» 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!
[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
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
Ad Astra Per Aspera
An Introduction To 7"

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Music that involves screaming is almost always a hard sell on record. At a live show, the audience can see the person on the stage, they can see those veins bulge, the sweat drip down, every straining muscle and (if they're close) those bloodshot eyes, and well, yes, the singer is screaming - of course they are.

Kansas' Ad Astra Per Aspera (not to be confused with Philly shoegazer/psychedelic band Aspera) screams quite a bit, and it seems almost unfair to review the band's 7" without ever seeing them live, as this record hints at a degree of energy that doesn't coalesce on the record. This isn't one of those awful high school angst screamo bands, though. On top of some fairly typical fast-slow dynamics and anti-consumerism lyrics, there are odd touches of piano, little Crimson Curse keyboard freakouts, and even '70s prog rock moments, including what sounds like a rising and falling organ on "A Consolation Bribe." And that's over the course of eleven minutes of music.

The band also leavens the harsh vocals with some soft female singing, and the contrast is rather pleasing; more extensive use of the secondary vocals could make the end result more distinctive. Fans of bands like The Hal al Shedad might want to give Ad Astra Per Aspera a chance, although a live show might be the ideal place to do so.

Reviewed by Erick Bieritz
Erick Bieritz lives in Chicago, where is usually either very hot or very cold. He was the brainchild behind EPMD, where he wrote about EPs and singles for LAS, looking for overlooked or underappreciated non-album releases.

See other reviews by Erick Bieritz



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