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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
Care Bears On Fire
I Stole Your Animal
Daisy Explosion

Rating: 7/10 ?


October 16, 2007
"Don't tell me what to do/ what to wear/ what to say," sings Sophie, the seventh-grader who fronts Care Bears on Fire, proving that 12-year-old girls have the punk problem solved. They're too young and too innocent to know the lure of sellout, so their guitars' rebellion feels no taint of commerce, and therefore authentic, childish, squealing inarticulacy. This will change, but no one stays innocent forever.

The twist is, as their Disney Store-nightmare name warns, unlike would-be peers such as Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers, they're not thatinnocent (Britney Spears pun unintended but strangely prescient) to begin with. For one thing, they sound like a slower Be Your Own Pet meets a cleaner L7, all chunky three-chord grunge riffs with bobbing bass poking out of the sludge. Back in 1995 we wouldn't have thought to be saying in 2007 that this actually sounds kind of refreshing, but it does amidst the Ciara-to-Sufjan spectrum we're in right now. A little something called "Victim of Rock 'n Roll" is especially badass. Sorry for cursing, girls, but you earned it.

The lyrics are what you'd expect from a group of preteen punk rockers, but for two beguiling kid-friendly takes on very adult... let's call them pet peeves. "Five-Minute Boyfriend" actually calls out grade-school sluts on the charge of using the titular human accessory for "kicks and fame." The last verse twists it even harder on the conniving Limited Too bitch: "She acts so sad when she says goodbye/ But she loves the attention when they see her cry." Bizarrely enough, it's the most snarling indictment of attention whores at least since the Dismemberment Plan's "Academy Award," if not Lisa Germano's profoundly hilarious "(I Want) Cancer of Everything."

But that adorable smudge has nothing on "Met You on MySpace," a song I've never heard anything like. Is it disturbing for children themselves to be acknowledging, in post-rock songs, the reality of child predators? Is it heroic? Sadly necessary in the 21st century? At least those are possible answers to that one, frick if I know what to think of coding the pedophile du jour a UNICORN - you heard me, a unicorn - ("I should've known then/ A stallion and a pony were your top two friends"). I wish I could chalk up this selection to their age-appropriate imaginations, but the chorus makes clear that the analogy concerns (this is crass) an unwanted pointy thing. The serious subject matter is juxtaposed with such goofy language ("You said you were 12 and you lived in my 'nabe/ but you're really 300 and you live in a cave"), it's almost cinematic. I don't know what to make of it. It's a fierce candidate for the bravest, most unsettling song released in 2007.

All that stands in this band's way is their propensity towards overly cute, repetitious choruses, and the pointless album closer "Baby Animals," which annoyingly drags itself from wise-beyond-their-years to okay-maybe-not over the course of thirty minutes. Hopefully they'll outgrow that.

Reviewed by Dan Weiss
Dan Weiss is the music editor for LAS. Formerly an editorial intern at CMJ and creator of the now defunct What was It Anyway?, his work has appeared in Village Voice, Pitchfork, Philadelphia Inquirer, Stylus and Crawdaddy among others. He resides in Brooklyn where he enjoys questionable lifestyle choices and loud guitars.

See other reviews by Dan Weiss

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