» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » 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]


 » 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
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
Resonant Label

Rating: 7.5/10 ?

July 12, 2005
Flares curves gently to an infinity empty of objects - a limpid blue space. It recalls a stage of white, upon which otherwise dark bedroom walls - at night where the shadows of trees would sway - dip and dance in the quiet… or those crusty-eyed mornings where beams recede like tail-lights racing down a dark country road. After a bewildered moment, a noise sails atop the air and you smirk at the realization that someone is calling your name from down the hallway. Whatever scenes arrive, the fulcrum of Flares is that of objects taken out of context, strewn of their customary surroundings and left to boom off into the distance.

For this reason there is a disheveled, wide and wild feel about the arrangement of each piece. Like a forest where weeds snake and swirl, bushes abound and trees sleep on their side, these works are rife with barbed tonalities; whirrings of snapped and cracked static and the thick ringing of a disembodied guitars are ever present. The background is often torpid, droning harmoniously as densely textured guitar patterns erupt, rise to confrontational levels of volume and intensity, lull into rumbling plateaus and drop into silence (or sizzle at near silence).

In such expansive environments, this Genoa-based band exhibits patience and refined listening skills as they subtly structure their songs; they place pockets of silence after swirling feedback storms and solitary single notes that harvest a wet blast of black emptiness.

Whether by way of the rustling, slithery, skittery sound of a snare drum, galloping clicks or hovering samples of pitched, elusive sounds, these works denote a descent into a maelstrom - a turbulent gush of white. Pieces drift across a moonless sky with neither beginning nor end, encouraging contemplation. Likewise, there is a certin weariness that comes from unhampered possibility.

Only the lo-fi, gritty gurgle of "Zobione Part 3 disturbs the serene stillness. Quickly, other efforts such as "Flares Part 1" make up for the disturbance, referring back to the repetition of rippling guitar phrases and re-establishing the mood. "Karola Bloch", in particular, is endowed with airy piano strumming and a spine of adamant action cloaked in iridescent haze. After a while, the texture thickens and darkens; those rainbow clouds grow thunderous for a moment prior to its bright coda of plucked harmonics.

With sounds and loops rising phantomlike from a sleepy miasma, glitch confetti and dreary ambient guitars have been sketches drawn many a times before (Strafrann Hakon and Sigur Ros to name but a few). One might imagine that this work would quickly pall; on the contrary, these efforts are persuasive and engaging. Just as on those foggy mornings, by taking sounds out of their element and fostering the question "Where am I?", Flares leaves its audience feeling less certain of who they are, thereby building an enthralling, ambient evocation of stark majesty and ambiguity.

Reviewed by Max Schaefer
Nocturnal qualms and eyes that brim like lamps betoken slender sketches, poetry and short stories strewn alongside piano playing, a fiddling of knobs and murmured dialogue with a medley of electronic gizmo\'s. A twenty-one year old person lodged within the University of Victoria, Max harvests organic sounds on a sullen sampler, watching water unwind like two broad lengths of ribbon and nursing a book below the canopy of a cheery-tree. Max believes that the world is made present by people\'s presence in it and that art is one such way in which a distinctive disclosure might be crafted.

See other reviews by Max Schaefer



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