Ah, reviews. A personal opinion as to what I've bought and whether you should do the same and buy them. The first three are already here, with more to come over time... I've now split up the reviews into sections so you can locate them easier.

CDs and Vinyl

New Order - Retro 4CD box set  New Order's mammoth box set, assembled like no other and sounds like no other either.
Kristin Hersh - The Grotto  Kristin Hersh's new album with just a guitar, piano and violin. Can it be possibly wonderful?
Skin - Fleshwounds  She's now on her own after Skunk Anansie split up. Will a change of direction be a good or bad thing?
Frank Black and the Catholics - Show Me Your Tears  Another album from the ex-Pixies front man. Can he still cut it in 2003 after many excellent releases?
Meitz - Vertikal  The debut release of a wide range of Jazz styles, all the way from Berlin. Will it be a love parade of tunes?.
Morrissey - You Are The Quarry  Morrissey's first album in seven years. A return to form or should he have never returned? Find out here.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - B-Sides & Rarities  Three CDs of Nick Cave material, but are the b-sides as good as what's on the a-sides?
(hooker) - Grey EP  Hooker's second six track mini album, does it rock as much as the first one did?
REM - Green (CD/DVD-A re-release)  One of the many REM reissues that comes with multichannel DVD-Audio, but is it worth purchasing?
Weird Al Yankovic - Straight Outta Lynwood (Dualdisc)   It's Weird Al, and he's back with his first album in three years. Can his humour and music still cut it?
John Mayer - Continuum   The new John Mayer album sees him go a bit more bluesy - does it still stand up next to his previous releases?
MJ Hibbett and the Validators - We Validate!  

I bought it not to help with my homework, but can quirky indie pop music still cut it in 2006? Let's find out...

Kristin Hersh - Learn To Sing Like A Star   Kristin Hersh's first solo album in four years, can it match the magic of her earlier glories?
MJ Hibbett and the Validators - The Lesson of the Smiths/The Gay Train   An EP with a double A side, can it possibly be as good as the We Validate album?
Donna Marie - Paint The Sky EP   The first proper EP - will it deliver luscious indie pop and be as good as it says on the tin?
MJ Hibbett - A Million Ukeleles   The MJ Hibbett solo album comes to fruition - do you really want to buy a million ukeleles or will one do?
Pete Green - Everything I Do Is Gonna Be Sparkly (7" EP)   So, does a three track 7" EP sparkle and shine, or is it the music equivalent of Phil Jevons? Find out..
The Just Joans - Virgin Lips EP   They're from Motherwell and sings songs of teenage angst, but can they cut it musically?
Nine Inch Nails - Ghosts I-IV   It's a download album followed by full release, but will this experiment work or is it too ghostly?
MJ Hibbett and the Validators - Do The Indie Kid (7" Single)   A song that's got its own dance, and on vinyl. But is it too twee or is it a pure slice of indie gold?
Donna Marie - This World   A new six track EP with full band this time, but does it still contain the magic of her previous release?
Pete Green - Platform Zero EP   Will this EP make Pete hero, or Zero? Let's decide!
MJ Hibbett and the Validators - Regardez, Ecoutez et Repetez   The first MJ Hibbett and the Validators album for some time - does it keep up the high indie standards of previous?
Pop Will Eat Itself - Watch The Bitch Blow EP   A brand new PWEI release for 2014 - how does it stack up against their more recent work?
MJ Hibbett and the Validators - Still Valid   Are they as the title says? Find out here.
Sporting Themes   A BBC compilation LP from 1978, with the proper themes!


Manchester City - Back To The Premiership  Manchester City's first ever DVD. Does it make for a good transition or should you stick with the video?
Manchester City - Blue Goals.. and then some!  Goals galore or just a glut of Granada TV highlights? You decide for yourself.
Manchester City - Good To Be Back  Manchester City's 2002-03 season review DVD. One worth selecting over the video this time around?
Manchester City - End of an Era - Farewell Maine Road  Manchester City say goodbye to Maine Road, but will the DVD leave lasting memories of the ground or be a sour taste?
Superstars - The Best of the Best  Classic sports show, but classic highlights on the DVD? Read and find out..
Finding Nemo - 2 Disc Collectors' Edition (Region 1)  One of the best films of 2003, and one of the best DVDs ever released, or just too laden with extras? Find out here..
Shaun of the Dead  The DVD of one of the best films 2004 - can it be a worthwhile purchase or will you end up with red on you?
Henry Rollins - Shock And Awe  Henry Rollins on his spoken word thing - but will it be one to watch or are we going to disconnect the DVD player?
Morrissey - Who Put The M in Manchester?  A live recording of Morrissey's Manchester homecoming gig in 2004 - does it capture the spirit of the gig properly?
Beavis and Butt-Head: The Mike Judge Collection Volume One   Huh huh, is this gonna be cool or does it suck?
Beavis and Butt-Head: The Mike Judge Collection Volume Two   Will this be better than volume one or will you need TP for your bunghole?

The Arts and Culture

The Life of David Gale  A new film with Kate Winslet and Kevin Spacey, but do the two K's make the film more than OK?
Monkey - The Play (performed by Off The Ground Youth Theatre)  Could a dramatised play of one of my all time favourite TV series work, and in the open air?
The Village  The new M Night Shylaman film - but can it possibly be as good as Signs? Find out....
The Incredibles  Pixar's latest offering - but can it be as good as Finding Nemo? Only one way to find out.
King Kong  Peter Jackson has a go at remaking an old classic - but is it the king, or is it all gone King Kong?
Avenue Q - The Musical   Short of going to Broadway, seeing the show in London is the alternative - but can it be as good?
Monkey - Journey To The West   A world premiere as part of Manchester International Festival - but can it be as good as the TV series was?
Control   A proper film about Joy Division, at long last, but does it deserve Transmission or will love tear it apart?
Videogame Nation   An exhibition dedicated to video gaming hits Manchester, but it will be retro heaven or Oric hell?
Play It!   Plenty of old and new games on show at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester - did it work as an event?

Yearly Reviews

The Zaw Towers 2023 Review   A year of consolidation and sadness, but plenty of good things to keep me going.
The Zaw Towers 2022 Review   As things got back to normality, what lovely things made me feel rather happy this year?
The Zaw Towers 2021 Review   More survival, and yet more music and good things to enjoy despite it all. Here's what made me smile.
The Zaw Towers 2020 Review   A year of survival, because of the current situation. Lots though that uplifted my soul when it was very much needed.
The Zaw Towers 2019 Review   A year of change, both politically and career, but also of constants despite the change.
The Zaw Towers 2018 Review   A year of consolidation, title wins and most of all a special anniversary.
The Zaw Towers 2017 Review   A dramatic year where out of adversity came courage, strength and a will to not be beaten.
The Zaw Towers 2016 Review   Another year of change, and this was one amidst the spectre of too many celebrity deaths!
The Zaw Towers 2015 Review   A year of change for me personally, and one reflected in my choices for this year I think!
The Zaw Towers 2014 Review   So what made 2014 such a year of progression and moving onwards as well as music, film and TV?
The Zaw Towers 2013 Review   2013 was a year of change, but also a year where I fulfilled more ambitions, so what did float the boat?
The Zaw Towers 2012 Review   With 2012 being an Olympic year, did it match up to any of my expectations?
The Zaw Towers 2011 Review   2011 certainly built on the foundations of the last couple of years, and so plenty was enjoyed!
The Zaw Towers 2010 Review   Another good year was 2010, and you can find out more here.
The Zaw Towers 2009 Review   2009 was a year that really resembled everything great about the last few years!
The Zaw Towers 2008 Review   2008 was definitely a big year for me, find out more!
The Zaw Towers 2007 Review   A year of change and a year of me enjoying myself, so what did 2007 have in store?
The Zaw Towers 2006 Review   What took my fancy in 2006?
The Zaw Towers 2005 Review  And what really was there to smile about in 2005?
The Zaw Towers 2004 Review  So what made 2004 the year that it was for me?
The Zaw Towers 2003 Review  So what was the best for me in 2003?
The Zaw Towers 2002 Review  So what did I really like in 2002?


Sony STR-DB 790 AV Receiver  It's Dolby Digital for not much dosh and lots of fun!
Arianet 420W Midi Tower PC Case  A case with power supply for just seventeen pounds. How does it fare and is it worth the small outlay?
Shuttle SN41G2 Barebones System  PCs are getting smaller, but is assembling one actually getting any better? I take the barebones route to find out.
Pioneer DV-370 DVD Player  

A nice lean DVD playing machine it may be, but can it actually be any good? Here's where you find out.

Iiyama Prolite E438S TFT Monitor  TFT monitors are all the rage, but how does this one measure up? Only one way to find out..
Terratec Cinergy T²   It's a Freeview tuner and aerial in one box, but does it receive anything good and could it replace your TV?
Datel Crossplay   Want to use your Guitar Hero guitar for the Wii on Rock Band? Is this device the answer for you?
BT iPlate   Accelerate your broadband for a mere six pounds? This would have to be worth checking out...
Humax HDR-FOX T2   Freeview HD comes to the masses with a hard drive recorder to boot - but does it work as you'd wish?
Blaze Atari Retro Handheld Console (60 Games Version)   Have you played Atari today? You can, and portable, but how does it stack up?

Other  Cheap and cheerful - but can it possibly succeed?
Less of the alcohol, less of the taste?   I try out a number of low and no alcohol beers to see if they stack up or not.
Night Riviera Sleeper   Are sleeper trains as good as everyone says they are? I took a trip to Cornwall to find out.

Software and Games

No Spam Today! For Workstations  Spam is the bane of our e-mail lives - but can this product truly deliver what it says on the tin?
Mozilla Firefox  Sick of Internet Explorer as your way of surfing the web? Well here's an alternative for you.
The Seven Free Things You Must Have For a PC   Free software is great, and here's a few things that will just make your PC a lot better to use.
Guitar Hero 5   Just another rhythm guitar game, or is it worth shelling out for some more excuses to rock?
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock   Is the newest Guitar Hero title a re-hash of previous, or can it add more to succeed and build on?