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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]

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 » 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
Ms. Led
These Things We Say
Fish the Cat Records

Rating: 7/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Ms. Led wants to give you a history lesson - in grrl rock, that is. From the first mention of "Kathleen" in their opening track, "Stigma," we know to be mindful of Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, Sleater-Kinney and Bratmobile. As well we should.

Like those foremothers, Ms. Led knows a thing or two about where they came from - musically and intellectually - where they need to go, and, of course, the value of a good pop melody to back up the rebel yell. Many of the tracks on These Things We Say feature a syncopated pace, rugged yet infectious melodies, punk pride and bratty vocals that demand to be taken seriously.

I'm reminded most often of Sarge when Ms. Led cranks up the guitars and plows through the barbs, but more so if Elizabeth Elmore were spiritually inspired by X and Blondie. The dirty howls and stylish disillusionment really suits the band well, and the darkness that sometimes seeps through their pop overtones gives them a bit of spark and motivation - you can tell they believe in their convictions, and it's heartening.

The easiest downfall to site within These Things We Say is that the band, at times, tries too hard to fit a certain rock pigeonhole. When they bring out the punchy dance anthem of "Small Change" or the New Wave surprise, "Keep On the Outside," it feels a little forced; the style shift, while not incompatible, gives reason to click around the album.

At least know that when you search, you won't be disappointed. The perfect tones of the title track, as well as "Gone", "No, No, You're Right", and "It Took Until April" are well worth seeking out the album. As you move into the closing overture - the slyly acidic "Move Slowly", with its buzzsaw guitars and brassy yowl - you'll likely think back to the days when the term "Riot Grrl" was openly discussed in relation to progress and change; getting their audience back into that mindset is exactly Ms. Led's mission, and a valiant one at that.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters

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