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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
Dead Media
Too Pure Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
I'm kind of a sucker for bands that evolve with time, and, in that sense, Hefner does not disappoint in their latest release. Dead Media marks quite a change in their sound since We Love the City. It's a new "synthesizer led Hefner," and its not bad.

This time around, the band mixes some of their old attributes like clever lyrics with an electronic inspiration. Using a digital eight-track, valve compressor, and some pretty good microphones, the members of Hefner opted for a slight step down from their last, super-produced record.

The opening few seconds of the first song, the title track, kind of sets the mood for the rest of the album. Those first few seconds sound like the start of a video game and could lead into something that could be either really good or really awful. At first, I decided it was the latter. This morning, I thought it was somewhere in between. Now I think I'm leaning towards the former.

Dead Media features a distinct variety between most of its songs, and influences are numerous, including Mouse on Mars and Kraftwerk. More often than not, though, the band sounds a lot like Blur, and I think at these times, for the most part, they actually sound their best, especially in "Trouble Kid" (my favorite on the album). Unfortunately, not all songs are as good as "Trouble Kid," though. "Alan Bean" features truly awful vocals, and I'd say the worst songs on Dead Media tend to be the slower ones like "Junk" and "Dead Media."

I'm not positive whether or not Hefner has made a change for better or worse, but I am leaning towards better. The fact that they are changing, at least, is a good thing anyway.

Reviewed by Jeanette Samyn
A contributing writer for LAS and a former music director WBAR at Barnard College.

See other reviews by Jeanette Samyn



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