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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
I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In the House
In Music We Trust Records

Rating: 6.5/10 ?

October 1, 2004

I've never thought of the American military as producing freethinking individuals, nor generating leftist intellectuals inspired enough to engender change. There are exceptions, of course - Howard Zinn comes to mind - but for the most part, defense of capitalist ventures and raping of cultures seems more suited for your average, flag saluting, God-fearing soldier.

Color me surprised when I received I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In the House's disc, Menace: a healthy dose of southern-political-punk rock from an unlikely source. Per the press release, singer/songwriter Mike D. served his country in the 101st Airborne/Air Assault, and was an army boxer as well, and precisely how these experiences affected him are his secrets to keep, but judging from his lyrics and subject matter, Mike D. isn't quite enamored with America or its state of being.

"Dust and Sun" traverses the Middle Eastern conflict, switching perspectives from an American to an Iraqi, generalizing ultimately remarking, poignantly, on the convolution of 9/11 and the conquest in Iraq.

"Pauline" and "Fall Down" examine personal battles with death and recognizing our mortality, from a dying grandmother to an overdose-induced demise, while "Rachel Corrie" sings the praises of an American aid worker killed in Israel as she stood in front of a bulldozer razing Palestinian houses (consequently, the bulldozer saw her and had ample time to stop - not to mention that she had a megaphone, and was talking to the driver, but he continued moving anyway).

Mike D. and company even throw a little religious animosity into the mix with "Westboro Baptist Church," a sometimes absurd, scathing attack on Christian charlatans and even the good President W. himself.

As a whole, Menace is a sometimes political, mostly personal, journey with rockabilly sensibility, twangy guitar and haphazard harmonica, gravelly vocals and southern "charm." It's an interesting mix of ideology and sound, and while I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In the House still seems to be molding an identity, they are, as of writing this, the only political-southern-punk-rockabilly band that comes to mind, so they have that going for them... which is nice.

Reviewed by David Spain
Based in Chicago, Illinois, David Spain is a contributing writer for LAS magazine.

See other reviews by David Spain



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