» 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!
[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
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
Ambiguous City Records

Rating: 4/10 ?

January 19, 2005
My Grandma is renowned for something called an "Instant Garbage Meal."  This is where she took every bit of canned food in her cupboards, mixed it together and set it on bake.  Then, it would be up to her children to eat it, as it was the only food they'd be getting for dinner.  This was done out of necessity, and while it's a sad fact that my Mom's family was poor growing up, I hear more stories about the hardships of swallowing cranberry jelly and wadded beef than I do about not being able to afford this or that thing.

While far from garbage, Landspeedrecord!'s Intermission works on the same theory of throwing everything they've got into a pot and stirring.  The elements are all fairly obvious in flavor, and some ingredients taste far better than others - and most would taste better if digested on their own.

The first track takes one tendency - a synthetic siphon noise - and exploits it to an annoying extent.  It is followed by the overly hollow third track, "Mr. Reeves," which brings to mind what Lifter Puller might sound like if they listened to an abundance of the Rapture and maintained none of the electro-cool.  These electronic tangents are by far their most irritating, and to be honest, it would have been better advised to tuck these moments deeper into the album, so that listeners wouldn't be hit with them right away.

However, this strain is often salvaged by a second tendency, incorporating some juggled base and guitar lines, a rising post-rock aesthetic like Sparta, and some aggressive intricacy.  As best heard on "Malthusian Second Helpings" and "Instrumental with Vocals," the band can be deft and mathy, and complex enough or maintain interest throughout.

Their best inclination rises to the forefront from this complexity - when the band reaches farther and expands its grasp, it's apparent where they should venture next.  While "The Linda Lovelace Memorial Fund" takes a step back in time to old Jimmy Eat World and Sunny Day Real Estate, it thrives in that it rises very capably, and shows the band grabbing for higher aspirations.

"Little Ms. Depacote" is perhaps the greatest example of the band's success with experimentation - a knock off of bands like the Holy Ghost and Shudder to Think, though less infectious than either, it shows a facet of their intelligence and quirky sensibility that should definitely be explored.

Even after each of these highlights, it is still hard to call this album triumphant.  Many of the tracks between are nondescript or predictable, starting off well but drowning themselves in clichés.  The result is too bottomed-out for the time being, and for my money, I'd take the Plastic Constellations to champion this sound any day.  But, if Landspeedrecord! does a little fine tuning, it will be interesting to find their next release, for it may well bring them to greatness.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters



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