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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
Small Sins
Mood Swings
Astralwerks

Rating: 8/10 ?


October 10, 2007
The little Canadian pearl of Toronto has a very vital music scene, with acts like Feist, Arcade Fire, and Peaches all having made names for themselves on the global stage. And like any true hotbed of music, there are also lesser-known and more interesting acts coming from the Canucks' largest city. Small Sins is one of the latter.

Starting out as the brainchild of front man Thomas D'Arcy, the band has grown from a solo project into a full-on five-piece band. The quintet's self-titled debut was written, produced and recorded with D'Arcy at the helm, and it was only when he set out to replicate Small Sins live that additional members joined the fold. With the release of the follow up Mood Swings, D'Arcy has entrenched himself with a completed backing ensemble, and whether it be credited to the new band members or his simple maturation, Small Sins' sophomore effort is more enjoyable than its eponymous debut.

Mood Swings is an album full of gloomy little pop songs, with guitars and synthesizers commiserating famously as companions in misery. There are not a huge number of extremely and infectiously memorable tracks on Mood Swings, but it has its moments, and the album's cuts are all above average with the record as a whole an enjoyable listen. While "On The Line" has been tapped as the first single from the album, Mood Swings' most standout track, "We Will Break Our Own Hearts," is slotted way back at number 11.

"We Will Break Our Own Hearts" is the song The Cure should have written years ago, right after "Friday, I'm In Love." The melody is so insanely catchy that it demands to be hummed for at least a full week after spinning for the first time. The driving, slightly hollow drums are very reminiscent of The Cure's sound, and even D'Arcy's vocals mimic Robert Smith's. Everything about the track is very much The Cure, but who the hell cares? That's not a bad thing; The Cure has written so many groundbreaking pop songs that being able to write a single song of their caliber is an achievement in itself.

Anchored by "We Will Break Our Own Hearts," Mood Swings is a collection for Thomas D'Arcy and the rest of the Small Sins members to be proud of. The album is very solid, it's an enjoyable listen, and it features one of those off-the-hook pop songs that many people will have as the soundtrack to whatever special memories they might have after whatever they might have experienced whilst hearing the song for the first time. Personally, I will never forget the vegan stew I was cooking when "We Will Break Our Own Hearts" introduced itself.

Reviewed by Daniel Svanberg
A contributing writer for LAS, Daniel Svanberg now lives in Boston, far far away from Sweden, where he once lived, although the weather is the same.

See other reviews by Daniel Svanberg

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