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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
120 Days
120 Days

Rating: 8/10 ?

November 10, 2006
I was initially disappointed with 120 Days, not really catching on to their slow burning appeal until the second listen. I think my disappointment may have come from the band's ambitious name, derived from an unfinished tale by Marquis de Sade, "120 Days of Sodom." Sade's infamous tale of pedophilia spawned Salo, the film reputed to be the most perverse piece of cinema ever made. With that as a reference point, 120 Days, the band, do not live up to the absolute psychosexual madness implied in their moniker. Instead, the band proceeds to calmly douse everything in sonic rubbing alcohol and then light a match.

Things kick off with the smoky "Come Out (Come Down, Fade Out, Be Gone)" beginning in a low-pitched hum, which seems to be an ever-present throughout the remainder of 120 Days. Repetitive, washing keys meet with a thudding drum machine to make "Come Out…" ridiculously catchy. The shoegaze aesthetic is here; blended nicely with the industrial precision of Neu! and Kraftwerk. This is an album intentionally targeted toward fans of Berlin-era Bowie.

On 120 Days lead singer Adne Meisfjord steps away from the Julian Casablancas pose that was so apparent on the band's previous EPs, instead heading back into the band and allowing his vocals to become more of a rhythmic tool. Rather than attempting to croon over the drone, Meisfjord is content with placing his impassioned pleas deep into the mix. This is an intelligent move because, lyrically speaking, 120 Days really blow. As evidence I offer the middle school poetics of "Lazy Eyes": "Looking for something new/ I got too much time/ and I can't think of anything to do." Meisfjord seems to take himself very seriously and as a result some of his amateur lyrics, sung so passionately, add a corny element to an otherwise excellent performance.

Despite the minor lyrical missteps, this is an album worth hearing. From the aggressive thrash of "Get Away" to the pastoral calm of "Sleepless Nights #3," 120 Days have created a chilly soundtrack to a night out in any seedy European club. Unlike their namesake, 120 Days are not into bellicose kidnappings and molestation. Instead, the grooves and distortion on this self-titled, self-produced album offer a slow seduction that will overtake even the most jaded music lover.

Reviewed by Jon Burke
A contributing writer and a Chicago resident who will not be goaded by LAS’s editor into revealing any more details about his potentially sordid affairs.

See other reviews by Jon Burke



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