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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]

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 » 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
Junius
Junius
Radar

Rating: 9.2/10 ?


October 11, 2007
Brooding and melodic are two descriptors that I like to use when elaborating on music that I term post-goth. Post-goth, is largely indebted to but is not just the inherent offshoot of goth, a genre shaped by bands such as Bauhaus, Joy Division, The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and The Mission U.K. The reason for post-goth's distinction being that it contains stylistic impulses denoting more recent syntheses of sound. Equal parts post-alternative, avant-gaze, and post rock, along with the band's propensity toward new-wave/goth of the 1980s, Junius breathe life into styles of music that, critically speaking, have only barely taken form.

Every gloomy music fan donning a black hoodie has heard of bands like Chevelle, Three Days Grace, and Breaking Benjamin. Junius, thankfully, isn't that type of band; their self-titled collection of tracks (a combination of their EPs Forcing Out The Silence [2004] and Blood Is Bright [2006], which work amazingly well together) brings craft-like authenticity to a mode of music - one oft cast as artificial - that makes them legit. The Boston no-wavers build walls of sound and set them off with dark vocals and sparse tinkles of guitars as opposed to routinely laying everything bare. And to listeners who will still fail to grasp the distinction, wearing Vans does not necessarily make you street just as listening to emotive music does not in itself make you intense.

Junius play to the strengths of the modern day alternative sound that music critics love to hate, and in doing so they avoid the pitfalls that bring about that hatred in the first place. It is not that the band has fused the Cure with post rock and thrown in a little neo-alternative for good measure; when frontman Joseph E. Martinez screams he does so not like a slipping-off-the-handles Matt Berninger of The National, but like the neck-hair raising screeches of The Deftones' Chino Moreno. But Martinez is no one-trick pony, and those moments of guttural wailing are strategically placed to make for more than just another testosterone driven attempt to "be real."

Junius is, as a whole, brooding and melodic, with climaxes rising above the solidly built intensity. "[Elan Vitale]," the album's intro, is a fairly even gesture a la The Cure but before settling down moves seamlessly into "Hiding Knives," where Martinez aches, "Stepped outside and I walked to the edge/ Toes pointing down looking over the past again/ I'm frightened by my urge to descend."

Junius ply their wares at two tempos - intense and not quite as intense -not unlike the Deftones, which is especially apparent on "Forcing Out the Silence." Yet for all of it's amps-to-the-grindstone momentum, there remains in Junius the possibility for a downshift, like the pulsating "Blood Is Bright," a track filled with Beta Band-like harmonies and emo lyricism, and which serves as a reminder that Sunny Day Real Estate is as much of an influence for Junius as is Hum.

The first band in quite some time to do so, Junius are most definitely a necessary listen for offering a new take on what we have come to disregard mechanically. The degree to which bands like The Deftones, Hum, Failure, Incubus, Chevelle and countless others were improperly lumped together nearly vanquished a generation of promising post-goth rockers, but Janius look to be primed for leading a resurgence. In doing so they take such a perilous path on their first two EPs that to not offer them their own space in an endless amassment of contrived acts would be unprincipled, not to mention hypocritical.

Reviewed by Patrick Gill
In in a state of suspended adolescence, Patrick Gill can be found hiding away in northwest Ohio, where he spends most of his time rediscovering shoegaze, noise pop, britpop, slowcore, sadcore, lo-fi, neo-psychedelia, post-rock, trad rock, and trip-hop music. In his spare time he teaches college English.

See other reviews by Patrick Gill

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