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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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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
We'll Make the Roads By Walking
Alone Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
For a record that's touted as possibly a band's final release, I would expect a bit more from We'll Make the Roads By Walking. I'm sure The Assistant injected all the emotion, all the adrenaline they could muster up into the making of this disc, but the result is more an incoherent finger painting done by an overzealous 5-year-old: all the colors look so pretty, that it just had to use every single one of them. What's left are glimpses of blues, greens, reds, and yellows, but never enough of any color to make the picture overtly appealing, rather mangled splotches of horrid browns.

The Assistant meander and plod their way through eight tracks with all the intricacies and chaos a hardcore band should have, but whatever the overall goal this album, it is simply lost on the listener. Breakneck changes from grind to melody, to lulled ambience and spoken word, back to vocal incoherence; it's all there, but it's wrapped in newspaper instead of gold foil.

In the album's accompanying booklet each song comes with a lengthy explanation of the song's origin, and it's a shame, because The Assistant obviously has something to say. Straight from their website, they describe themselves as a "positive hardcore/punk band," and after reading some of the song rhetoric, it's apparent that every single band member is deeply passionate not only about their craft, but about life and humanity in general.

Why then take a message with such a positive tone and present it to the listener in such a forgettable and unintelligible medium that reeks more of distress and rage than compassion? If the band is lucky, people will actually take the time to read the lyrics, but for the most part, they will likely latch on to the sound of the band rather than the message. What's left then is a bunch of angry misguided youth looking to pump their fists and release aggression rather than socially cognizant individuals sharing similar thoughts with an artist.

Unfortunately, since the message is mostly lost in the presentation, the music is forced to portray the emotion felt by every member of the band. What's offered is more of the same, rather than the passion that some bands can evoke in their guitar, bass, and drum work. With a little luck, perhaps The Assistant's message will rub off on a few listeners enough to make an impact, but it would seem that despite good intentions, most people will merely hear another hardcore band.

Reviewed by David Spain
Based in Chicago, Illinois, David Spain is a contributing writer for LAS magazine.

See other reviews by David Spain



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