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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
The Ebb and Flow
Time to Echolocate
Three Ring Records

Rating: 8/10 ?

October 19, 2005
The Ebb and Flow is a retro futuristic trio that glues together the geniuses of a Russian Jew, an Iranian native and a Midwestern girl. On this record they sound like a Siamese experiment that caught everyone in the lab off guard. Their aim consists in recycling good old synthesizers with upfront electronic twists and moves, delivering a sweet aroma that blinks an eye to the swell sound of the 80s while still harassing last week's disco-goers.

Take the inaugural, two-part joint "Sonorous", a polyphonic spree that will leave you defenceless and clueless for the rest of the album. The group proves that the Time to Echolocate is the exactly when organic, analog-driven melodies clash into the electronic, contemplative and frequently overrated blips of today. "Body and Soul" is pretty revisionist in this sense, mixing Casio-like reminiscences with jarring comments about being "time to pay the bill." The following track - this time a female-vocalized number entitled "Framer Framed" - is dissonant and rebellious, finding its branch on the family tree by way of acts like !!! and Large Number.

Sara Cassetti is the US-based one-third of the group and she plays the drums; Sam Tsitrin and Roshy Kheshti are, as the press release puts it, "two illegal immigrants," who alternate the vocal parts - the latter also plays the Moog synthesizers, the Farfisa organ, melodica and vibes, whilst the former gives birth to the guitar and bass lines. This ethnic mash-up is the fertile soil wherein fine seeds are manipulated and heart-shaped orchids blossom.

The Christmas-scented, baritone saxophone-fuelled "Interlude" serves as the perfect appetizer for the Tsitrin-penned, mellow "See You in the Fjords", as accompanied by a trumpet courtesy of Jeff Jacobs. The dialogue with cross-faded genres does not end here: "Country Verses" attempts to capitalize on the teachings of Willie Nelson with a taste of counterfeit machinery; it does put a smile upon your face, but it sometimes feels like the country legend cheated on an IQ test before conquering Nashville.

To set the record straight, The Ebb and Flow prepare a farewell, multi-layered track, "Sweet Southern Melody", where the keyboards are infinitely warmer and more familiar, and augmented by the voice of the late (and very great) Bob Moog. His analog philosophy is sampled here to a great result, bridging the gap between the manic 80s and today.

If only Human League managed to break the time spell, they would sound pretty much like this - but never before bathing in the newest technological fluids, of course - and this should be the best they would ever sound. So, if you still go weak at the knees for scholastic, mathematical disco sound, Time to Echolocate should be a fine treat for you. Just put on your Sunday shoes and dance to this cerebral, electronic ballet. It is defiintely better than any synth-pop accelerated version of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker, I can promise you that.

Reviewed by Helder Gomes
Currently living on the south bank of the Tagus river, in Portugal, Helder Gomes is a working class hero. He is a journalist for the local radio station Rádio Nova Anten. In his spare time, he skates and watches many odd movies. He is in love with the French nouvelle vague, and the Danish/Swedish invasion. He writes for a number of publications, on the Internet or otherwise, notably the underground Portuguese magazine Mondo Bizarre, and the Jazz Review website. He is also the news collector and a staff witer for the adorable Lost at Sea. Oh, and there is also the Coffee Breakz radio show that he tries to host every Saturday.

See other reviews by Helder Gomes



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