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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
The Saddest Landscape
Lift Your Burdens High
Alone Records

Rating: 7/10 ?


October 1, 2004
This is not what I had in mind. It's a hazy day, spitting chilled droplets onto my face and hair. I wore myself out recently writing reviews of hardcore records, which is admittedly not my favorite genre. I rewarded myself for getting through it by placing a Low CD, gently, in my car. I returned to my work ethic, and upon looking at the artwork for The Saddest Landscape, I got out a gray piece of paper to set what I thought was the proper mood. Then... more hardcore - sort of.

I will say I was, at first, disappointed by the initial screams of Lift Your Burdens High, for This is Where We Cross once I'd finally gotten my blood pressure down, but then I got hooked in.

Immediately, this reminded me of bands that guys, along the way, tried to get me to like - Hoover, Hero of a Hundred Fights, Four Hundred Years - these outfits intrigued me with their complexity, but warded me away with their volume. The Saddest Landscape has the same dynamic, but receives a similar appreciation, as well.

Lift Your Burdens High, for This is Where We Cross is hazardous. Rash. Off-key, and more than a little weird. It's the weirdness, though, the overall complexity, that is so engaging. I mean no disrespect to hardcore fans, but much of it, to me, is about speed and noise. The Saddest Landscape knows the attraction that comes when slowing things down and exposing a brainier side.

Be it in the near-singing introductory melody of "A Statue of a Girl (May 15th)", with its sweaty, restful sway, the post-rock, darkly paced "Weightless is the New Black," the relatable, wrenching sting of "He Died Among Dreams," the drowning demise of "The Sixth Golden Ticket" - or even in the relentless attacks in-between - The Saddest Landscape show that they can back anger with eloquence, with more to offer than most. The extra effort is ultimately what counts, assuring you'll revisit this coarse affair with due respect, and get more than you expected.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters

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