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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
Eltro
Past and Present Futurists
Absolutely Kosher Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
It's hard to tell how seriously to take Eltro - singer Diana Prescott weaves together seemingly unconnected lines with rigid, robotic singing. The lyrics range from nonsensical, slightly humorous streams of conscious, as on "Maybe You Can Live on the Moon" ("happy - like a truck/needing every bit of luck/I'm lucky at the groove/better save it for the soup"), to the gelid dreamscapes described in "On One". Nonetheless, Eltro's topnotch music unites the vague lyrics and ambiguous emotions, packing them into thick, catchy capsules.

Most of the songs begin with a neutral programmed beat or sample that's soon enhanced by blurry and melodic synthesizers. By a song's center-point, it has expanded from alien, psychedelic minimalism to soothing and catchy pop music. "On One" and "Zooming" move from mechanical holding patterns to more cohesive and pleasing states. Other songs progress along more of a thumpy, disco groove -- "FRAM" has a funky slap-bass that drives through spacey, sci-fi synths; "Motorboat" and it's hand drums are accentuated by a motive '60s-styled bassline.

Eltro toys with fading electronic beats and lush and syrupy synths. The production covers the palatable pop with a fun, experimental guise - yet at their core, Eltro has a soft-spoken, sobering disposition. This is best heard on the album's beautiful centerpiece, "Lady of the Highway", whose lulling melody and story about falling asleep at the wheel has the same quiet, nightly feel as Death Cab for Cutie's "Little Fury Bugs".

Thematically, "Lady of the Highway" and "On One" are the most cohesive songs here - both beautifully fit intriguing music with dreamy poetry. Yet most of the singing feels like druggy filler - merely something to complete Eltro's soothing arrangements with a pretty, emotive voice (see "How Did It Happen So Slowly?" and "Zooming"). The combination definitely feels blissful and sweet, yet could be improved - a powerful combination of circumstances for the future.

Reviewed by Josh Kazman
No infro.

See other reviews by Josh Kazman

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