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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.
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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
School of Etiquette
Alive Records

Rating: 5/10 ?

October 1, 2004
I'm not sure if the members of Boyskout have ever listened to the Cure or Joy Division, but they boldly state that they "weave a haunting tapestry of eerie, danceable melodies reminiscent of early Cure or Joy Division, refashioned with a bittersweet, post-modern edge." As one might expect from such lofty ambitions, the four, queer grrrl, new wave rockers fall way short from coming close to even deserving to have their sound described as being reminiscent of Joy Division.

The most attractive aspect of Boyskout, besides the photo of the group on the album cover, is their nicely placed alternating vocals. Even though the vocalists don't have the most brilliant voices, they do have the ability to keep the attention of the listener while not falling in the trap of being aloof in the presentation of their lyrics. Some of the most compelling vocals are present in songs such as "Eye Make Up" and the strongest song on the album, despite the redundant hand claps, "Sunday Morning." The Kim Gordon vocal approach on these two tracks really makes the listener want to actually make note of the tedious lyrics.

While the band as a whole sound musically tight and well versed; the strongest musician in Boyskout hands down has to be the bass player, Hannah Reiff. In catchy tunes like "Secrets" and "Identity," Reiff's bass gives the songs the backbone and punch that School of Etiquette desperately needs. The simple, yet effective Peter Hook-ish circa 1985 bass line on "Girl on Girl Action" makes me go Oh Yeah!

If I'm being honest, the keyboard-synthesizer action on most of the tracks really compromises the entire flow and consistency of the album. Instead of guiding the melodies, the keyboard only hinders the listener from becoming involved in the queer grrrl excitement. The keyboards ultimately come across as being more cartoonish than actually hip. I might be wrong, but is that a lifted keyboard line on "Jesse James?" Don't make me blow the dust off of my vinyl collection, but that tickling of the plastic sounds an awful lot like the Elvis Costello & the Attractions tune "Pump it Up." Boyskout should take their keyboards to their local pawnshop, trade them in for a tambourine and maracas, and start from square one.

School of Etiquette is Boyskout's first full-length album; thirty-eight minutes of typical queer grrrl, new wave rock, nothing more and nothing less. The four young girls make a valiant effort to rock, but they don't offer the listener anything new or compelling that can't already be heard on a Sleater-Kinney or a Le Tigre album.

Reviewed by Jason Pete
A contributing writer for LAS, Jason Pete lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. You know, where the casinos and prostitutes and stuff are.

See other reviews by Jason Pete



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