Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.

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Weeknotes #602-615

Late March and April was a busy time for reviews. Read my takes on Nails’ Abandon All Life, the new one from Hey Colossus, the intense Dragged Down A Dead End Path by Call Of The Void, Greek punks Ruined Families’ incredible Blank Language, the Melvins’ so-so covers LP and Recurring Dream by Chicago drone rockers Implodes, all on Thumped. On Burning Ambulance you can read my reviews of Dying Embrace and more recently Combat Astronomy.

Two big interviews from me in May, too: a long one with the vocalist of clandestine extreme metal band Dragged Into Sunlight and a shorter but sweet e-mail chat with Tom Holliston of the legendary Canadian punk rockers NoMeansNo. Thanks to Lauren at Rarely Unable for setting those up.

Meanwhile, Pole Star finally saw the light of day as my substantial interview – all 14 pages of it! – with Dutch jazz-grind duo Dead Neanderthals was published in the new print issue of Burning Ambulance. I’m quite proud of this one, and I hope the band are too! There’s an excerpt from my lengthy conversation with the DN gents on the BA website, with links to purchase the print or digital editions of the zine. By the way, you should get their new album Polaris on Utech Records. It’s rather good.

In other news, I’ve started contributing film reviews at Thumped, my first since my University Observer days. Mostly horror so far: Neil Jordan’s Byzantium, The Last Exorcism: Part II, Brad Pitt blockbuster World War Z and the real-life horrors of The Act of Killing. My next will be on Ben Wheatley’s A Field In England, which I saw last week and will be watching again this Friday on Film4 because it’s that kind of movie, people.

Lifewise, I’ve found the weight loss thing a bit of a struggle over the past couple of months. Part of the reason for that is my routine being a bit out of whack, but mostly I’ve just been lacking motivation, not pushing myself to do physical activity when I have the time, and eating the wrong stuff when I know I shouldn’t (but it tastes so good!). The good news is that I’ve only gone a few pounds into the red, which is probably a testament to my good choices the majority of the time. I’ll take that as a minor victory, and move forward with renewed vigour into the rest of the summer. Oh yeah, and I’ve joined a gym. I know!