» 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
Make Believe
Shock of Being

Rating: 7.5/10 ?

November 16, 2005
Ever since Cap'n Jazz broke up, Tim Kinsella(s) appeared to be at something of a loose end. If not breaking records in word-acrobatics with Joan of Arc or pushing boundaries in unlistenability with Friend/Enemy, he was an example of one individual's ability to polarize: with time, his devotees' love grew exponentially, and his adversaries grew to, well, despise him (only now do I recognize that Friend/Enemy is such an apt name).

In spite of this, the core that Kinsella provided to each multifaceted body has remained unique; love him or hate him, no one could deny that his presence has always been instantly recognizable and, for the most part, has made (or broken, depending on your opinion) every band he has been a part of.

Last year's emergence of Make Believe and their eponymous EP offered a somewhat apprehensive audience the promise of a band with stability. Yet, a year on and we hold with Shock of Being, a relatively consistent record free of ridiculous Queen remixes and three minute long children's tape recordings.

Shock of Being delivers the material for which the EP provided a taster. Make Believe offer the same awkward, coiling rhythms that made Owls tick, only with sufficient room for rocking-out - a foray, it seems, can provide a much-needed outlet for some built-up impulses. "Amscaredica" is Make Believe's most explosive moment: Kinsella's barely-in-key shrieks are as inevitable as Christmas and, when accompanied by Sam Zurick's quirky fretwork, is suited to mock the indie-rock norm. The bouncy "Say What You Mean" showcases the most extreme of Kinsella's phlegm-producing exercises of the throat, while "Television Cemetry" works as Shock of Being's most straight-forward and introverted offering.

Kinsella's goofiness reaches a peak during "One Zero": "One is so much more than none than 2 could ever be to one." That said, the same track contains the lyric, "You've got that I'm-Archduke-Ferdinand-and-I-just-got-shot face on." My personal favourite is "Someone's taught the cat to moonwalk/and it's become a real show-off." Make of that what you will.

Inherent craziness aside, Shock of Being fuses the most cohesive dimensions of Cap'n Jazz, Owls, Joan of Arc and Ghosts & Vodka. While it may not sit quite so deeply within the hearts won over by Cap'n Jazz or Owls, it offers the consistency and coherence that the aforementioned outfits could not, and thus, may emerge as the album that devotees always wished they would record.

Reviewed by Mike Wright
A staff writer based in London, England, Mike Wright is eternally troubled by the American bastardization of the English language.

See other reviews by Mike Wright



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