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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
Bellini
Snowing Sun
Monitor Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
The following statement was made a few nights ago by yours truly, attempting in vain to describe the complexities of Bellini at three o'clock in the morning, piss drunk:

"Picture Mac McNeilley pounding the fuck out of his drums, with Duane Dennison playing his guitar through Steve Albini's amp, and on top of it all, Bjork doing her best David Yow impression."

Despite the state of my affairs, a pretty apt description of Bellini's sound, if I must say so myself. The fact that none of the musicians mentioned actually played on this record (save for Albini's engineering work) bears little relevance. It's a damn fine album, and far more impressive than anything any of those musicians have done in years.

This album is the work of several seasoned veterans; by now old hands at the craft of making a raw, bone-crushingly aggressive, and ultimately satisfying rock record. That none of the players felt the need to explore any variations of the rough terrain they'd already amply covered over five years ago (drummer Damon Che with previous band Don Caballero's earlier work, and vocalist Giovanna Cacciola and guitarist Agostino Tilotta's work with their former band, Uzeda) is an easily dismissed complaint, especially considering the mixed results of Don Caballero's later more experimental meanderings - while What Burns Never Returns wavered unevenly between moments of unmitigated brilliance amidst long stretches of incoherence, American Don was a horrendous mess, an unfortunately embarrassing swan-song for an otherwise groundbreaking band.

Curiously, a few things stand out on Snowing Sun, particularly how low in the mix Che's drums are in comparison not only to their almost over-the-top prominence on the Don Caballero records, but also to Albini's usual drum-heavy sound. I'm not so sure that this was the wisest decision, as many of the more climactic build-ups and sparse drop-offs fall a little short of their potential power, especially considering that, by now, Albini's methods seem etched in stone.

Che himself seems more restrained here than in the past, and this is certainly not a bad thing. Though the song structures are far from orthodox, they are a bit more even-keeled than Che's usual fare, providing him the opportunity to harness his explosive energy into more focused and well-rounded rhythmic patterns. While Bellini's Snowing Sun may offer little in the way of surprise, it is nevertheless a truly satisfying listen for those who crave sonic chaos delivered with intelligence and precision.

Reviewed by Dheeru Pennepalli
A former contributing writer for LAS, Dheeru Pennepalli currently lives in Chicago where he performs music with one of the Matts from Re:Rec in a new duo called A Light Sleeper. One upon a time he was in a band called the Bargos Steeler and wrote songs with multiple titles, such as \"Poof! I Am Now a Firetruck\" or \"2 Robots To Do the Work of 3 Robots\".

See other reviews by Dheeru Pennepalli

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