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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
Slow Signal Fade
Through the Opaque Air
Stroll Music

Rating: 8/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Sometimes it helps to envision an album or band as a person - The Slow Signal Fade would be a carnie at Spiderland. Made increasingly complex by the feminine vocals of Ms. Marguerite Olivelle, there is a compelling sweetness behind the dark, bass-heavy mystery. Perhaps the band is most like the Bearded Lady - womanly with a surprisingly edgy twist. Either way, the gravely post-rock notions of Slint are never far from their graces, and the raw, beaten submissiveness of their vocals keeps them shackled.

Through the Opaque Air is, if anything, a release without filler. For this we should all be thankful. It haunts and buzzes about like a looming ghost, at times taking on alarming, shoegazer-inspired whispers and screeching guitars. The pace is at a constant, slow boil, but has all the urgency that can come from steady tension. It is also bitter in a primal sense, drawing from discontent and exhausted passion like the works of Jejune and the Cranberries. In fact, Through the Opaque Air registers somewhere between "Morale is Low" and "Zombie," raising its voice as it's knocked to the earth.

There's so much here to enjoy, and each track becomes a unique favorite as it plays along. Personally, the cathartic release that comes from tracks like "A Little Vaccine" and "Push Pull Push" make me want to believe, and the reedy pick-up of "Backstroke" transports me to my fondest memories of the 4AD label. Careful and brave, it's definitely hard to tell if Through the Opaque Air is more affected or affecting - it has such conviction in both, which is what makes it so thoroughly captivating.

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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