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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
Elevator Division
Years
Second Nature Recordings

Rating: 5/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Sometimes it's nice to leave the door open to let in all manner of sonic detritus and polished music pearls. You get to separate the wheat from the chaff more easily. Elevator Division is not the sing-along kind of band that you instantly throw to the trash bin, but they don't defy the ever-expanding conventions of modern rock very often, either. They manage to keep a nice balance between the raised-by-wolves approach that suits the late night airwaves of today, and the teenage-mellowed riot of marketing products that pollute the pages of corporate music magazines.

There's nothing harmful or menacing about Years, and that can be a problem. Picking up where acts like U2 or Coldplay seldom dared to go, Elevator Division is like that alarm clock, peaceful tune that you don't mind waking up with, but won't tolerate the rest of the day - especially if you have a stressful lifestyle. And they surely do an interesting job in inciting you to smash the speakers when they sound too smooth. Their guitar-driven ten tracks won't do anything for the world except enlarge a few band members' bank accounts.

They all look cool, with Interpol/Strokes-like haircuts and impeccable tuxedos, but sound even less likely to punch your face than any band coming from the New York cauldron of instantaneous press magnets. That said, when prejudice begins to settle down, you can go back to the record and rejoice in elegant numbers like "Radio" and "Infinite Regress". But Years seems to be prescribed for those pre/pos-adolescence states of confusion. And confusion is a tongue-twister.

But while tongue-twisters in every language take advantage of very similar sounding words or syllables to generate confusion, here all tracks sound the same, and the confusion you get won't have you wondering for hours what on earth the guys meant. You get confused because you cannot understand why they recorded the same track over and over again. And yes, the repeat button is off.

Going through the whole record more than once at a time is like attending a high-school class on a summer-like day and with no recess. You can learn new things that you weren't aware of before, but then again the outside world is more thrilling and enjoyable. When the timer reaches the 42-minute mark, you feel as if you have been saved by the bell. Isn't that fun?

Reviewed by Helder Gomes
Currently living on the south bank of the Tagus river, in Portugal, Helder Gomes is a working class hero. He is a journalist for the local radio station Rádio Nova Anten. In his spare time, he skates and watches many odd movies. He is in love with the French nouvelle vague, and the Danish/Swedish invasion. He writes for a number of publications, on the Internet or otherwise, notably the underground Portuguese magazine Mondo Bizarre, and the Jazz Review website. He is also the news collector and a staff witer for the adorable Lost at Sea. Oh, and there is also the Coffee Breakz radio show that he tries to host every Saturday.

See other reviews by Helder Gomes

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