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LITERATURE

 » 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
Bluebottle Kiss
Revenge Is Slow
In Music We Trust

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
When I first made note of the name Bluebottle Kiss, it was after hearing their spun-out version of "Silver" on the tribute album Pixies Fuckin' Die. I wrote their name down as a band I should pursue, in that they were sparse and uncomfortably artistic, with a knack for disjointed harmony.

In this, my second encounter with the band, I did not immediately find the shivering desolation that drives Black Francis' tome of conspiracy theories, but was met by a tapestry of deceptively simple elegance. Piquant melodies are strung up with viola, cello, harp, and the howls of wounded isolation, constantly taking a step back. Like a garden party where an invitation means nothing, and the vines themselves make you appear under-dressed; Bluebottle Kiss offers a polite welcome to their audience, but they don't let you feel too much at home.

Their harmony seems easier this time around, with eyes to the Posies, Mojave 3, and Coldplay. They tip their hat to a form of thickly layered pop that doesn't attempt to fight the emptiness. The musicianship in the album is intense and noticeable, inherently dense with clean lines and constant movement. Further, tracks like "Ounce of Your Cruelty" and "Hasten the Blows" are the closest they come to clear-cut pop: they capture a sense of radio-friendliness that Morrissey had in spades, where maintaining a straight face doesn't cover the fact that you've been crying.

As a band of brave strangers exploring their own foreign emotions, they put up their most formidable effort in "Last Cinema", a hurried and crushing bit of incoherence. As the wind spills traces of Elisabeth Frasier's haunted high notes, they show how much of their underlying motive lays in a sense of fear; departing a treacherous world where the creators have long outstayed their welcome. In hindsight, then, perhaps the screams of surreal agony from the mouths of Pixies and prophets aren't so far after all.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters

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