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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
Dakota Suite
Signal Hill
Badman Recording Co.

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
By all appearances and even by the treacherous press sheet this band wants to be compared to the Red House Painters, so that is what I will do. As you can see the cover bears a phone line or electric wired pole which one could expect of the Red House Painters, and the title of the album is a lot like that of the Painters' album, Down Colorful Hill. What matters most is the music and in this they are different. Where Mark Kozelek added layers of reverb to his voice, (also contemporaries Mazzy Star) Chris Hooson does not. This and the ever present acoustic guitar and drumming style makes them sound more like Robert Deeble then RHP. The presence of majestic, almost victorious horns at the end of the first track "the cost of living" sets them apart as well. Thus far all the differences in musical style have been positive, so on to the negative. Where RHP tells a personal story that listeners can hear and know about personal things, these songs are written somewhat vaguely so that any number of people in any number of situations could sympathize and sing along. This also may be a positive but makes it seemingly less personal to Hooson and he becomes just another one of us. These songs are written in a regular pop verse chorus verse chorus format which aids all of us in singing along with them, also perhaps not a negative. The thing that most bothers me is the ever-present lead guitar, sometimes a slide sometimes just soloing over the top of everything else and it's during this bluesy doodling that it becomes annoying and very noticeable such as on the eighth track. Other things are the melancholy trumpet intro to "Riverside" that makes the song. The song that sounds most similar to a Red House Painters offering to me is "Raining Somewhere".

Overall, I love this album. I've had it in my cd player and allowed it to set my mood for days now. My only complaint is if you're going to ride on someone else's wings as a rip-off band you should at least try to rip them off, but bravo for not and only giving the appearance of it. I recommend this to anyone who likes slow, calming, melodic music.

Reviewed by JJ Hamon


See other reviews by JJ Hamon

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