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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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 » 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!
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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
Q And Not U
Different Damage
Dischord Records

Rating: 9/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Although we are all tired of hearing the F-word used in descriptions of Q And Not U, the references to DC-based and Dischord-fueled mentors Fugazi are almost inevitable. But the difference between the two bands is in the pudding. Where Fugazi make intelligent post-rock for fans of Radiohead, Q And Not U make catchy post-rock for fans of Slick Rick, Gang of Four and DJ Shadow. Q And Not U's debut No Kill No Beep Beep was one of the freshest faces put on by punk rock in recent memory, and the new-school District of Columbians follow it up ambitiously with Different Damage, an album that fleshes out the Dischord standards with inspired percussion and a variety of shifting tempos bolstered by textured sounds and vocal deliveries. The more Q And Not U evolve to define the sound that sounds like themselves the more they parallel the evolution in depth of Fugazi without aping their sound. As Chris Richards points out in the track "This Are Flashes" - Different Damage is DC post-punk's native song in sharp relief.

Losing a bass player hasn't thinned out Q And Not U's sound on record thanks to overdubs, and although some might say that Different Damage has lost some of Q And Not U's urgency it is clear that the fire certainly remains. After only listening to it a few times, Ryan Allen was a believer in the power of Different Damage, recounting the listening experience on the LAS message board by saying that the album had him "instantly hooked". Allen went on to expound on those sentiments by saying "No Kill No Beep Beep is a great record, don't get me wrong, but at times it seemed as if when all else failed, ripping off Fugazi was the way to go." Allen elaborated by saying that Different Damage "really branches off from that, implementing some really creative percussive things that are just totally impressive and invigorating. John Davis really comes into his own as a drummer on this record, and it's a inspiring thing to hear. Seriously, this record is all about the groove, and even without a bass player, it exists ten fold, and yeah, there's bass all over the record. Great bass lines too."

From his perspective Allen felt that the carry-over from No Kill No Beep Beep was a definite urgency that immediately perks interest, gets a person thinking to themselves that, Hey, this band could be important. There are a lot of ways to interpret Different Damage, but as Allen sees it, "Q and Not U made a record where they were in a situation where they felt they had something to prove and, in all honesty, they did a fine fucking job." And if that wasn't an emphatic enough endorsement of the Different Damage, Allen lumped on more praise by saying, "it's varied, unique, experimental and totally does a wonderful job of making the whole Gang Of Four-post-punk-whatever-blah-blah-blah-New-York-is-the-shit right-now-new-wave seem totally now and fresh, when all of a sudden the sound is already being mocked." An assessment that should not be taken lightly, considering that Allen admittedly hates using the word "experimental". "If it's a revival people want, Q and Not U aren't just playing tribute on Different Damage," Allen said summarily, closing with the insight that "it's more of a revolution and evolution of sound that finds a band comfortable in skin of their influences, but are by no means retro or derivative. Yeah, they're no Radiohead or Sigur Ros or whatever. But shit, don't we have that already? This is a great record."

No arguments here.

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth



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