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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
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Castle Talk
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The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
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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
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Fat Possum
Bloodthirsty Lovers
Bloodthirsty Lovers
Frenchkiss Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
ust who are The Bloodthirsty Lovers? Their debut album was released last month by Frenchkiss Records, home to Les Savy Fav and the Apes, and run by Les Savy Fav's bass player, Syd Butler. Their members come from varied and interesting backgrounds. David Shouse has been a part of The Grifters and Those Bastard Souls. Paul Taylor (drums) has marked time with the North Mississippi Allstars and DDT, which featured the sons of a producer who has worked with The Replacements and Big Star. Thom Krupski plays keys. Not much info on him. But so what? What does all this amount to? Well, something entirely unexpected, something that has its peaks and valleys and something that takes several listens to get into.

The Bloodthirsty Lovers call themselves "datapunks," which is also the title of one of the best tracks on the album, a short and sweet trip-hop inspired drum loop. Whatever "datapunk" might mean to them, they play a keyboard and sample heavy brand of music that takes its cues from psychedelic rock and 60's pop, as much as it does from artists like Pink Floyd, Portishead and DJ Shadow. If Phil Spector was an android (and he might indeed be), his famed Wall of Sound production might have sounded something like this.

The eponymous album kicks off with "Telepathic," an instrumental that swells with rim shots and organ drones and lopes along in a down-tempo groove. "Call off the Thugs" is one of the best tracks on the album, full of dreamy keyboard floatation devices and guitar strums, as breathy vocals intone the title of the song. There are weak moments as well, like the cheezy funk of "Transgression #9" and the meandering "Sonic Letter to Sara Jane." Things begin to lose steam in the last third of the record, but fortunately the tempo is picked up again by the second to last track, "Waking Up in a Good Place," which rocks along with a poppy smirk after a swelling organ intro.

This is an album that takes several listens to begin to understand, as it is quite unlike much of the music that is being made today. It is a weird amalgamation of styles current and past and when it works, it is inspiring. When it doesn't, it is yawn inducing.

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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