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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
Are We Electric?
NoVoc
Red Can Records

Rating: 6/10 ?


May 12, 2005
If ever a band could be described as a power trio, the designation would fit Are We Electric? perfectly. This German bass/drums/guitar unit clobbers the hell out of their respective instruments (and their listeners) for a solid half hour, never letting up. Each song is a madcap dash for some mythical destination with the players sideswiping, spearing and gouging one another's eyes out with such fervor that they rarely reach the end of the proverbial rainbow.

AWE's barbaric, self-destructive tendencies both make and break NoVoc. Even the most grizzled post-hardcore junkie can't argue with their trebly instrumental onslaughts. Crisp engineering insures that each note punctures the flesh (the bass tone is particularly deadly), and for all of their angularity, the band never gets so bogged down in mathy see-sawing that they come off as cold or mechanical. This is not one of those "you really have to seem 'em live to get it" acts - their cock-tastic air raids will come across loud and clear on your home speakers.

By always firing on all six cylinders, however, AWE undercut themselves. They drain their limited well of riffs fairly quickly and the songs begin to run together. Their minimal setup also works against them - they're just not able to create as much noise as they would like to with only three instruments, leaving their songs feeling thin and underdeveloped. Without extra guitar accents or additional instrumentation, the album fails to remain very interesting. A vocalist, or a little well-placed restraint, could also break the monotony. In any event, these songs beg for an extra element to complete them; as it stands now, they feel like works in progress - albeit very violent, pummeling ones.

Reviewed by Phillip Buchan
A one-time music director at WUOG in Athens, Phillip is into college radio, literature, writing, buying records, going to shows, talking to friends, learning -- pretty much the same stuff that all of us priveledged, (pseudo?)intellectual Americans are into.

See other reviews by Phillip Buchan

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