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 » 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.
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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
Dancing Echoes/Dead Sounds
Equal Vision Records

Rating: 5/10 ?

October 1, 2004
I have a bit of a personal connection to the band Codeseven. First, they hail from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, which is about a two hour drive from where I am, and where they're considered local heroes.

I am also good friends with the artist formerly known as Chad - the guitar player for Hopesfall - part of the circle of bands that are similar in musical approach and have played the local circuit together more than a few times. In fact, that whole scene has become fashionable here in the Charlotte Metro area, and it is getting a little out of hand. You can't discuss the local musical setting here without name dropping the same bands that have played over and over again.

With that, my friend Chad told me to check out Codeseven's album, Rescue, their second proper record. I did, and to my delight, I adequately enjoyed their style of post-hardcore rock. Their sound mixed atmospheric hooks and intricate guitar explosions. Still, it was a bit polished for my taste and never seemed to break any real, new ground - but I was told that it was their live shows that must be seen to believe, as the band was able to defy logic and pull off the impossible with technical effects and intricate breakdowns. Unfortunately, I never saw them, but then again, I was only mildly impressed with Rescue.

So here we have Dancing Echoes/Dead Sounds, where the band tries to put more art into their craft and less guitar into their assembled compositions. We all know art is hard - Tim Kasher taught us that - and I think the boys in Codeseven could learn a few things from him. The band has had a dramatic sound change in each of its three albums, and this is no different.

Codeseven are minimalists; they have a conservative approach and provide only the bare fragments of musical exploration with their song structures - which can actually be a good thing. The last thing I want to hear is something that comes across as being forced, but the downfall of Dancing Echoes/Dead Sounds is it doesn't sound like anything at all.

Although technically the album is stunning - thanks in part by producer Alex Newport - it feels empty, calculated instead of collective; it lacks a natural flow of imagination in which, according to their bio, is the very thing the band was trying to do. Instead of brash, hard hitting guitars and beefy drum interplay, Codeseven employ a more pop sound into their latest handout, coming across as more Tears For Fears than Dillinger Escape Plan.

Don't get me wrong, the guys in Codeseven are probably swell, and they certainly know how to play their instruments, but I have to reprimand the placid vitality and directionless manner the band seems to be grappling with each new release. There is absolutely nothing wrong with exploration of sounds and ideas, and I would offer that to anyone creating music, but a mood has certainly been set with Dancing Echoes/Dead Sounds, and frankly, I am not into it.

Reviewed by Mark Taylor
A senior LAS staff writer, Mark Taylor is a 29 year old father of a 5 year old son and husband to a wife of 6 years, living the simple life in a small suburb of Charlotte, NC.

See other reviews by Mark Taylor



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