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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
This Moment In Black History
It Takes A Nation of Assholes To Hold Us Back
Coldsweat

Rating: 7/10 ?


November 6, 2006
Don't feel bad if you thought This Moment In Black History was strictly a novelty band. A group with a name like this is created to gather attention. The group's second full-length album It Takes A Nation of Assholes To Hold Us Back is further proof that the four piece garage/punk rock band is trying to ruffle feathers with their ideas just as much as their sound.

While this album won't come close to garnering the prominence of the album of which its title spoofs, Public Enemy's It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back, This Moment In Black History (TMIBH) does put together a powerful combination of humor (not of the 'ha ha' variety), social commentary, and musical energy. The only thing that is missing in this case is timeliness and ingenuity.

As far as musical style goes, TMIBH is a slightly above average band. Their sound is classifiable under distorted, spastic punk rock but there is also an element of technique to what they do. Whereas many of the 'garage punk' sort exist on throwing everything out there at once, this band understands the appeal of songwriting patterns, melodies that go somewhere, and transitions. These intangible dynamics afford a greater element of viability to tack on to the unusual band/album name catch and a generally overdone genre affiliation.

There are further intriguing, unconventional items - quotations of R.A. Washington and James Baldwin, political/racial vocal samples, the fact that two members of the band are white and two are black, a focus on lyrics/text to present a greater point. All of these things are anomalies within most garage punk music, and for that matter many styles of music altogether. The ideas that Chris Kulcsar and Buddy Akita present are much more cognitive than their searing vocal squawks might have you believe.

In the press bio, TMIBH is likened to Bad Brains, Pere Ubu, and The Monorchid and although these groups are of a much higher caliber, the comparison is at least in the right direction. Concise, aggressive songs are the norm here. And even though TMIBH didn't invent punk rock, they come off with that same immediate energy like someone holding their breath and finally getting that first gasp of air. Their freshness is felt in a sharp attack of the tempo and accentuations like when Lamont "Bim" Thomas hits combined snare-cymbal kicks as in "Garbage In/Garbage Out."

Reviewed by Josh Zanger
Joshua Ian Zanger, a native of rural Chicago, rocks many a world with his writing, style, and generally sweet aroma.

See other reviews by Josh Zanger

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