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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
Ad Astra Per Aspera
Cubic Zirconia
Self-Released

Rating: 6.5/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Cubic Zirconia is a collage of sorts. Each track contains enough musical styles, melodies, moods and ideas to spawn three or four songs in its own right. The EP's main effect lies in pasting and squishing all of these different babies side by side. Within each song's five minutes, you'll hear jarring screaming, snaky piano lines, quiet vocals, angular rock and defunct synthesizers. One moment, you're in a mosh pit, the next you're bathing in warm water. Musical ideas aren't developed; they're introduced, scrapped and contrasted with the next.

Each song raises the question, "Where are we going?" Indeed, while listening to this music, you'll lose your general sense of direction. Unlike, say, a Godspeed You Black Emperor! song, where you're certain to go up and then down, Ad Astra Per Aspera takes you side-to-side and on little zigzag excursions. For the majority of the EP, they're making a point to disorient you.

But is it good? Some parts are and some aren't. A good bit of screaming and panic-inducing guitar-work aside, Ad Astra Per Aspera are fond of psychedelic, spiraling melodies infused with a punkish edge. Their well-placed counterpoints intrigued me and brought me further into the music.

"Goodland At Night" employs an especially great guitar riff, in the vein of Radiohead's "Street Spirit", which is counterposed with a playful piano line that sounds like it's from a Beethoven sonata. This only lasts a minute - but variations of the theme, which are interlaced with some more intense and less relevant sections, come and go; for that track, I was hooked. However, a lot of the band's trickery depends on surprising you with unexpected bends and turns. So, once I had already digested the music, it already began to get a little old. It may be made for a listen, but not necessarily repeatedly.

Reviewed by Josh Kazman
No infro.

See other reviews by Josh Kazman

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