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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
Plink
The Sleeping Lines
Wordclock Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Plink's icy electronica is so cold you can practically see singer Kate Cronin's breath coming off the group's emotionally distant debut CD, The Sleeping Lines. Arctic floes of synthesized sound drift past a voice that sounds like it was dipped in liquid nitrogen and programmed beats are delivered with calculated precision. The result is music that's both hauntingly beautiful and bloodless.

Over the course of 15 months, Plink's Scott Evans and Brad Derrick composed The Sleeping Lines by sending computer files to each other over the Internet. Perhaps it's this long-distance relationship that contributes to the record's sterile environment. Cronin's lovely, ethereal voice tries to breathe life into some of the more comatose tracks, like dead zones "Turning Around" and "Frame", but falls short. It's not her fault.

Before joining Evans and Derrick, Cronin sang with some of the Washington D.C. area's preeminent choral ensembles, and her experience shows. When "Undo" crescendos, she soars with it. On the almost jazzy, remembrance piece "Mary Antonita" she sounds appropriately fragile and lost. Unfortunately, she's also called upon to deliver inane spoken word pieces in "Frame" and "Thanks For Coming" that could have been lifted from some trashy, gothic romance novel. Nevertheless, Cronin's talent is unmistakable. Sounding like a witch's brew of Portishead's Beth Gibbons, Sarah McLachlan, Dido and Enya, her spellbinding vocal inflections add glowing nuance to pieces that are emotionally remote.

The pace of The Sleeping Lines is mostly glacial, but there are moments when it shifts and becomes cinematic in scope, adding simulated strings and piano for sonic depth. The noir-ish "Remade" sounds like Portishead. Elsewhere, dark, spiraling masses of electronica take listeners on a trip through space. Just remember to bundle up when playing The Sleeping Lines. Otherwise, you just might catch your death of cold.

Reviewed by Peter Lindblad
Peter Lindblad lives in Appleton, Wis., and bleeds green and gold just like all the Packer fan nutjobs in the area. He does draw the line at wearing blocks of chedder on his head, or any other body parts for that matter, though. His professional career has taken weird twists and turns that have led him to his current position as an editor at a coin magazine. He hopes his stay there will be a short one. Before that, he worked as an associate editor at a log home magazine. To anyone that will listen, he\'ll swear that Shiner was one of the greatest rock bands to ever walk the earth. Yet he also has much love for Superchunk, Spoon, DJ Shadow, Swervedriver, Wilco, Fugazi, Jawbox, ... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Modest Mouse, among others.

See other reviews by Peter Lindblad

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