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 » 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
...And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead
Source Tags & Codes
Interscope

Rating: 9/10 ?


February 27, 2002
When December of 2002 rolls around will there be a singular release to rival the unanimity of praise for the major-label full-length debut by these morbidly named Texans? I have been digesting this album for the better part of three months and while I'm prompted to be doubtful, at this point I really cannot say for sure. After all, did anyone really expect this band to release this album? Having followed the band for some time (after all, what fan of rock music wouldn't perk up at reports of a band destroying equipment, fans, and themselves?) with much delight I expected a certain level of success, but nothing prepared me for the depth of Source Tags & Codes. As satisfying as group's precursory EP had been, its foreshadowing was a gross understatement.

It was interesting to see the buzz that had built up around the release of the album go to work on its release date. The lack of proper digestion was evident in the overwhelmingly effusive reviews churned out in short time. Sound motherly advice is to ingest your meal slowly and then wait for 30 minutes before hitting the pool. Albums as potentially massive as this should be approached with the same caution.

While the praises of the album are sung loud and often (and for good reason), the complexity that underscores every note of the album is a difficult beast to understand. Why exactly does the telescoping beauty of "Another Morning Stoner" come at the price of the low end? It is difficult to understand why the bass guitar is so low in the mix throughout the album, especially considering the skill with which Neil Busch compliments the escalating work of guitarists Kevin Allen and Conrad Keely. While drummer Jason Reece's ferocious yet well-placed work is highlighted throughout (and rightfully so), Busch's parts are somewhat marginalized and never really allowed to create the full emphasis they could. But, as in life, the imperfections, like a childhood scar across the bridge of a lover's nose, ultimately ad to the album's appeal, giving each listener a connection with the music's vulnerability.

The masterful parts of Source Tags & Codes are just that - nothing less than mastery. From the inclusion of various samples and obscure instruments (post-rock accordion!) to surprising but ultimately appropriate chord changes, this album is made greater than the sum of its tracks by an unstated yet fully understood self-confidence. For all its brilliance, Source Tags & Codes is not a perfect album, but rather a dense collection of memories, hopes, desires, frustrations and a comprehension of the monumental defeats and small victories of life itself.

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth

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