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 » 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
Vampire Weekend
Vampire Weekend
XL

Rating: 8/10 ?


January 25, 2008
This review could've been written on autopilot. Maybe it was. I'll keep it brief as I can. Your new Saviors of Indie? They good. Rich kids with trust funds who epitomize the Indie Problem and get too much credit for it? Probably. Referencing Lil' Jon and Benetton in an eyelash whilst speaking of idle fucking all the livelong day? Those kidders. Taking yet another form of African music and whitening it up to make blog-skimmers all down Williamsburg fiddle with their iPod Nanos? Guilty as charged. Yesterday's news a year from now? Most likely. That is, at least if Clap Your Hands Say Yeah stays the model.

Without even doing anything these guys do sound like their careers have been set up and timed right before their worldly little eyes. And there's no telling if they'll stay this damn good in six months. But for the time being, they very comfortably occupy every slot people want them in, and that includes the one marked "fast and furious acclaim." First four tracks, there they go: single "Mansard Roof" (rhymes with "standard," as in, it's going to be one), "Oxford Comma" (they don't give a fuck about one), "A-Punk," of course (hypo-new-wave-wibble-wobble), and "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" (the reason for all those Graceland comparisons). All four are instant classics, and three of them make up last year's ferocious (also self-titled - someone get these guys a dictionary) EP debut. Nothing else here comes close, though they've grown on me.

The catchy, hyperactive "Walcott" is this Vampire Weekend's instant favorite, continuing the lyrical fascination with Cape Cod and broadening (or some would say, deadening) the musical infatuation with Arcade Fire-style 4/4 that fills every hole, here with perfectly punched-in strings and double-time piano plinks. The baroque "M79" asserts itself as arguably the brightest piece here, with a hula-hooping string part echoed by almost-ska bass and Ezra Koenig's most soulful vocals, gleefully double-tracked for total climactic bliss by the four-minute mark.

What is key to this album's effectiveness is how Vampire Weekend's rhythmic momentum enervates the filler, turning another band's less flamboyant "Campus" into a cymbal-crash-on-every-hit mini-epic, or the nearly irritating "Blake's Got a New Face" into drunken singalong. It's the crucial difference between an EP-plus-outtakes and a true album with good songs and better ones. The only thing it says that the three previously-releaseds are three of the five best is that these seemingly fearless popsters better keep their tuning devices sharp come the inevitable backlash ("bloglash?"). Some of us are going to want to be proven wrong.

Reviewed by Dan Weiss
Dan Weiss is the music editor for LAS. Formerly an editorial intern at CMJ and creator of the now defunct What was It Anyway?, his work has appeared in Village Voice, Pitchfork, Philadelphia Inquirer, Stylus and Crawdaddy among others. He resides in Brooklyn where he enjoys questionable lifestyle choices and loud guitars.

See other reviews by Dan Weiss

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