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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]

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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.
[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
Six By Seven
The Way I Feel Today
Mantra / Beggars Group

Rating: NR/10 ?


February 14, 2000
Hype is a bitch. The U.K. has been importing the "next big thing" over to these American shores for too long to recall now, and had I not read several ecstatic reviews of Six By Seven's third album, The Way I Feel Today, before my first listen, the intense disappoint I felt, that initial "What is this shit" reaction that I had, may have been avoided. So I feel it is my duty to burst the bubble on an album that could honestly prove itself to be a more enjoyable listen than most of the mediocre crap that will be released this year, in hopes that maybe you will have a chance to enjoy it.

While the heavier rock tunes on The Way I Feel Today do indeed ignite a spark, they fail to ever be thoroughly engaging in their execution. It's hard to notice that opener "So Close" rarely strays from its one pummeled 'C' power chord, even though the song opens with an ominous and compelling keyboard melody, while the rest of the band builds to the explosive crescendo. Speaking of the keys, they are used on nearly every song, but in most cases they do nothing more than provide a background texture, which, after hearing the engaging start of "So Close", is nothing short of a pure shame.

The major gripe I have with The Way I Feel Today is singer Chris Olley's oft-atrocious lyrics. Nearly every song has a few gag-worthy lines, and while most of the time they aren't noticeable over the blistering sonic fury, they are printed in the CD insert for your own perusal and evaluation. For example, in "I O U Love" Olley asserts, "You are the atom that started life… you are cosmic and I love you". Trust me when I say that by the end of the song, in which the refrain is repeated ad nauseam, there will be no doubt in your mind that Olley owes whoever it is a whole hell of a lot of love. Though in "Flypaper For Freaks", Olley gets himself off the hook when he confesses "I never promised you rock n roll / was supposed to be good", and then he goes on to follow it up with some absent-minded quip like "We never paid the rent / 'Cuz baby we don't need to / All the eggs were scrambled". Say what? At least he warned us.

While tracks like "Speed Is In, Speed Is Out" and "Flypaper For Freaks" may be the meat and potatoes of the album, some of the heavy bruiser tunes like album closers "Anyways" and "Bad Man" are definite low points. Both songs are about as rhythmically varied as a nun's day-to-day life. Though occasionally, the slower songs pick up the slack. Case in point, the visions-of-Coldplay-dancing-in-your-head "All My New Best Friends". Still there are other failures like the horrendous attempt to cop the sousing sonic drones of My Bloody Valentine in "Karen O", and the cheesy drum loop and densely affected guitar grind of would-be Garbage outtake "American Beer".

While the somewhat exaggeratedly slick production, and the live studio recording technique may have added to the raw sonic appeal of this record - Olley is quoted as saying "When you don't have [the overdubbing] option, your concentration and focus are so much better and you get an edgier, better-sounding record as a result" - it also leaves the chinks in the songwriting armor more agonizingly exposed. With no way to divert the listeners attention from the negligible amount of rhythmic and melodic variation found on The Way I Feel Today, the album's aesthetic inherently depends on its energy and enthusiasm, and while it has plenty to burn, the lack of anything more substantial underneath keeps it's appeal in check upon repeat listening. Approaching the album with lowered expectations may make it prove rather rewarding, but don't believe the hype. Unfortunately I didn't have that luxury, and the way I feel about this album is the way the title track states its mantra, "The way I feel today / is over you".

Reviewed by Mark Skipper
Mark Skipper currently resides in Nashville, TN where he can be found skipping shows, drinking Guinness, making bad home recordings, and complaining about how much music sucks these days.

See other reviews by Mark Skipper

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