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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
Call Me Lightning
Soft Skeletons
Frenchkiss

Rating: 8.5/10 ?


February 26, 2007
A few years ago, like Les Savy Fav's little brother just banging on my bedroom door trying to get in, Call Me Lightning came out of nowhere and hit me over the head with their Milwaukee-bred, fun, punky art rock. While the production brings the vocals a little more into the frontlight this time around, the trio have continued with a style and sound similar to that of their first album, with instrumentation that is just as strong, if not stronger. Essentially Soft Skeletons is what a good band should sound like on their sophomore album - better. They seem like a tighter, more professional threesome here.

Singer/Songwriter Nathan Lilley spends the majority of his time in a fantasyland but, unlike Geddy Lee, these aren't tales from the Dungeons and Dragons crowd. Beasts and skeletons do make many appearances, but it's more like a story from the crazy drunk guy sitting on the street outside of your favorite record store that from whimsical Brit who talks to trees. Sure, these drunks are babbling and not very believable, but they never pretend to be. It's fun for fun's sake.

Moving into the house that Les Savy Fav built, Soft Skeletons fits appropriately well into the Frenchkiss stable. Kicking things off with an introduction of sorts, "Meet The Skeletons" begins with an attention-grabbing drumbeat and a solid guitar hook before Lilley proclaims "I Hate The Night" and the boys stake their claim in your brain with their insanity.

One of the strongest tracks holds the second position on the album. "A Billion Eyes" begins with an all-out noise-attack of drums, guitar and bass and quickly transforms into a catchy call and response sort of high-energy tune about haunted dreams and a big brother conspiracy. The band sounds tight and poised for action.

Other than the production quality bringing the vocals to the front, Soft Skeletons is not that far away from their debut. While a little more maturity can be heard in the sound this time around, art-punk sounds generally can't get all that mature overall. I always like to see bands experiment and grow from album to album, but I think these fellows have taken a bit of a safe route.

Filthy Information holds the spot of the most experimental, left-field sort of tune in this collection for the fact that it is a bit slower and less in-your-face. It's ominous and patient while having a solid foundation of powerhouse drums/shaker and a dancy bassline… they even throw in some bells and keys for good measure.

While Nathan Lilley is an admittedly lazy songwriter, I never find the lyrics distracting. Immature, sure - but I don't think Call Me Lightning is shooting to be the next smart-guy indie band. They come across like a group of young punks spicing things up through music, which is fine by me, as they do it well.

Reviewed by Bob Ladewig
Having been introduced to good music by his sister in the early years, Bob Ladewig has been searching out all the best in indie music ever since. He also rides a skateboard and performs/directs comedy shows and, like all great men, he\'s afraid of really growing up.

See other reviews by Bob Ladewig

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