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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]

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 » 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
Aloha
That\'s Your Fire
Polyvinyl Records

Rating: 9/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Aloha are the new rock. Actually, the old rock in a new way. Or maybe the new rock in an old way? That's a toss up. Honestly, there is no way a simple guitar guy can give this album the kind of credit it deserves. I'm not just running diarrhea at the mouth over this because Aloha are super nice guys, I am honestly at a loss here. I borrowed headphones for this CD, and everyone knows how fucking goofy and Sharper Image a pair of headphones can make a rock guy feel. I mean, c'mon, Cursive and HUM are the soup of the day - what am I supposed to do with this? Listen and learn, I guess.

Where their previous Polyvinyl EP may have turned people off with it's intricate overkill, That's Your Fire turns around and uses that same sonic topography to whirl you into a hypnotic slobber session, the vibraphones alone ringing like nobody's business, not to mention the stratospheric din the percussion creates before stopping on a dime for a few tasteful rim shots and jazzy breakdowns. Perhaps the most amazing aspect - and certainly the biggest accomplishment - of Aloha is the fact that they can rock out so intensely without ever really relying on the bass or guitar. Don't think they rock out? One run through "Sky High" and you'd have indubitably changed your mind. Songs like "Ferocious Love" wander through everything from prog-rock to free-jazz to glimpses of alt rock over the course of four minutes.

The vibes are the key in Aloha; whether they're shadow boxing with the bass as in "Last Night I Dreamt You Slept Beside Me" or joining ranks and blowing holes in the sky as on "A Hundred Stories," a song which constantly evokes "whoa, that was cool as hell!"

The almost comical part is that if you took away the vibes every other schmuck in Chicago would be rambling on the Rocket Fuel web board about Aloha, ensconced in their math like leanings. Whereas most of the clone rockers sit like Buddhas above a sea of young Americans with the attention span of a house fly, masking everything in affronting vocals and delay pedals, Aloha speak to the world crisply and cleanly in a myriad of soundscapes, barely giving a guy like me the chance to make it all the way to the dreamlike gem of "Saint Lorraine," the catchy up tempo of "With the Lights Out, We Sing" and the marvelous "Sky High" without a nose bleed.

As much as I love music, I just don't think I'm savvy enough for this album. But, alas, Sam Prekop wasn't available to write this review.

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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