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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
Acid Mothers Temple and the Cosmic Inferno
Starless and Bible Black Sabbath
Alien8

Rating: 7.5/10 ?


February 23, 2006
Never let it be said that Acid Mothers Temple don't readily acknowledge their forebears. Like many of their previous albums, this one nods towards the group's hard rock godfathers in both its title and artwork. Whereas many of AMT's "tribute" projects, though, have failed to demonstrate their namechecked bands' influence on a significant level, this one clearly bears the stamp of early Black Sabbath - a mark not always apparent in much of the group's work.

The opening title track benefits greatly from adhering to the theme of Sabbath homage, reining in Acid Mothers Temple's often overwhelming guitar pyrotechnics in favor of developing formal tensions. This 34-minute jam follows a relatively simple pattern: it begins with a bonecrushing sludge riff and echo-heavy Ozzy-ish vocals, fans out into a more driving rhythm, revisits the sludge, lets every sound except Kawabata Makoto's guitar drop out for a couple of minutes, rallies to revisit its dirge-like theme yet again, and fizzles into a brief acoustic coda. The song never lapses into tedium, however, because Makoto's struggle to experience freedom within the confines of the central motif doesn't resolve until the third and final trip into Sabbath country. When the crusty stoner rock thwomp cracks open the first two times, it does so in order to give Makoto more room to shred; for a while, he seems to be working independent of his bandmates, and they seem unable to find a happy medium between oppressive riffage and loosey-goosey psych spoo. In the final movement, Makoto and the other players finally sync up, as he contributes his fieriest soloing atop the climactic death march. For a band that's often criticized for lack of restraint, here AMT show a willingness to pound the crap out of one another (and the listener) until they're able to function as a tight, deadly unit.

"Woman from a Hell," the album's only other cut, is a more beastly proposition, barreling into the abyss like Hawkwind's "Brainstorm" sapped of its melody. Instruments splash against one another carelessly, vocals careen off into nowhere, Makoto fires on all cylinders at all moments - it's as sloppy a six-minute stomp as the band's ever recorded. Even the engineering is harsher than in "Starless and Bible Black Sabbath," with every track careening into red level territory, recalling Makoto's Mainliner days. "Woman from a Hell" works well as a blast of pure energy, but when weighed against the rest of the album, it fails to develop an argument against the necessity of self-imposed rules.

Reviewed by Phillip Buchan
A one-time music director at WUOG in Athens, Phillip is into college radio, literature, writing, buying records, going to shows, talking to friends, learning -- pretty much the same stuff that all of us priveledged, (pseudo?)intellectual Americans are into.

See other reviews by Phillip Buchan

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