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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
Grand Mal
Bad Timing
Arena Rock Recording Co.

Rating: 8.5/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Ahhh, glam rock. It's great, isn't it? I'm way too young to know what it was really like to attend those massive concerts, but I can imagine. Picture Grand Mal playing their set between the essentials- T Rex and The Sweet. Throw in some Exit on Main St.-era Stones, and Dave Fridmann production and you have got the winning formula for an immensely talented band. Grand Mal brilliantly uses these bands as their muse to create some colossal rock songs, complete with backup singers. They also get in touch with their softer sides on a few of the tracks, exploring a much gentler sound. Although this particular brand of rock can often times sound like stuff reprocessed from the 70's, Grand Mal successfully channel their efforts into a vigorous and outstanding release. Plus, they seem to be one of the few bands publishing material that can in no way insert "electro" into the band's description. Thank god. Hopefully they will gain some recognition, as people seem to be finally starting to get over their initial obsession with the wave of mediocre NYC groups- and we all know who those are.

Bad Timing opens up with a track of epic proportions titled "First Round K.O." This song really illustrates what I've thought about this band all along: they fucking rock. And, they are way cooler than those goddamned Strokes. Damn straight. Anyhow, moving on. "Bad Timing" is another phenomenal track, but not without the aid of the Flaming Lips' resident renaissance man Steven Drozd. He lends the band his talents by helping out on the piano and organ, just to name a couple. What a guy. Another strength this bands holds is singer/songwriter Bill Whitten's extraordinary writing talents. The lyrics are at times thoughtful, and sometimes odd; but more often then not, the result is a witty and unique masterpiece. You'll find no unnecessary mind-numbing lyrical caulking here… "Yeah!" and "Baby!" are nowhere to be found.

The rest of the album slows down considerably after that. It takes an odd, folksy/bluesy turn with the track "Flowin' Tide". It's the low point of the album, but it falls in under two minutes, so it's relatively short and painless. No harm done. So there you have it, folks… it might not be ground breaking, but it is without a doubt one of the best releases of 2003. Be sure to pick this one up.

Reviewed by Samantha Herstol
A staff writer living in Cincinnati (no WKRP jokes, please), Samantha Herstol regrets what she studied in college about 7 out of the 8 hours she spends at work each day. She gets an hour for lunch.

See other reviews by Samantha Herstol

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