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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]

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
Goldrush
Ozona
Better Looking Records

Rating: 7.5/10 ?


October 17, 2005
Whoever said you can't judge a book by its cover was full of shit; not always does this allegation ring true, but in the presence of Goldrush and their new album Ozona, this book has been labeled with a behemoth billboard and flashing arrows while a siren blares in the foreground and a halogen spotlight sways, pointing to the band's take on blue collar, country-tinged rock. The album sleeve reveals a pickup truck coasting down an empty stretch of desolate western highway with the band's monogram pointing to the afternoon sky. I'm sure we all have a pretty good idea of what this will sound like.

This Crazy Horse-induced rockin' road trip of an album - beautifully recorded by Rob Campanella and Dave Fridmann and brilliantly executed through the band's own pluck - has started to create quite a buzz. More rock-oriented than the Flaming Lips, Ozona contains some of the same quips found inside their ragged structures, whereas "All the Faces" leans more towards Paul Westerberg's 12 Songs-era singer/songwriting formula, and "Each Moment in Time" and "What I Thought" drive closer to indie-pop territory, a la Travis. Goldrush are incredible craftsmen, able to steer their wheels slightly around the generic, implicit directions other alt-country bands tend to trot.

Opener "Wait for the Wheels" fits the album's motif perfectly; it sets the listener up for thoughts of desert highways and high octane, blues-inspired rock distortion. Imagine Centro-Matic's lust for big guitars brewed together with Lucero's upbeat, bass driven vigor. The song is catchy as hell and contains the heaviest moments on Ozona: it blends perfect driving music with a straight, promenade-inducing stampede.

The third track, "Jupiter", strays the furthest from Ozona's common threads due to its unconventional 4/4 drum time signature and heavy reliance on the percussions' lead to fill its cosmetics: think of a Western version of Radiohead's "Airbag" to get an idea of the song's motion-sick jerk. It's not until after the two-minute mark that the listener gets treated to some down-home guitar gusto; as the signature sound chimes in, it serves as a reminder of what makes Goldrush so much fun.

As much familiarity seems to fill their debut, the band has a fine grasp on a myriad of styles, each threaded by their own blend of country-pop. When Goldrush score, they score big, combining their influences with distinguishable taste, a love for "American innovators" and their guidance through the backbeat of Southern culture. Even though the band hails from Oxford, England, they feel much like the Texan city the album is named after: small in scope, but from a large landscape that tightly holds the air of a bigger sound. Ozona resonates well alongside contemporary counterparts in the flat underbelly of American music.

Reviewed by Mark Taylor
A senior LAS staff writer, Mark Taylor is a 29 year old father of a 5 year old son and husband to a wife of 6 years, living the simple life in a small suburb of Charlotte, NC.

See other reviews by Mark Taylor

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