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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
A-Set
The Science of Living Things
Tree Records

Rating: 7.2/10 ?


March 2, 1999
I don't know about this one, folks. The first time I heard it I thought I was going to die. "What in the hell is this guy doing?" I kept asking myself. There was no way I was going to review this record. After a few more listens, however, it kind of grew on me, much in the same way Joan of Arc does if you're expecting Cap'N Jazz the first time you hear it.

Albert Menduno (which I always read as "Menudo") is a name that has been around for a while and almost always associated with great things through his work in bands like Haelah, Calm, and Mohinder. The A-Set, however, is something all together different than his current projects. Although A-Set is basically Menduno's solo project, he recruited Tims Kinsella (of the aforementioned Joan of Arc) and Hurley (Red Red Meat) for the recording of these 6 songs. Straying away from the traditional setup of drums and guitars, A-Set relies heavily on the lap steel and an organ which combine to make these songs very eerie and down right depressing. One thing you pick up on right away is Menduno's nasally voice (which he can't very well do much about) which is used very effectively in a range of ways from whispery to a-capella stylings.

Although I may have bashed Tree a bit in the Post Marked Stamps review and although I may not agree with Ken Shipley's personal politics, releases like the A-Set, making it impossible to ever label Tree with a certain sound, are the reasons you have to respect the label. He might be abrasive about it but he REALLY doesn't give a shit what you think, and that is always cool in my book.

Emo and trend rockers should save their hard earned coffee house dough and steer clear of the A-Set, but anyone appreciative of distinct vision and originality should give it a try. Not music to play on the way to a punk show, not music to study by, not music to play for a date, the A-Set would probably go well with a long hot bath in the dark. Or maybe date with Winona Ryder.

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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