» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » 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]


 » 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
Reeve Oliver
Reeve Oliver
The Militia Group

Rating: 6.5/10 ?

October 1, 2004

Meet the new face of power pop, Reeve Oliver. Free of crow's feet and wrinkles, but full of acne. It's got peach fuzz on its chin, and behind that youthful facade lies simple thoughts like this one: "It's the little things, like attitude/the way we both hate seafood." Try to resist the urge to sigh like a lovesick schoolgirl.

That bit of lyrical word candy comes from the hook-happy "I Want Burns", the opener off their self-titled debut LP. Be careful when handling it, your fingers will get all sticky with the ABC (that's already been chewed to you, geezer) bubblegum that's all over this disc.

It's easy to be seduced by Reeve Oliver's boyish charm...if you're 12. More sophisticated musical palettes might not find them so cute. From the moony "Your Own Private Ice Age" comes this gem: "One chance to please me/I get queasy/This isn't easy." Reeve Oliver can't resist the urge to dumb it down for an audience that likes its Superdrag-style power pop with a little emo dressing on the side.

The guitars are big and pack quite a wallop, like in "On The Floor", where the sugary hooks are undeniably appealing. But, Weezer does it better, and without the tacky sentimentality - which creeps into the music as well - of something like "Until Someone Loves You", with the line, "You're no one till someone loves you." Wasn't it Dean Martin who said that? Or was it Sinatra?

Of course, the adult in me would say something like that. The kid in me would be all like, "God, you're so jaded. You go on and on about Superdrag all the time. Can't you just enjoy those gorgeous, swooning hooks - which don't sound a whole lot different than your precious Superdrag, now do they? - without getting sarcastic?" He'd admit that songs like "Yer Motion", "Until Someone Loves You" and "Inhale, Exhale" get a bit too schmaltzy, and the piano intro and ending of "Inhale, Exhale" is way too predictable. But he'd say "Reevenge" flat out rocks, and so does "I Don't Want To Know" and I can't argue with that. Brad Davis' drums seem to be packed with explosives, O'Donnell's guitar has all the crunch of a kid's cereal, and O's bass work is tight and always on the money. "So the lyrics aren't as literate as Morrissey's," the teen in me would say. "They speak to me. Remember when that girl you were crushing on in the sixth grade laughed when you finally worked up the courage to ask her out? A little Reeve Oliver would have sounded pretty good right about then."

He's right, it would have. Perhaps a compromise is in order. Reeve Oliver gets my qualified endorsement, but it comes with this caveat: the band's brand of exuberant, over-the-top pop can wear thin upon repeated listening, so enjoy it in moderation. And when the adult in you starts to feel that this is beneath him, just remember: that awkward teenage boy of yesteryear wouldn't mind hearing someone sing about getting dumped and doing it backed by music that's more fun than you'll ever have now that you're older and "wiser."

Reviewed by Peter Lindblad
Peter Lindblad lives in Appleton, Wis., and bleeds green and gold just like all the Packer fan nutjobs in the area. He does draw the line at wearing blocks of chedder on his head, or any other body parts for that matter, though. His professional career has taken weird twists and turns that have led him to his current position as an editor at a coin magazine. He hopes his stay there will be a short one. Before that, he worked as an associate editor at a log home magazine. To anyone that will listen, he\'ll swear that Shiner was one of the greatest rock bands to ever walk the earth. Yet he also has much love for Superchunk, Spoon, DJ Shadow, Swervedriver, Wilco, Fugazi, Jawbox, ... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Modest Mouse, among others.

See other reviews by Peter Lindblad



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