» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » 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]


 » 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
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Poison Arrows
Lookout! Records

Rating: 6/10 ?

October 1, 2004
The truly terrible thing about trends in music is that they invariably flood the landscape, saturating the ears of everyone, even those with the taste to discern honest and skillful music from crap. That truth is exceptionally brutal for bands like Oakland's Communique, the newest contemporary punk additions to the venerable Lookout! roster. The truth of the matter is that Communique craft intelligent, brooding retro-punk songs that incorporate all of the nostalgic hooks of new wave, and they do so without forgetting to write a solid pop song underneath the layers of synthesizers. To put it simply, they sound like an early 1990s British punk band by way of the 2002 East Village of New York. Communique dress like Interpol might if they were from the East Bay, and they sound like a more thin, less adventurous version of the Firebird Band's Cargo days.

Poison Arrows starts off strong with "The Best Lies", a bass-heavy every-rocker that seems destined to soundtrack either a Calvin Klein jeans ad or some hectic, hand-held scene from a coming-of-age film set in New York city. But the amicable melodies that make the song instantly likeable are the same thing that makes it instantly forgettable. No matter how you slice it, Communique write good songs. But not great ones. With the proliferation of music - and independent music especially - through technology over the past couple of years, the number of bands writing good songs has swelled to the breaking point. Now, the blatantly plastic commercial arena aside, it takes great songs to really matter, and Communique don't have them. From the opening track into the following "Evaporate" and its "Oohs" and "Aaahs" on through to the album's best track "Strays" - which ends up sounding more like some bubblegum pop song fronted by a hung over member of Saves the Day, as channeled through Hanson - there just isn't anything real here to sink your hears into. Communique come off as sincere - and I should reiterate that their songs don't suck - but it's pretty frightening when "sincere" sounds the same across a hundred different bands. Try as I might, I just can't keep this album from blending into the din of the year in rock, circa 2002.

Reviewed by Mikel Jurgen

See other reviews by Mikel Jurgen



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