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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 Starvations
Gravity\'s A Bitch
Gold Standard Laboratories

Rating: 7/10 ?


September 8, 2005
In a bona fide ghost town, a group of ruined, rowdy spirits is allowed to rise above their prison to terrorize a familiar, dusty saloon. Many of their most evil deeds were committed here, and the nostalgia hits them with bloody inspiration. They resume old feuds and bar fights, all the while playing inattentive audience to a duo they all know well: the legendary Mr. Grieves, 'mortalized' by the Pixies in a raucous, hellbound masterpiece, and the Grim Reaper, in all of his arresting, malevolent chill. Grieves opens his mouth and a yelp comes out so blood-boiling, it leaps above the fights to provoke and intensify the brutality. Meanwhile, the Reaper stretches his skeletal fingers to tickle the ivories of a busted piano, relishing each menacing, whiskey-soaked note. This spectacle of the devil's work - and his music - is fueled zealously, as all will soon return to the torture from whence they came.

For all intents and purposes, the Starvations could be that unholy duo of Grieves and Reaper, the accompanists to undying bloodlust. Gravity's a Bitch is their short collection of thunderous piano tunes, equally inspired by the Fall, Pixies, the Birthday Party and so much unbridled violence. Played with the villainous gusto of souls who don't have much time in purgatory, Gravity's a Bitch is fleshed out by exasperated yelps, shambling arrangements, forlorn pianos and the angry passion of the eternally damned. Their world is one of dark, unglorified Old West debauchery, undying evil and hopelessness, and yet, even in chaos, the spirit of rock and roll remains nothing but deliciously, sinfully fun. No base urges are suppressed here; the hedonism is wickedly appealing.

On this album, the Starvations discover that 25 minutes is just enough time to let every primal instinct loose before flames once again engulf the scene. Each meltdown and rampage unleashed - from the rollicking, dirty "Lost at Sea" to the crashing, operatic gestures of "This Poison" and the mental anguish of the titular flare-up - both wrecks and renews. Escaping torture for only an instant, these ghouls possess the pent up energy to demolish absolutely. Who knew vice and destruction could sound so sweet?

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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