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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
Envy
A Dead Stinking Story
Level-Plane Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
This is the first hardcore album that I've heard in awhile that starts off with an acoustic guitar intro - I'd say that this a proper beginning for this album, from the start the tone is harsh but solemn, brutal but melodic.

Here's what you should know - Envy are from Japan, their stuff is brought to you by Level-Plane Records, and their drummer lashes out the most destructive and propulsive beats since the Boredoms. Stylistically, they don't have much in common with those guys, but the drumming on this album does similarly capture and convey a really heightened sense of energy - these aren't dead beats... nah, not at all. Rather on many of these songs there's a constrained interaction between instruments that's subtle but really nice. What I'm trying to get at is that to me there isn't a lot of beating and bashing that's superfluous on these recordings, everything is measured and in place, and a sense of chaos controlled comes through. The vocals are what you'd expect - loud shouted lines and phrases rather than much melodic singing (the guitars take care of the minor key plaintiveness); I'd also say that the fact that the singings is so "western" in attack is one of the only downfalls of this album (if you could call it a downfall- cuz if hardcore is indeed global at this point, which it is I guess, then this fact is kinda mute - maybe I should say the singing style isn't the most inventive, but it does fit well).

Two other things that stand out about this band and it's music: first, the recording is top notch - the rhythm section has a real presence, with no loss or blurring of quality when things get really insane - the vocals are always crisp, and you can catch the sizzle and crash of the cymbals at all times, its all really mixed together well. Second, they did a good job of offering Japanese-English translations to all the songs and they did a solid job of putting the art together - it really matches the music somehow.

All in all, this is really traditional hardcore album, new ground isn't broken on this one, but the way they do it isn't insulting or boring or formulaic, somehow Envy manages to add life and energy to the chords and notes they put together, that's what makes this such a tight album.

Now, if only they'd get over here and tour sometime....

Reviewed by James Hoey
A long-time contributing writer for LAS, Jim lives in North Carolina and drives an early 70s model mustard yellow Chevrolet Blazer.

See other reviews by James Hoey

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