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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
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Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
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The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
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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
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Fat Possum
Pedal Steel Transmission
In The Winter, It Makes the Dead Grass Look Green
Cardboard Sangria Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
As the name implies, these boys are hot for some pedal steel guitar. The second album for this Chicago based quartet, In The Winter, It Makes the Dead Grass Look Green, builds its sound with the pedal steel as its centerpiece. Each song uses the pedal steel in a new and somewhat progressive way; and unique as that may be, this disc makes forays into more genres that I can count. The only thing that links each song on this album is the fact a pedal steel guitar is weaving its way throughout. It's a little bit indie, a little experimental jazz, a little bit cosmic space rock, and that's just the first song.

The vocals on "Self Service Rest" immediately struck me as resembling that Counting Crowe's fellow Adam Duritz, the similarity is shocking really; and although probably unintentional, as someone who lapses into a catatonic state when I hear his voice, I was thoroughly turned off to the rest to the album (they definitely should have saved that one until the end.) The fifth track, "Para Ella" starts off sounding like the background music for a lighthearted romp in the Hawaiian islands until it turns into a spy-thriller, crashfolk noise party. What? Those tricks and unexpected changes only work for me if your name is Sterolab!

This album is all over the place, it's dizzying at times, and hard to figure out what's going on. In the Winter, It Makes the Dead Grass Look Green is a little bit of everything, and although well intentioned, it leaves something to be desired- and I guess that something would be focus. Technically, these guys know what they are doing. They are extremely proficient and versatile musicians that have perfected their instruments, but on this release they are better musicians then they are fascinating songwriters.

File under: Catch them opening for Phish on their reunion tour.

Reviewed by Danielle Marusa
A resident of Malvern, Pennsylvania, Danielle is an occasional contributor to LAS.

See other reviews by Danielle Marusa



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