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[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]

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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
Post-Haste
Untitled
Ionik Records

Rating: 5/10 ?


October 1, 2004
When you write album reviews and work with college radio, you learn pretty quickly to disregard the hyperbolic descriptions found in the one-sheets that accompany promotional albums. Overproduced songs are always "bristling with subtle textures", sappy lyrics are always "heartfelt and direct", and one-dimensional pop-punk bands always "demonstrate a range of wider reaching influences, such as Elvis Costello and The Cure."

I thought by now I was impervious to the shock of reading a flowery press description and subsequently getting let down -- that is, until I read Post-Haste's one-sheet, in which they liken themselves to The Buzzcocks, Wire, Guided By Voices, Slint, Swell Maps, The Clean, and Sonic *%#@$^ Youth. Not only do these guys set themselves up as a versatile, historically entrenched indie rock band, but they also invoke the names of some of the best bands ever.

And, as you've probably guessed by now, they're totally blowing smoke up your ass when they say that.

If you trimmed the list down to The Buzzcocks, Wire, and Guided By Voices, you'd still be left with some overly ambitious points of comparison, but at least you'd have a decent idea of what Post-Haste are attempting to pull off. These gentlemen deal largely in bouncy buzz saw riffs and simple, catchy bass figures, and they back it up with such rambunctious percussion that you can't quite tell where their melodic college rock leanings end and their '77 pop-punk influences begin.

Unlike contemporary 'Cocks revisionists FM Knives and The Exploding Hearts, Post-Haste aren't all that snotty and are quite prone to launch into driving power chord choruses (thereby indulging their GBV tendencies). This kinder, gentler approach to punk works quite well on "Chemical Favours" and a couple of other tracks; the rest of the time, however, the band botches some great bouncy verses by fettering them to hapless, hook-free choruses, and Mike Winters' nasal yelp only serves to further blunt their melodic sensibilities.

Post-Haste's real problem is their stringent adherence to a sub par template. They're very capable musicians, and they stick a memorable riff or two in here, but they usually fail miserably in writing the no-frills ramshackle power-pop song that they're shooting for -- they pick a fine aesthetic to work with, but they just can't seem to nail it.

In fact, the album's two strongest cuts are the most unlike the others. "I" is a biting, immediate take on Wire/Homosexuals-style post-punk, with searing call and response vocals and a smidgeon of welcomed angularity -- if they trimmed about 30 seconds off of it, then they'd have a true gem on their hands.

Album closer "Symmetry" deviates from the Post-Haste norm in a different way, hooking you in with a foreboding bass line and tearing at you with a darker sort of melody than you'll find on the rest of the record. Slint or Swell Maps it ain't, but it's a much more admirable attempt at bringing some variety into the mix, and, more importantly, it's an instance of them moving away from the aspects of their sound that don't work. If they take similar risks and quit imagining themselves as a hulking amalgam of Every Great Rock Band Ever, Post-Haste will undoubtedly improve. As it stands now, Untitled is a monotonous mixed bag of misfires and flawed premises.

Reviewed by Phillip Buchan
A one-time music director at WUOG in Athens, Phillip is into college radio, literature, writing, buying records, going to shows, talking to friends, learning -- pretty much the same stuff that all of us priveledged, (pseudo?)intellectual Americans are into.

See other reviews by Phillip Buchan

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