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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.
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 » 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!
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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
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Hau Ruck

Rating: 7/10 ?

May 5, 2006
I've been racking my brain all day for a good simile to describe the experience of hearing a remix collection based on an album that's thunderously heavy and still within easy reach in the car many months after its release. Usually when you - okay, I mean when I - personally think remix album, it's "They're actually expecting to make money with a Bee-Gee-ized version of 'Oops I Did It Again'?," and my respect for our species drops another notch, however cranially impossible that seems.

Rewind to September, when the root product, Hau Ruck, bum-rushed my stereo like a Mujahideen trying to work off a fifth of Wild Turkey, arguably (eh, screw that - inarguably) the heaviest industro-metal Tyrannosaur to hit the waves all year. Trembling with outrage, handshake track "Free Your Hate" is a call to anarchy comparable to the meanest Ministry rant - think "Reload" but sung by a girl who obviously suffered unholy schoolyard beatings from kindergarten onward. The coda of the tune is pure Dawn of the Dead venom, pointing out most succinctly that we truly live in The Days of Rage: a 16-40 age demographic raised on coke, crack, Wolfenstein and Full Metal Jacket is forced by law to control its impulse to tar and feather Dick Cheney and the Halliburton junta he rode in on and sit idly by while our wonderful Chinese global-trade partners demand that Darfur remain a killing ground run by godless animals.

Huff puff, you see. In any case, the mechanics are these: the beat for the Hau Ruck version is Headbang 101, pretty much "Shout It Out Loud" - not punky but not eminently danceable. Turning to Ruck Zuck, the remix (assisted by... oh, who honestly keeps track of such piffle, particularly when it isn't that ultra-rare someone who could instantly turn any series of random noises into pure zen?) has broken up the drums into breakbeats (bad) and added more fuzz (good, but not a saving grace).

Speaking of breakbeats and similar contrivances, there's a lot of it here. Spezial K not only overdoes the vocoder of "Hau Ruck" but gives it the Nintendo treatment you'd expect from something like Electric Company.

The good news is that there's one new track (two if you count the German-babbling spoken-word "Ansage") in "Der Mussolini," which borrows the skidding-synth trick of "Free Your Hate" to supercharge a song that would make Rammstein relevant again in one swell foop.

I have that simile now. A record as hardass as "Hau Ruck" doesn't require revision, ever, particularly at the hands of outsourced help that does nothing but practice their posturing; it's like Metallica handing the masters of Ride the Lightning over to that awful Vanilla Ice person.

Reviewed by Eric Saeger
An LAS staff writer based in New Hampshire, Eric Saeger was named alt.flame\'s Newbie of the Year in 2000.

See other reviews by Eric Saeger



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