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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
Chessie
Overnight
Plug Research

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Ever wonder what was beyond the mountains on the cover of Radiohead's Kid A? It's one of those instances where you can actually visualize the album art as being a translation of a world the music has created. In Kid A's case, the mountains are a behemoth obstacle for the listener to go through-or attempt to get through. The destination and objective to the journey is completely unknown and fascinating. You're propelled to keep listening.

Chessie's cover for Overnight has mountains too. But these are softer: the peeks are rounded and medium blue in contrast to the dark purple of the sky. Just above the big letters spelling out the band's name in the bottom half of the art, there's what looks like a railway winding towards the heart of the painting, towards the mountains. Overnight is, in theme, the music of traveling by train through the night.

Once only comprised of Stephen Gardner (who has released two previous albums, Signal Series and Meet on the Oakland, CA, label Drop Beat), Chessie now exists as a duo with the addition Ben Bailes. Their collective ideas and influences have made for a melting pot of instrumental and electronic music, most obviously with a heavy dose of shoegazer and "found-sound texturing.

"Electro-motive," the album opener, huffs and puffs with exhaustive bursts and metallic screeches-the sounds of a train starting. The track that follows it, "Daylight," sets an intriguing momentum with its chugging rhythms and jangly guitar, soon dissolving into the album's predominantly vaporous world.

Most of the percussive aspects of the music are processed waves of sound that form tempos that move in and out of the mix at a fickle leisure. Noisiness is very dominant and yet not obstructive to the soothing mood.

At times, you feel like you're lost in it all, but then some shape begins to take form inside each track, proving to be an interesting process to hear. While the "musical geography" of the album as a whole could be a cold and foggy path, it's also very comforting in a thunderstorm kind of way; you're at a safe distance, but you can still sense the chaos at the heart of it all.

In the closing track, "Eyes and Smiles," you can hear a faint train whistle though all the layers, as what sounds like a drum sample from Ride's "Dreams Burn Down" bounces around in the dark. It is a ballad-like ending to the journey, leaving you at a place that seems far away from the daylight or from humanity, but also strangely comfortable and intentional-the place you want to be by the end of it all.

Reviewed by Trevor Naud
Trevor Naud is a former staff writer for LAS and a former sex symbol and guitarist of the band Red Shirt Brigade. He currently plays music with South South Million and PAS/CAL.

See other reviews by Trevor Naud

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