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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
Serena-Maneesh
Serena-Maneesh
Beggars Group

Rating: 7/10 ?


June 28, 2006
"Drain Cosmetics," this album's opener, is a potent and meaty track. The song evokes the poorly lit, smoky, black leather mystique of the Berlin clubs that once belonged to the likes of Lou Reed, David Bowie and Iggy Pop. "Cosmetics" chugs along with clean guitars chords reverberating over a pounding beat and an unobtrusive vocal track blending perfectly into the mix; the song is clearly The Single and, being my introduction to Serena-Maneesh, it got me really excited about the coming tracks. Unfortunately, the opener is really the musical peak of this self-titled disc and as the album slowly slumps toward its egotistically long final track, listeners will probably have already tuned-out.

All negativity aside, there is a lot to love about this disc - it is very Mancunian and has a real shoegazer aesthetic. Serena-Maneesh seems to love The Jesus and Mary Chain as well as early Stereolab. There are some huge, pounding rock-n-roll moments on this disc and "Don't Come Down Here" has a preternatural pastoral calm which, when interrupted by a grinding explosion toward the end of the track, create an amazingly disturbing juxtaposition.

Folks at the Beggars Group are keen to point out that Pitchfork ranked the first Serena-Maneesh release as better than Franz Ferdinand. I cannot judge the accuracy of that estimate, never having heard the first Serena-Maneesh, but if this second Serena-Maneesh outing is anything like the first, that conclusion is accurate. Even with its disappointments, Serena-Maneesh is worth a listen. The first few tracks are solid and far more interesting than anything I've heard by Franz Ferdinand.

Reviewed by Jon Burke
A contributing writer and a Chicago resident who will not be goaded by LASís editor into revealing any more details about his potentially sordid affairs.

See other reviews by Jon Burke

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