» 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
B-Girl Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Alaska! brings together Sebadoh's Russ Pollard and Imaad Wasif, Pollard's band mate in the newly revitalized Folk Implosion, with drummer Lesley Ishino of The Red Aunts. Ishino joined the duo as their touring drummer and does not actually appear on the recording of Emotions. If you're looking to pick up this disc in search of an album that sounds like any combination of the aforementioned bands, you will need to look elsewhere. Instead of rehashing what has already been covered in their previous efforts, with Alaska! Pollard and Wasif present a unique sound with a direction all to itself. This debut release showcases a natural simplicity that is raw and primitive without being underdeveloped. It mixes warm textured acoustic pieces with deliberate pounding rock and draws the listener in to sonic and emotional landscapes that are together intimate, vast, breathtaking and constantly evolving from beginning to end.

At times, Emotions has a country feel with a raw rock edge - that being country being defined as a genre with a sound, not specific to the south, but one associated with any rural region. At other times, the warm airy openness is vaguely reminiscent of the sounds shoegazing ushered in during the late 80's and early 90's. It's not possible to ascribe any one description to the soundscapes Alaska! develops; Emotions presents a variety of sounds and crosses a number of genres without limiting itself to any one. Although it may lack an apparent, singular direction, the album's shifting sound reveals itself as a dynamic work in progress; with a signature openness and expansiveness that remains constant throughout.

With these ideas in mind, the songs that Alaska! present on Emotions manage to accomplish what they set out to do; as stated in their press release, "don't doubt that Alaska!'s debut full-length has such a broad title for a very good reason. Sometimes making a blanket statement says it best, and says it all."

Reviewed by Danielle Marusa
A resident of Malvern, Pennsylvania, Danielle is an occasional contributor to LAS.

See other reviews by Danielle Marusa



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