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[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!
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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
This Alibi
This Alibi

Rating: 7.5/10 ?

May 1, 2006
What does it take to make an instrumental band interesting? Is it range? Complexity? Unpredictability, competence or drive? This Alibi covers all of the bases on their self-titled debut, and while they remain largely undiscovered outside of the Kansas City area, their attention to detail is almost certain to get the crowds talking. Making their way out of minds and into homes in thanks to Paul Malinowski (Shiner), the band is counting on their initial recording to make an impression - rest assured, This Alibi has something intriguing to offer.

The opener to this EP ("Introduction") brings a perfectly amorphous feeling of floating, uncertainty and attainable peace, and just visions of Sigur Ros dance in your head when pondering the EP's cover, riled guitars infiltrate the calm and break concentration. There is human drama here - intrigue without words. As soon as you believe you have the band pinned down, they change movements to push in infinite new directions.

A low patter moves to ominous, slow withdrawal, picking up on a downbeat on "In Vast Direction". The broken spirited retreat becomes familiar with acceptance, but moves stingingly to furious retread. Its unrest is uncontainable. Featuring the first blaze of rock guitars, it proclaims strident freedom and a reality among the ghosts. While the track lapses into illness from time to time, it continues like rolling waves: resolute yet retiring. "In Vast Direction" washes over powerfully, immersing the senses and making it impossible to stray. It is our first true glimpse at the band's magnetic potency.

The beautiful, shy plucking and shapeless demureness of "Lithographer's Curse - Principum" is reminiscent of Tortoise, but as it moves to regal repose and paints a painstakingly detailed fašade, it claims territory on its own. Shimmering drums underline conflict aside from the pristine, rehearsed exterior.

"Lithographer's Curse - Fatalis" features the flickering glow of an uncertain fate; it feels foreboding but live-giving. The track moves to a din of steadily treading guitars, like a dissonant mire to wade through before reaching rebellious victory. Shunting, incessant layers compound fervently, throttling and chugging in hard-wrought glory. "Fatalis" drives "Principum" in to the ground and hints at the spectacle of This Alibi's live show; the pairing of these two tracks will undoubtedly draw the masses out to witness in person.

A work of interesting contrasts, the closer, "Ask the Dust", symbolizes the album's vision as a whole: it resides tentatively between peace and the absence of peace. Its spacey spookiness and thunderous clatter collide with bare moments of tranquility. The oases are most needed and unexpected, bringing the EP to its point: it could be one long battle without end, and likewise, one extended song without resolution. In total, it chronicles a great, unabated struggle; its repetition, uncertain momentum, and self-cleansing motions connote endlessness. The result shows This Alibi's keenness, as there is no need for an end; for the band and their unique perspective, this is only the beginning...

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters



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