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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
Camden
Reel Time Canvas
Grand Theft Autumn

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Sometimes I make hasty decisions, and sometimes those first impressions are very hard to get over. At first listen Camden are extremely pretentious, almost insultingly so. This feels very devised at first, and that contrived feeling is hard to shake. I cringed through several times listening to this record, the over sanguine vocals tingling on my neck like rusty nails through the bottom of a coffee can. If I were a lesser man, especially having been there before, I wouldn't have made it any further. Fortunately, a man of mettle, I pressed on through several repeated listens to find something resting under the surface - rock. Beautiful, glistening rock. The more I listened, the more I remembered the parts of their EP I had liked and the more I forgot the parts I hadn't. This is distinctly, obviously the same band, but somehow completely different. What wonders time can weave into our lives. My mind has been thoroughly changed about Camden.

I'm sure I won't be the only one to accuse William Siedel of using lyrics that accommodate his ability to play Mariah Carey, but they are simply not fit to be reprinted and still remain the most glaring target for people to point their wagging fingers at Camden and roll their eyes. A rundown of the opening track lyricisms: Arms? Just about every bad emo song ever. Guards? At the Drive-In. Bandages? Sheets? Cursive. Diary? Don't get me started.

After the stomach churning lyrics, this album is great sailing, a sleek ship on a sea of post-rock amalgamation. Camden reference everything from Pink Floyd and Radiohead ("The Sacred 70s, The Aching 80s") to Queensryche ("Is Our Face Red") to Pure ("Not Without Your Blessing") and back again. Eclectic prog-emo-space-trip-rock that blurs every line it crosses like Ted Kennedy crossing a bridge. "You Seem Capable" calls out to me from memory while driving down the street, "Of Course I'd Try To Save You" plants a desire in my diaphragm to sing notes I could never ever reach to lovers I will never have. "How To Make America Proud" feels like waking up from a hard sleep, drunk on red wine and floating in that space where, for a few seconds, dreams are extended into waking moments and we cannot make out the shapes in the half light, confused over the lives we are living and unable to tell what is real and what is illusion.

The vocals take time to lose their offense, the lyrics are terrible, but the key to Camden is the feeling, and the feeling is on. From the lead in of distorted snare beats and cymbal crashes through the closing notes of "Darling, Applaud" the off kilter production and effects (courtesy of Death Cab For Cutie's Chris Walla) take center stage and ultimately full credit for making this album work so well. This record will definitely grow on you, taking root like ivy in your player. I've been listening to it for a week straight with no end in sight.

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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