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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
Hero of 100 Fights
The Remote, The Cold EP
Divot Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
I think I'll do this band's style a bit of service and cut right to quick: this album is both awesome and bittersweet. The obvious highlight is the music, quick and cutting, sharp with the dynamics and with the wit as well. Hero100 operate in in a sort of delusional hyper-awareness that parallels the experience of being on a Robitussin trip. The guitar spirals through every note of the album like shrapnel yet breaks clean in an odd, almost detached manner. The drums are like machines of heavy metal mastery, pounding and pounding with a relentless precision, taking over from the back seat. The new flourish of vocals are raw yet tuneful in a very dark way, matching well with the operatic guitar work. It is the bass guitar that ultimately drives the phrenetic engine of Hero of 100 Fights. Chris Grove's notes ricochet off of everything in earshot and promptly set the tone for what I would consider each song's vibe, for lack of a better word. The bass sets the direction and the others race in it with a remarkable vim. The second track, "Faction Paradox" is an alt-metal gem if ever there was one, burning with a fire that parallels the flames burning on earlier Tool material. The vocals soar, screaming one moment and cantabile the next, and the three musical elements come together in a cynical unity and demonstrate exactly what it is that held bands like the 90 Day Men back. Their curious similarities to Undertow-era Tool return and showcase themselves in "Darling Gun", which I must confess has a bit of Megadeath to it.

Although cool, the artwork is a bit too far into the stoner-comics territory. The four songs, although each lengthy, combine to a length that falls too short to ever be satisfying. Steve Albini recorded the album and did a great job capturing the hysterical genius of the band but his patented use of raw techniques leaves the album feeling a bit clunky. (Remember, it is generally considered fact that the glossy production of Nirvana's debut is what made the band stick with listeners). To top off my list of detractions, the bassist has been dispatched to pasture by the rest of the band, leaving me scratching my head. This band was gaining huge momentum and becoming incredibly focused, as evidenced by the advance in quality and maturity from their self-titled debut. Now, shortly after the release of the album and the departure on a huge national tour, the band is stalled by internal issues and drops out of sight, missing in action. What happened? Is this what they call "Pfffft"? This album leaves me scratching my head, while banging it to a great release.

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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