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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
Reubens Accomplice
The Bull, The Balloon, and the Family
Western Tread Records

Rating: 7/10 ?

October 1, 2004
This is the desolate desert. A lone cactus stands, each of its needles highlighted in the rays of a descending fireball. The setting falls privy to the perfect Western stereotype. It's a harsh place, but could easily become the next indie pop breeding ground.

At least Reuben's Accomplice, flagship band for Jim Adkins' (Jimmy Eat World) Western Tread label, would like you to think so. On their latest release The Bull, The Balloon, and the Family, the duo of Jeff Bufano and Chris Corak offer up a thirteen-track mixture of western indie pop. No doubt many a Jimmy Eat World fan will snap up the Adkins co-produced disc, but they'll certainly be in for a surprise. Obvious are the common influences shared by the two bands, but Reuben's Accomplice lack the streamlined pop-sensibilities of Adkins and the gang.

However, that's hardly a disadvantage. Like its predecessor, I Blame the Scenery, the new disc may take a little while to fall for, but when you do, you fall hard.

"All Chorus," contrary to its title, progresses through various tempos filled with uncertainty, and ends on a spectacularly epic note, desperately calling out, "Our love could surely destroy the earth." If nothing else on this disc hooks you, that song should.

The taste of Guided By Voices lingers in my mouth after listening to "Big Apple, Small Heart," the disc opener. Howe Gelb adds growling guest vocals to the darker edged and forlorn account of "Tonight We Drink."

This disc is mostly a lo-fi endeavor, but Adkins' crisp production is still identifiable in vocal layering and approaches to rhythm. The Bull, The Balloon, and the Family sounds indie, but at the same time doesn't feel muffled or dusty. The co-production efforts of Adkins and Reuben's Accomplice combine perfectly at a point between power pop and indie rock.

The Wild West may not seem the ideal place to foster brilliant indie rock, but Ruben's Accomplice proves that it certainly can be. And there's no bull about it.

Reviewed by Natalie B. David
A fresh graduate of the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia, in her spare time she can be found clumsily manipulating words and phrases for LAS and Beautiful/Decay magazine, hungering for sushi, naming inanimate objects or pondering the existence of stiletto heels. If you see her, you should buy her a cup of coffee because, chances are, she probably needs it.

See other reviews by Natalie B. David



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