» 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
Les Angles Morts
What's Real?
Blue Skies Turn Black

Rating: 7/10 ?

October 3, 2005
Like Moby, Les Angles Morts like to score... Films, that is.

In 2002, Myles Broscoe and Brenden Reed, an American videographer, said goodbye to the Arcade Fire - bet they're regretting that right about now - and set out on their own to make instrumental music for their own movies. The films themselves are wild enough without the band's wild freak-metal and spazzy psychedelia; puppets fight to the death in battle scenes that only Timothy Leary could dream up. Orgies of blinding light erupt in kaleidoscopic visions. If it weren't for the travelogues, it'd be a film festival for a psych ward - which is where you just might end up after listening to Les Angles Morts' What's Real?. That's where the real insanity starts.

Fit for a straitjacket, What's Real? is truly a mad, mad musical world that descends into the swirling prog-rock vortex of the Mars Volta's De-Loused In The Comatorium, then emerges as a structured, infinitely more melodic version of Hella or Lightning Bolt. Case in point: "What's Real Summer," which opens What's Real? with a briefcase full of twisted, dissonant synthesizer lines and an out-of-control, spinning disco ball of keyboards. Suddenly, a Godhead Silo-style bass riot occurs in "Kaleidoscope," and distorted, scratchy guitars key the track's black, shiny body.

A moody interlude called "S2S" segues into the synth-warped "Huge Antlers" and offers a brief respite before the shit hits the fan. Violence can arise at any time, even in the relative serenity of "Waking Up In A Maze." Whispy snarls of fine medieval acoustic guitar thread are disturbed ever so gently by the distant thunder of galloping bass drums. Without warning, powerful gusts of angular guitar send "Sing Together" hurtling through the bruised sky like a cow caught in a tornado. Les Angles Mort isn't in Kansas anymore.

Though its gears get stripped by awkward rhythmic fits and starts - especially in the middle of "A Very Fraid" and the overly indulgent keyboard paroxyms of "Ice Secret" - What's Real? moves in delightfully mysterious ways. It finds Les Angles Morts making dramatic, stormy vignettes spurred on by what sounds an awful lot like jazz-inspired improvisation. Too often, perhaps, it relies on these eruptions to forcibly push listeners into chaos, but there's also variety in both movement and sound that keep you engaged.

Intuitive playing is Les Angles Morts' greatest strength. Multi-instrumentalists all, Reed and Broscoe picked up Kyle Fostner and Owain Larson for a foursome that is truly on the cusp of greatness. Larson and Reed are capable of incredible drum acrobatics and fury. Given a lot of space to roam and explore their inner Bonhams, they whip up little dust devils of drum rolls and big, powerful percussive surges. All the while, Broscoe and fellow guitarist/synth player Kyle Fostner slash away at their guitars and joined by Lawson, they conjure up remarkably weird and schizophrenic keyboard and synth movements.

Unpredictable throughout, Les Angles Mort throw caution to the wind and let everything die down on the closer, "Struggling To Survive," where circuitous organ movements dance and play before giving way to shadowy drones that couldn't be more lovely. Unlike Explosions In The Sky, Les Angles Morts provide no road map to where they're going: you might end up dead in a ditch somewhere, beaten to within an inch of your life by a crazed man, or you could wind up seeing an amazing spectacle of color and light. Whichever the case, I'll hitch a ride with them anytime.

Reviewed by Peter Lindblad
Peter Lindblad lives in Appleton, Wis., and bleeds green and gold just like all the Packer fan nutjobs in the area. He does draw the line at wearing blocks of chedder on his head, or any other body parts for that matter, though. His professional career has taken weird twists and turns that have led him to his current position as an editor at a coin magazine. He hopes his stay there will be a short one. Before that, he worked as an associate editor at a log home magazine. To anyone that will listen, he\'ll swear that Shiner was one of the greatest rock bands to ever walk the earth. Yet he also has much love for Superchunk, Spoon, DJ Shadow, Swervedriver, Wilco, Fugazi, Jawbox, ... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Modest Mouse, among others.

See other reviews by Peter Lindblad



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