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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
Bear Claw
Find the Sun
Sickroom Records

Rating: 7/10 ?


March 14, 2005
Bear Claw is a band from Chicago with an early 90's DC punk sound. It helps that the album was produced by Steve Albini - they acquire a raw-yet-polished sound. You can hear Jawbox in the vocals and Fugazi in the instrumentation (as well as songwriting). This is a strong debut album for three Chicago guys trying something different. For a trio, they do great impressions.

And, considering there are two bass guitars being played at once, you've got to give it to them - even though it doesn't much vary from song to song.

Strong dual bass playing keeps the music sounding bold and powerful, though the somewhat typical (albeit violent) drumming keeps things moving.

This is a late night band. They're searching for something to stand up against. As this is their first album, they're bound to find what it is they hate - and they'll certainly find out how to make it clear that they're taking a stand against it. For now, it's just rock and roll for it's own sake, which is perfectly acceptable.

"Chameleon" is a standout track. Still as upbeat as everything else, it is charged with a call and response chorus; it also breaks down in the middle and recharges itself perfectly for a SamIam-style ending.
Maybe it's a little friendlier, with a little more pop influence, but I hear it as a different beast - one of the most successful songs in the collection.

"Repetition" is more than just the name of track one, it unfortunately overrides the album. There are some strong and unique elements to the music, but the structure could use a change of pace every now and again. They establish a formula early on, and shouldn't be so afraid to stray from it.

Though they are more powerful than most three-guitar bands, this two bass and a drum kit amalgamation is apparently what it takes to deliver a tough Chicago knuckle sandwich to your salivating Dischord-loving mouth.

Reviewed by Bob Ladewig
Having been introduced to good music by his sister in the early years, Bob Ladewig has been searching out all the best in indie music ever since. He also rides a skateboard and performs/directs comedy shows and, like all great men, he\'s afraid of really growing up.

See other reviews by Bob Ladewig

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