» LATEST FEATURES

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
Hey Mercedes
Loses Control
Vagrant Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Apartment living is enough to make one a little loony, with the crazy drivers and the annoying neighbors and the screaming kids running around until well into the morning. In fact, a guy like myself just might snap one day and lose control. If that were the case, I would take the uprooted signpost from the corner and plant it right into someone's windshield, claiming what lay under my feet as conquered territory. With my makeshift flag providing a foothold, I would proceed to drive out every obnoxious dog, shrill little child and mean, yelling neighbor that I crossed paths with. Cinematic taste-makers would marvel at my Conquistadorian might, licensing my story and making a movie titled "Jake Loses Control". That would be great, wouldn't it?

Wound tighter than the pull start on a new mower, Hey Mercedes could use some lessons in the art of losing control. Their latest full-length and fourth release for indiEmo powerhouse Vagrant, characterized by very crisp and slick production that makes it come off as planned and restrained, is paradoxically entitled Loses Control. On repeated listens the album starts to work somewhat, but only after forcing the issue. It simply doesn't pour out of the speakers naturally.

With Loses Control the artists formerly known as Braid have made an album that is a marked improvement from their previous full length, Everynight Fire Works, but the boys once saluted as "emo pioneers" are now walking a different trail, one already blazed. Hiking miles behind Bob Pollard and his clan, Hey Mercedes are following along and playing a sweet, polished tribute to the lo-fi pop maestros of Guided by Voices. Noticeably missing from Loses Control, however, is some of the passion that a good pop band oozes from the inside out. One might point out that in the old days- as Braid- Bob, Todd, Damon and the other guy had this to spare. Now their spark has seemingly dwindled to a flicker, a criticism that rings true for a better part of Loses Control, and one can't help but cringe when Nanna forces a dispassionate "The stereo's on/ They're playing your fucking song" in "Playing Your Song".

Smooth production and good songwriting must go hand in hand and a well produced album will demonstrate both the raw emotion a band exudes alongside the deft pop they choose to craft. Everynight Fire Works allowed these boys room to emote, while this new effort showcases some better songwriting ability alongside some skilled pop songs. The guitars sound bigger and thicker, and everything sounds like a clear and calculated effort. A mixture of the plusses from their back catalog of these may yield a classic album the next time around for Hey Mercedes. With such hopes I raise my uprooted sign post, waiting for Hey Mercedes to truly lose control.

Reviewed by Jake M. Rizy
A contributing writer for LAS who lives in Arlington, Texas.

See other reviews by Jake M. Rizy

» MEDIA DOWNLOADS

» GOT STICKERS?

If you'd like to help spread the word about LAS, or simply want to outfit yourself with some adhesive coolness, our 4" circle LAS stickers are sure to hit the spot, and here is how to get them:

--> Send an with $2 in PayPal funds to cover postage. Don't worry, we'll load you up with enough to cover your town. Then just be patient. They will arrive soon.

» WORLDWIDE DOMINATION

LAS has staff and freelance writers spread across North and South America, Europe, and a few in Southeast Asia as well. As such, we have no central mailing adress for unsolicited promotional material. If you are interested in having your project considered for coverage, please contact us before sending any promotional materials - save yourself time and postage!