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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
Aeffect
A Short Dream
Fueled by Ramen

Rating: 6/10 ?


October 8, 2001
My relationship with Depeche Mode has, over the years, mirrored my relationships with nations and women. Those relationships can best be described as "on again, off again", and so could my relationship with Andrew Fletcher and company. The first time I remember really getting into Depeche Mode was right before I sank into my "anti-keyboard" phase (don't ask), around the time of the 8th grade or so. My interest in the band rose and fell over the years following, most usually in sync with my infatuations with the various girls I would stumble upon when living in Europe. I thought I'd put the demons to rest for good, having shrugged off the black velvet cape for a good number of years, when I found myself humming "Enjoy the Silence" on a long train ride back home from a weekend in Berlin. Women love their Depeche Mode, and guys like me love their women.

I've since settled down and, I think, finally sworn off the allure of cold industrial keyboard tones. Life's been good thus far, and I've been keeping my days full of droning guitars and the occasional Neptunes-produced R&B track to spice it up. I can't say I've been tempted to fall back into my old, dark ways for some time. Not even the Faint's tooling on Danse Macabre really sparked an interest for me, to be honest.

I suppose every junky has a moment, especially the ones who have a history of lapsing. My moment came about an hour and a half ago, the first time I put the Aeffect's A Short Dream into the E: drive on my office computer. The CD player booted up automatically and, not 10 second into "Oh You Didn't Say", I had flashbacks from hell. The insensate notes of Violator were crawling up my spine, digging into my skin like so many pin pricks of icy precision. There may be no going back now.

The Aeffect may lack the dark, psychotic and sexual overtones that dominated Martin Gore's compositions a decade ago, but the cold, calculated mechanical beats are cut from the very same cloth. Or, rather, pressed from the same mold. Most of the beats are perversely simplistic for the weight they carry, and Aaron Feibus' vocals are both overpoweringly masculine and somehow androgynous at the same time, conveying an almost cathedral like spaciousness.

The album lists Feibus as vocalist, Steven Kramer as the party responsible for keyboards, and Brad Bulifant as the drummer, but I honestly can't pick out more than a handful of organic beats on the bulk of the album, not so much as a snare ringing out clearly.

While the bulk of this album is polished aluminum fast fashion that smacks of the very bouncy dance-pop that made Depeche Mode what they were, the two oddball, warmer organic piano-based songs seem, after repeated listens, to stand out the most, despite being somewhat of a contradiction to the cold mechanical tones of the remainder of the album.

This EP is made up of only six songs, the four electronic numbers eventually all running together in a blur. It'll be interesting to see where this project goes from here, or not.

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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