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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Rectangle
Uno Nunca Sabe
Stereorrific Recordings

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Probably the biggest beef anyone could possibly have against Champaign's Rectangle is their tendency to wear their influences on their sleeves. Their debut, Bunker, was, at low points, some dudes who were really really into Pavement, and at high points, truly transcendent rock music. Uno Nunca Sabe, which translates to "one never knows," shows more of an emphasis on singer Orion Layton's amazing sense of melody, combined with the band's need to go to some places that Malkmus or Thurston Moore never bothered mining.

The album starts off with "Hit My Heart Wrong", which appeared on the Arborvitae Records Foreign Nationals compilation a while back. The guitars explode, and then shut up. And then explode. And then shut up. There's some patented Rectangle atonal "angular" guitar noodling before the first line of the album, which rhymes "memoir" with "armoire." I mean, who does that? Rectangle does.

At the roots of their best work, Rectangle executes thee pop song as well as anyone. Exhibits A, B, and C: The "wasting my time" chorus of Beer, the vocal theatrics of "Semaphore Word" followed immediately by the prettiest of guitar harmonics, and the dirty, speedy melodic punk stopping on a dime for Layton to declare "it's alright, buy buy buy" on "Buy Buy Buy". The last two tracks show the band going in a drastically different direction. The sparse, chilled, slow and drawling feel of "Western Union" gives the best backdrop imaginable for a song that starts off "South Dakota is a place full of motherfuckers, cops, and truckers." The album closes with a finger picked McCartney-ish ballad with some fine ladies on backing vocals, a beautiful closer that one would not expect from the band.

The high point is no doubt the middle of the album, tracks 5 and 6, the first of which is as close as they get to the Under Pressure/Baba O'Riley/fuckin Stairway perfection of Bunker's "Teohutican". The chorus sounds like "surreal is more real," but, in vintage Rectangle fashion, the song is titled "Surreal Is More Eel". For a song that is beautiful thanks in no small part to some out-of-key notes thrown into what would otherwise be a major key romp, it just seems more than fitting. Why not be difficult? Track 6 is "Waiver from Procyon", which wouldn't have sounded out of place following up "Web In Front" on Archers of Loaf's first album. This album should establish Layton as singularly Champaign's finest songwriter, and the seven game series between Uno Nunca Sabe and Absinthe Blind's Rings for the title of the town's album of the year will be a battle to behold.

Reviewed by Jeremy Keller
A staff writer for LAS, Jeremy Keller uses his uncanny ability to intellectualize sports for the greater good of mankind.

See other reviews by Jeremy Keller

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