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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]

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 Rapture
Pieces of the People We Love
Universal Motown

Rating: 8.5/10 ?


September 18, 2006
Toward the end of the 1970's, as the New York City disco inferno was burning brightly, a band known for its tendency to rock better than most decided to demonstrate that dance and rock are separated by a mere few degrees. A year after Saturday Night Fever hit theatres The Rolling Stones released Some Girls, which contained the massive hit "Miss You," and the lines between rock & roll and disco were blurred into oblivion. If the Worlds Greatest Rock & Roll Band could lay down a dance beat that convincing, who exactly needed The Bee Gees? And when Mick Jagger strutted his stuff onstage it was clear that he was feeling the rhythm of Wyman and Watts as much as Keith's raucous leads.

Obviously the lines were never that separate to begin with. From Elvis Presley to Trent Reznor, the beat continues and has further infiltrated the recent bumper crop of revivalist rockers. The primary movers of patent dance adoration are two notable live instrument rock bands: Scotland's Franz Ferdinand and New York's The Rapture. Both are a force to be reckoned with live, and both draw influence from their respective home bases. Franz flawlessly blends dance with Brit-pop, elevating the foundation laid by the early Manchester bands; The Rapture add beats to the energy of early New York punk - if legendary clubs Studio 54 and CBGB's merged The Rapture would be the definitive house band.

On their debut album Echoes, The Rapture gave a little bit for everyone. They tore up dancefloors with "House of Jealous Lovers," a barrage of rhythm set to lead singer Luke Jenner's thrashy punk-inspired shrieks. The rest of the record was equally as compelling, showing an ability to criss-cross genres under the umbrella of rock and roll. With their sophomore release, Pieces of the People We Love, The Rapture once again prove they are masters of mix and mash. The album is even more blatantly danceable than Echoes; the cover art of the foursome busting their moves is the perfect indication of where this record is heading. Opener "Don Gon Do It" is a delicious slice of kitsch that recycles everything great from the salad days: steadfast electro drum beats, enough cowbell to satisfy Will Ferrell, a synthesizer riff that would make a-ha blush and Jenner articulating the word "high" into at least six syllables. If The Rapture aren't having fun they sure have the straightest poker face in the game. The song slides effortlessly into the next several tracks, all remaining in the realm of glitter-ball boogie. Standout track "Get Myself Into It" further solidifies the band as great instrumentalists working in a slick saxophone riff that evokes the aforementioned "Miss You."

About midway through the album the gears shift a bit. "Calling Me" dials back the rhythm and hits more of a psychedelic vibe with sparse guitar and whispery vocals. "Down For So Long" is an amazing funkadelic song set to an infectious percussive foundation, nicely paving the way for lyrics "And if the man upstairs don't care what's going on/ Then we can find out for ourselves what's right and wrong." At this point The Rapture reveal that far from being just another Duran Duran they can also R-O-C-K in the USA. "The Sound" is groove heavy and guitar driven, packing a walloping lyrical punch: "A come OOOOOON…ow Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh!" The record ends with "Live In Sunshine," a slow-tempo ballad of sorts. It's a move borrowed from the band's debut and the perfect way to settle the dust kicked up by the previous forty minutes.

Like Franz Ferdinand, The Rapture have followed a stellar debut with a highly respectable second release. Echoes was off the Richter scale right out of the gate, a torrent of rhythm, electro, punk and yelps. Pieces of the People We Love is the calm after the storm, yet still contains more guttural energy than most bands will ever produce. Call it dancewave, post-punk, post-disco, rock & roll, new wave, whatever. The bottom line is that The Rapture sound amazingly fresh right now, and I don't see any expiration date in the foreseeable future.

Reviewed by Ari Shapiro
A staff writer for LAS, Ari Shapiro mixes up pretty unique smoothies at XOOM in hot Tucson.

See other reviews by Ari Shapiro

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