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LITERATURE

 » 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
Black Eyes
Black Eyes
Dischord Records

Rating: 8/10 ?


October 1, 2004
There's a dark room hidden somewhere in the grime of the D.C. grind. It's filled with sweat and bodies writhing in tumultuous patterns to blissed out punk rock tribal rhythms. Massive waves of percussion flail pattern upon pattern, like half-dead salmon, freshly caught and adjusting to their new home on dry land. Dual bass lines curl around each other, filling every orifice in the body of the listener, as they pound out, probing the brown zone. The entire band contributes vocals, ranging from psychotic screams to rational low end. This might be what a Black Eyes rehearsal looks like, albeit somewhat fantastical and more than a little exaggerated. It probably bears very little semblance to reality, but their full-length debut out now on the seminal D.C. label Dischord evokes such images. Black Eyes are an innovative band that combines scatter-shot music with singular and organized patterns, creating a tumbling orgy of tribal-punk that is just what the doctor ordered.

The band, made up of ex-members of Trooper, the No-Go's and the Rapture, supposedly plays in a symmetrical shape onstage - a drummer on the left, one on the right, a bass player in front, one in back and a guitar player in the center. Wicked. The focus in their music is on the Crash Worship style cacophonous drum beats that they employ, along with throaty bass lines that flesh out their songs like a slap on the back that is just a bit too hard. Sometimes evocative of Joy Division on PCP, sometimes of Arab on Radar on codeine, Ian MacKaye's production maintains just the right balance of tin can sounds with bullfrog disco bass clef stylings. Screeching guitars and screeching sex vocals fill out the space on tracks like "Pack of Wolves" while dysfunctional disco drums chain a song like "Deformative" to the bedrock. "Speaking in Tongues" almost totally devolves into mush mouth vocals and busy-busy instrumentation, culminating with a cowbell rising above the fray.

Black Eyes may be following a trend in music that is long and wide, by using the word 'black' in their name. But look at the bands they follow - Big Black, Black Flag, Black Sabbath... not to mention current hot shit music trends like Black Dice and Black Keys. It doesn't matter one scratch though, the music they are creating is pulsing, pounding and original and in a live setting, it should inspire the slack jawed yokels to dance. That's a valuable commodity in today's world of hipster apathy.

Reviewed by Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other reviews by Jonah Flicker

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