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


 » 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]


 » 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!
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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
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Iron & Wine
The Sea & the Rhythm
Sub Pop Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
It seemed as if the venerable Sub Pop might be taking stabs at diversifying their sound when they slid Iron & Wine's 2002 debut, The Creek Drank the Cradle, through the crack under last year's door. On closer inspection, however, the solo acoustic wanderings of Miami's Samuel Beam were more akin to the front porch Dixieland strummings of Holopaw's John Orth, distilled into a smart moonshine. The Creek Drank the Cradle was a refreshing find for Sub Pop loyalists and in-the-know acousti-pop folkies and Beam's follow up short-player, The Sea & the Rhythm, is a warm, sweet reminder of the South's pervasive Christian bent.

The opening track, "Beneath the Balcony", and the ensuing title track are both sparse and lush, lightly plucked acoustic confessions that resonate deeply with their plodding pace. Slow and sweet as molasses, the songs are less overt about their obsession with the Cross and all things tragically Christ like- pressed flowers in an old scrapbook rather than the pressed slacks of a Baptist minister's white Sunday suit.

The disc is book-ended by a pair of spare numbers that sandwich "The Night Descending", more upbeat in tempo but similarly mired in a lyrical confessional ("In a year of fallen angels/broken hands and boys in danger/pray the Lord might pacify you/ain't no telling what he's up to").

It is when Beam's solitary banjo notes override his rich acoustic finger picking that his raspy, near whispered vocal delivery has the most potent backdrop. Think about Hayden gone missing in the Bayou after a Crusades by canoe or Nick Drake on downers in a South Florida trailer park attempting to slow "Dueling Banjos" to a near standstill and you've got the idea. The five songs of The Sea & the Rhythm are rich, cinematic and haunting but they remain more beautiful than depressing, and are certainly worth your time.

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth



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