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 » 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
Animal Collective
Sung Tongs
Fat Cat Records

Rating: 9/10 ?


October 1, 2004
The problem with the noise scene of recent years is that seldom does the music let its parts meet and mate with pleasure. Acts emerging from this new thing usually delve into exploratory tendencies that allow the music to develop into a state of beautiful mess, but repel anyone not willing to link up with these abstract deliveries. Most of these works have a dark-toned appeal that leaves no way out for the listener but to get the hell out of the room where the record is being played. Most would think precisely that while listening to Here Comes the Indian, last year's inception by the Animal Collective, or even this (way more fascinating) Sung Tongs, but I beg to differ.

Both records are moody, inebriating incursions into a no man's land, where the listener is taken in nightly rituals of decomposition and reversal events. That they craft this shit in suburban cellars or badly-ventilated rooms seems to be something not to argue about. The difference between the two is that the former could make your ears bleed if overexposed, while the latter has a strong, folksy vibe designed to make you lose your mind and wet your pants.

Truth be told, there hasn't been better grower this past year than Sung Tongs, a travelogue of dreams and similes - a horrific journey for those suffering from attention deficit disorder, but a pretty damn rewarding passport through a lingering sense of levitation and afterlife imagery. Besides, these four guys, Avey Tare, Panda Bear, Deakin and Geologist, know how to heighten anticipation by stripping elements out and keeping the song's skeleton to a minimum. And if you had the chance to come across Panda Bear's solo effort, Young Prayer, also this year, you have certainly noticed an even more stripped-down approach.

The Brooklyn-based noise scene, propelled by such acts like Animal Collective and Black Dice, just to name a few, is a definite rupture from the musical void that swallowed enormous chunks of 80s and 90s indie rock, where all songs sounded pretty much the same. On Sung Tongs you will not have that problem, I can assure you. "Who Could Win a Rabbit" is a sunny number that sends you into a headspin from which you may or may not recover in time to fully enjoy the rest of the album. Overall, this is a record of midsummer gatherings around a huge bonfire. Expect some tribal moves from your butt when you start getting into the whole scene.

This crazy, devil-worshipping music is as whirled as a red shirt mixed with your underwear after you do laundry - an incongruous comparison for an equally incongruous album. But never has a record so out of place sounded this good. Like detritus caught in a cyclone, Sung Tongs should amuse you on a Saturday night when all your friends left for another boring disco galore. It seems a tad frenzied at first but it grows and attaches to the bones. Time will do it some justice, I'm sure. This may well be one of the first postmodern statements in music, whatever that means. It sounds like a prog-funkadelic-psych dream. Are you in?

Reviewed by Helder Gomes
Currently living on the south bank of the Tagus river, in Portugal, Helder Gomes is a working class hero. He is a journalist for the local radio station Rádio Nova Anten. In his spare time, he skates and watches many odd movies. He is in love with the French nouvelle vague, and the Danish/Swedish invasion. He writes for a number of publications, on the Internet or otherwise, notably the underground Portuguese magazine Mondo Bizarre, and the Jazz Review website. He is also the news collector and a staff witer for the adorable Lost at Sea. Oh, and there is also the Coffee Breakz radio show that he tries to host every Saturday.

See other reviews by Helder Gomes

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