Series Review: Mayans M.C. – Season 2 (2019)

That’s right, two posts in one day. A rare occurrence here. But today it happens. Now either this is a blessing or a pain, depending on your point of view. Either way, let’s talk about Hispanic bikers.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Mayans M.C.” season 2.

Set several months after the first season, as EZ Reyes (JD Pardo) has a lot of problems to balance. From familial tensions, to problems hitting the club, to the constant antagonistic pressure from federal prosecutor Lincoln Potter (Ray McKinnon). Secrets are discovered, drama occurs, it’s more “Mayans”. And I thought the plot here was great. There’s a lot of threads going on here, but they never feel like a fucking mess. And seeing it all unfold is quite engaging. Sure, some of its social commentary (while being shit I agree with) can be a bit on the ham-fisted side at times, but it never full on detracts from the overall storytelling of the show.

The characters here are flawed, layered, and overall quite interesting. JD Pardo returns as EZ Reyes, prospect within the Mayans M.C. He deals with a lot of personal shit this season around, after a revelation at the end of the first season. And combining that with some of the stuff happening this season makes for a compelling arc. And Pardo is once really good in the role. Clayton Cardenas returns as his brother, Angel, and he also has a great arc here, with Cardenas giving a great performance. Sarah Bolger returns as Emily, former love of EZ, current love of gangster Miguel Galindo. She’s got a lot going on too. And Bolger is really good in the role. And with supporting work from people like Ray McKinnon, Michael Irby, Danny Pino, Edward James Olmos, Carla Baratta, Richard Cabral, Emilio Rivera, Ada Maris, and many more, you get some damn fine performances rounding out the cast.

Just like with season 1, the score for season 2 was composed by Bob Thiele Jr, and once again it’s great. A lot of guitars, some others strings, overall it manages to create a sound that honor some of the Mexican culture, while also capturing the feel of a gritty biker drama. There’s also plenty of licensed music used throughout, and it all fits very well, while also just in general being pleasing to my ear.

The show was created by Elgin James and Kurt Sutter, with writing and directing by both of them, along with a bunch of other cool people. And the craft here is top notch. There’s a strong vision for how they want the episodes to flow, which comes through both in writing and in camerawork. Season 1 was a strong, decently confident start. Here in season 2, their confidence is clearly a lot higher, which makes their craft feel even stronger. These guys know what the fuck they’re doing, and the way it comes through in the show makes it such a standout in today’s tv.

This season/has show has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 100% positive rating. On Metacritic it exists, but has no score. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10.

Season 2 of “Mayans M.C.” improves on what was set up in the first season, even if some of its social commentary can be slightly clumsy at times. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, and great writing/directing. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Mayans M.C.” season 2 is a 9,50/10. So while it borders on a lower rating, it still gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Mayans M.C.” season is now completed.

’cause a beaten dog never forgets.

My Top 12 Rock Songs of 2014

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I am a guy who listens to A LOT of music. And I don’t really stick to one specific genre, I can listen to most things (Not really into dubstep and such). But if you have to ask then I will admit that I am a big sucker for rock music. The guitar solos, the bassline, the drumming… it is all awesome to me. So today we are taking a look at My Top 12 Rock songs released in 2014. Now for some ground rules!

Rule 1: This is my list, so if you don’t like any of the songs on the list then you can’t complain about it, these are just my opinions I will be sharing.

Rule 2: Heavy metal, metal, death metal, rockabilly and such styles will not really be featured in this list. Songs with a few of those influences are acceptable though. Punk is also okay(ish).

Rule 3: These songs may have been known in 2013 or had been teased back then but their release dates are 2014.

Now without further ado, here you have My Top 12 Rock Songs of 2014!

Number 12: U2 – Every Breaking Wave.

If you have an ipod you might be familiar with this song since apparently the entire album was downloaded to every ipod in existence (without the owner asking for it). The reason this song in on the list is beacause it is a good song. Nothing spectacular, but the main thing I kind like is how it sounds like classic U2. And classic U2 is always nice.

Number 11: Ted Nugent – Everything Matters

This song is simply cool. Good guitar playing, a good rhythm and just an overall cool feeling. This is a song I could imagine myself sitting and listening to when I am sitting outside on a warm day. This song and a cold drink would make it all great.

Number 10: Foo Fighters – Something from Nothing

For as long as I know I have liked Foo Fighters. I first heard them when I was about 12. I have liked most of their songs. And their 2014 album “Sonic Highways” was nothing short of great. It showed that they are still a great band and that they are here to stay. The reason I chose “Something from Nothing” is beacause I really liked the song. It stood out to me in one way or another. I also liked the sort of ballad/hard rock mix that it had going for it.

Number 9: Billy Idol – Postcards from the Past

The 1980’s was a great decade for rock music. We got tons of great artists/bands such as Bon Jovi. Guns ‘n’ Roses and of course Billy Idol who with this song shows that he still got a lot of steam in him. This is very reminiscent of some of his classic songs… but I don’t mind. This songs sounds great and is definitely something I would turn on during a party. It’s a great song and I hope that Billy will keep making songs as great as this. His voice is also still great.

Number 8: Seether – Same Damn Life 

Coming in at number 8 is a song by South African rock band Seether, a band I never expected myself to listen to. Then I heard their song “Country Song” and I started listening to them. This song is just as heavy, great and enjoyable as their earlier works. I really got nothing else to say.

Number 7: Bruce Springsteen – High Hopes

Here we find a song by none other than Bruce “The Boss” himself. This song is great because of how it takes everything good about Springsteen songs and combines it into one big awesome thing. He also gets help from the criminally underrated guitarist Tom Morello (Former guitarist in Rage Against the Machine). When you listen to this you will probably go “Yeah… fuck yeah, Springsteen!”. This song is great on so many aspects.

Number 6: Slash feat. Myles Kennedy – World on Fire

When this song starts you’ll automatically go “OH YEAH! ROCK, BITCH!”. It is a cool and badass hard rock songs from one of the greatest guitarists of all time; Saul “Slash” Hudson. Yes, his name is Saul. Someone photoshop his head onto Saul Goodman from “Breaking Bad” please and then send it to me. Anyway, the guitar in this song is crazy and shows just how much skill Slash has when it comes to skillfully and awesomely playing the guitar. This is one of those songs that I’d listen to when I would be out driving, it is made in that way. It is also one of those I would dance like an idiot to because that is just who I am.

Number 5: Royal Blood – Figure it Out

This song comes from British rock duo Royal Blood and is featured on their debut album, yes they are that new(ish). The first time I heard this song I had never even heard of these guys. I heard it while watching an episode of the relatively new TV-show/Batman prequel “Gotham”. I heard the song in the episode and thought to myself “This song is pretty good, maybe should look it up”. So of course I went a day or so later to the site tunefind.com where you can look up shows and find out what songs used in episodes are called, highly recommend it. So after that I started listening to the song more and more and it was kinda awesome. I also checked a few other songs out by the band and they are pretty good, go support them!

Number 4: Ed Sheeran – Make it Rain

At number 4 we have the rock ballad from the penultimate episode of the awesome drama series “Sons of Anarchy” which I actually reviewed a while back (Shameless self-promotion). This song got some truly great work on the guitar by Sheeran. It also fits the mood of the scene it was used in (Don’t worry, no spoilers, simply avoid youtube comments). It is a really good song with great guitar, great singing, great feeling and is just overall a truly great song.

Number 3: Rise Against – The Great Die-Off

Going for a more punk-y style we have a song from Rise Against from their 2014 album “The Black Market”. It shows that they know how to play different styles yet never deviate too much from the punk/rock style they have. I am a big fan of Rise Against and I was happy when I listened to this album last year and head that it was quite awesome. I just liked this song the most because… well I can’t really explain, I just do.

Number 2: The White Buffalo & The Forest Rangers – Come Join the Murder

Yes, once again I pick a song from “Sons of Anarchy”, but I can’t help the fact that the show had awesome music! This is the song that plays in the very last episode of the show and boy do they use it well! This song is a rock ballad like few other. You have a smooth yet powerful voice for those who like that, you have talk about God and such for the christian people in the audience and you have one hell of a song for those who love great music! This is a song I have listened to more times than I dare count. It is so great that I at times have put it on repeat and just listened and listened and listened. I love the ballad style of it, I love the smooth yet powerful singing voice, I love the guitar, I love the simple rhythm… I just love everything. It was also featured in one of my favorite TV-shows of all time, so there’s that. Again, stay away from the youtube comments if you don’t want to get spoiled.

Number 1: AC/DC – Rock or Bust

I could just as easily have put the entire fucking album here. I love EVERYTHING on the album, no kidding. but I chose this because it’s the one you’ll most likely remember the most of and also because it is the title track. The reason I also chose this is because it is AC/DC, my favorite band. Sure there might be some bias here, but I do think this song (and album) is great. There are (in my opinion) no flaws here, I simply love it.

So… those were My Top 12 Rock Songs of 2014. But my opinion isn’t everything. What are some rock songs from 2014 you liked? Fuck it, what were some of your favorite songs overall from last year? Let me know with a comment, I’d like to know what you think!

See ya!

 

Series Review: Sons of Anarchy (2008 – 2014)

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For some reason I am very interested in crime-related stories. Whether they are real or not, they just interest me. And I don’t necessarily mean reading about them on the internet, I mean read books, watch movies or TV relating to crime in one way or another. And one type of crime-related thing that I’ve always had a keen interest in is the world of biker gangs. Hells Angels, Bandidos, you name ’em. So then I found out that my parents had started watching a TV-show about a biker gang. So I got pretty interested and started watching with them. And now that it’s over I thought it could be fun to review it for you people (Sidenote: I know it finished fall of 2014, but the last episodes didn’t arrive here in Sweden until 2015).

Sons and daughters… “Sons of Anarchy”.

This show follows a biker gang in the fictional city of Charming, California, but the main focus is on member Jackson “Jax” Teller (Charlie Hunnam). And being part of a biker gang like that sounds fine and dandy… except if you recently have become a father like Jax. It also gets more difficult when he has to balance that and being part of a gang that takes part in criminal activities. The club is led by Jax’s stepfather Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman) who might be a little bit corrupt in his ways. So throughout the show we get to see Jax struggle with both being part of this criminal gang and being a decent father. Now while what I explain might sound “meh”, it is actually really intriguing. It is a great set up for a great plot and a great execution of said plot. Every season they have new obstacles to face, new enemies to fight and new situations to be part of. I love the plot and execution of the show.

The characters in the show are some of the best I have ever seen. They are both incredibly well-written and incredibly well-acted. Let’s start with our protagonist Jax. I think Charlie Hunnam was the perfect pick for him. Sure, I never questioned it since I had no idea about this show until about 2010/2011. But I think he portrayed the character perfectly. He gets a lot of development throughout the show. From the not too trigger-happy rookie guy to the great leader/killing machine. That is not a spoiler since I didn’t tell you what happened to him! Now I am quickly gonna go through the main members of the club so this doesn’t get too long. Ron Perlman  as Clay is kind of like a more asshole-y version of Hellboy (Fitting since he played Hellboy). Next is Jax’s mother/Clay’s wife Gemma (Katey Sagal). She is a major bitch through the show. but I can’t deny that Sagal plays her pitch perfectly, she was awesome. Filip “Chibs” Telford (Tommy Flanagan) is the Scottish and awesome sort of best friend of everyone in the club. He is loyal, he is badass and he got an awesome accent. Robert “Bobby” Munson (Mark Boone Junior) is the sort of uncle of everyone in the club. He is a big guy with a big heart and knows how to show loyalty towards his close friends/fellow members. Alex “Tig” Trager (Kim Coates)… such a sick little bastard. I am not kidding, he is a sick fucking guy… butthat is what makes him so awesome. Don’t worry, he can be serious and a good man whenever he wants to. And finally we have Juan Carlos “Juice” Ortiz (Theo Rossi) who is the little guy in the club, but he can kick a lot of ass when he needs to. Every actor is doing a fantastic job in this show and never feel miscast. There are more characters of course, but most of them are sort of back and forth type characters… but they still play big parts. The characters and acting in the show are awesome.

The music in this show is some of the greatest I have heard. Maybe I am just biased considering the majority of the music is rock/metal… but it is still great. The soundtrack is for the most part done by the band “The Forest Rangers”. The badass music fits the badass style of the show. There are also a lot of covers of well-known rock songs such as Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” or Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”. We of course also have the main theme tune “This life” by The Forest Rangers and Curtis Stigers… I love it. It fits the show perfectly and is a great musical track overall.

This show is very well-directed. For one, you can see the action happen, it isn’t obstructed by shaky-cam (Woohoo!). The show also got a lot of dark humor mixed in every now and then to keep the mood nice and light-hearted if it’s needed. But the humor is often VERY dark, so maybe all people won’t like it. Another warning I might give is that the show is incredibly violent. So if you are squeamish then maybe not have a look… or have a look and see if you can take it. Here is also a little fun fact; Katey Sagal who plays Gemma is married to the creator of the show, Kurt Sutter who shows up in the show a few times as the character Otto. Another fun thing is that in a few episodes we get a cameo from the founder of Hells Angels himself, Sonny Barger… that’s kinda cool to know. I can also admit that this show have made me cry more than once… yeah, good job. I can probably also say that my favorite season might be the final one. Sure, all seasons are fantastically well-paced, but the final season is so suspenseful and great that it just becomes my favorite. So here is a question; If you have seen the show, which season is your favorite? And who is you favorite character? Mine might be either Tig or Chibs… can’t decide.

This is a show with universal critical acclaim. Now I am not able to give you the overall scores of most sites since they divide by season and have no overall score, but I can still link them. Rotten Tomatoes! Here comes Metacritic! And finally we have an overall score on the one and only imdb.com where it has an 8,7/10.

“Sons of Anarchy” got a great story with a great finale, some great characters/performances, amazing music, great directing/camera work, great action and just a great feel throughout. Final score time! My final score for “Sons of Anarchy” is a 9,92/10 which of course grants it… the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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“Sons of Anarchy” is now reviewed.

Ride into this world…

Recent Purchases: Episode 4

Hello everyone! Time again for anotehr episode of my totally unnecessary series: Recent purchases! You know, the series where I tell you what I recently purchased (duh)! So let’s not waste any more time and get to it!

DVD: Django Unchained (2012)
End of Watch (2012)
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011)
Breaking Bad – Season 2 (2009)
Sons of Anarchy – Season 6 (2013)
Supernatural – Season 1 (2005)
Jurassic Park Trilogy (1993, 1997, 2001)

Well, that is it for this time. If you enjoyed reading this (Doubt it) then you can like this post and maybe even follow me for more of these things. See ya another time!