Comprehensive Atlanta Brass Classic Review


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Venue: Atlanta Brass Classic

Location: Milton High School

Date: June 23, 2007

Let me start off by saying this won’t be a conventional review. There are plenty of others on this very message board, so why bore you? I hope to give you guys some insight you might not get from other reviews…so here goes.

First I’ll give my initial impressions of the corps and their performance. Then I’ll grade each corps by a few criteria. The first criterion is what I thought about how the show was performed, regardless of how it was designed. Next I’ll share how I thought the show was from a design standpoint, regardless of how it was performed. Moving on, I’ll add what needs to be fixed about the show from both viewpoints. Here’s where it gets interesting. Though drum corps has many different facets, there are about twenty or so aspects I look for when I determine how great a show a show truly will become finals night, so I’ll say which requirements the show met and give it a “requirement rating.” Next I’ll explain how the audience around me reacted to the show, and basically how the show will be perceived by the general DCI-viewing public. And finally, I’ll give the show a letter grade based on it potential for the performance and design to improve by finals, and then a letter grade for the performance tonight.

A note on the ratings first off: I’m rating the shows compared to every other drum corps show I’ve seen. My favorite shows, Cadets 2000 and Santa Clara Vanguard 1989, would receive an A+ on this scale, and I’ll be rating accordingly.

How was the venue Saturday night, you might ask?

I arrived at the stadium with a friend at around 4:30, after we got our last minute fix of this season’s APDs to prepare ourselves for the upcoming show (as well as a few rounds of Wii Tennis--he got owned). Unfortunately, there wasn’t too much to do at this time, but we kept ourselves occupied. As soon as we got there, we noticed that there was a corps inside the stadium rehearsing on the field, and it didn’t take us too long to recognize that that corps was the Cadets. There were spectators in the stand viewing the rehearsal, but upon our arrival the event staff was not letting anyone else in. It was a shame, because you guys know how loud drum corps sounds when you’re way off to the side of the field, not facing the corps.

Since we couldn’t get inside the stadium to watch the Cadets rehearse, we decided to browse the line of souvenir trucks that were conveniently located just a few yards in front of the gates to the stadium, along the curb. Carolina Crown’s souvenir truck definitely stood out, and had by far the best layout and feel. They had speakers in the front blasting Crown shows from recent years, and it was hard not to just lose track of time their listening to some of the great productions they’ve put on the field over the past few years. A table was set up in front displaying bumper stickers, pamphlets, and a book in which you could provide your address and be updated on new member information. All the trucks, of course, had the usually display of T-shirts, CDs, and DVDs, with some corps’ merchandise priced more appropriately than others. My friend, who is a staunch opponent of amplified vocals in drum corps, inquired as to why there was a “rather large empty space in between Spirit and Crown’s souvenir trucks...kind of a weird arrangement.” You might have a guess as to which corps he has henceforth decided to consider non-existent. (Just be glad he doesn’t post on DCP.)

We spent the next hour watching different sections of different corps warm up: Teal Sound’s colorguard, CorpsVets’ drumline, and Boston Crusaders’ hornline. It was a great way to start our night of drum corps, being surrounded by performing members preparing for an important competition with the utmost degree of focus. The corps were scattered across Milton High School’s campus, which has recently been completely renovated. The facility is huge and certainly resembles some sort of capital building rather than a high school, with gigantic white pillars littered across its front entrance. The campus also sported a large field in front of the main building, as well as various parking lot areas that gave each corps an adequate space in which to prepare. It was both of our first times observing this warmup process, and I’m really glad we did it. It was hearing the first chord the Boston Crusaders played, especially, that officially kicked off the drum corps spectating season for me.

Soon enough, 7:00 rolled around and we headed into the stadium. Aside from one glaring omission, which I will cover soon, the venue was perfect for a drum corps show. The ticket box was contained right alongside the gates, which led right to an area where event staff members were handing out programs. Housed in the same building as the ticket window were two surprisingly luxurious bathrooms (well, I only was able to evaluate one, but I’m assuming the other was just as nice). On the other side of the building was a kitchen and concession stand area, which included an excellent array of comestibles at some of the cheapest prices I’ve ever seen at any stadium.

The field itself, which has been completely renovated since I marched many a halftime show on it back in high school, is sublime for drum corps. It utilizes astroturf, which eliminates the problem of long and unkempt grass and also perfectly preserves any field markings. The only deficiency of this nearly perfect venue, however, were the stands themselves. They were very well laid out, comprised entirely of concrete benches, but one thing detracted from my overall experience: they simply did not extend high enough to attain a proper vantage point for adequate viewing of the visual program. Because I was browsing DCP while procrastinating from my Chinese homework just at the right time, I managed to purchase these tickets before the clock struck past midnight, so my friend and I found ourselves on the 50 yardline at the very top of the stadium. Even so, we were simply not high enough to fully enjoy the drill. We could see the formations, but they were greatly distorted. Other than this slightly important issue, however, the area was basically a Mecca of early season drum corps in the good old south.

I love meeting new people who share the same interest in drum corps with me, talking about corps and shows of days gone by, and I was able to do that last night. Most of the people in my section seemed to be either alumni (including one in a “Keep Drum Corps Unplugged” shirt to whom I gave a hearty thumbs-up), corps parents, or friends and spouses of said groups. The lady next to me was the mother of one of Spirit’s lead trumpet players. (J.J., you made your mom proud.)

After an uninspired rendition of our national anthem by some guy, I saw my first drum corps show of the 2007 season.

Before I start to review the shows, let me take this time go over my “requirements” by which I will rate each corps. They are, in no particular order:

1. Melodic, coherent writing

2. Complexity of music

3. Maturity of music

4. Complexity and effectiveness of drill

5. Cleanliness of drill

6. Originality

7. Volume

8. Excitement

9. Tears

10. Beauty

11. Supreme tone quality and intonation

12. Emotion-arising capability

13. Captivating ability (genuinely WANTING to watch the show and wanting to see what’s next)

14. Maturity of design

15. Fullness and richness of overall product

16. “Big”ness (you KNOW when a show is “big”…will it stand out from the rest of their productions?)

17. Memorability

18. Worthiness (will it stand against the best drum corps shows of all time?)

19. Nuance

20. Polish

And most importantly

21. Complete corps-audience connectivity (is EVERYTHING the corps performs what the audience WANTS to hear and see? Are the corps and the audience on the “same side,” or does it feel like the corps is going AGAINST the audience? Will the audience clap politely for the corps or clap as a way of expressing how they feel? Will the corps lift the entire audience to their feet at the end of the show…before it even ends?)

If a show I’m reviewing meets a requirement, I will include that line in bold.

I'm no expert or judge, but I'll still try to review the corps to the best of my ability based on what I saw and heard.

The first corps of the night, the CorpsVets entered the stadium to a very hearty audience applause.

CorpsVets

Initial Impressions: Right off the bat, I noticed that I--and the others around me--was enjoying this show much more than I have with CorpsVets shows in the past. That’s because it is a better designed and better performed show than they had in the two previous years I have seen them. They seemed louder, too, and made a connection with the audience that I failed to see in years prior.

Performance: I can’t really say that this performance of the CorpsVets’ was significantly better than their previous recent shows, even if they do have a much better designed production. One thing I did notice, is that the corps was definitely louder, and the audience noticed this as well. Now, I have not been around the activity long enough to have heard G bugles used by a Division I corps, so I don’t really know what that sound is “supposed” to be like live, but I do believe this corps is definitely more on their way of getting there this year. What I noticed most about this corps was there soprano line, which is both good and bad: while they displayed technical proficiency over the music and sounded good as a section, their blend within the ensemble could have been more refined. There were some individuals sticking out, not just in this section but in the other sections as well. The sound didn’t knock me back into the stands, but it’s fullness is getting there...just needs some work. The soloists, however, were some of the best soloists of the night, prominently featured throughout the show and performing with the utmost degree of musicality an proficiency. Great job! The drumline was also very impressive within the ensemble as well as during their very cool feature. As I said, it was hard to completely see the visual program, but it was evident that this drill has some cleaning up to do. It’s June though...they can do it!

Design: I really liked this show! I felt the design team did an excellent job this year providing a fresh show while retaining the traditional element of senior corps. The show opens with Georgia on My Mind, which, while not quite at the same level as Spirit’s rousing rendition later that night, was still a solid chart. I was not familiar with Bacchanalia, their second production, but from what I could tell the arrangement served its purpose. A lot of “wow” moments in this piece, and this is where the crowd started to dig it. By La Fiesta, which I feel is the meat of their show, the audience was really into it. The staging and soloist work of this piece was very well done, and the corps is able to exhibit a great sense of energy and power...the crowd sure felt it, and so did I. They capped off this fun show with Remembrance, which worked very effectively and gave the production a complete feel. Overall, I was very impressed with this 10th anniversary show, with some great musical selections and arrangements that everyone loved.

Needs to be fixed: Same things every corps needs to fix at this stage...get out the dirt!

Melodic, coherent writing

Complexity of music

Maturity of music

Complexity and effectiveness of drill

Cleanliness of drill

Originality

Volume

Excitement

Tears

Beauty

Supreme tone quality and intonation

Emotion-arising capability

Captivating ability

Maturity of design

Fullness and richness of overall product

“Big”ness

Memorability

Worthiness

Nuance

Polish

Complete corps-audience connectivity

Requirement Rating: C- (10/21)

Audience Reaction: They appreciated this corps’ old-school flare and energy, and they really liked what they saw and heard.

Potential Rating: C+

Actual Rating: C

Final words: Great show by the CorpsVets...definitely my favorite from them!

Teal Sound

Intial Impressions: What a large corps for Division II, both in the hornline and the drumline! After last year’s very impressive showing, I was eager to see where this show would go.

Performance: Again, Teal Sound is young this year, but would you be able to tell it from the show? Absolutely not! They’re one of my favorite corps in Division II, and their performance just reminded me why. The performance, I felt, was definitely comparable to last year’s. They marched more confidently than CorpsVets and had a more confident sound that, more importantly, provided a nice blend that CorpsVets are on their way to achieving. It seems, though, that their hornline hasn’t quite fully “opened up” like they did at this time last year. Don’t get me wrong, though: they had a rich, full sound, and I can only see their hornline improving. I was hard pressed to find individuals sticking out of the ensemble, and it seemed each section of the corps had an extremely good handle on playing effectively as a section. There is a slight bit of crassness within the ensemble, slight, but noticeable. Is there work that needs to be done? Yes, but for what corps isn’t this true? They’re going places this year. I saw a solid drumline as well that performed confidently throughout the show--minor issues, of course, but there’s a reason it’s only June. I was VERY impressed with this corps visual performance, both in the individual and throughout the entire ensemble. It seems this corps has an excellent staff at its hands that allows them to get a good foundation on the basics of both marching and playing.

Design: This show is great! It really is, but I couldn’t help but feeling that the corps needed...“more.” From a design perspective, it is very cohesive, utilizing music from Finnish a cappella group Rajaton. I’m not quite sure, however, that the music is extremely effective in portraying the “Voices of the Sun,” as the show is entitled; nor did the visual program do much to contribute to it. That’s not to say it’s an abstract show that goes above the heads of the audiences, but it could use more depth and detail. I haven’t heard the original recordings, but it seems the corps has done an excellent job of adapting it to the drum corps idiom to provide an exciting, entertaining show. The musical book, while not particularly demanding at times, is unique and fresh and gives the show a very solid overall flow. There are also some really great moments of power and excitement throughout the show in spectacular displays from the hornline, drumline, and colorguard, and as an audience members I was definitely captivated the whole time. The show is a little on the short side, however, and I was surprised when I realized they had reached the end of the show. Maybe there are changes coming...they need a little more of that drum corps “oomph” still the end. All and all, a very impressive showing from Teal.

Needs to be fixed: I think the corps knows better than I do. No glaring issues tonight. The performers need to keep at it and keep doing what they’re doing.

Requirements (met requirements are in bold):

Melodic, coherent writing

Complexity of music

Maturity of music

Complexity and effectiveness of drill

Cleanliness of drill

Originality

Volume

Excitement

Tears

Beauty

Supreme tone quality and intonation

Emotion-arising capability

Captivating ability

Maturity of design

Fullness and richness of overall product

“Big”ness

Memorability

Worthiness

Nuance

Polish

Complete corps-audience connectivity

Requirement Rating: C- (11/21)

Audience Reaction: Although not familiar with the corps, the audience definitely “got” the show and responded accordingly. There were times, I felt, where they felt a bit “lost,” but only to be picked up again with a wonderful moment in this show.

Potential Rating: C+

Actual Rating: C

Final words: Entertaining and well-performed. but design could afford to reach the next level.

Boston Crusaders

Initial Impressions: I was so excited to see Boston take the field, and it was such a good feeling seeing the corps in one of my favorite uniforms for the first time this season. I had heard amazing things about this corps and show I couldn’t wait to be taken on a ride live.

Performance: From the moment the Crusaders played their first note, I knew instantaneously that the “big boys” had started taking the field and I anxiously awaited the first blast of sound from the ensemble. The dynamic range of this show surpasses what was featured last year, and the hornline masterfully adapts for each scenario. The soft, lush sections such as those at the beginning of the show and during the ballad are simply beautiful, locked right in tune with such a tender sound. And when this corps opens up...man, do they open up! Boston has the full, fat sound this year, loud and powerful without the sacrifice of tone quality and intonation. It’s the best of both worlds, and from the moment the first push occurred they had absolutely no trouble convincing the audience of this. This exciting Latin-based show has its fair share of features from different sections of the corps, and they sell them so confidently. It might be just me, but the corps seems to be marching more confidently as well, with the drill, while not sparkling clean, locking in very well throughout the show. They were definitely trucking out there, but it was hard to find a significant lapse of marching or playing technique due to the velocity. The entire corps performed at a level only characteristic of a finalist corps, with a level of detail and energy that had been unmatched that night before they took the field. In addition drumline is, in a word, sick. They are featured prominently throughout the show and didn’t let the audience down, really selling almost of all of their very meaty material. The colorguard seemed to be up to the usual Boston standard as well.

Design: Spectacular! A remember having talked to a Boston member not long ago who told me how the design team was trying to achieve a balance between accessibility and depth/detail, and believe me, they’ve sure achieved that goal this year. This show has it all, between soft lyrical passages, huge blasts of sound, great melodies, screaming features, a smokin’ drumline and guard...everything. What it seems to me is that the show is very accessible and fan-friendly without blatantly trying to do so; the design team has created a wonderful product and the audience accepts and applauds the quality of the music and the drill. The show is musically focused, with pieces that are loosely tied together into a theme, a “Picasso Suite,” that is enhanced by the colorguard and their easel props. There are really no “boring” parts to the show; everything seems to have a specific purpose and it’s very easy to follow along with both the music and the drill. One area I would have liked to see improved was the visual design, however, as the big “wow” moves that this corps has been known for in the past simply weren’t there. Nonetheless, this is a complete, “big” show that left the crowd in awe.

Needs to be fixed: Just keep cleaning! No major changes necessary as far as I’m concerned.

Requirements (met requirements are in bold):

Melodic, coherent writing

Complexity of music

Maturity of music

Complexity and effectiveness of drill

Cleanliness of drill

Originality

Volume

Excitement

Tears

Beauty

Supreme tone quality and intonation

Emotion-arising capability

Captivating ability

Maturity of design

Fullness and richness of overall product

“Big”ness

Memorability

Worthiness

Nuance

Polish

Complete corps-audience connectivity

Requirement Rating: B+ (16/21)

Audience Reaction: Got it right from the beginning, going right along with the music and applauding the glorious moments that deserved it.

Potential Rating: A

Actual Rating: B

Final words: Another spectacular show that will go down in the BAC history books. The show is a perfect balance of old and new drum corps, and the corps is performing at a more than satisfactory level for this time of year.

Carolina Crown

Initial Impressions: The event I had been looking forward to for days and days, a live performance of Carolina Crown’s 2007 show, was finally arriving, and I couldn’t contain my excitement. After figuring out with my friend what exactly would be yelled (we settled on "Take it home, Crown!" before Red Pony), I couldn't wait to hear the first note.

Performance: Oh. My. God. Hands down, one of the best early season performances I’ve ever seen. I don’t think I can accurately describe the way this corps sounds in words...just think of a choir of angels emitting a sound with such purity and power that just tugs right at your heart. This show exhibits Crown’s brass section in all of its glory with its masterful musical book. While not the loudest I’ve ever heard them, the purity and supreme technical proficiency in all aspects displayed by the hornline more than made up for the lack of volume. A section of this corps that concerned people last year, the drumline, is no longer a cause for concern but rather immense praise. They have a very involved, intricate and entertaining book, and they play the heck out of it. The colorguard is performing to very high standards as well. The only aspect of this showing that didn’t match up with others is in the realm of visual performance. Individual marching needs work in order to form a consistent visual style between the entire ensemble, and the drill is still somewhat dirty and needs to be locked in. This issues, however, barely detracted from the emotional performance I witnessed tonight.

Design: I will go ahead and say that Triple Crown is my favorite Carolina Crown show to date. From start to finish, the design of this show is just impeccable. The corps gives us an amazing variety of musical selections, ranging from beautiful ballads to dark, brooding and frenetic melodies to the majestic work of Copland and to the full-of-life William Tell overture, all arranged to perfection and featured as part of a single masterpiece. The show starts off very humble and quiet, with a passionate duet, and then slowly builds into excitement to a moment that threw me out of my seat and fists in the air. That famous Carolina Crown push then begins, exposing the glorious power of the brass, percussion, and colorguard in all of their glory. The ballad that follows Crown’s exciting opener is absolutely beautiful, classic Crown, with pure mellifluous sound the entire way through. Crown ends the show with two high quality musical selections in the form of Red Pony and William Tell overture that bring out the horse theme so majestically and maturely, through the music, drill, and colorguard. The theme of this show is displayed impeccable against the backdrop of a spectacular musical book and an exciting visual program, complete with racing fences (which factor into the drill) and a colorguard that takes the theme to an almost literal level. The drill is fluid and energetic and serves its purpose, even including some mind-boggling moves just as exciting as the music played while it is marched. The full pageantry of this show as unmatchable, as I was unable to wipe the smile off my face or lower my fists from the air as Crown launched into the final chorale (with an innovative twist on the traditional company front) and blew back the stands with their huge sound through the end of the show. There were literally moments in the show as after the hornline would stop playing I would uncontrollably mutter, "Oh my God." As I left the stands after this show and wiped the tears from my eyes, I realized just how great the drum corps activity is partly thanks to this very corps.

Needs to be fixed: Just keep doing what you’ve been doing! You’ve already won the audience over, and the judges will soon follow.

Requirements (met requirements are in bold):

Melodic, coherent writing

Complexity of music

Maturity of music

Complexity and effectiveness of drill

Cleanliness of drill

Originality

Volume

Excitement

Tears

Beauty

Supreme tone quality and intonation

Emotion-arising capability

Captivating ability

Maturity of design

Fullness and richness of overall product

“Big”ness

Memorability

Worthiness

Nuance

Polish

Complete corps-audience connectivity

Requirement Rating: A (19/21)

Audience Reaction: They had them in the palm of their hands and sold the show without a hitch. They loved every minute of it, old-school fans and newbies alike.

Potential Rating: A+

Actual Rating: A

Final words: Crown takes yet another step up with this masterpiece of a program. Their pristine ensemble sound resembles a choir of angels and once they clean the very solid visual program they’ve been given, they’re top-six material for sure. If anyone knows how to remove feces stains from underwear, please let me know. What a show, Crown!

Cadets

Because I did not view this corps’ performance, I cannot comment on it.

Spirit from JSU

Initial Impressions: What a great way to finish off an already outstanding night of drum and bugle corps. This show immediately stood out for me from the APD as a great step up for the corps in terms of design, with music that drew me in and didn’t let me go. I couldn’t wait to hear the corps perform it along with a visual program I had heard great things about.

Performance: Spirit from JSU completely exceeded my expectations in their performance Saturday night. While I enjoyed their sound last year, I couldn’t help but notice the frequent crassness of the ensemble and overpowering of some sections. This year, I can detect no such issues. They are approaching a full, balanced sound that is prominently featured throughout the program. The quality of sound is not at the level of Boston or Crown (there are audible issues mostly among individual players) but is moving in the right direction. Spirit’s drumline is up to their usual standards as well, though their not rock solid at this point. I did notice some visible timing issues in the colorguard that were some cause for concern. Spirit’s weakest point, unfortunately, was visual performance, with very blatant displays of dirt. This is what is holding them back the most, and many of the forms just do not lock in and intervals to not stay constant. Individual marching is an issue as well. Once the corps devotes time to fixing these issues, however, they’ll be shooting into a spot in the top 12 with no way of stopping them.

Design: An incredible step up for last year in terms of both musical and visual design. Musically, the show is book-ended by exciting, in-your-face pieces of music that provide the show with a solid, captivating beginning and end and truly mark it as an epic, mature production. Some truly great and powerful moments in this pieces. I won't give anything away, but I was basically standing ten seconds before the opener finished...and THAT'S when you know you have a good show. The ballad, Hide and Seek, while not completely faithful to the original, is absolutely beautiful and features a lush sound throughout the dynamic range of both small ensembles and the full corps itself. I only had a limited understanding of how the theme was represented by the music and the drill, but what was certain is that this show contains quality music and quality drill, and sometimes, that’s all you need. Other than that, there’s just something about this show that screams “huge,” very fan-friendly and will surely stand the test of time. If anyone is complaining that drum corps just don't play as loud or as often anymore, Spirit's 2007 show will prove otherwise. My favorite Spirit show this decade, by far! I made sure the performers knew it, too: as with Crown, I gave the corps a well-deserved standing ovation after each production.

Requirements (met requirements are in bold):

Melodic, coherent writing

Complexity of music

Maturity of music

Complexity and effectiveness of drill

Cleanliness of drill

Originality

Volume

Excitement

Tears

Beauty

Supreme tone quality and intonation

Emotion-arising capability

Captivating ability

Maturity of design

Fullness and richness of overall product

“Big”ness

Memorability

Worthiness

Nuance

Polish

Complete corps-audience connectivity

Requirement Rating: B+ (16/21)

Audience Reaction: The home crowd love most of it and felt the corps did a great job of reaching out to them, but some more casual fans definitely seemed lost at parts.

Potential Rating: A-

Actual Rating: B

Final words: A different Spirit, a better Spirit, and a Spirit that has WAY too awesome of a show not to make finals. Terrific show, GREAT job!

After the awards ceremony, a mixed Spirit and Cadets hornline played a rather terrible rendition of America the Beautiful that did absolutely nothing for me, and from the looks of it, the people around me as well. Then, however, Spirit from JSU made everyone forget about it with a performance of their signature Georgia on My Mind, which brought the house down and pushed the stands back a few feet. As I looked up towards the sky while enveloped by this wall of sound, then looked at the kids giving it their all and then just closed my eyes and let the music take over me, I knew there was absolutely no other place I would have rather been at that time that night.

Overall, it was a WONDERFUL show, the best drum corps show I’ve been to thus far, and I can only hope that record will soon be broken. I don’t think I’ll ever forget as long as I live the feeling of Spirit from JSU taking over my body with their rendition of Georgia on my mind, causing me to literally jump up and down, fists in the air, as they neared the last chord of tonight’s show. And what a sound it was, unique to drum corps, and something I can’t wait to hear again.

Again, I’m glad I got to witness a spectacular display of one of my greatest passions tonight, drum and bugle corps, and I wish EVERY corps the best of luck for the 2007 season.

Edited by Hrothgar15
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Hey guys, this review is still a work in progress. I was planning on finishing it tonight, but I got caught up in other things, and since I need to be full of energy tomorrow for the three-year-olds I work with, I need to get some sleep. I'll be editing this post to contain the review (warning: it's rather lengthy) as soon as it's finished, sometime tomorrow afternoon.

Looking forward to it. Thanks.

I missed the entire show after we went on because we were having a little get together over dinner with Teal Sound. I did get into the stadium in time to see Spirit's standstill. I was very impressed with them. I like their show, I like their new uniforms, and I was really taken by surprise with the power coming from their horn line. Those guys and gals know how to use their new brass with skill.

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Ack! I've been really busy lately...I was just about to finish this review but unfortunately I'll be at a gathering for the rest of the night. I really do want to provide with you guys what I thought of the show and the corps, but it's going to have till some time tonight. :)

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Ack! I've been really busy lately...I was just about to finish this review but unfortunately I'll be at a gathering for the rest of the night. I really do want to provide with you guys what I thought of the show and the corps, but it's going to have till some time tonight. :)

If you don't get that review up here soon, it's gonna start looking like the opening 15 minutes of Full Metal Jacket in here!

^0^

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Especially after giving such amazing reviews in the past.

:D

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I dunno, man... Of all the reviews I've read on this site, Hrothgar's has been one of the best. You may or may not agree with his opinions, but you can't deny the quality of the reviews themselves.

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I dunno, man... Of all the reviews I've read on this site, Hrothgar's has been one of the best. You may or may not agree with his opinions, but you can't deny the quality of the reviews themselves.

I'm not bashing his reviews (I wish he would hurry and post it, tho!), just glad the protest/signature drive/banner thing didn't come to fruition.

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