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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
The Ocean Blue
Waterworks EP
Self-released

Rating: 7/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Do you remember The Ocean Blue? Their MTV-cum-Cocteau Twins brand of infectious dream pop? Their hits, "Between Something and Nothing," "Drifting, Falling," and "Sublime"? I, for one, did not. Nevertheless, these vets are back with their first new material in five years, and they sound quite nice in the current musical landscape. Pegging themselves as the progenitors of Death Cab for Cutie and Interpol, they do retain some of that similar charm, but sound, to me, more like breezy Yo La Tengo, earnest Trembling Blue Stars, or softened Magnetic Fields material.

"Pedestrian" and "Golden Gate," for example, remind me very directly of "Autumn Sweater" and "Why I Cry". They are wistful, bundled up, and full of jangly, adventurous, magical sensibilities. There is a touch of the Wall of Sound aesthetic, especially on "Golden Gate," which caters to a blustery 5 O'clock World. Vocally and instrumentally, however, through earnest, poetic storytelling and shaking maracas and tambourines, there is a larger vulnerability that is not quite reinforced by the somewhat overwhelming, lush nature of their overall sound. Each of these tracks is still quite breakable - a fact that works most often in their favor.

Two of the tracks, in comparison, could work quite well as novel backing music in advertisements: "Ticket to Wyoming" conjures images of every one of those Sears or JC Penneys ads, all the way back to the prominent days of Woolworth's, where a rail thin girl in a bucket hat and a tweed pencil skirt changes instantly into the new fall wardrobe. It is a bookish, timeless little paper doll of a track, employing just a little irony to balance out its awkwardness. "The Northern Jetstream,"" turns completely around from those classic images and dives straight into a Fruitopia commercial of sorts - its spindly faux Indian psychedelica is all too familiar. Druggy, mod, and fairly pointless, its attempt at spacey traveling music doesn't work well with the rest of the EP. It does, however, embody the same spirit of wonder and fun championed throughout Waterworks, and underscores the fact that through plaintive Trembling Blue Stars-styled ballads and warm, pulsating instrumentals, The Ocean Blue has always been charming and carefree at heart - this is much to their credit, and the promise of a revived future in the modern scene.

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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