» 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
Vermillion Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
A great collection of songs. New York's hard-to-categorize septet Melomane plays a blend of rock, carnival music, blues and who knows what else that is bound to make you smile at least once while listening to it. French-born, California-raised guitarist Pierre de Gaillande is the group's principal songwriter and vocalist - and his voice is just plain sexy, no other word will do - complemented by bassist and harmonizer Daria Klotz. Together, their voices do beautiful things. Add drums, keyboards, Wurlitzer, cello, trumpet, sax, harmonica and you have a sound that is difficult to describe for its wide range. From electro-pop to twangy guitar, to frenetic psychedelia to tinges of ska and Belle and Sebastian echoes... that's Melomane.

When I first put this album on the stereo I was hooked by the dance pop exuberance of "Complicated Melody," though the lyrics left me unimpressed. I think this has something to do with the feeling that songs about musical structures, even when they're used metaphorically as here, belong on kids' shows. I had the same problem with the title track and the final track, "A Capella" - which is more about resigning oneself to mortality than singing a capella; it even mentions dancing a tarantella, making me think of Tom Waits, and not for the first time. Those minor quibbles aside, the lyrics are great, as in, "You are the hello dolly lama/ you defy all reason." Or, "Let's get stressed out to impress and then let's go out," both from "Far Out," itself a feedback-happy tune that reminds me a bit of the B-52s' "Rock Lobster". But what makes Melomane so exciting to listen to is the privileging of instruments and orchestration over vocals. The vocals are treated like another instrument, and this contributes a sense of coherence to each song that lesser collectives fail to achieve.

Reviewed by Larissa Parson

See other reviews by Larissa Parson



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