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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
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Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
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The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
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No Age - Everything in Between
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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
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Fat Possum
A Future Lived in Past Tense

Rating: 9/10 ?

April 2, 2001
We wait and wait and wait for an album to come along and really grab us. For some people it happens all the time, for others less often. While there have been a solid number of respectable albums released in the past few years, there have been few bands able to deliver the one-two punch that Juno has with their 1999 debut, This Is the Way It Goes and Goes and Goes and this, their sophomore full-length.

The triangular guitar salvo that dominates this band's sound is in full, beautiful effect in the opener, "A Thousand Motors Pressed Upon the Heart." A keyboard jump-starts into a plain but catchy loop and the guitars spring up almost immediately. From the hypnotic synthesized loop to the frenzied guitars to a paced ending, it only takes 4:40 to for the realization to sink in - this is going to be one hell of a ride. On the second track, "Covered With Hair," which was clearly the album's maven from the first listen, the pace is retained and Arlie Carstens' vocals arrive with an understated explosion. His steady quasi-monotone is both alluring and off-putting at the same time, running through a short essay on scene politics and steadily gaining in pitch all the while, soaring at the end like a fourth guitar. Shower, Rinse, Repeat with "When I Was In _________," the third track. By the time we're two minutes into "Help Is On the Way" the guitars have begun to ring out with sharp angularity and Carstens' vocals have peaked again, piercing like knife thrusts through the speakers, and all those puncture wounds come when there are still three minutes to go. This song also makes use of allusion to the "missing torsos" that Arlie noted in the LAS feature interview we did a few years ago.

"Help Is On the Way" is one of A Future Lived in Past Tense's premiere tracks, and pretty much serves to hammer home the point that this album goes and goes and goes, in gorgeously dramatic fashion, until the end, creating completely individual and uniquely compelling orchestrations in one track after another. Dynamics clearly established, "Help Is On the Way" showcases the more momentum-gathering side of Juno, and the trailing "The French Letter" brings a languorous pace to a sprint in a long, seven-minute sweeping motion. (Later "We Slept in Rented Rooms" clocks in at nearly 10 minutes).

Most of the interior of the album is set up like a gallery for opening some of the more unconventional aspects of Juno's maturation to the public. While I am personally most captivated by the more streamlined post-punk of Juno's guitar showcases, like the acerbic "You Are the Beautiful Conductor of This Orchestra," it is the more abstract arrangement of songs like "Up Through The Night" that will most decidedly prove this band to be undeniably kick-ass.

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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