» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » 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]


 » 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
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
The Deadly Syndrome
The Ortolan
Dim Mak

Rating: 8/10 ?

September 17, 2007
Genres can be a funny thing - you can split them or combine them and make up sub-genres, and you can even invent new ones from scratch. Go ahead, try it. Spread the word amongst your friends that Neutral Milk Hotel should be filed under 'trailer park-incest-folk' and see if it catches on. For the Deadly Syndrome, an LA four piece not inspired by Anne Frank and synthetic flying machines but rather influenced by the pop stylings of the Beatles, the folky tones of Nick Drake, and the more indie tastes of bands like Travis, a genre of 'indie-folk-pop' - or as I like to call it, IndOlkOp - would be aptly descriptive. If one were to pick through The Ortolan with a finer comb even more diverse acts would come to mind, but we should try to keep these newfangled genre tags concise.

The Ortolan is the Deadly Syndromes first offering, and it isn't half bad. A nice little collection of 13 songs in which one can hear the above mentioned influences very clearly, there is also a big amount of originality to The Ortolan's tracks. Vocalist Chris Richards has a warm voice, and his delivery makes the songs feel instantly at home on the speakers. The album's welcoming feeling is furthered by its nice mix of tempos; when The Ortolan starts to slow down a tad too much the band is right there to kick up the tempo a notch, keeping things fresh and satisfying and never boring.

Its smooth genre blending and intuitive cadence shifts aside, The Ortolan is completely free of hits. Like a druggy high that abruptly dissipates, thirty minutes after listening to The Ortolan none of its melodies linger. This is a truly out-of-ear, out-of-mind experience, which is disappointing since when it is on The Ortolan is on, but when it is not it is gone, a predicament that will certainly not favor strong airplay or strong album sales. Double shame since the Deadly Syndrome's debut effort is genuinely solid and sounds as if the band has loads of good tunes in them just waiting to come out. This is a band that would truly deserve a barnstorming, catchy-as-hell web2.0 superhit and all the recognition that comes with it, but there is nary a barnstorming, catchy-as-hell web2.0 superhit to be found.

Of its thirteen tracks, "I Hope I Become A Ghost" is one of The Ortolan's strongest numbers, capturing the Deadly Syndrome in a nutshell: great songwriting, awesome vocals, and a melody that is hard to recall later in the day, or the hour for that matter. Seriously, the Deadly Syndrome needs to find just one ultra-catchy tune stuffed up in their hats; they deserve it, and the world deserves it. Without some sort of feeding frenzy there might not be a second album for the Deadly Syndrome, even though The Ortolan is so very solid.

Reviewed by Daniel Svanberg
A contributing writer for LAS, Daniel Svanberg now lives in Boston, far far away from Sweden, where he once lived, although the weather is the same.

See other reviews by Daniel Svanberg



If you'd like to help spread the word about LAS, or simply want to outfit yourself with some adhesive coolness, our 4" circle LAS stickers are sure to hit the spot, and here is how to get them:

--> Send an with $2 in PayPal funds to cover postage. Don't worry, we'll load you up with enough to cover your town. Then just be patient. They will arrive soon.


LAS has staff and freelance writers spread across North and South America, Europe, and a few in Southeast Asia as well. As such, we have no central mailing adress for unsolicited promotional material. If you are interested in having your project considered for coverage, please contact us before sending any promotional materials - save yourself time and postage!