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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
Hot Rod Circuit
Reality's Coming Through
Vagrant Records

Rating: 6/10 ?


October 1, 2004
The fact that the members of Hot Rod Circuit are quite adept at playing their instruments has been the band's saving grace: the flashy lead guitar lines and surefooted rhythm section keeps them from being a bottom of the barrel, run of the mill emo-punk band. While that trend continues on their new LP, Reality's Coming Through, it's not quite enough to sustain them anymore.

The album continues the inclination towards increasingly elaborate productions introduced on Sorry About Tomorrow, but the songs themselves continue to become more generic. Payoffs are delivered in obvious shout-along choruses and lyrics that bemoan loves lost or better times long gone; vocalist Andy Jackson can't decide between wanting to be the knight in shining armor ("Save You") or the scorned lover full of murderous rage ("Fear The Sound"). While all the emotional venting found throughout the record's thirty-four minute playing time comes across as heartfelt, its sum total amounts to nothing better than a half hour of decent teenage entertainment.

The band's pre-Vagrant Records releases still contain the best songs in their oeuvre, and while tracks like "The Best You Ever Knew" with its peddle steel lead, show all-too-brief glimpses of expanding their sonic palette, Reality's Coming Through finds Hot Rod Circuit still too hesitant to ease a few toes out of the kiddie pool.

Reviewed by Mark Skipper
Mark Skipper currently resides in Nashville, TN where he can be found skipping shows, drinking Guinness, making bad home recordings, and complaining about how much music sucks these days.

See other reviews by Mark Skipper

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