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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
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Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
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The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
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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
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Fat Possum
All Of Yesterday Tomorrow

Rating: 7/10 ?

June 27, 2007
Any band reaching a certain level of success, or at least notoriety, is bound to, sooner or later, release a collection of rare and hard to find material. While a single compact disc will suffice for most, some find enough B-sides, demos, and other rarities to warrant a double-album, and a few have enough scraps to take the odds-and-ends concept even further. Such is the case with the British duo of Richard Amp and Karine Charff, who have amassed enough material over the course of their lengthy career - which includes releases for labels like Kranky, Wurlitzer Jukebox, Darla, and Space Age Recordings - to fill three discs of singles, non-album tracks, and unreleased material.

For the die-hard Amp fans, All Of Yesterday Tomorrow is a veritable goldmine; not only are some of their most familiar songs presented again, but there is also a load of unreleased material; 12 of the collection's 38 songs are previously unreleased, 16 are from compilations and other rare releases, and the remaining ten are culled from the out of print 1998 singles album Passé-Présent. The latter ten tracks serve as a nice little introduction of the band to new followers, and all 38 cuts follow the Amp formula of oceanic sounds, sweeping guitars, and assorted noise.

Considered as a "greatest hits" album, All Of Yesterday Tomorrow falls flat; there are just too many obscure tracks for the average listener to sort through. And sort is exactly what anyone looking for a coherent order has to do, as the 38 songs are sequenced seemingly at random, with unreleased tracks pitched side by side with vinyl only releases and album tracks. A more organized song order could have done wonders for this release; as it stands one needs a week at playlist boot-camp in order to construct an organized sequence for one uninterrupted listen.

Chaotic patterns aside, All Of Yesterday Tomorrow is a highly enjoyable listen, wrought with Amp's time-tested noisy space pop formula with Charff's vocals on top, at times almost drowning in the distorted melodies penned by Richard Amp. The duo know the ins and outs of their genre, and they experiment wildly within it without ever trying to stray too far. That loose adherence to the parameters of noise pop is ultimately liberating for the pair's sound, affording explorations into ambient experimentation, electronic noise, and more traditional rock influences along the way.

While the sheer number of songs on the release makes All Of Yesterday Tomorrow a no-brainer bargain, attempts at listening to it in one go can be overwhelming. At three and a half hours in length, the songs tend to blur together after a while, especially the previously unreleased material. To avoid bleary-eyed overkill, string together a few solid half-hour playlists into more digestible chunks, and everything should be fine.

Hardcore Amp fans, if there are such things, will find All Of Yesterday Tomorrow a must-have for obvious reasons. For connoisseurs of space pop who aren't strict followers of the duo, the time invested to sorted through the material is ultimately worth it, as just about any ten-song collection pulled from the release will be worth a few repeat listens.

Reviewed by Daniel Svanberg
A contributing writer for LAS, Daniel Svanberg now lives in Boston, far far away from Sweden, where he once lived, although the weather is the same.

See other reviews by Daniel Svanberg



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