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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
Des_Ark
Loose Lips Sink Ships
Bifocal Media

Rating: 9.5/10 ?


March 14, 2005
Des_Ark's debut CD comes with a sticker affixed, the kind that drops names and essentially sells a completely unheard-of band to someone who trusts comparisons. The listing of PJ Harvey, Shellac and Blonde Redhead would be much more appropriate if it were prefaced by "better thanů"

Yes, indeed. While it would be somewhat accurate to imagine a combination of those bands to get a general idea of its sound, Loose Lips Sink Ships is unquestionably above being subjected to the debut album "sounds like" haze that most records find themselves in. One could counter that any band just starting out will always have a debt to pay to the music they're influenced by, but one could please shut the fuck up, listen and be amazed. The simple truth is that Des_Ark will fucking slay you.

"Some are Love" begins the album on a decidedly mellow yet ominous-sounding note: a gentle acoustic guitar with tambourine met with singer/guitarist Aimee Argote crooning, "Take what you can carry and the rest we will destroy/the summer's gonna wreck us, gonna crush this little boy." It serves as the perfect jumping off point for the onslaught of "No More Fighting Cats, OK?", which sets the tone for the majority of the record: crushingly intense rock and roll of the highest caliber.

While Des_Ark's approach is, of course, nothing new (and they do evoke the aforementioned bands), it is their variety of attack that makes their sound stand out as thrilling and fresh. The start/stop dynamic of songs like "Queen of the Sketch Patrol" and "Jesus Loves You (But Yr Still Coming Home with Me Tonight)" met with a purposely sagging beat at some points allows every song to build momentum and erupt instead of simply lasting until it's over.

What makes it all the more impressive is the fact that Des_Ark's huge sound is generated from only two people. Argote somehow manages complicated progressions and sometimes-chaotic tempo changes while singing in a voice that ranges from beautifully choir-like to blood curdling screams. Backed with the equally formidable drumming of Timothy Herzog, the band attains a state of being the sum of its parts while also being much more.

After a progression of increasingly intense songs, the minute long "For Bob Riecke" appears. Featuring only Argotte's haunting voice and piano, it accents the intensity of the other tracks perfectly. Once this sudden turn sinks in, however, the record's over. The weak point of Loose Lips is that it runs a scant 28 minutes. Perhaps it's good that Des_Ark knows how to keep the listener wanting more, but if they can keep this up, let's hope they go prog on the next one.

Reviewed by Tom Nash
A former LAS staff member based in Vienna - that\'s Virginia, not Austria - Tom graduated from high school and we are all just so, so proud of him.

See other reviews by Tom Nash

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