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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]

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
The Stands
All Years Leaving
The Echo Label

Rating: 6/10 ?


February 1, 2005
In most cases, familiarity is a good thing. People like to feel secure; they like to feel safe. They like to know what's going down, who's doing what - and in turn, what they're supposed to be doing.

If people are secure, they are happy. They forget their history, and their country's history, and they live in a self-revolving bubble. They forget the movie they saw last week was the same one they watched this week. Or they don't realize they've watched the same ridiculous, scripted television series played over and over with the identical, tired moral lessons drilled into their heads.

After a while, it is all too tiring, and they realize that much of their lives have replayed over and over - looping and looping with only a few glitches to make things interesting.

Luckily to say, The Stands' All Years Leaving isn't that depressing. In fact, it markets itself as UK pop with Californian sheen. Whatever the genre, The Stands lift elements from Bob Dylan, Neil Young and, at one point worthy of a few eyebrow-raises, the Cars ("Here She Comes Again").

Howie Payne's voice suspiciously sounds a lot like Dylan's, as does his melodies and pronunciation of end syllables with a very Dylan-esque posturing. This is glaringly evident on The Stand's single, "When The River Rolls Over You," as well as on other earlier tracks ("Outside Your Door").

Following their single, "It's Only Everything," sounds as if the rhythm and harmonies were directly taken from Harvest Moon. They do change things around some in the bridge, but then move directly into the harmonica solo. Likewise, the end-chorus does rearrange the very familiar tune to some extent, but not enough to distance the song from its very obvious influences.

There are a few points on the album where The Stands sound most in their element - washing their hands of their blatant classic folk/60s pop persuasions. "Always Is The Same - Shine On" sounds more personal in its delivery, as the crook in Payne's voice is understated and an actual person emerges rather than an imitation. A later song, "I Need You" is one of the poppier on All Years Leaving, and more memorable than prior tracks.

Familiarity can be a good thing, but The Stands get plain fresh, crossing the line between feeling safe and feeling violated.

Reviewed by Abbie Amadio
The last we heard Abbie Amadio, a former contributor to LAS, was based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

See other reviews by Abbie Amadio

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