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 » 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.
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 » 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!
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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 Mighty Rime
The Mighty Rime
Caulfield Records

Rating: 8.8/10 ?

October 17, 2002
Some people traverse life on the path of discovery, in an ambling fashion that pays homage to Hunter S. Thompson as well as Norman MacLean and Jack Kerouac. Some people just go with the flow, wherever it takes them, and Kerry McDonald seems to be one of those people. After helping to pioneer the Midwest's emo/post-punk movement, McDonald's former band, Christie Front Drive, broke up. His band mates went on to form Antarctica and the Blue Ontario, but rather than becoming another musical splinter from the stake of Christie Front Drive, McDonald headed into the interior to do some fly fishing. After years away from the road and recording studio, McDonald recently resurfaced in Nashville, Tennessee, under the guise of the Mighty Rime.

The Might Rime shares a lot of the same aesthetic values with the coterie of Elephant 6 bands in that there is a powder of Beatles/Beach Boys psychedelic sugar coating much of the material. But that is only a portion of the vague concoction uncorked by the Mighty Rime, who throw a lot of sounds into a jumbled mess that one might catalog as post-folk-pop. For all of the sugary bits of pop on this album there are plenty of moments with eerie organ, echoing percussion, surf-inspired guitar reverberations, rich acoustic strumming and, during the washed-out kernel of some of the songs, buried under the distortion, eclectic percussion, horns, keys and harmonica, you'll find the occasional spacey slow core jam. You'll have to dig pretty deep to really pick up on the Christie Front Drive bloodlines, but if you obsess over the details of the Experimental Lo-Fi Neo-Psychedelic Indie Rock long enough, they'll start to wink at you.

The Mighty Rime deliver spooky, roots-pop twisted up in all directions, a back-porch orchestra somewhat reminiscent of Neutral Milk Hotel, or the noisier moments of Built to Spill as churned out on an acoustic guitar and a kettle drum. The songs bounce around as if strapped into a ride through a hallucinogenic carnival, a trippy, post-depression plunge down the rabbit hole. The obtuse instrumental sessions are intimidating enough, but when you add McDonald's shrill vocals it's akin to cracking open a case of whip-its during a costume ball dream sequence. The percussion pounds like a heard of dusty, dull-tusked elephants as the organs cast a nervous pall. Toy pianos, harmonicas and brass flitter about beneath the stage skirting as the guitar and bass joust like greased-up acrobats above. The songs on The Might Rime shift moods, sometimes violently, from soaring to sulking and back again in an instant. The classic battle of downers versus uppers, the songs bounce, rattle, squawk and hiss. The album plays like the soundtrack to Doctor Gonzo, as the grand marshal in a vaudevillian caravan, rolling into turn-of-the-century Atlanta.

When the Mighty Rime hit the studio to record this ambitious debut they stuck the Apples In Stereo's Robert Schneider behind the board, and a lot of the Elephant 6 charm and pixie dust seems to have rubbed off on The Might Rime. When it is all said and done, this is an excellent and somewhat surprising tale of eight tracks like "Aviary Aviator" that are both brash elegant, buzzing with amplification and grounded in colorful, organic instrumentation.

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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