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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
Onelinedrawing
The Volunteers
Jade Tree Records

Rating: 6/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Utter the word "emo" to the wrong person and they'll drag you into the bathroom to wash your mouth out with soap. That's how vilified the genre is in some circles. Onelinedrawing's sophomore record, The Volunteers, isn't likely to convert the playa'-haters.

Onelinedrawing is Jonah Matranga. By all accounts, he's a nice guy who likes to engage in drawn out dialogue with his concert audiences. In the mid-1990s, Matranga headed up Sacramento, California outfit Far, an emo band that once had a home with Sony. He began Onelinedrawing as a solo project to show his softer, acoustic side. Far split in 1998, and Matranga forged ahead alone, releasing four EP's all by his lonesome. They were distributed at shows and through his Web site in true DIY fashion. In 2001, he started New End Original. After realizing it was nothing more than an electric version of Onelinedrawing, the project was scrapped. Then Jade Tree snatched up Onelinedrawing and released 2002's earnest-as-all-get-out, Visitor.

The thing you've got to admire about Matranga is his conviction. He's a man who connects with the people. On "Over It" he implores his friends, Romans and countrymen to help him "get over it" - whatever "it" is - and "Make me into a sincere mess dumbkopf hopeless hypocrite." Stabbing percussion, short bursts of anthemic electric guitar and the shout-along chorus all play to the crowd, as do the rushing, wrenched guitars that carry "We Had A Deal." The emotionally manipulative "A Ghost" is a sweeping epic that starts out hushed but by the end, the song soars on majestic flights of acoustic guitar, weepy keyboards and Matranga's yearning vocals.

From what I can make of it, The Volunteers is pretty standard emo fare. Matranga doesn't take many chances. Not many emo bands do. And that's what's wrong with it. But I'm not going to get into a discourse of emo's failings. The kids like it and that's good enough for me. Who am I to rain on their parade? The Volunteers will make those who like the melodic pop-punk of Promise Ring and Dashboard Confessional swoon. The jaded among us will repair to the basement, wondering why nobody likes us.

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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