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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
Ivory Coast
Clouds
Polyvinyl Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Following what I've heard of The Rush of Oncoming Traffic, I was more than skeptical about the Ivory Coast's follow up, Clouds. It could have been because I was anticipating a mediocre album at best and Clouds was a little better than my expectations that I like it. The other possibility, however, is that The Ivory Coast has become a better, less ponderous band, which, hopefully for them, is what happened. For whatever the reason, I found Clouds to be a decent release.

According to Polyvinyl Record Co, though The Ivory Coast consists of "five individuals with significantly varying (and often opposing) views and tastes (musically and otherwise)ů the band's music is not an awkward hybrid or amalgamation of their differing tastes orůmusical forms but perhaps instead it is the result of where their shared interests overlap and their instincts meet." Apparently so, since with the list of different music Polyvinyl gives that the differing members of the quintet enjoy, including "punk, oldies radio, lo-fi, dub, indie, electronic music, and rock n' roll," the band does, in fact, hold together quite well. There are obvious points in Clouds where certain genres shine through over others, but not in such a way the album seems choppy. This is a well put together emo/punk/lo-fi/indie album. And don't get scared by the emo part first. Its really not that bad on this album.

The record opens with Mahmood Shaikh beating his drums in an almost violent way, giving way to Jay Cox's vocals, which are nothing incredible at this point, despite the fact his voice is pretty good in other songs. This first song, "Lake Placid 1986" continues by slowing down slightly, then speeding up, then repeating the pattern once more to the point you think the song is over. It isn't, of course. It slows down to a relaxing drone, not really necessary but useful in making a smooth transition to "Five Little Graves," one of the slowest songs on the album. The Ivory Coast makes some skillful transitions between some of their songs, which without good changeovers would verge on being inappropriately placed. The songs are all relatively short, for the most part, except for "Sixty Five Percent" and the last song, especially, "There Will Be Clouds" what Polyvinyl calls "a three minute pop song (disintegrating) into an atmospheric deconstruction of the simple five-note melody that is transformed as the band members react to each other's improvisations." It goes on for almost fifteen minutes but, honestly, is really repetitive and tiresome towards the end.

The Ivory Coast has been compared to Braid, Karate, Jets to Brazil, the Promise Ring, Get Up Kids, and Superchunk. They sound kind a lot like Jimmy Eat World on "Five Little Graves." Their similarity in sound to Jets to Brazil throughout the album might be attributed to their "friendship" with the band. They have played with them, Silkworm, Girls Against Boys, Sweep the Leg Johnny, The Dismemberment Plan, Karate, The Wicked Farleys, and Pele in what Polyvinyl Records call a "loud and sweaty live act." They are definitely the type of band I'd be interested in seeing live. They're good and not emo in any sort of annoying way, which is always nice.

Reviewed by Jeanette Samyn
A contributing writer for LAS and a former music director WBAR at Barnard College.

See other reviews by Jeanette Samyn

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