» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » 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]


 » 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
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
The New Lou Reeds
Exit Stencil Recordings

Rating: 7/10 ?

October 1, 2004
You know that guy in your classes who was too smart for his own good? He was usually my best friend every year; his uncompromising knowledge and bitter wisecracks keeping me afloat. The New Lou Reeds encompass every bit of this smart[ass] sentiment, awash in smarmy, pleasure-seeking goodness.

Don't let their name fool you, they don't often sound like Lou Reed, though respect for him shines throughout. Instead, they channel the obscurity and experimental guitars of Primus through a filter of low-swaggering garage rock.

One can sense they desperately want to live in the time of the Velvets, becoming a part of their legendary crowd. Their druggy, inventive art-rock would likely earn them some credibility even then, but nowadays they could get mistakenly shoved into a more simplistic box. Like many in the NYC scene, these Cleveland boys have an affinity for the Stones, but there's a lot more to be said for Screwed.

"Teenage Metalhead" is instantly appealing due to its perplexing pacing and raw-throated bounce. "Hometown Hero" lifts from the jumpy inspiration of Chuck Berry to elicit beads of sweat and soul. Lumbering and bluesy, "(I Felt Like) Woody Allen" feels more modern than the rest of the album, with its alert guitars and fluctuating volume. While the New Lou Reeds will almost definitely get compared to the White Stripes and the Starvations along the way, it should gratify them to know they are in such beloved company.

Even the introduction of ska on "Foreigner" doesn't seem out of place - the band can truly pull off a lot in the middle of their sleazy commentary. Their only true pitfall comes on the closing "Peter Laughner," which, as the lengthiest track, attempts to be their epic but ultimately fails. Its watery eulogizing feels silly - the constant comparison to the Velvets that remains in the back of your head laments that this is no "Heroin," no "Sister Ray". Still, one has to applaud their grandiosity and their ability to recall the winning, seedy production values of the times.

Oozing with delight and depravity, Screwed feels so bad for you, but that's what makes it so appealing. In a countercultural sort of way, I hope there's more where this came from.

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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