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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
22-Pistepirkko
The Nature of 22-Pistepirkko
Bare Bones Business Oy/Parasol

Rating: 8/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Have you ever read The Alchemist? I finally broke down and did it after several people recommended it to me, and I have to say, it's not as mind-blowing as everyone made it out to be. All I gleaned from its lessons is that fate happens unexpectedly, and that you need to be mindful of good and bad omens.

In the spirit of that, 22-Pistepirkko is definitely a good omen. After all, 22 is a lucky number, at least in my little corner of the world, since it's about the only dependable lottery number I have. And "Pistepirkko", in the band's native Finnish, means ladybug - which, outside of being a simple, iconic little creatures of carefree summers, ladybugs are generally good signs.

So, by all rights, I should have known this band would be good, and still it took me by surprise. The Nature of 22-Pistepirkko reminds me of the first time I stumbled upon the Clean. Just as you only get to hear songs like "Big Cat" and "Tally Ho!" once for the first time - that stands to reason, anyway - you're treated to a sweet awakening in 22-Pistepirkko's "Ou Weel" and "Don't Say I'm So Evil" as well. The two bands seem somehow intertwined, maybe as frequent soundalikes, but more likely in the spirit of vivacious, lo-fi rock.

This two disc anthology has a lot of places to hang your hat. "Motorcycleman" harbors a crush on the Clash while it strokes the fires of a torrid Calypso love affair. "Birdy" is like a really great Kinks song that alternates between angelic and pretty and devilishly dirty - in an eternal struggle between tawdry garage fancy and acoustic daydreams, it looks upon redemption but finds both alternatives equally good. Likewise, "Gimme Some Water" could have been played as straight garage rock, but it's not contented in the simplicity of that, instead bringing in so many more pieces and textures - from buzzing guitars to sludgy noise and D-Plan style dance beats - to round out their creation. The band is raw and lo-fi, but extremely imaginative; it's easy to get absorbed in their charismatic, multi-layered approach.

While the second disc has fewer highlights than the first - though "Fujisan", "This Time" and "Rally of Love" should surely be noted - the entire set is engaging and will likely put you in a good mood. You can tell the band is surging with the lifeblood of inspiration, desparately wishing their own excitement would be contagious for their audience. It most certainly is, and while I never really stopped believing, popping in The Nature of 22-Pistepirkko makes me thrilled to love rock music again - and that's a good omen if I ever saw one.

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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