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 » 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
Electric Frankenstein
Annie's Grave
Victory Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
On the inside of this CD, written in a jaunty font that I could easily imagine on a box of kids' toys, is the sentence "Join the New Rock Revolution!" Electric Frankenstein make some damn good driving punk-fueled bar-rock, but it is not revolutionary in any sense. They're as conservative as a jug band must have seemed during the sixties. The drums have an AC/DC simplicity, that backs the rocking, overdriven guitars through their traditional punk music rooted in MC5, the Stooges and the Dead Boys (they even cover a song of theirs). Sometimes they get too Stoogesque for me, complete with guitar solos. Punk rock guitar solos almost always suck. Usually, though they speed their way through two-minute scorchers, the unfortunately named singer, Steve Miller, spitting and snarling his way through the lyrics with a pissed off smack-lipped style. I imagine myself all drunk on Pabst and pushing against a crowd full of sweaty guys spilling warming brew out of their fist-clutched cans of beer. It's a good image.

Many of the songs sound like the Dwarves, like the singer said "I have an idea, guys, start a song and I'll sing it." I think the theme-thing makes me think of the Dwarves. They're called Electric Frankenstein, so I expect full-on horror-themed rock, tongue firmly in cheek. I expect Alice Cooper, the Misfits and the Dwarves. About half the songs have that: 'Graveyard Dragrace,' 'Annie's Grave.' I feel like the horror theme is just a trapping though, the best songs have the classic approach of take-a-cliche-and-make-it-a-chorus: 'Backs Against the Wall,' 'Already Dead,' 'The Prefect Crime.' Maybe they're stuck with the Frankenstein name and feel like they have to throw a couple of horror songs onto each album. It doesn't do anything special for me.

I just can't shake that 'revolution' thing. I also saw a computer marketing magazine recently that was called The Revolution. Did the co-opting of the word Revolution begin with Nike's use of the Beatles song in their ad back in 1988? I guess it must have been sad and embarrassing to see brilliant musicians debase themselves for advertising profits, but I remember thinking that Nike was cooler than the Beatles anyway. I've since changed my mind. I guess I want something revolutionary, something new and exciting. That seems inherently American. Advertising knows that, they always try and sell bullshit, claiming its revolutionary. I don't want to be told that three-chord punk with snotty vocals is revolutionary. I want to be told it's awesome, not that it is new.

Reviewed by Mathias Svalina
Living in Lincoln, Nebraska, Mathias Svalina is pursuing a PhD in creative writing at the University of Nebraska and also co-curates The Clean Part Reading Series and co-edits Octopus Magazine.

See other reviews by Mathias Svalina

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