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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.
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 » 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!
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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 Roots of Orchis
Self-titled EP
Slowdance Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Most of the people who know me know of my aversion to buying records. I think everyone knows that I really like a lot of music, which is at times in tense opposition to my aversion to buying records. This conflict has many repercussions along with its blatant irony. For one thing, my gloom over not being able to buy the latest Sea & Cake record is compounded by the fact that I have piles of terrible, amateurish albums sent in for review flooding my apartment. Since my aversion to buying records has precluded me from buying my own copy of Oui I'm forced to downloading MP3s or, more commonly, burning The Fawn into my encephalon. This is not a good thing. When you're in the mood for the Sea & Cake but you're burnt out on their older material, what do you do? I'll tell you what I'm going to do from now on, and that is listen to this new EP by the Roots of Orchis.

While obviously not the same quality or even the same idea as the Sea & Cake, this album showcases this youthful San Diego quartet's ability to add a buoyancy and quirk to a languid, densely textured backdrop of sounds. This release is frustratingly short but remarkably well conceived at the same time and, for the time being, it's holding off my trip to the local record store.

The songs presented are based more in ambient composition than the flashy structures of the Sea & Cake and some of the other bands I referred to in my last Roots of Orchis review. I may be overly optimistic at this late hour, but I have a hunch that this band could bring a lot of people together by combining technicality with subtlety and jazzy post-rock with modernism and dub/hip-hop. When the Roots of Orchis succeed in riding out their desire to mimic the post-instrumentalist movement the rewards are immense. When they succumb to their Chicago day dreams, as they do in the opening track, they ultimately come off as pretentious Thrill Jockey street teamers.

With only four tracks and the building reputation for a band quick to fall back on old habits, it is tough to say where the Roots of Orchis will go from here. The could sputter as they do in "Five Finger Method" or they could shimmer like they turn around and do in "Fat, Furious and Fluffy". While a satisfying listen, this band could do much better with a more full, cohesive full lenght than this four song extended single.

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth



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