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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
Vox Vermillion
Standing Still You Move Forward
Women Records

Rating: 3/10 ?


August 8, 2005
Standing Still You Move Forward is the second release from backpacker hip-hoppers Slug and Murs' alt rock imprint; it seems as though the two men have a keen ear for music that participates in another genre but matches their own on emotional and intellectual levels.

Vox Vermillion have the production values and outward signifiers that fit under the broad label of indie rock: the instruments sound crisp and slightly raw, they eschew guitars in favor of piano and cello (gotta be "different," you know) and the songs abandon radio-friendly tropes for never-ending five minute mini-epics, chock full of cerebral counterpoint and interplay.

This foursome never quite manages to transcend alt rock norms, however. Their songs aren't melodic in the same sense that MTV hits are, but they aren't significantly different either - they just spend more time beating around the bush instrumentally; their verses meander a bit more and their choruses aren't quite as obvious. Interpol and The Cure behave similarly in their less successful songs.

Lyrically, Vox Vermillion also tow the line of contrived "difference" from, and actual similarity to, generic rock acts. Kelsey Crawford's narratives rake through her inner muck, reveling in every scar they find. Her stories contrast X Radio's hyper-masculine vagaries with their lurid details, but they also play right into angry suburbanite clichés: "I don't want to die, to be the next in line/Just give me back a normal life." Her delivery lacks removal, restraint or an artist's touch; instead, she bludgeons the listener with overwrought emotion like The Dresden Dolls on a bad day.

The sad truth of it all is that none of Vox Vermillion's aesthetic choices are wrong in and of themselves - they're really just surfaces after all… The band falters in trying to be two bands at once. They want accessibility, immediate appeal and teenage catharsis along with their creeping death technicality, standoffish sterility and searching lyricism. They won't embrace their inner rock stars, nor will they explore the darker, more difficult recesses of their personalities.

Reviewed by Phillip Buchan
A one-time music director at WUOG in Athens, Phillip is into college radio, literature, writing, buying records, going to shows, talking to friends, learning -- pretty much the same stuff that all of us priveledged, (pseudo?)intellectual Americans are into.

See other reviews by Phillip Buchan

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