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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]

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
Milwaukee
...In Sounds
Blackliner Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Far, the Sacramento band that tried their darndest to break into the mainstream with limited success, broke up in 1998, but their former members haven't spent too much time in mourning since the band's funeral. Jonah Matranga tugs your heartstrings for the Jade Tree camp, releasing sappy material as One Line Drawing and semi-rocking stuff with his band New End Original. Shaun Lopez is playing with a group called The Revolution Smile who have signed to Interscope. And finally, John Guttenberg and Chris Robyn have taken a more low key and lo-fi approach with their new band, Milwaukee, with excellent results.

This is solid and lazy (in a good way) middle-of-California style indie rock in the vein of Grandaddy or Earlimart. Fuzzy bass and strummed guitars are augmented by Rentals style keyboard flourishes and Guttenberg's effortless singing blends right in with these songs that tell musical and lyrical stories of lost love, farm fields and empty highways. The opening track, "Sacramento USA" sets the tone for the album as it pushes along at a determined pace, never feeling the need to bust out with guitar mini-explosions, relying instead on firm songwriting and catchy melody. "22" attempts a spare route that works just as well, acoustic strumming under Guttenberg's tales of driving and breaking up. "Trying to Pull Through" is a great and melancholy song that employs simple melody and a growth spurt that pushes it into epic sad-rock by the songs end.

Milwaukee aren't relying on any fireworks or complete convention warping and fucking to make good music, just those tired old tricks of good songwriting, emotive lyrics and a penchant for heartbreak. Their debut album has come some distance in terms of sound from their former band and the effort and energy here are just enough.

Reviewed by Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other reviews by Jonah Flicker

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