft and lovely “Cold Night” and the powerful closing track “Wild Ones”. The crowd activity spiked during “Cold Night” with its mix of gentle verses and empowering choruses while also sparking every couple within the room. “Wild Ones” brought in a rather special moment and to the dismay of nearly every security guard in the building, Josh demanded everyone get on someone’s shoulders for its duration.

    Following a very brief break, the band returned for their much loved encore. After a little thank you for tonight’s wonderful reception and dedication, the band tore into hit single “Reckless” which saw the room light up as the mood reached an all-time high while generating one of the biggest sing-alongs of the evening. Next up was the rather vicious “Bite My Tongue” which features Oil Sykes on the recorded version, although it was fairly obvious he wouldn’t be making an appearance that evening. Since Sykes wasn’t going to be around, it was down to Josh to fill those boots for the harsh and rough vocal display towards the end of the track. I’ve seen Josh do this before and it never fails to disappoint. Granted it’s not as full bodied as Oli Sykes destructive vocals but it’s the next best thing by miles. The band rounded the night off with a powerful performance of their highest charting single “Lived A Lie” that pushed the crowd into giving it all for one last time, before finishing off with blasts of golden confetti. It’s fair to say I haven’t been a long term fan like many others have and I haven’t been with them since the very start. Although I definitely cherish their place in music and look in awe at how far they’ve grown and come over the few years I’ve stuck with them. I really want to be around for the next handful of years to see what these guys can continue to achieve. Oh and hanging back after the show to meet Chris, Max and Dan was simply the best. 

     


  9. Gigs of 2014

    Fall Out Boy
    Support: New Politics and The Pretty Reckless
    Venue and Date: Cardiff Motorpoint Arena, 15th March 2014

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    Setlist:
    The Phoenix
    I Slept With Someone In Fall Out Boy And All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me
    A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More “Touch Me”
    This Ain’t A Scene, it’s An Arms Race
    Alone Together
    Thriller
    Death Valley
    Sugar, We’re Goin Down
    Young Volcanoes
    Beat It (Michael Jackson cover)
    I’m Like A Lawyer With The Way I’m Always Trying To Get You Off (Me & You) (Acoustic)
    Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy (Acoustic)
    Dance, Dance
    Just One Yesterday
    I Don’t Care
    My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light ‘Em Up)

    Encore:
    Save Rock And Roll
    Thnks Fr Th Mmrs
    Saturday

    My 2nd gig of the year was surprisingly entertaining, mainly because I’m not that much of a Fall Out Boy fan and haven’t been for a long time. Admittedly the band were once a defining chapter of my musical taste when growing up but around 3rd studio album, 2007’s Infinity On High, I had near enough lost interest within the group. So 6 years on and following a brief hiatus, the band returned with 5th studio album Save Rock And Roll which clearly divided fans opinions. I was initially very sceptic and negative with my thoughts on the new material I was hearing. Granted that they gradually moved away from early pop punk greatness with Infinity On High and Folie À Deux but this more modern, dare I say it “radio friendly” approach was a shock but also kind of predicted at the same time. Back to the gig and my reasoning to going, which was due to being blessed with the honour/chore of taking my sister up to the show.

    Starting with a brief run down on the venue itself, it’s one I’ve been to a few times over the years. Firstly for Blink-182 in 2012, followed by The Killers later that year and last year’s shows came from The Who and later Paramore. A handful of very epic shows to say the least! It’s a good 2/3 hours’ drive from where I live to eventually reach the venue but it’s been worth it on every occasion. The sound inside venue is one of the best I’ve experienced over the years, so it’s always a safe bet that you’ll enjoy the show. However I couldn’t help but feel this show lacked the quality of sound I’d come to expect from the venue. I always try to get a central viewing but during the entirety of the show I was positioned in line with the speakers to the right of the stage. Perhaps I was just getting an overall unbalanced experience throughout the performance. While this problem plagued all three bands, Fall Out Boy were definitely the least affected. This now brings me onto the support acts…

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    Personally for me, these two support acts were two of my least favourite I’ve ever had to endure while waiting for the main act. First on were three piece pop punk/dance rock group New Politics from Denmark. Their music wasn’t necessarily that bad, as they’re kind of a mix of All American Rejects and the more recently popular Twenty One Pilots (both of which I highly enjoy), although this may have led to a strong feeling of déjà vu and mere copycat syndrome. There was a sense of cockiness throughout their performance with lead singer David Boyd strutting around the stage like a self-indulgent model and even showing off some break dancing moves for a near 5 minute solo. For one second I genuinely thought I was watching Diversity as he skipped around the stage like a ballerina dancing on hot coals. David introduced song “Just Like Me” as something a bit more “punk” for us all to enjoy however the meaning of the song seemed to have missed the mark. Instead of hearing a rebellious outburst we we’re left with a rather bratty and almost spoilt rotten themed song. It wasn’t all bad though as “Tonight You’re Perfect” and “Fall Into These Arms” were delivered with the utmost dedication and care. The crowd were definitely enthusiastic throughout, but if it wasn’t for the bands moments of attention seeking and slight sleaziness then the overall show would’ve been a lot more fun.

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    The Pretty Reckless (featuring Professor Snape) were the second act of the night and ultimately did very little, if not anything to excite me one bit. It is hard to watch/appreciate something of no interest to yourself but even then you try to focus on the few pros and attractive points of someone’s creativity, yet I found hardly none this time round. I fully understand that they do have a fan base, quite a large one in fact but in all honesty I couldn’t and still can’t force myself to enjoy their music. For starters I still can’t find any reasoning to why they were even chosen to support in the first place. There’s almost nothing in common with Fall Out Boy apart from they both happen to play guitars, and that’s about it. I was remotely hoping that their heavy rock/metal would appeal to my inner 15 year old self, but nope that didn’t happen. I instead ending up watching singer Taylor Momsen give her best Courtney Love impression for a solid half hour while the band attempted a Guns N Roses karaoke play along in the background. Throughout the whole show the band stayed near enough stationary and were about as morbid as the majority of their songs. The crowd was however full of a few diehard fans and the constant flow of cheers proved that, yet there was almost an equal amount of boos as well. I have no knowledge of their library of songs but I remember hearing “Make Me Wanna Die” which seemed appealing by then. Closing track “Going To Hell” went down well with the crowd and saw the band acting their most lively and fun throughout the whole night. It’s hard to fake an interest, yet many people somehow do but I’m not a pretender, so this was an unenjoyable experience for me. I’m sure the fans loved it though! Onto the main show…

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    Fall Out Boy took to the stage behind a white curtain as the first few seconds of “The Phoenix” was beginning to be played out. Naturally the curtains dropped within the first few lyrics revealing the band and a dozen bright lights complete with beaming spotlights. I’m sure this is all sounding familiar and what the majority of gigs consists off, well not quite. What surprised me most and almost amazed me was the blatant transformation these pop punkers have undertaken. I haven’t seen these guys since 2007, nor have I followed them too closely, so a lot of change has clearly taken place over the years. The whole band wore FOB branded balaclavas throughout the complete duration of opening song “The Phoenix” as if to say “we’re back, we’re still Fall Out Boy, welcome to our revolution”.

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    After such a strong and convincing opening, the band tore into old fan favourite “I Spelt With Someone In Fall Out Boy And All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me” which was met with an enormous amount of praise from the highly energetic crowd. By now I was expecting another new track yet they seemingly dropped “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More Touch Me” from nowhere, further continuing the extremely fun nostalgic trip. Although I’m not a huge fan of following track “This Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race” it definitely strengthened the throwback antics that had been grand highlights so far that evening. After three consecutive classics, it was time to air new track “Alone Together”.  A track that never really wowed me on the record yet Patrick Stumps vocals were on fine form, ultimately carrying the track to higher levels of praise. Upon finishing off that very song, the band exited the stage while guitarist Joe Trohman showed off his skills for a few minutes, blitzing through a handful of rifts and solos.

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    After this little interval, the band returned to perform “Thriller” and “Death Valley” that ended being the low point of their set for me.  Likely due to the fact I’m not too familiar with those tracks and they did seem a little too flat compared to the rest of the setlist. Drummer Andy Hurley started off following track “Sugar, We’re Goin Down” which was warmly received by the crowd of avid fans, and further enthusing that nostalgic trip for myself. It’s hard to follow a classic track of those standards but “Young Volcanoes” managed to carry the mood exceedingly well as its soft and loving tales set the arena alight. The inclusion of a dozen giant black balls bouncing around the crowd created a stronger sense of unity within the crowd, as well as the band, who’d occasionally kick a ball or two back. By now the mood was so positive, it was near impossible to find any fault, even the bands cover of “Beat It” kept me mildly entertained.

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    Once again, the band left the stage while that near legendary interview of Iggy Pop played out on the back screen. Following a captivating and rallying speech by a true Godfather of punk, the band resumed the show, but not on the stage for a change. Instead the band had relocated to the rear of the arena for a two song acoustic set by the sound desk. Playing “I’m Like A Lawyer With The Way I’m Always Trying To Get You Off (Me & You)” and “Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is your Boy” which once again pleased every single person in the room. While I’m not the biggest Fall Out Boy fan, I could certainly appreciate the rarity of the moment. As the three members finished off their fantastic treat for us, drummer Andy Hurley resumed the show back on the main stage with a rather epic drum solo.

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    By now the band had all regrouped and stood by as bassist Pete Wentz introduced the next song, of which was the massive hit “Dance, Dance” resulting in a crazy response from the crowd. Once again, it’s an extremely hard challenge to compete against a song of such high standards yet new track “Just One Yesterday” safely continued the night while “I Don’t Care” started to simmer the tone a little. By now it’s reaching encore time, but not before the band perform a thunderous rendition of comeback track “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark (Light ‘Em Up) which unfortunately didn’t feature real life fire.

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    After a brief break and a lot of crowd encouragement, the band returned with Patrick Stump sited behind a keyboard for “Save Rock And Roll”. Once again, a track that never really appealed to me on the album yet this performance was made more believable and honourable, as the overall theme was helped by visual aids. A touching and sweet slideshow played on the massive screen, appropriately praising true legends of music. Featuring unforgettable legends such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Nirvana and even Johnny Cash, Tupac and Elton John (who features on the original recording) all made appearances.

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    After this lovely tribute of sorts, the song I wanted to hear all night was finally played, as “Thnks Fr Th Mmrs” was given the justice it very much deserves. Final track of the night was “Saturday” taken from their 2003 debut Take This To Your Grave, serving as a rightful end to a evening I had originally dreaded. Despite my initial doubts, below average support acts and the newer direction of last year’s album, I found the evening to be quite entertaining. I wouldn’t go out of my way to see them again, but if they fancy doing a 10th anniversary tour next year for From Under The Cork Tree then I’m definitely game. Never once did their attention slip or enthusiasm dip, which was a relief and definitely secures their rightful foothold in the world of music.  Well done Fall Out Boy, I can listen to Save Rock And Roll a lot easier and comfortably now! Thanks!

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  10. The Menzingers - In Remission
    This four piece punk rock group from Pennsylvania look set to become one of the most exciting acts of 2014 with their soon to be released 4th studio album Rented World. The group have been together since 2006 and although I’ve seen their name crop up from time to time, I’ve only recently decided to explore their work. From what I’ve heard so far, I’m edging closer and closer to becoming a big fan of theirs, particularly this new track “In Remission”. For starters, the opening rift reminds me of Weezer throughout their “Pinkerton” era and this tone of guitars continues throughout the rest of the track. While that alone is enough to get me excited, the lyrical output and vocals are some of the best I’ve heard for quite some time. I’d happily compare lead singer Greg Barnett’s vocals and lyrical backbone with singer Dan “Soupy” Camplbell from The Wonder Years. Both have a very carefree approach when letting the words just roll off their tongues, yet they also retain enough attitude and punk rock will power to make every track an important statement. It’s also the upright honesty found within the lyrics that makes this band and song appeal to me. Like many other people, a relatable subject is always going to rope you in and for instance, The Gaslight Anthem (band of similar ilk) have always done that for me. It’s cliché to say, but you can get a real sense of “been there, done that” with these tales. I love how Greg swiftly shifts a heavy weight off his shoulders with the following line “I hate how I always get nervous every time I try to speak, In front of a big crowd, a pretty girl, or the police”. I guess it goes to show that even a lead singer can suffer from several forms of social awkwardness on more than one occasion. The record itself is due for release on the 21st of April over here in the UK and hopefully nearer the time a few more tracks would’ve surfaced. It definitely deserves every piece of attention it can get!