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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
Berzerk
The Silence Kills
Recess Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
I woke up this morning welcomed by a dish drainer full (thanks to my girlfriend) of clean coffee paraphernalia: various stainless steel containers to keep your favorite caffeinated beverage toasty warm all day; the components that assemble to brew among the best cups of coffee in the world - the French Press; coffee cups of different shape, form, and fashion; and off to the other side of the sink, our recently rediscovered friend, the vacuum pot.

As I started the day, I decided to start reviewing some CDs that had been waiting. This was the first one to be reviewed, while the vac-pot brewed its black gold. Over the course of my first listen, well before this morning, I had been fully appalled by what escaped my speakers: young kids it seemed, trying to be hardcore. But this morning, maybe it was that I started the day easily, maybe it was that I had given it time to settle, or whatever it was, it didn't seem as bad as all that. And actually had this been something I picked up during my hardcore phase: tenth-grade afternoons after school spent playing bass and guitar along with Agnostic Front, Youth of Today, and of course Minor Threat, I might have really gotten into this. I refer back these bands today and still find them great to listen to, even if it's only in reflection. This, however, is still a bit grating. But only by a bit. Maybe it's that I've gotten older, graduated to other levels of musical enjoyment, as I did when pulling away from these other hardcore acts towards bands like Steelpole Bathtub, Daydream Nation-era Sonic Youth, Sebadoh, and others. But I guess I just can't let loose to this like I did in my bedroom in the mirror while playing along to those bands of long ago. But I think that there lies the strength of this release.

While these still seem like kids, their songwriting is surprisingly a bit more mature than that. I have to comment on the opening track, Reconstructive Self Destruction. Opening this release up with a heavily metal-infused riff definitely put a spin on the rest of the CD. While the playing still seemed a bit young and untidy, the writing was better. And eventually this slow metal groove ala some of the best of slower Danzig riffs finally gives way to what the rest of this CD is about: hardcore. Now, just how the metal influence affected the rest of the CD is in the songwriting. The hardcore goes on for a while, giving into a bit of metal, moving back to hardcore, and so on. If these guys have a following, I can see why. But at the same time, I can't imagine it being much of one.

And that's how I feel about this release overall, some interesting songwriting at points; sometimes reminding me of the good old days of hardcore past, but still just not as affecting. I'd be pretty interested to see where this guitar player goes in the next 5 years or so, as it seems like his songwriting is looking for something more than this band will eventually offer.

But other than that, with a cheeseball name like Berzerk, and the cliché bad high-school pencil art of some guy with already thinning hair twisted into dreads, breaking free from what looks like a straightjacket, a cloudy sky and bats flying around behind him (?), it's only okay.

Reviewed by David Miller


See other reviews by David Miller

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