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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
!!!
!!!
Gold Standard Laboratories

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
This is the band with the un-pronouncable name - in fact they leave it up to you how you want to refer to them, just 3 sounds in succession is all they ask. So the exclamation point is the symbol - and when you hear them you'll know immediately why. I can't think of any band since James Chance and the Contortions who have so successfully punked the funk up, yet maintained the pulsing throb of the tradition which, you know it, is found way back in early James Brown and with the music of the Soul Searchers and all those other bands that you'll hear on Saturday afternoons in New York (where I'm at) on college radio 89.1, when they kick off the funk show and play the old tracks, b-sides really, of the working class weekend warrior musicians who weren't deemed good enough back then to make it onto labels like Motown or Chess. You've also got that same mysterious thing on this one, similar really, reminding and reaching as far back, in sound and effect, to the most unlikely of sources, say for instance, Pink Floyd (talking sounds here, listen to the reverb on the guitar). I'll also go out on a limb here and say that this release is up there on the list of this year's best, with Q and Not U's debut, and Red Monkey's Gunpowder Treason and Plot, of course, completely different from those, but equally remarkable.

It's not just the musicianship either; with this recording the vocals stand out and are put over real well. Mostly they're spoken softly, and trippily, over heavy bass lines, 16th notes on the highhat, and occasional horn section bursts. On "Storm The Legion", they even display some swift lyricism, intoning with a most stoned air, "LSD taught me a lot about me/or would I have figured it out naturally....I learned a lot/from smoking pot/but then again/maybe not/I can't remember what I forgot." And just as with the heavy funk shit, like Miles' Tribute to Jack Johnson , this album is great to get down with a girl to, although, just like that Miles album, which has that weird spoken thing in the end that can throw you off, this album has some handclaps and horn sections that are so overtly sexual and almost goofy, you've gotta' be careful, if you catch my drift. Regardless of whether or not you're gonna' be fuckin' to it or just partying on it, this album is of the highest order. Funny thing is, from what I've heard, it doesn't even compare to what they can do live. Imagine that.

Reviewed by James Hoey
A long-time contributing writer for LAS, Jim lives in North Carolina and drives an early 70s model mustard yellow Chevrolet Blazer.

See other reviews by James Hoey

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