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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » 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]

MUSIC

 » 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
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Electro Group
Ummo
Omnibus Records

Rating: 7.5/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Until Lost in Translation came along, it had been a little while since I had really given much thought to shoegaze and psychedelic rock. Let's face it - the genre really saw its heyday come to a close sometime in the early nineties, and there had been so many new and different sounds, bands and genres to grab my attention since then. Maybe every once in a while I'd pop one of the old ones in, a little My Bloody Valentine here, a little Jesus and Mary Chain there, or maybe I'd even hear some new band with a decent record in that vein. But it never seemed like there were particularly new depths to mine in that area of the musical ocean.

That is, like I said, until Lost in Translation came along. Something about the way Kevin Shields made that classic shoegaze/psychedelic sound fit absolutely perfectly in the context of a very modern love story made the whole genre incredibly compelling again. It wasn't just the old tunes, either; the new songs Shields did for the film were also really outstanding. Listening to it all, there was something in me that screamed "now THAT'S what I'm talking about."

The bottom line was, I needed more. It wasn't going to be enough just to put on the old albums again. But were there still bands putting out new music in this genre? More importantly, was the music worth listening to, and not just some empty attempt at My Bloody Valentine mimicry?

Luckily, Electro Group answers these questions in the affirmative. Their new EP, Ummo, is a refreshingly solid entry into this genre, and an excellent follow up to their first album, the highly enjoyable A New Pacifica. This Northern California group brings the shoegaze goods, its seven songs filled with plenty of feedback and layered guitars. While there's admittedly nothing here that will redefine the genre and move it forward for the next ten years or anything in that magnitude, there is also nothing here that is repetitive or fails to be repeatedly listenable.

If, like me, watching Lost in Translation stirred up your shoegaze passions again and sent you once again down the psychedelic road looking for fellow musical travelers, you would be well served to seek out this excellent EP.

Reviewed by Dan Filowitz
Dan Filowitz is Toronto-born, New-Jersey-raised, Indiana-University-educated, and Chicago-residing. In addition to his Lost At Sea contributions, Dan is a senior staff writer for political humor site TalkStation.com and the president of ChicagoImprovAnarchy (The CIA) a Chicago-based improv theatre company. We are not mentioning the 9-5 corporate job. Apparently, Dan does not sleep much. Dan Filowitz is the perfect dinner party guest - fun, witty, intelligent, with wide-ranging interests, ecclectic tastes and a winning smile. Just make sure you have coffee available.

See other reviews by Dan Filowitz

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