» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » 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]


 » 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
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
Give People What They Want in Lethal Doses
Jade Tree

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Challenger sports two members of Chicago's practically impossible to pin down collective, Milemarker. Milemarker bears all the traits of a Chicago rock outfit: angular guitar lines that poke and sting akin to the city's blustery winters; drum and bass lines that aggressively pound away sometimes seemingly in their own world, yet fitting perfectly with everything else; and unmelodic, half sung, half shouted vocals. Challenger fits right in with all of these traits, minus Milemarker's flare for the electronic interlude.

Give People What They Want in Lethal Doses is less experimental (more dumbed down?) than Milemarker has ever been, however, their debut finds Challenger with a more straightforward rock album that is much more accessible to the average listener.

Give People What They Want in Lethal Doses will find favor with fans of what has become of Chicago's rock sound. The guitars scream with dissonantly catchy lines, as the vocals are shouted amongst the din of drums and bass. Challenger recalls the rock of Chicago's Haymarket Riot or a charged up version of Windy City brethren Sweep the Leg Johnny, and at their best moments even Fugazi. Challenger's staccato bite is best demonstrated on "Brand Loyalty", the catchiest tune on Give People What They Want in Lethal Doses is just catchy enough to stick in your head but angular to the point of making it nearly impossible to hum. The song starts out with the shouted "you've gotta have sympathy for the bomb as its falling to the ground" - a great visual for an imminent breaking up. The chorus chimes in at "here's hoping that you evade the FBI and I will try not to cry when you come to say goodbye." The lyrics throughout are just tangible enough to keep the listener's attention while remaining abstract enough to leave plenty of room for interpretation.

The only complaint about Give People What They Want in Lethal Doses is that its nine songs clock in at a brisk thirty seven minutes. Just as things get rolling, when the feet are tapping and the body's swaying, the album comes to an abrupt stop. The album doesn't stop for a second- from start to finish this album is a race to the finish of flailing guitars, screams, and pounding drums and bass, making for a definitely exciting listen. Now I find myself eagerly anticipating Milemarker's next album. Perhaps that was the idea?

Reviewed by Craig Mertes
Craig lives, works and listens to music in the general vicinity of Orlando, Florida, where he absorbs everything from hip-hop to indie, pop, rock, punk and metal. His all time favs include Hum, Clutch, Dismemberment Plan, and the Reverend Horton Heat. The last we heard, Craig was spinning Vast Aire, Soul Position, Blues Explosion, Motörhead, the Blood Brothers and Dead Meadow. Craig is also a life-long, die-hard Cubs fan, so lay off.

See other reviews by Craig Mertes



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