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 » 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
Wolf Eyes
Burned Mind
Sub Pop Records

Rating: 7/10 ?


October 1, 2004
"Dead in a Boat," "Stabbed in the Face," "Reaper's Gong," "Urine Burn," "Black Vomit"… never let it be said that Wolf Eyes' song titles don't give you a good idea of what's in store when you press play. Anyone who's spent time with at least one of these guys' eleventy billion other releases - which is to say, probably anyone who's been paying any mind at all to the more venomous, fundamentally subversive faction of the noise rock scene since the late 90s - knows and relishes this fact, and probably doesn't need to read any further to know what's up with this glorious piece of decaying post-nuclear waste. But Wolf Eyes are on Sub Pop now, so they're set up to become Indie Rock Stars or something, I think, and they're even (sort of) being marketed to a wider audience (though I can't say for certain that one actually exists…), so I suppose some attempt on my part to describe that-which-defies-real-description is in order.

When you plop the headphones on and sit down with this bad boy and a bottle of ginger ale (please, no Schweppes - we aren't little boys here), you're essentially lying down behind a tanker truck full of raw sewage and waiting to feel the shit come raining down upon your feeble body. And rain it does - instead of falling out in dense, abrasive chunks, the shit ebbs and flows and pours down in one gigantic sludgy, crippling shower. Even noise perverts have to know what they're doing, and Wolf Eyes most certainly do.

For such a tortured swarm of piercing feedback-drenched feedback and electronically-manipulated electronic manipulations, this record feels surprisingly coherent, almost to the point that it's comforting.

Air raid sirens are going off outside, but you're curled up in the fetal position nodding off in time with the tidal Sabbath-on-even-more-drugs skree of these songs. Whereas cagier artists like Black Dice require listeners to constantly reevaluate their listening experience and stretch themselves to hear new sides of a formless mess - one that doesn't look like it has any sides to begin with - Wolf Eyes are refreshing because they only ask for your gut reaction.

This is pulverizing, visceral music with no pretensions of being anything more, and to treat it as some sort of abstract collage that one must grapple with to "get" is to give it more credit than it asks for. Though they dress their music with all of the trappings of a fine piece of trash art, Wolf Eyes are ultimately punk rockers at heart, so as much as you may feel threatened by their deafening explosions, you can take comfort in the fact that they're not trying to go over your head - they're just revolting against the notion of pop by breaking rock 'n' roll down to the sound of a roiling guitar and then embellishing that sound with a bunch of gadgets that should be used to make songs friendlier. Remember that guy in middle school who would yell out "cup check!" when he passed you in the locker room and then proceed to punch you in the balls? Yeah, that's what this is like, both in terms of the immediate reaction it provokes and the sophistication with which it carries itself.

It's actually probably easier to evaluate Burned Mind's value relative to the works of Wolf Eyes' contemporaries than it is to hold it against the band's other albums (or EPs, or 12 inches, or limited edition CD-Rs). I honestly can't tell you where to begin exploring with this band; I'm not really sure that even the band members themselves would have any helpful suggestions on the matter. I can, however, say without reservation, that Burned Mind pulls noise rock away from any and all possible academic pretensions and down into the miserable gutter in which it belongs. Nice.

Reviewed by Phillip Buchan
A one-time music director at WUOG in Athens, Phillip is into college radio, literature, writing, buying records, going to shows, talking to friends, learning -- pretty much the same stuff that all of us priveledged, (pseudo?)intellectual Americans are into.

See other reviews by Phillip Buchan

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