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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
400 Blows
Angel's Trumpets and Devil's Horns
Gold Standard Labs

Rating: 7.5/10 ?


August 29, 2005
Brutal, cold, emotionless and mechanical, Los Angeles' 400 Blows' latest full-length is the aural equivalent of having your ass kicked - but boatloads more fun than the real thing. The three-piece subsists musically on monster drumming and superior metal guitar riffs, and Skot's vocals, varying between a guttural scream and post-punk monotone, cut through the massive wall of distortion they put out. The fullness of the band, best appreciated live, is a force to be reckoned with.

Throughout the record, over songs like "The Average Guy" and "The Beauty of Internal Darkness," 400 Blows manage to create individual pieces of punk rock musicality in what could easily be a whitewashed wave of power chords and blurred soundcapes. Occasionally, the band settles into a staccato "almost-groove," exemplified on the chugging start-stop ditty "Love You to Death," but you can count on powerful flare-ups of hyper-charged hardcore to rear their ugly heads before too many seconds tick by.

There is something ominous in their music; you can almost feel the band stalking around the studio, marauding their way through their brash brand of punk rock so utterly devoid of any real melody. However, even at their snottiest, as on the sneering and pounding pummel session of "The Biggest Hit Yet," there are no feelings of pretension or pandering, just a particular joy in simplicity and a disdain for subtlety - attributes that should be bottled and shot in the arm of many a punk band these days. Metal appears as often as punk on the album, although, of course, they owe more to DRI and Motorhead than Megadeth or Metallica. Nevertheless, 400 Blows keep it simple (but never stupid) with their three-pronged approach to heavy music, wherever one feels their influences are pulled from.

This is raw and relentless music, but there's a great joy to be found in such mayhem. Bands like 400 Blows, DFA 1979 and even Liars seem to be able to tap into a craving for rawness and completely stripped-down monster-rock that some of us keep deep down inside the pits of our stomachs. 400 Blows are more than happy to mine these depths, and do so with a certain finesse and a decidedly skillful approach.

Reviewed by Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other reviews by Jonah Flicker

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