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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
The Capitol Years
Let Them Drink
Burn & Shiver

Rating: 5.5/10 ?


September 6, 2005
It should be no surprise that any band claiming to belong, or righteously belonging, to the garage revival chunk of these last years will, as time goes by, embody no less than a penny in a slot machine. To kick things off, I should clarify that the Capitol Years are no different than the Mooney Suzuki or the Warlocks - or even the Strokes, to raise more than a couple of eyebrows - in that every two tracks, they mimic.

There's no use in elaborating on my resistance to most garage revivalist bands (the Walkmen should always be mentioned as a clear exception), so let me put it this way: most of them seem to have picked an era and chosen to live there forever.

Therefore, most songs from the Capitol Years' first true full-length sound no stronger to me than if they were hit by a reversing truck (and no, Morrissey's words about dying by her/his side, after being hit by a double-decker, and that being "such a heavenly way to die" do not apply here). Let Them Drink's first two songs speak to the attention deficit disorder in each one of us; they send us into a head spin, but just when we were all crossing our fingers - thinking it's about time they added insult to injury - their music proves to be plain and harmless.

Throughout the rest of the 40-minute album, these Philly folks maintain a cool poise while playing risibly at moderate volume. At times choosing to travel faster than the speed of comprehension, they cast a shadow on their musical skills, which seem to disappear as suddenly as they arrived. Jeff Van Newkirk's guitar, for example, gets tossed into a river of foaming harmonies, the sort that cleanse any dirty material that could have erupted and heightened their performance.

And therein lies their biggest problem: the Capitol Years create a trap for themselves - like a two-way spectrum between whirled harmonies and heavier clusters - and can't find their way out of that maze. On the other hand, on tracks like "Ramona" or even "Everyone Is a Skunk," with their ascending or descending power chords, feel like a sombre wizard showed up and left a stain - like a blessed splash of ink - in the otherwise void sound-mantra. Needless to say, these are the best cuts taken from Let Them Drink. Every other hot-fingered guitar interlude lacks a grain of salt or two. To put matters briefly, although they do show some potential, the Capitol Years do not rightfully deserve the hype they are getting.

Reviewed by Helder Gomes
Currently living on the south bank of the Tagus river, in Portugal, Helder Gomes is a working class hero. He is a journalist for the local radio station Rádio Nova Anten. In his spare time, he skates and watches many odd movies. He is in love with the French nouvelle vague, and the Danish/Swedish invasion. He writes for a number of publications, on the Internet or otherwise, notably the underground Portuguese magazine Mondo Bizarre, and the Jazz Review website. He is also the news collector and a staff witer for the adorable Lost at Sea. Oh, and there is also the Coffee Breakz radio show that he tries to host every Saturday.

See other reviews by Helder Gomes

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