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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.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » 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
Riddle of Steel
Ascetic Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
"One Inch Deep," the first song on Python, Riddle of Steel's new album, hits you punchy and crisply in its über-production, but the main thing that really grabs you by the balls is singer/guitarist Andrew Elsner's eerie vocal similarity to Ozzy. That's right, Ozzy. There is something about his throatiness and larynx inflections that seriously remind you of the artist formerly known as Rock'n'Roll's Lord of the Dark. Of course, it is sort of hard to imagine Ozzy making pop-punk that recalls post-hardcore bands like Quicksand as much as it does alt-wavers Foo Fighters… but it's actually not impossible. There is a real neu-metal influence here as well, an Anger Management Tour sound that is brimming underneath the surface, and if you shut your eyes tightly enough you can picture Ozzy fronting some Sum 41 ripoff band, caterwauling to choppy riffs. But wait, the thumping "Ass Kicker #1" starts off, leaving out the bass for almost two minutes before launching into a lengthy instrumental, and all of a sudden Elsner sounds like the singer of System of a Down. What's going on here? I bet I know. I bet Riddle of Steel listens to some of the previously mentioned bands and pulls in those sounds, consciously or not. But dammit all if this band doesn't sound like more than a trio. Dave Turncrantz's drums are tight and precise, Jimmy Vavak's bass is never just filler and Elsner manages to intersperse guitar lines that don't need another player to help him beef up the songs. What I am trying to say here is that Riddle of Steel aren't bad, even if I kind of don't want to like them. There are static moments as well, like on the overwrought "Kissing in Secret," but overall this is a very solid, if a bit blatantly commercially minded, effort. The bottom line is that Riddle of Steel could kick the All American Rejects asses hands down. And really, that is all I am looking for in a band.

Reviewed by Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other reviews by Jonah Flicker



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