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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
Landing
Sphere
K Records

Rating: 7.5/10 ?


October 1, 2004
You know that weird feeling of warmth and paranoia that you get when your boss compliments you, and you keep waiting for the underhanded jab that follows?

That's me lately; I'm getting better at my new job and people are noticing, but there must be some other shoe somewhere, just waiting to drop on my esteem, right? To come to terms with my own lameness, I've actually held on to this review for a little while so as not to jinx myself. If I get canned, I'll blame Landing, but I'll take their CD with me as I go.

Whether mood plays into music or vice versa, Landing certainly has me covered. Their inviting yet distant atmosphere-o-lectrics have me contented, but still glaring over my shoulder.

The band has toured with Kinski and Windy & Carl, and it definitely shows. Not only are their sounds similar, but they're equally nuanced and mellowing. This is a nice record of lofty, natural scenery - or so I think, until that fateful bomb drops and decimates the village.

We get comfortable in the preliminary tracks: "Fluency" glides and soars, noticeably flapping its wings. "Colors" shows its hand a little, as an unsafe but beautiful jungle, taking slow steps through dense surroundings. As it grows thicker, rainier and darker, we become cautiously timid. "Into Silence" is briefly more shocking, as it emulates the stark quiet of entering a church, bending onto the kneelers, and praying repeatedly because others around you are still going. It is distant but holy, conscious and awash with plain, acute silence. While familiar, it's remotely distressing.

"Gravitational" announces a swing to the opposite, where the once distant has become a part of nature - like a large CPU overgrown with vines, it is a long-lost artifact that has become acclimated within a strange setting. The following two tracks, "Where the Leaves…" and "Solstice" try and comfort the listener, but [purposely] insincerely. They are the most psychedelic tracks of the album, coating our senses with a groggy feeling, but emerging anew with a stinging rock undercurrent.

There's no more here to lull you; the rest of Sphere will have you caught in its trap. The unnerving edge of "Sphere" and the momentous, anarchic chords of "Gravitational" serve to counterbalance the pretty, watery-eyed innocence of tracks like "Filament". At their core, Landing's songs are melodious, but something darker always comes along to disrupt your serenity.

By the time the closing "Feel, and the Seas Fill" comes along, you see that nature has truly grown over the new order of things. All has adapted, and all the discomfort is completely ingrained. Sphere shows a triumph of nature, but also an allowance, where it takes our cold, sleek offerings as its own. It is no longer a matter of comfort or paranoia winning out, but noting that they now coexist and have become a part of one another. That may not be good for my own, personal, currently ulcer-free, health, but for an album of atmospheric sound, it certainly says a lot.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters

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