» 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
Just a Fire
Light Up
Asian Man Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Any new band featuring members of great bands like June of 44 and Sweep the Leg Johnny is bound to attract attention. It however appeared surprising to me that Just A Fire would hook up with Asian Man, a label more synonymous with the ska/pop-punk end of the spectrum. Whatever the precursory baggage, this would be an interesting release considering the quality these members have produced in the past.

It's probably unfair to keep bringing up the whole members of/ex-members card, but when describing the opening track "Hot Export", it would seem an obvious starting point. Chris Daly's abrasive and spikey guitar chops out chords and riffs not unlike those in Sweep the Leg Johnny, while the dubby bass of Fred Erskine provides the contribution from the June of 44 camp. It works well, and races at break-neck speed, setting the pace for the rest of the album. However, three or so tracks in and a new side of Just A Fire begins to emerge.

"Graduation" sees the introduction of horns and a more laid-back approach, and as the press release suggests, influences being drawn from the likes of The Police. "Dog Bites Back" bounces along at a relaxed pace with the guitar hacking out some staccato chords, the bass providing a warm backing. The vocals don't work for me quite so much though. They are more yelled than sung, creeping out of tune every now and then, and it's a shame as the lyrics seem to be relevant and easy to relate to, such as their reference to "the snake in that Bush" - nice! As the record reaches its maturity phase, the good seeds sown in the first few songs begin to be undermined, and Light Up beings to descend into indifference. "Gradubation" is cursed with some really irritating percussion - as if someone's swatting a goalpost with a hockey stick - a really prominent 'twang'.

The concept that Just A Fire orchestrate is a good one, but unfortunately it doesn't quite live up to expectations. The groundwork has been laid and maybe Just a Fire can bust out some more catchy British-influenced noise rock. I'd be interested to hear what they come up with, but I doubt Light Up will see extended rotation in this writer's stereo.

Reviewed by Mike Wright
A staff writer based in London, England, Mike Wright is eternally troubled by the American bastardization of the English language.

See other reviews by Mike Wright



If you'd like to help spread the word about LAS, or simply want to outfit yourself with some adhesive coolness, our 4" circle LAS stickers are sure to hit the spot, and here is how to get them:

--> Send an with $2 in PayPal funds to cover postage. Don't worry, we'll load you up with enough to cover your town. Then just be patient. They will arrive soon.


LAS has staff and freelance writers spread across North and South America, Europe, and a few in Southeast Asia as well. As such, we have no central mailing adress for unsolicited promotional material. If you are interested in having your project considered for coverage, please contact us before sending any promotional materials - save yourself time and postage!