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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
The Braves
Love & Mercy
Johann\'s Face

Rating: 5/10 ?


March 28, 2005
Certain musical tags draw to mind specific sounds and bands when uttered. When you hear someone say shoegaze, you might think of My Bloody Valentine or Slowdive. Post-rock is vast enough to come up with multiple bands, but Wire comes to mind as does Tortoise. Quicksand and Fugazi are perfect examples of post-hardcore, and when I mention college rock who might you think of? Brought to the mainstream by REM in the late 80s, the term refers to a melodic musical blend that is characterized by a culmination of post-rock and new wave. The Braves are now classic examples of this genre and with their new record Love & Mercy the band almost mimics this rather uninspiring sound with a mediocre effort that has been trampled on and toyed with by countless others.

In the vein of Dillon Fence, REM, Toad The Wet Sprocket and the Poises, this alternative five-piece from Illinois plays a perfect blend of atmospheric college rock with little in the way any new musical growth or developmental sounds. The Braves are more or less a calculated text book example of being so enclosed in a certain sound that it is hard to identify what they are trying to achieve in their musical mission or purpose.

Sometimes sounding like a slower Superchunk, as heard on "I am Just A Fog" and "Everyone Is a Safe Place", The Braves do better on the more aggressive dynamic and crunchy numbers rather than the more guitar picked Counting Crow's sounding "There Are No Maps". Although much of Love & Mercy never strays from their obvious influences, lead singer Joseph Reina posses great vocal qualities and a nice balance of melody and charm but The Braves still have lots to prepare for between now and their next album. Hopefully, with time, the band will succumb to the reality that putting a spin on an already dull style may be the way out of an almost certain sophomore slump.

Reviewed by Mark Taylor
A senior LAS staff writer, Mark Taylor is a 29 year old father of a 5 year old son and husband to a wife of 6 years, living the simple life in a small suburb of Charlotte, NC.

See other reviews by Mark Taylor

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