» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[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!
[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
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
The Slats
The Great Plains of San Francisco
The Tyros Label

Rating: NR/10 ?

February 14, 2000
The Slats reach out from a Weezer-esque base to paint in basement drum beats with technically crafted guitar slop. Cox has a gift for embodying unpredictability in pop songs. The controlled chaos of his loose, unexpected guitar parts with twisting riffs somehow sound good. That's what you get after some 2 years of conspiring to write the weirdest possible rock music. Some of the lead guitar actually reminds me of the solos on The Vandals' album, The Quickening. This album is a recording of the clearest sounds possible out of a shitty amp, and that makes for good art. Something special may have been done in production, both with the guitars and with Cox's caffeinated vocals, which often closely match the overdrive. While the songs on this album seem to strive collectively for insanity in a minimalist style, they all have an underlying quirkiness that goes down smoothly.

As is usually a good idea, The Slats place two of the catchiest songs back-to-back at the beginning. "The Weapon That I Used" is contagious and wacky, never even repeating itself. After an abrupt ending and 15 seconds of randomness, the more streamlined "A Payola Granola" instantly captures the attention as an identifiable pop song with its grinding guitar and clear voice: "Three blocks away, from suburbia…". "Hate Now" is aggressive and fun, but decidedly one-dimensional. "Diatomic" shares the appeal of the first two songs, but without immediate shocking guitar work. It is a much more beat-driven track, and hey, you don't need stunning notes if it works without them.

"Obliterate These Beats" is an almost completely instrumental extension of its opening hook, which would be nicer in a song with Cox's tireless vocal delivery. Maybe he thought that would be overkill, but this hook was meant to be part of something greater. The Doomsday Girls' song, "You Ruined A Good Idea", is the last real song on this disc, a delightful and clean sing-along. It closes an album of potential hits and seemingly meaningless exploration, all of it leaving you with a tapping foot and a smirk.

Reviewed by Lance Birch

See other reviews by Lance Birch



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