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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]

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 » 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
Audio Learning Center
Cope Park
Vagrant Records

Rating: 9/10 ?


October 1, 2004
It's rare when it happens. I'm sure you know the phenomenon: a record that gets better every time you hear it. It is indeed a rarity, but this is the case with the new Audio Learning Center album, Cope Park.

Now, I know what you're probably thinking.

Who the fuck is Audio Learning Center?

Even more astounding than this band being criminally ignored is the fact that they are signed to independent-giant Vagrant Records, a label to whom spending tens of thousands of dollars on promotion is not a foreign concept.

I had always wondered what happened to Audio Learning Center since their first album, Friendships Often Fade Away; they toured but they seemed to be touring less and less. Now I know they were too busy working on this great album. It's hard to review Cope Park because I'm not sure what to say. In fact, if your feeling lazy and not wanting to read all the bullshit details, just know that this album rules, I mean it's hella good. I know I sound like a 7th grader but I don't even care, it's that good.

For those of you interested in the bullshit details, here they are:

Cope Park is filled with interesting music. It seems every band right now wants to sound like somebody else, but Audio Learning Center is just fine sounding like themselves. The result is a creative album in which all the songs sound different and in which odd approaches to music fill every corner. Cope Park is a refreshing beacon of hope at a time when "independent" music seems to be getting ever more uncreative, reflecting the tastes of mainstream music like a mirror. One thing I enjoy about Cope Park is how well the music fits the mood and lyrics of the songs. The songs also diversify in theme, whether being soft and reflective, playful, confused, or sad. Christopher Brady's cynical yet sympathetic voice highlights this album perfectly, and his bass lines are great too. Steve Birch's guitar playing is some of the oddest and most creative heard in early 2004, and Paul Johnson's drum playing highlights the four- and six-strings well. In unison the trio create interesting, full songs that you can listen to again and again without getting bored.

When you head down to your favorite indie record store to pick up the new Modest Mouse or Blonde Redhead albums, you may want to highly consider purchasing this as well. Cope Park is well worth the change - that is, if your broke unemployed indie ass can afford it.

Reviewed by Nick Shea


See other reviews by Nick Shea

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