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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
Desert City Soundtrack
Funeral Car
Deep Elm Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Solemn, dark and disheartening, Funeral Car carries on like its titular Hearse, symbolic of feelings held together for the sake of posterity. While still raw and struggling to be understood, there are two shades of black distinctly presented on the album: one of grief and one of wrongful death.

In tracks like "Dying Dawn," we are led by a deceptively level plane of sparse piano, hinting at an uncontainable, broken sadness. Many of the tracks follow a similar pattern of despondent wailing, slow and melodic with great power. The closest reference point is perhaps Aloha, only without the glimmer of hope that marks their upbeat nature. Instead, a healthy diet of gritty country rock simmers below the tuneful surface, ready to rise at any moment.

In those times of abandonment, we witness "Drawn and Quartered," a grandiose, noisy cacophony that motions to something far more sinister than bare sorrow. In parts, shrouds move from menacing ("Take You Under") to sprawling and evil ("Fields Landing"). At the disc's most intense, it collapses entirely into an incomprehensibly angry mess. While "Something About a Ghost" is the release's most intolerable point, it is also the most furious and frightening culmination.

Jarringly, Funeral Car ends with Vaudevillian piano spurring along a wash of disaffected, detached sighs. The confusion that comes from such a calm halt plays into something more artful - like after all we've been through, the band has moved on without having honestly dealt with such harsh feelings. The intensity is still underneath, but without resolution. Somehow, the lack of conclusion is altogether satisfying. A disc to be listened to entirely, not picked apart by tracks, moods or moments, Funeral Car is both feeling and inspiration of being run through the ringer.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters

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