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 » 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.
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 » 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!
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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
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
The Holy Ghost
Welcome to Ignore Us
Clearly Records

Rating: 8.5/10 ?

March 15, 2005
We used to be just friends, but as we started spending all that time alone together, it became more than that. It grew to be love. I grew to admire every detail, to hold everything so closely.

I speak, of course, of the Holy Ghost's breakthrough album, Broken Record. In the recent months, I've grown from enjoying the album to absolutely absorbing every bit of it, fawning over the sound, the cleverness and the skewed sensibilities. My affection has intensified to deep appreciation, so when their brand new release, Welcome to Ignore Us, came my way, it couldn't have happened at a more favorable time.

To compare and contrast, briefly, for those already inducted into their squalor-loving fold, you will still find the innate similarities with Shudder to Think, as well as the post-rock edginess that's been lugged via guitar case all over the country. The marked differences include a renewed sense of energy and purpose. The band, while considerably more fashionable than ever before - and conversely, a little less artsy - feels fully realized here. Sonically, they have taken leaps and bounds, as Welcome to Ignore Us is both more precise and more immediate.

But, as someone who always preferred their darker art-rock tendencies, there's plenty for fans like me to grab onto; the weirdness is just cloaked in irony/accessibility this time. Even if taken at face value, this is a truly powerful album of blistering anthems, cutthroat dynamics and nervous tension.

"Commercial" begins by cluing us in on an important idea for the album: while it flairs up, it never fully subsides, even when a melodic undercurrent pushes through. Welcome to Ignore Us is a pot of boiling water, at times set to simmer, but consistently scalding and capable of exploding at any moment.

The following cut, "Genghis Khan," courts the other known dynamic; it is moody and surreal, but with a swanlike grace and eerie beauty. The two sounds are intertwined in that neither goes quiet, and both have an ultimately triumphant feel.

Dancing agitation stirs up throughout the album, finding unexpected moments to make you want to move your feet. On tracks like "Did I Wear U Out?" and "Chez Paree," this notion can even introduce a little glam to the mix. While this could be read as conventional, especially in an age of omnipresent dance-punk, the distorted cheerleader chants and eccentricity of each are endless reminders of how artistic the Holy Ghost truly is. Welcome to Ignore Us has taken their cool, inventive post-punk and dipped it in an attention-grabbing, attractive sheen.

From the dangerous horror film brawl of "Shut Up and Play" and the smutty overindulgence of "Jiggle," to the sinewy, sidewinding layers of "40 Winks" and the ecstatic, furious change-ups of "Bastard Sun," the sound of the Holy Ghost is consistent, and far deeper than its direct catchiness would have you believe.

To wit, the album's easiest and most cheerful track, "Graciana Ole," is upbeat and elevated, but with an abundance of twists, turns and intelligence. It makes one point very clear - Welcome to Ignore Us is likely to win the Holy Ghost a wealth of new conversions, but will keep the faithful masses singing their praises. The title, then, becomes the punchline: Welcome to Ignore Us is truly a welcoming invitation to all.

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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