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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
The Willowz
The Willowz Are Coming
Sympathy for the Record Industry

Rating: 7.5/10 ?


April 18, 2005
Some bands spend years trying to create an image as a raw, unpolished act. Invariably, these attempts backfire because being raw requires very little work; bubblegum acts like Ashlee Simpson and Good Charlotte present themselves as rough around the edges, but if they really wanted to be "punk," they should spend less time and money perfecting every note with studio magic.

The Willowz are the real deal, in part because their CD isn't particularly great. Richie James Follin's vocals are often out of tune, as is his guitar; the mix seems imbalanced and the rhythm section is average at best. Yet these are the same things that make The Willowz Are Coming so damn charming; you have to root for an album put together by three kids barely out of high school who used their milk money to buy affordable studio time.

For all their quaint imperfections, the Willowz nail the hip rock song and add just a hint of don't-care-ism. The lead-off track, "Equation #6" finds Follin talking more than singing, which contrasts nicely with bassist Jessica Reynoza's melodic backup vocals. With the nonchalant refrain "Tryin' so hard to disappear," the track could out-cool Julian Casablancas himself.

"Keep On Looking" is the album's hit track, and has received the coveted Michel Gondry seal of approval -the song appears on the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind soundtrack. It's as much of an anthem as the Von Bondies' "C'mon C'mon," only choppier, rougher, and hipper.

The rest of the album keeps pace, too; songs like "Put Together," "Get Down," and "Meet Your Demise" are just as catchy and fun. "Get Down" isn't much more than Follin shouting, well, "get down!" over and over, but the song's three chord bounce is infectious. The Willowz Are Coming has some questionable spots, however. "Questionnaire" is a bit screechy; "Wake Up" moves to slowly and throws off the album's otherwise furious momentum.

Know this, however: in an age where everyone claims to be authentic, only groups like the Willowz can pass the polygraph test. They are young, inexperienced, only partially talented and quite possibly broke. In other words, they are the envy of every indie rock band.

Reviewed by Andy Brown
A regular contributor to LAS, Andy Brown lives in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, but doesn\'t think he has an accent.

See other reviews by Andy Brown

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