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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]

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 » 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
Winter Vacation
The Netherlands, 1980
Asaurus Records

Rating: 6/10 ?


February 17, 2005
Winter Vacations' nerdy indie-pop is oddly sweet and catchy for about half of the time. In the other half, however, the songs either fall flat or are so sweetly nerdy that they become nauseating. Ah, sugar and nausea, how they do always go hand in hand.

The band, made up solely by David Yourdon, puts together messy combinations of drums, guitars and accordion that work on tracks like "The Greenest Age," but elicit an eye-roll on such tracks as "On A Ski Slope," with its ridiculous childish delivery inducing the aforementioned stomach-ache.

Most of the songs fizzle before they reach their peak, ending abruptly and without making the point - I think, with some work - they are capable of making. This quality can be admirable to some extent, as listening to a record that doesn't know when to shut up can be way more painful than the one who opens its mouth once in a while to share an anecdote or say something dumb. Of course, I am not relating records to humans in any way nor drawing this analogy from any personal experience whatsoever. With the melodies' quick appearance and disappearance, few songs can memorably make their mark. As well, Yourdon's abruptness ties in to the overall disarray of The Netherlands, 1980; it's too bad that its playfulness gives way to directionlessness.

At times though, the formula does work. "Rained on Together" sounds more complete than other tracks, and the following song, "Life Imitates Author" starts out with off-kilter piano playing, which, running throughout the song, warrants perking up. Yourdon's voice sounds similar to Doug Martsch's. But, in regards to Yourdon, his vocals qualify as a manly, coy whine rather than a wounded screech. Yourdon's vocals fit well with the quirkiness of the music, as well as with the child-like quality of both the sounds and lyrics.

Over all, Yourdon relies too much on his nerdy sweetness, which can be both a strong point and a weak one. A lot of Mourdon's melodies sound similar; as well, they quickly fizzle out, which is just entirely anti-climactic. Despite the elements that do work together - and when they do, they are both catchy and oddly familiar - The Netherlands, 1980 can't seem to pull it together from beginning to end.

Reviewed by Abbie Amadio
The last we heard Abbie Amadio, a former contributor to LAS, was based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

See other reviews by Abbie Amadio

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