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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
Ethel Meserve
Spelling the Names
Tree Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Our die-hard readers may well remember my much-lambasted "90 for the 90s" feature in which I outlined my personal top 90 records of the previous decade. On that list one of the records that many found undeserving of its place was Ethel Meserve's The Milton Abandonment at number twelve. While I find the State College quartet's freshman and final full length to be on par with anything Samaim or the Smoking Popes ever put out, most of our readers do not. Well, if my superb intellect and exquisite musical taste weren't enough to prove the masses wrong, the posthumous collection of singles, demos and compilation tracks should at least show them the light.

Nearly an hour in length, Spelling the Names chronicles just about everything Ethel Meserve had the chance to record that wasn't on Tree #14. Spelling the Names, despite its terrible title, showcases all of the reasons that Ethel Meserve crossed genres so successfully, catalyst to many a basement show wig out for hardcore kids, math rockers, classic rock Zeppelin dorks and emo dweebs alike. Easily one of the most criminally underrated bands of all time, Ethel Meserve was one of those bands that you wanted everyone to hear but simultaneously hoped to keep all to yourself.

In an era of pointless posthumous releases of pre-released material (how many times can Crank! possibly play the Boys Life/Vitreous Humor/Christie Front Drive card?) this record comes as a welcome oasis from the grave-robbing rock world. Sure, you could scrap together a collection of singles and compilations that would closely resemble this handy CD anthology, but it would be a pain in the ass and you would still be missing a third of these tracks. There is no way around it, this record is a must have.

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth

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