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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
Braid
Please Drive Faster
Polyvinyl

Rating: 8.4/10 ?


October 1, 2004
I've gotten a lot of flack for being such an enthusiastic supporter of Braid over the years and I'm likely to get a lot more of it. One after another the Urbana-based foursome crank out the hits without fail. Their final release as an active band is no exception to the rule. Two of the final three songs, recorded only a few months ago.

On the A side, "Please Drive Faster" finds a pleasant midpoint between the "old" dynamic, screamocore Age of Octeen Braid and the "new" pop savvy, smooth edged Frame and Canvas Braid, something I very much appreciate. As always Nanna, Broach, Atkinson and Bell find a set of changes with an intrinsic dynamic and hook and stick with them just long enough to safely bail out before monotony sets in. Bob Nanna's lyrical wordplay knows few rivals and is in full display as the vocal floodgates swing open. Chris Broach's backing vocals are an ever present annoyance throughout, proving that some things never change.

On the B side the band shifts gears as Broach steps up for lead vocal duties and Nanna's voice takes a back seat. Unlike Nanna's voice, however, Broach's takes some warming to before they become comfortable within the songs. Just the shock from the absence of Nanna's voice likely contributes to the initial cringe but repeated listens allow Broach's sometimes whiney voice to grow on you, although the lyrics pale in comparison to those on the flip side. In addition, Nanna's voice works equally as well in a backing role as in a leading one, something that honestly cannot be said of his partner. With Broach's vocals the song takes on a very un-Braidesque feel, despite the trademark guitar tuning and signature changes. By the end of the song, however, "Circus of the Stars" resonates in my mind long after it's A-side counterpart does and has been worked over ten fold as many times. Ironic, isn't it?

Another, although sadly the final, in a long line of Braid singles, the format in which they shine the brightest. Attractive white vinyl and a sharp layout round out a superb package from what many consider to be the best band/label match up in years.

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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