» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » 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]


 » 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
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
Pilot To Gunner
Games At High Speeds
Arena Rock Recording

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
So. Preconceptions. I really fought against letting any seep in as I leafed through the press sheets, eyeing the bulbous domes of hair carried atop the skulls of a couple band members. I doubled my guard against reckless assumption and tried to let phrases like "spidery guitar lines" roll off my back. I was prepared to give these boys a fair shake, as the record (a re-issue, though the name struck no chord of familiarity in me) was being put out by a label I've instilled quite a bit of faith in.

Now that I've digested the songs fully, I am resigning to the fact that they do have qualities which parallel those of another act preoccupied with afro pride. However, it's not the one that I, and presumably you, would've predicted. To me, they sound like a less-with-the-jangle variation on Cadillac Blindside. Foremostly, I say this because they seem to be from a similar school of abandonment - practicing the sort of disregard for vocal tunefulness and respectful treatment of their instruments that can either lead to a band being really unlistenable or really striking. Thankfully, I don't feel any of the time invested in acquainting myself was wasted, as these guys fit, outlandish hair and all, into the latter category.

I suppose there are guitar parts that could be dubbed "spidery", but I think the record succeeds when at it's most forceful - maybe like, one of those enormous fat-butted insects in the child-geared, pseudo-animated movies of the last several years which undoubtedly found its way into existence as a hard plastic toy offering in a Happy Meal. Yeah, those guys could pack a wallop I'd wager. Likewise, Pilot To Gunner know how to pound out a rhythm. The vocals keep making me think the word "indecisive", almost like the singer is selecting his vocal pattern on the fly, and it's when he really lets the reigns go loose that it sounds incredible... I'm telling you, abandonment. My little theory is in full effect in "It's So Good to be Here in Paris", which happens to be my favourite track. The chorus has the impact of any one on the album, its melody the most infectious and hardest-pushed.

This one's definitely a keeper. The hooks aren't too obvious, and it's even better when you listen to it after a period of not doing so, and realize you are humming along and they've been under your skin all along. It even persuades me to forgive Arena Rock Recording for releasing Serene last year (hey, check it out, we have the word "angel" in 30% of our song titles). One might even be so inclined to bestow them the prestigious title of "best active band currently sporting afros" if it weren't so trivial a factoid. These guys could go to their next hair appointment with photos of Roxy Music in hand, emerge looking equally ridiculous and they've still have me by the balls.

Reviewed by Jordan Reid
A former staff writer for LAS, Jordan Reid used to go by another name, but the Internet freaked him out and he changed it. We have no further information on Mr. Reid.

See other reviews by Jordan Reid



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