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[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » 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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 » 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!
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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
There's a Fire
Red Ink Records

Rating: 7/10 ?

July 11, 2005
Enough already. While they are continually compared to their longtime friends, The Strokes, I will make a conscious effort to end those references here. Though Longwave is admittedly derivative - more of U2, actually, than, say, the Kinks - they deserve some acclaim of their very own. With There's a Fire, they have created a solid collection of swimming rock singles, the likes of which the airwaves should be eager to devour. At once introspective and indisputably catchy, their complex dynamic and easy likeability should certainly satiate the radio gods.

The opening track, "There's a Fire", sounds more than a little like My Bloody Valentine's "When You Sleep," but it sets a winning precedence with its dazzling, waterlogged unease. "River (Depot Song)" capitalizes on this tension on a larger scale, with strung out, Radiohead-inspired guitars and an unquenchable thirst for exploration. The track is wonderfully grand, showing what Longwave is capable of when completely committed. Likewise, "Fall on Every Whim" - an awakened epic with an expansive, Bono's-eye view - conclusively sets the band's niche, as they are most enthralling when their reach is unified and broad.

In contrast to these high points, There's a Fire does have the unfortunate distinction of being inconsistent; many of the tracks in-between range from feeling out of place to just plain silly. It's hard to take "Tell Me I'm Wrong" seriously, with its zippy electronics and it's "woh-oh" singalongs, especially in light of the band's sprawling potential. Add to this a couple of too-slow, plodding experiments, the shambling, ill-fitting Yo La Tengo homage, "Next Plateau", and the raucously formulaic "We're Not Gonna Crack," and it seems at times the band is seeking attention for the wrong reasons.

All this, however, is saved with the grace of the closing track, "Underneath You Know the Names," which ends the disc righteously; it is an overarching resurrection, perfect to showcase the band's promise in a radio revival and again certifies Longwave's true calling beyond any missteps. It also makes advice to the band strikingly clear: if they could piece together their epic moments in a linear and cohesive fashion and leave out the oddball antics and shameless ploys, they could likely win over the hind-minded fans of Radiohead, U2 and their ilk. As it stands, if my young cousins purchased There's a Fire over that other Fire album, I'd be perfectly pleased with their decision.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters



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