» LATEST FEATURES

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
Small Brown Bike and The Casket Lottery
Small Brown Bike and The Casket Lottery
Second Nature Recordings

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Small Brown Bike and The Casket Lottery, two bands from the Midwest who play very similar strains of the post-punk/emo rock'n'roll that is so prevalent from that section of the country, have gotten together to record a six-song EP that is described as being "a collaborative effort in the truest sense." Why is this? Well, the bands didn't simply contribute three songs a piece, but instead actually collaborated in the music and lyric writing duties, sometimes each contributing an element separately, sometimes working together. While you have definitely heard bands like The Get Up Kids and Braid play this type of music before (although without the collaboration element); these emo-warriors do a pretty good job working together.

One marked difference in the two bands is their vocal styles. Small Brown Bike's Mike Reed generally inhabits the more powerful screamy world of singing which always seems to overpower The Casket Lottery's Nathan Ellis' more whiney and nasal stylings. The difference can be heard from song to song. The first track, "Wrong Hometown," finds Small Brown Bike contributing the music and The Casket Lottery contributing lyrics and vocals. When compared to the completely rockin' "Boardinghouse," on which Small Brown Bike handles vocal duties and The Casket Lottery the music, or "Now I'm a Shadow," which is Small Brown Bike on their own, this difference is made clear. The bands clearly work well together, having known each other and played shows together for several years. But Small Brown Bike has the edge in their vocals and the intricacy in their music that edges out over The Casket Lottery a bit. The two bands cover the classic Queen/Bowie tune "Under Pressure" together, and they handle it quite well, but one can't help but think of the far superior Crooked Fingers version of this standard. Things slow down to acoustic-emo ballad levels on the last track, "Riding with Death," ending the EP in a moody and contemplative haze.

It must be said again that these two bands employ a style of music that is increasingly popular these days, the loud-soft sing-scream dynamics of the current camp that can be called emo or post-punk or whatever. But they offer their own original and fresh takes on this style and they succeed in not bogging it down in clichés.

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

» MEDIA DOWNLOADS

» GOT STICKERS?

If you'd like to help spread the word about LAS, or simply want to outfit yourself with some adhesive coolness, our 4" circle LAS stickers are sure to hit the spot, and here is how to get them:

--> Send an with $2 in PayPal funds to cover postage. Don't worry, we'll load you up with enough to cover your town. Then just be patient. They will arrive soon.

» WORLDWIDE DOMINATION

LAS has staff and freelance writers spread across North and South America, Europe, and a few in Southeast Asia as well. As such, we have no central mailing adress for unsolicited promotional material. If you are interested in having your project considered for coverage, please contact us before sending any promotional materials - save yourself time and postage!