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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
A Gun Called Tension
A Gun Called Tension
Cold Crush Records

Rating: 6.5/10 ?

April 25, 2005
Guys join bands, guys leave bands, guys meet up in bars, guys decide to embark upon projects that may sound better over a couple of beers than they do in actuation, but guys like to make records. And why not - especially when it's not some one-off side project that sounds pretty much exactly like their main bands (looking at you Mr. Dave "Headphones" Bazan, though your music is still kickin' ass even when you're using synths instead of guitars).

Dann Galluci, formerly of Murder City Devils and now lucky-motherfucker new member of Modest Mouse, and Sean Reveron (Beta Band, Exodus 77, Free Association) met up in a bar in Seattle and the sparks flew, the love-fest ensued and the two decided to work together on a post-punk-cum-hip-hop project.

There are several really excellent moments here, but overall the record fails to reach the lofty goals it must have been based on due to some cheesy production choices (someone recently remarked that it sounds like the Reason soundbank on display, but I can't verify this) and some so-so rhyming.

Let's start with the good. "Treason," one of the two best tracks on the record, gives us the inimitable and always charmingly gruff Spencer Moody late of Murder City Devils on guest vocals, over spare bass and guitar stabs and fellow former-MCD'er Coady Willis' competent drumming. Moody's newest band, Smoke and Smoke, could pound this song right into the pavement with their hands tied behind their backs.

Still, Reveron's vocals tend to hold up better in juxtaposition to someone else's throughout the course of the record. The next song furthers the theorem: "Electric Chair" is a nice mid-tempo drum machine excursion featuring Andrea Zollo (Pretty Girls Make Graves) singing in unison with Reveron. "Document" is another track on the hot list, with an early-Cure sound and distorted Ministry-style vocals.

The rest of the album focuses more on the hip-hop and dub part of the equation. "Gold Fronts," which features Blood Brother Morgan Henderson offering some vocal talent over a drum beat that sounds like a Pornography outtake as Reveron sing-raps his way through. While "Interview" offers a more straightforward hip-hop approach, and "Foundation" features the great Supercat, if I'm reading the liner notes correctly, the best moment in this section of sound on the record comes with the Airborne Audio remix of "Thelonious," a song which appears in much lesser form just two tracks before this remix.

You can't blame a band for trying, and while the album fails as a cohesive and sharp sounding endeavor all the way through, it certainly showcases a creative effort that can't be faulted. Definitely sounding like no other released yet this year (even if the Reason accusations are true), A Gun Called Tension isn't just punk and indie rockers trying to floss streetwise.

Reviewed by Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other reviews by Jonah Flicker



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