» 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
The Rocket Summer
Hello Good Friend
The Militia Group

Rating: 6/10 ?

May 17, 2005
Please remove your testicles (if you have them) before listening to The Rocket Summer.

Sans-Cojohnes (Yes, French and Spanish!) is the best way to appreciate front man/songwriter Bryce Avery's music. If you have a healthy stream of testosterone running through your body - to keep your wuss rock sensibilities in check - hearing this might make you want to pummel the crap out of a lesser human.

Hello Good Friend has the bouncy piano rock and melancholy/joyful chirpings of Avery, someone who sounds alternately like a dimpled cartoon character, enthusiastic youth group leader, or the eternally chipper neighborhood boy scout who helps old ladies with their groceries.

Hello Good Friend might have cornered the market on wholesome pop. Not only because its 13 tracks are tales of rarely dampened optimism, but that Avery has got to be one of the best at writing infectious pop songs.

This is an album cataloging, "Hey, I finally got the girl!" moments for teenagers, as well as background fodder for WB shows. In many ways, The Rocket Summer is the anti-Dashboard Confessional: there's little lingering self-doubt in the cathartic singalongs. Even when the occasional question and insecurity arises in a song like "Tell Me Something Good", it's usually followed by an upbeat and optimistic number like "Never Knew".

Musically, there's so many hooks in Hello Good Friend, it could be a tackle box. Avery excels at wearing down resistance by inundating listeners with as many catchy lines and melodies as possible. So even if one is ultimately averse to this type of sugary music, it's necessary to give Rocket Summer its props for pop sensibility and melodic composition.

Those in need of rebellion shouldn't look to the optimist all-stars of Avery and Co. for their anthems. It's music that parents would love for their kids to listen to; cute and cuddly in a dangerous world.

Reviewed by Dan Williams
A staff writer based in Brooklyn, New York, Dan Williams is a frequent contributor to LAS magazine. He once lived in Köln, Germany for a semester, is currently persuing his MBA in New York, and recently switched sides and began working as a publicist for Special Ops Media in New York.

See other reviews by Dan Williams



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