» 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
Mt. Egypt
Battening the Hatches
Record Collection

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
A hike up Mt. Egypt is a very perilous journey. Looking up at this impressive peak the landscape is craggy and the brush lies dying from the year long frost. Imposing boulders scar the hillside, making passage nearly impossible. The animals that can survive this harsh climate dart from cover to cover, eager to secure a meal from the dwindling food supply. The bleached bones of unprepared travelers dot the landscape.

Once the peak has been reached, the majestic view makes the harsh climb worth it. The trek, fraught with danger, has paid off. Everything that once seemed insurmountable now appears tiny and delicate. The big picture is visible and all it took was a little effort to see it. Battening the Hatches may seem like another wounded heart tale, full of self-pity, but like the climb, the album reveals itself to be much more and very worth the journey.

Mt. Egypt's music is anything but the colossal sound expected from its name. Instead, Travis Graves, the man behind Mt. Egypt, uses stripped down instrumentation and a bare-bones approach to recording to capture his songs of anguish. Some songs may utilize a flourish of horns or piano, but the backbone is his emaciated guitar and fragile voice. The anguish behind these songs comes from the age-old singer/songwriter muse- boy versus girl. Battening the Hatches covers a broad range of topics like falling in love and falling out of love. Graves is another one-man punching bag for women who want to kick some ass.

The fact that Mt. Egypt's songs do not become tired and cliché is a testament to Graves' ability. He keeps things simple and honest where others would delve into melodrama to try and ram their sadness down the listener's throat. Mt. Egypt does make a few missteps of whininess, but overall comes across as authentic in a genre known for its pretentiousness. Not bad for a professional skateboarder's first solo album!

Reviewed by Kevin Alfoldy
An aspiring global adventurer who cut his teeth on the sandy beaches and dirty bitches of Southern California, Kevin Alfoldy now spends his non-vacation days in Brooklyn, New York, where he occasionally finds the time to rub the crust out of his eyes long enough to contribute reviews and feature articles for LAS. A longtime staff member, Kevin also captains the tattered, often half-sunk raft of EPmd, our irregular column of EP reviews.

See other reviews by Kevin Alfoldy



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