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 » 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
Aloha
Some Echoes
Polyvinyl

Rating: 8/10 ?


April 7, 2006
From the instant an unstoppable snare rattles Some Echoes to life, we feel the tension. Spirits and shadows of uneasy voices harmonize in chilly tune and a frightening fact becomes clear: we are far, far from home. Nervous ticks creep in as jilted, stylish outcasts perform in too-empty rooms. Industry soars with loud promises of hope, but as time clocks chime, discontentment is simply veiled by labor.

Some Echoes is a crushing existential statement; its denizens have been lied to and cannot find their way back to self-identification.

While it starts a bit slowly, Aloha's fourth proper album is filled with signature pieces that are stunningly relentless. Once it gets rolling, it never lets up; the stylized, forced bustle makes us ache for the same post-modern release Some Echoes encapsulates. It's easy to sympathize with the lost, misguided souls here - we know how pained and subversive their needs are.

At the center of the album, however, fate makes a subtle shift. The wintry, minimalist "Ice Storming" is paired with the eccentric, precocious, almost baroque "Between the Walls", and an almost magical reprieve is felt. Following this with the staid, hardened samba of "Come Home" makes us question whether distance or communion offers more comfort in the world. We gather that every lesson here is hard-won and that hurt is motivation at every level, but the wandering crowd never gives up.

Through such intrepid spirit, the end of Some Echoes uncovers a rare reality: the blank, cabaret feel "Summer Lawn" moves surprisingly to an honest, classic rock epiphany; the pseudo-religious swing of "If I Lie Down" sedates the nerves. The final moment, "Mountain", is triumphant. Every glazed eye brightens, the inert moves and civilization truly awakens. While tension resides with the disbelief of true joy, the track is observant of power and launches beyond all aimlessness.

It is a long way from the Aloha who brokenly, charmingly spilled bells and tears over "Ferocious Love" - Some Echoes is far more burnt and synthetic - but the band is no less able to propel the hearts and minds of its audience at will. Brace yourself; it can be too close for comfort, but that's precisely what gets under the skin.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters

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