» 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!
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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
Polyvinyl Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Vibraphone-Rock has arrived, and is here to stay. Ohio's Aloha combine voice, guitar, vibraphone, synthesizers, and varied percussion to establish a sub-genre with attributes that could be applied to many styles with good results. But Aloha didn't just throw in a vibraphone and claim to be the new thing - they've shown it. Their sound is a jazzy mix that is light, uplifting, and sometimes quite cathartic.

After two and a half minutes of acquaintance time with the instrumental mixture, "They See Rocks" explodes through with vocals and suspenseful chiming, giving way to Matthew Gengler's runaway bass. The captivating bass playing marks this one, and everything else is maneuvering around it. It's no wonder they placed it at the beginning. A great follow-up track is "Let Your Head Hang Low", opening with a sing-along chorus over smiling guitar chops, to be augmented by Caribbean and drum kit percussion. Many of the less predominant tracks hold their own in an aura of vibraphone that is truly angelic at times. Aloha would be a better-than-decent rock-pop band without it, but the vibraphone gives Sugar its extra sweetness.

"Protest Song" is a cloud of whirling, whistling tones, and we get a glimpse of the storm at the center. The calm of "Thieves All Around Us" follows, a five-minute walk in the park. The interesting "Dissolving" threatens to leave us, then fades from a modest, but climactic point into a snowstorm of guitar, vibraphones, and barely audible synth-cappuccino sounds. "We Get Down" is somewhat reminiscent of Ben Folds Five, and closes the disc to the march of Cale Parks' crashing cymbals.

You're missing out if you don't at least hear a few tracks from this album. Even if the vibraphone seems like a bit much, it is worth your time to experience Aloha's interpretation of the rare concept.

Reviewed by Lance Birch

See other reviews by Lance Birch



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