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 » 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.
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 » 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!
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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
Death of Marat
All Eyes Open
Stickfigure Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Death of Marat's sophomore release, All Eyes Open, is a good listen, unless you are trying to concentrate on something other than the music itself.

Twenty-seven minutes of dark, goth-like post-hardcore, All Eyes Open features super-distorted, sometimes intricate guitar work (as in "Snake Oil Merchant") and franticly paced drums (as in "Darkroom" and "3 Stars"), lending the album an undeniable urgency of sound.

With Jef Wright's off-kilter vocals, John Brandon's supportive bass playing, and the afore mentioned guitar and drum work, the album commands attention and cannot be used for background music, no matter how hard you try.

By the way, I should add I am fairly impressed by the fact Jef Wright doubles as a drummer and a lead vocalist. It seems like the task would be a difficult one, considering the exertion Wright must use battering his drums while screaming at the top of his lungs.

The screaming (though songs on All Eyes Open more often consist of singing than actual yelling) often sounds stifled, adding to the whole distorted, almost repressed sound that dominates the album. It evokes a feeling akin to claustrophobia, like that Baudelaire poem that compares melancholy to a pigeon trying to flap its wings but being restrained by dirty walls, when the falling rain forms impenetrable prison bars across the world.

Contrary to what the band's label says, Death of Marat is not really a sound I'd call new-wavish at all, or one I'd say sounds like "Unwound covering Joy Division," for that matter. They did compare them to Bauhaus though, and I'm more inclined to describing them as three claustrophobic, sometimes-angry teenagers taking some sound advice from Bauhaus.

Reviewed by Jeanette Samyn
A contributing writer for LAS and a former music director WBAR at Barnard College.

See other reviews by Jeanette Samyn



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