» 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
A Hundred Patterns
Microindie Records

Rating: 7.5/10 ?

January 24, 2005
You know those people who, at an office birthday party, grab a hunk of cake and leave the icing on the plate because it's "too sweet"? Well, I'm not one of them, but I can sympathize when it comes to a preliminary taste of the Icicles. The cake may be Heavenly (or even Marine Research), sweet enough as it is, and the Icicles are the icing - when you take a big bite, it's just too much.

To their credit, there is never a bite so large that we have to leave them behind. The band can be proud that they sound so much like Heavenly and Marine Research - both beloved and well-respected outfits, as history can attest - and as such, they should feel glad to pull off a similar, whimsical charm quite frequently. However, as those bands dodged nimbly to avoid a cloying tendency, the Icicles are baited right toward it on certain tracks. For those who see A Hundred Patterns as ooey-gooey and sickly sweet, it could definitely give you a stomachache.

There are some close calls - as the opener, "Rock n' Roll Girl" begins, we feel as if we've been pulled into a twee doo-wop number, and it's actually nice in its dreamy, breezy little way. Then, the track picks up, attacking with Cute Rays of indelible sugar-pop, and when you can't get it out of your head, it seems more of a punishment than a reward. Likewise, if you say "Dressy Bessy" or "The Murmurs" within certain indie rock circles, you'll force a reflexive reaction - there are people that just don't like those bands, and goodness knows they won't care for the Icicles either.

Once you get past that initial fear, however, and settle in, A Hundred Patterns is inspired - the band is thankfully aware of the twee-fearing phenomenon; there are more tracks on A Hundred Patterns to love than to shun away. When they take down their cheery, staged persona and move toward introspective ballads ("Sunday Song"), lazier surf mentalities ("Ralphy Rodriguez"), slow, dulcet introspection ("Pretty") and bittersweet jangle-pop ("Porch Swing"), they show they are capable of being diverse, but also of noting their own limitations and impressions. Yes, the icing would be too much to swallow, but luckily, it's not layered on too thickly. A Hundred Patterns is meant to be sweet, but it's not so saccharine it can't be digested.

As the Icicles become more and more aware of their audience's tolerances, and veer closer and closer to creating their own rendition of "Starshy," they'll continue to remind us of how relevant C86 once was, and could still be - and that is, most definitely, good news for sweet teeth.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters



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