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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
New Ruins
The Sound They Make
Hidden Agenda

Rating: 8.2/10 ?


May 8, 2007
The music crafted by Champaign, Illinois residents Elzie Sexton and J. Caleb Means - otherwise known as New Ruins - maps out a sonic crossroads as it plays, at once both vintage and modern, peaceful yet disturbing. The Sound They Make unfurls in this blank space like a fresh reel of film scraped and scratched to manipulate its weight and to encompass a jagged, historic feel; the tone is intimate and worn, but the approach crisp and new.

New Ruins deliver the latest release for the sometimes underwhelming Parasol imprint Hidden Agenda Records, and it's one to be proud of. The successful blend of acoustic and electric arrangements with synth and samples orbiting 'round makes for a sound that is familiar yet also seizes on the idea that something different is playing. The haunting sound of "Run Up The Walls" recalls Trespassers William while the dark vocals on "A Scribble" evoke comparisons to David Bazan. "Flowers" opens the shades with sunnier acoustic strumming while a violin lifts the spirits further, giving room for Means to sing, "I've been around this town now for so long."

No matter how you classify the sound, The Sound They Make showcases a band carving their own aural niche, becoming comfortable in their own skin. The final lines of the song "Outside" find New Ruins singing, "I'm just getting started," and that's definitely one thing that everyone can agree upon.

Reviewed by Matt Conner
A contributing writer, Matt Conner lives in Anderson, Indiana.

See other reviews by Matt Conner

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