» LATEST FEATURES

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
Racetrack
City Lights
Skrocki Records

Rating: 7/10 ?


October 1, 2004

A brief chord and the squeal of feedback and I'm off, as Racetrack's City Lights smatters itself about in my eardrums; I'm whisked away to better times. I remember a time when music didn't have to be new or original to be enjoyable, complex or inaccessible to hold my interest - when being part of the musical elite involved a full collection of punk rock and some patches on my jacket. Racetrack manages to capture some of the joyful simplicity of my earlier tastes, and does so consistently throughout their first full length.

I'm in the passenger seat of my friend's shitty Ford Probe, the sun roof is cracked and the windows are down. I'm trying to fight back the air as my hand wavers outside the window - blooming from fist to outstretched, my fingers seemingly built to feel the wind trickle along my knuckles, wondering what would happen we swerved too close to a sign, and the consequences of having one arm due to poor judgment… and even worse, driving. It's tapes stacked in shoe boxes in the back seat, then CDs in 200 case holders on the dash - it's upbeat, ska, punk; it's music for driving, for singing along, for summer break and the absence of responsibility.

City Lights is roughly 40 minutes of fuzzy pop rock, squelching and coarse, melodic and upbeat, and most of the time, simple and fun. Singer Meghan Kessinger's voice rarely wavers in its aural frequency, maximizing melodious monotone, leading me to believe she has a relatively pleasant speaking tone, and drummer Jackson Long and bassist Chris Rasmussen offer contrast with dual backing vocals, and the mid 90s seem closer than ever.

Racetrack's strengths lie decidedly in utilizing the wheel rather than reinventing it. The song topics are personal in nature, relationships and reminiscing, and the structure straightforward, but catchy. Whether Racetrack's City Lights is imbued with nostalgia, or whether I'm merely displacing emotion isn't important, rather, the fact they've managed to enhance my mood, if only for a moment, is.

Reviewed by David Spain
Based in Chicago, Illinois, David Spain is a contributing writer for LAS magazine.

See other reviews by David Spain

» MEDIA DOWNLOADS

» GOT STICKERS?

If you'd like to help spread the word about LAS, or simply want to outfit yourself with some adhesive coolness, our 4" circle LAS stickers are sure to hit the spot, and here is how to get them:

--> Send an with $2 in PayPal funds to cover postage. Don't worry, we'll load you up with enough to cover your town. Then just be patient. They will arrive soon.

» WORLDWIDE DOMINATION

LAS has staff and freelance writers spread across North and South America, Europe, and a few in Southeast Asia as well. As such, we have no central mailing adress for unsolicited promotional material. If you are interested in having your project considered for coverage, please contact us before sending any promotional materials - save yourself time and postage!