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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
Appleseed Cast
Mare Vitalis
Deep Elm

Rating: 9/10 ?


October 1, 2004
I can not remember ever being so surprised in my life. This is a Deep Elm band? This is a band from the Emo Diaries series? This is beautiful.

Mare Vitalis, from note one of a discordant guitar, washes the air with the blue of sea night and pulls us into the sea. There is no screaming or panic, the viscid warmth of kelp binding our wrist and ankles somehow comforting. "The Immortal Soul of Mundo Cani" swallows us, squelching the breath from life, only to spit us out again into the rebirth of "Fishing the Sky," a song remarkable in its completeness and diversity of references, it's nimble arpeggio wandering into the paradoxically anachronistic and driving yet dark and brooding "Forever Longing the Golden Sunsets." The wave crests, we give into the caress of the sea, and again we are submerged in the sparkling aquarium of "Mare Mortis," instrumental only as a technicality, speaking volumes with its own voice.

Mare Vitalis is both belletristic and heroic in its concept, delivery and reception. It is an aural novel of great scope, each song a chapter, each chapter constructed of paragraphs, sentences, words. Ultimately, riddled with syllables each key in a collective instrument fit for interpretation, constructed for explanation, this album loses marks only for its tendency to repeat rhythms and to rely on a single midrange guitar sound throughout (they're from Kansas though). As a whole, however unwavering in scope, narrow in focus, this album is magnificent.

I honestly put very little stock in the practice of record reviewing, but I would like to take the opportunity to highly recommend this album to everyone reading. In fact, I'm about to jump online and buy their first long player.

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth

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