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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]

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 » 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 Adored
A New Language
V2

Rating: 7/10 ?


July 12, 2006
Orgasm addicts have good reason to ... um, get excited about The Adored and their first full-length, A New Language. Which begs the question: Is that an Eton Rifle in your pocket or are you just happy to hear another cut-and-paste, fly-by-night version of The Buzzcocks or The Jam, albeit one that's as focused and passionate as The Adored?

Hot on the heels of a debut EP that included serrated vocal turns by none other than Pete Shelley, The Adored again raid The Buzzcocks' closet for blitzkrieg-pop and angular post-punk hand-me-downs also sported long ago by Paul Weller and company. If only they could get rid of that mothball smell. From the shouted, fist-in-the-air choruses of "Savage Youth" to the blunted, back-to-basics dynamics of "The Queen's Head," A New Language speaks a stale, old punk dialect, but it does so with loads of hooks, crisp musicianship and energy to burn. Uneven as it is, A New Language is a corker of an album, with a hard-pumping punk heart and strong melodies. Not as rugged as The Constantines and more danceable, ala Hot Hot Heat, The Adored suffer from the same tradition-bound parochialism and lack of ideas that plagues all things punk these days, but despite all that, the band overcomes - not with the biting, sardonic wit displayed by The Buzzcocks, but with unified playing and a talent for writing bright, infectious, satisfying songs that produces a powerful punk-rock groundswell of adolescent frustration and dissatisfaction.

Far from impotent, The Adored are a vigorously acrobatic unit when they want to be, as evidenced by the Ted Leo-like opener "Tell Me Tell Me" and all of its tight melodic twists and turns. Seemingly made of rubber, "Could It Be" practically bounces off the walls with impassioned background vocals, gleaming guitars and a kinetic pop melody that feels more fresh and lively than anything else here. Rousing rockers like "The Window" and "Chemistry" showcase the band's sharp, thorny hooks, made all the more cutting thanks to the pristine sound quality of the guitars. And had The Clash not already drawn the blueprints for this sort of thing on Give 'Em Enough Rope, the wistful "Weak Spots" and "Not Having It" might be the best walk-down-memory-lane punk anthems ever written.

Los Angeles, and its heavily frosted layer cake of false hopes, larger-than-life ambitions and human crash tests, are the subject of A New Language's hopeful, sometimes vapid lyrics. Lines like "Can't iron out the irony/when the real criminals talk down to me" are cringe-inducing and the stuff of overheated youth, but they're forgivable. The ADD nature of "Hold-Up!" isn't because it's that kind of inattention to internal editing in the recording and writing process that The Adored can't win out over. They need to keep you riveted. They need you on that pogo stick, jumping up and down to their tight beats and bungee-cord bass lines. When they let up for a second, the Adored lose you a little at a time to time and those halcyon days of punk's glorious past.

Reviewed by Peter Lindblad
Peter Lindblad lives in Appleton, Wis., and bleeds green and gold just like all the Packer fan nutjobs in the area. He does draw the line at wearing blocks of chedder on his head, or any other body parts for that matter, though. His professional career has taken weird twists and turns that have led him to his current position as an editor at a coin magazine. He hopes his stay there will be a short one. Before that, he worked as an associate editor at a log home magazine. To anyone that will listen, he\'ll swear that Shiner was one of the greatest rock bands to ever walk the earth. Yet he also has much love for Superchunk, Spoon, DJ Shadow, Swervedriver, Wilco, Fugazi, Jawbox, ... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Modest Mouse, among others.

See other reviews by Peter Lindblad

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