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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
The Pupils
The Pupils
Dischord Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
The Pupils' eponymous debut is a quirky little piece of seedy pop fuck-you that I'm pleased to have met. It is sparse and sporadic yet tense and weighty, a distorted hollow-body guitar and minimal organic percussion amounting to more than the sum of their parts, carrying the load with the occasional garnish of laptop beats. Above it all broadcasts a tormented voice, a feverous channeling of some far off entity full of ecstasy and anguish, cryptic and abstract, rustic and enlightened. Spooky to say the least.

The Pupils are a duet, partner work that one might imagine serves as some sort of Being John Malkovich-ian interpretation of Neutral Milk Hotel as acted out by Lungfish guitarists Daniel Higgs and Asa Osborne. Higgs has that bearded Manson/biker look about him while Osborne's face bears an exaggeration like Willem Dafoe or, more appropriately, Tom Waits. The mood the duo set is distinctly coffeehouse bohemia for the most part, although a twisted hacker-esque noise warbles in from the land of distortia once in a while, notable on occasions such as "Lambs With Human Hands".

The organic roots movement that indie rock has taken into vogue as of late seems to be stretching out longer than I thought it would, but I can't really complain that The Pupils is derivative of anything specific. It has its endearing qualities but its also somewhat of an acquired taste. Songs like "Jesus Christ" are worse than the most awkward moments of bad ideas like Miighty Flashlight, but there is a certain amount of power in the statement of it all. There are demented slivers of oddity inside everyone, and Higgs and Osborne happen to play host to a specter like a Navajo biker in the grips of acid trip. Basically, these dudes are totally cool with me.

Reviewed by Lukas Shipman


See other reviews by Lukas Shipman

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