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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
People Chasing People
The Dayglow Light of Speed
Milquetoast Recordings

Rating: 6/10 ?


October 1, 2004
It's a scientifically tried and true formula: nobody can resist a catchy melody, a song with a strong hook that showers through the 4-minute length of a pop composition. One can deviate to weird stuff and acrobatic instrument-playing records right afterwards, but the truth is even the most arrogant stiff cannot control a shy head banging when the radio plays the ultimate tuneful hit.

Pop-oriented songs generate gusts of energy and adrenaline, but their levels suffer a massive drop in the face of constant reruns - what used to be a pleasant and beguiling melody turns into a needling sound that hurts the ear. Thesis: pop music is sturdily dated these days. Antithesis: it is advisable to create music with rough edges and unpredictable vacant spaces to be filled in by the listener. Synthesis: an incomplete work of art is more durable than an immediate hit or a highly charged tune.

That's why emo bands are often despised in music reviews. Their tendency to hang guitar clusters everywhere saturates the mantra and infuriates critics and listeners above 15 years of age. And, quite honestly, nobody can truly improve on the serpentine fire of Sunny Day Real Estate or Fugazi. But, caught on the cusp of a savvy and somehow condescending music cycle, this reviewer has come across People Chasing People's promising debut album.

The Dayglow Light of Speed doesn't split the atom of emo-flavored records. The lyrics seem to be spray-canned in the music most of the times. It may seem that lines like "Sha-la-la-la-ooh/Frank Word/He says what he's thinking" go well with the audible flow, but they don't. Instead, they pull the rug out from under what could be a nice closer to the album, the track "Frank Word".

The album always shows a degree of fluidity that makes the listening experience enjoyable, especially in numbers like "Yelling at Cops" and "One Cool Astronaut", but The Dayglow… will never induce revelations through noise. For the sake of convenience, this record should be filed next to early Dismemberment Plan and late Jawbreaker. Something seems to be missing for the venture to sound less erratic and formulated.

Maybe the Tallahassee quartet, now based in DC, should take notes from the star-gazing feel to The Promise Ring circa Wood/Water or the torpedo-fuelled soundscapes of Hey Mercedes. Either way, no matter how many moons they spend in the making of a follow-up, People Chasing People should point to a two-way highway; instead of one entirely couched in overdriven, well-played lines that fail to encounter a path, they should build from the overly layered "The Golden Mountain" instead of sticking to their sometimes anaemic backbone of audio portraits.

The final cynical remark: it's better to be head scratching than head banging, as far as debut records go.

Reviewed by Helder Gomes
Currently living on the south bank of the Tagus river, in Portugal, Helder Gomes is a working class hero. He is a journalist for the local radio station Rádio Nova Anten. In his spare time, he skates and watches many odd movies. He is in love with the French nouvelle vague, and the Danish/Swedish invasion. He writes for a number of publications, on the Internet or otherwise, notably the underground Portuguese magazine Mondo Bizarre, and the Jazz Review website. He is also the news collector and a staff witer for the adorable Lost at Sea. Oh, and there is also the Coffee Breakz radio show that he tries to host every Saturday.

See other reviews by Helder Gomes

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