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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
Red Hot Valentines / Retro Morning
Split EP
Double Zero Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
The Red Hot Valentines don't need my aid to help them sell records. They are the biggest band to hit the University of Illinois campus since HUM, in no small part because the college radio station- in this particular instance- decided to support the local music scene for a change. So, there's no pressure on me to declare this record a classic or a dud and in truth, it's far from either.

You will hear nothing new from Red Hot Valentines on the three new tracks included in this split EP. They're sticking with the formula that has rewarded them thus far (their debut has sold through a couple of pressings with little to no marketing behind it), albeit the production is far better than on their self-titled, self-released debut. Here, the moog is pushed down in the mix and acts more as a complementary instrument, instead of a second (annoying) voice. But the best of the batch is the moog-less "You've Gotta Love," which rocks in a straight-forward fashion with layered vocals and same-old emo lyrics. The lyrics are my main beef with the band, but that's a matter of taste. Speaking of, Elizabeth Elmore, previously of the band Sarge and now fronting the Initial band Reputation, adds her pipes to one tune where she is (thankfully) overshadowed by the boys. But regardless of my petty points of criticism, Red Hot Valentines have a bright future and like any hard-working band, they have a good chance of realizing their potential. This split EP proves they are well on their way to accomplishing that goal. Retro Morning, three-quarters of which are still in high school, contribute three solid tracks cut from the same cloth as Red Hot Valentines, which is of course recommended if you like radio-friendly college rock ala Jimmy Eat World (ya know-a bit of pop, a bit of punk).

Reviewed by Doug Hoepker
A former staff writer for LAS whom we like to call Diggles, Mr. Hoepker is currently laboring away on various music-based projects. He now works in academic publishing (ahem), but is perhaps still best known by his DJ moniker, The Noiseboy.

See other reviews by Doug Hoepker



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