» LATEST FEATURES

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
Via Audio
Say Something Say Something Say Something!
SideCho

Rating: 7.7/10 ?


September 27, 2007
When a new album makes its way into my hands acompanied by a ringing endorsement from a rather established musical trendsetter (in this case Chris Walla of indie darlings Death Cab For Cutie), the voucher is necessarily taken with a grain of salt. Cronyism and personal connections have a long history of fogging a person's judgment and trumping the merits of the musical piece in question, which is why the Kurt Cobains of the world are at least partly culpable for the sale of so many since discarded Meat Puppets albums. In Via Audio's case, Say Something expresses a bold and varied palette of catchy and layered tunes, leaving Walla's rep intact. The record sounds like a more restrained and vocally centered version of a New Pornographers joint, with the occasional chasmal My Morning Jacket echo ringing through.

It's often rare to find bands with three competent songwriters that can get along and can also make each other's music better. While the likes of Teenage Fanclub and the Beatles are obvious exceptions, most bands struggle to make a go of it with two creative forces, let alone a third. Comparing Via Audio to the Beatles would be a serious error, but it does bear mentioning that vocalist/guitarist Jessica Martins, guitarist Tom Deis and bassist David Lizmi all contributed material to the recording of Say Something, while Danny Molad was content to play Ringo on the drums. With a parcel of multi-sourced songs in tow, the band found their way into the hands of Jim Eno and managed to make a record without a record company. Each year thousands of self-released albums are doomed to obscurity (rightly so?), but in the case of Say Something, the material got the attention it needed, landing a home with the Sidecho label.

The album's opening track, "Developing Active People," fuses cavernous 80s guitar with simple, driving percussion and an effortless harmony. "And if you park the car too close to the curve/ no one will have to swerve," is one of the cut's more interesting vocal passages, draping the song's sonic ambition over a relatively innocuous but fascinating lyric. Track two, "Modern Day Saint," continues in a similar vein as the opener, with jangly guitars complementing the vocal harmonics, and its catchy melody helps the tune remain affixed in the listener's head from the first encounter.

Later on "Enunciation," Say Something's eighth track, demonstrates two sides of the band's spectrum. Heavy electric guitars introduce the song but then fade off into a deeply resonant vocal, with Jessica Martins sounding almost like a lounge-singer. The track is a risk taken, and at times it feels as if it might have done better had it landed squarely on the heavier or the loungier side, but the pure visceral reaction of the heavy guitars to the "sit-down" lounge shuffle forces the song to be noticed. I wouldn't go so far as to call the song catchy, but it is affecting.

There are other insightful moments scattered about the tracks on Say Something, like the Jesse Sykes-like "I Can't Focus" and the driving piano of "We Can Be Good," and taken as a whole the record offers much by way of texture and diversity. With their tridential songwriting base bringing so many contemporary indie/pop elements into the mix, Via Audio might be the first band with a serious and rooted influence of in-the-now bands like Broken Social Scene and Arcade Fire who can echo those sentiments without aping them. The edges are still rough, but if the band can keep their current cohesive unit status while ironing out the kinks, Via Audio might just table something that will leave the critics and indie-kids alike swooning.

Reviewed by Jeff McMahon
No biographical information is currently available.

See other reviews by Jeff McMahon

» MEDIA DOWNLOADS

» GOT STICKERS?

If you'd like to help spread the word about LAS, or simply want to outfit yourself with some adhesive coolness, our 4" circle LAS stickers are sure to hit the spot, and here is how to get them:

--> Send an with $2 in PayPal funds to cover postage. Don't worry, we'll load you up with enough to cover your town. Then just be patient. They will arrive soon.

» WORLDWIDE DOMINATION

LAS has staff and freelance writers spread across North and South America, Europe, and a few in Southeast Asia as well. As such, we have no central mailing adress for unsolicited promotional material. If you are interested in having your project considered for coverage, please contact us before sending any promotional materials - save yourself time and postage!