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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
Red Shirt Brigade
Home of the Cannon Saints
Arborvitae Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
I had been waiting for several albums with great anticipation this year. Some, like Spoon, Milemarker, Dismemberment Plan and Modest Mouse, were well worth the wait. Others, like Sloan and Death Cab For Cutie, turned out to be disappointments. Red Shirt Brigade's first full length was also on my short list of things to look forward to earlier this year and I am 100% sure that it was worth the wait.

Home of the Cannon Saints combines a lot of the things that my favorite bands seem to be forgetting and that is that music should be celebrating something. Death Cab For Cutie is one band in particular that I feel has lost touch with the idea that life can be fulfilling right here and now. That idea and the feelings associated with it are the things that got me involved in music in the first place, but they seem to have been misplaced between the extremes of bubblegum pop, moody academic indie and whiney emo. Until now. Red Shirt Brigade have put their collective finger right on top of it in songs like "One of Few Blues" and "How to Fax In a Million Years".

Maybe most notably on "The Jigsaw Back", Red Shirt Brigade smack of an enigmatic fusion of progressive and classical styles such as The Sea & Cake. I also hear a lot of Gastr del Sol throughout this album- hints of a band in incubation that could turn around next year and release another Camoufleur. By the time "Booty Boot Camp" is through, however, there is enough evidence for me to surmise they could also dive headfirst into Krautrock and survive. My personal highlight is the back-to-back pairing of the rollicking and wonderfully upbeat "Here Arrives the Gymnasium" and the slow, charming "Mopping Chronicles" which manages to be beautifully minimal with just a dash of the nagging brooding/moodiness. The only real low spot on the album is the inclusion of "Sporto", which is a reworked and renewed version of the song originally on their EP. It sounds great and is very much improved, but it doesn't jive well with the rest of the album's sense of maturation.

I've become enamored enough with this album to fight off reviewing it, but I was unable to escape the assignment. I'd much rather listen to Home of the Cannon Saints on repeat and pick out everything that makes it great. Dreamy pop, clever jazzy inflections and lulling vocals that are discernable only enough to keep you listening. With the perfect outro, "Steady Contribution of Glass" leaves you with a trace scent of the potent recipe- a bit of Elvis Costello mixed with the Velvet Underground, flavored with a Thrill Jockey potpourri and a hefty dose of some good ole punk rawk.

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also released on Suburban Sprawl Music
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Reviewed by Cassie Glanney
An occasional contributor to LAS magazine who loves life, liberty and libation. As of the last report, she was living in Houston, Texas with her dog, Ponch.

See other reviews by Cassie Glanney

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