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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
Boxing
Dig the Final Time
RBCA Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Guided by Voices catapulted to popularity in the early 90's almost exclusively on their ability to write a hook and then bury it in between segments of songs and under bad recording. This formula was instantly repeated over and over again by thousands of working class heroes with the old four track in the garage. Well after thousands of sound a like bands, the novelty is bound to wear off on people. Well maybe on most people, but there are some people who can never get or give enough of this music. Boxing seem like they might be these people. Their music certainly reflects it. Their CD cover reflects it. Hell, even their press reflects it. They sent a personalized (it was addressed to Lost at Sea) thank-you signed by the lead singer.

I must say there is something to be said about the underproduction of bands that write catchy-as-hell music. Otherwise it just sounds manufactured and not too many steps away from the machine. These fellas can write some songs (and much like GBV, they also have the ability to not quite write songs too), so they are already pretty far ahead of the competition. The first song, "Good Company" just keeps growing on you with each listen, despite its simplicity. Although it may not be a conscious decision to leave the mistakes, the music sounds better for it. I mean no one is going to mistake the guitar playing for Steve Vai and I suspect, like most musicians it is bound to improve, so the occasional flub is endearing. "jaw drops out" is almost all GBV even down to the London by way of Dayton by way of Nashville vocals. The lyrics to this song are excellent, quite to my surprise. "Golden Calves (holy Moses)" doesn't quite have the gumption I think it is supposed, but it is a pretty good song and the inclusion of a flute gives it an ethereal feel, something I did not expect from this band.

I know that I said earlier that leaving the mistakes in the mix was a good move, but leaving some of the songs in the album was a bad move. Songs like "Snacks" are drawn out and the crooked guitar solo would not end soon enough. "Saves 9" contains the lyrics "its worth the waiting though it's taking really long" which aren't true of the song. The album seems to fizzle at the end. Maybe I just didn't like the songs at the end because by the time I listened to the nineteen songs, I couldn't take it anymore. I would say that despite this CD only clocking in at 39 plus minutes, many of the songs did not deserve to make the cut. This band would help itself by concentrating on finishing the good hooks and melodies and making fully realized songs out of them.

These CDs are apparently only five dollars, so if you are into lazy, but good acoustic plus fuzz pop, you should definitely send away for this CD. It flies far above mediocre. However, if you are just a marginal fan of this type of music you might want to wait until the playing catches up to the hook writing.

Reviewed by John Steinbacher
The last we heard, Steinbacher was living in Minneapolis.

See other reviews by John Steinbacher

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