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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
Dirty on Purpose
Hallelujah Sirens
North Street

Rating: 6/10 ?


June 5, 2006
Technically speaking, this isn't a sophomore slump. That dreaded phrase is generally reserved for a group's second full length album, and Dirty On Purpose have previously released only a single EP. No matter what term you use, DOP has lost some of the magic that made their first offering, the group's 2005's debut EP, Sleep Late For a Better Tomorrow, so special.

The group hails from the ground zero of hip, Brooklyn, and besides having a silly name (Dirty on Porpoise, anyone?) have earned a reputation for crafting rock with healthy amounts of fuzz and shimmering guitars.

In that respect not much has changed. Each song on Hallelujah Sirens uses liberal amounts of washed-out aesthetics that would please any shoegaze revivalist. This approach is combined with the layered melodies of a Yo La Tengo and the melancholy nature of, say, Seam.

One of the group's strengths is writing songs that build slowly until it bursts into a cacophony of beautiful noise. The voices of the group's multiple vocalists (including guest female vocalist Brooklyn singer/ songwriter Jaymay) are mixed together to create a pleasing, almost ethereal atmosphere.

This quality is best represented is on album standouts "Your Summer Dress" and "Always Looking". The former is a delicate, pretty song that features some captivating vocal harmonies, and builds to a crescendo of crunched-out guitars with feedback. They are the kind of songs that are so dense you feel you could get lost in them, and that is indeed a very good thing.

These occasional spots of brilliance are more often surrounded by some clunkers. The opener "No Radio", "Lake Effect" and "Car No Driver" come to mind. The latter song is one of the heaviest the group has ever written, and the guiltiest of a trait all three songs share: annoying vocals. Doug Marvin, who takes lead vocal duties on nearly every song, has a unique and somewhat high singing voice, and while it works well with some songs, on these three the vocals are particularly grating and difficult.

Hallelujah Sirens is not a particularly bad debut album but it's just not consistently captivating. Call it a case of un-reached potential but Hallelujah Sirens presents two sides of a band: occasionally brilliant, but more often merely passable.

Reviewed by Dan Williams
A staff writer based in Brooklyn, New York, Dan Williams is a frequent contributor to LAS magazine. He once lived in Köln, Germany for a semester, is currently persuing his MBA in New York, and recently switched sides and began working as a publicist for Special Ops Media in New York.

See other reviews by Dan Williams

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