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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
The Exit
Home for an Island
Some Records

Rating: 5/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Oops, I lost the press sheet. Not that anyone reads those damned things after a while. So, without any aid from publicity spin-doctors, band members, labels, or fellow reviewers…

I think this is The Exit's second album, and I think their first full-length was met with some "critical acclaim," as it's called. I also believe they're from New York, which means they drink much better booze than the rest of us, and that they wear suit jackets. It also means their music is going to be "lo-fi" in some sense of the word, and they play expensive vintage guitars. But wait, wait, wait!!! I lost the press sheet, so all of this information is purely based on hearsay, uninformed, stereotypical assumptions, and my own biased opinion of all those who drink better booze than me and wear suit jackets.

So, is any of this true? Well, besides the liquor and tweed, The Exit plays rackety rock-based pop that is well oiled in its production. The guitars sound exceptionally clean, as do the vocals. The added, though not all that often used, vocal effects and layering beef up the sound.

No, they are not "lo-fi"; in fact, Home for an Island is very pulled-together, clean-sounding and entirely accessible. Musically, there is not too much risk being taken here, but why should there be? If songs aren't "risky," they should be catchy, emotionally entrapping or political, right? Well, two out of three isn't that bad - but without the first condition, the latter two provisions are pretty much rendered insignificant.

Though well polished, the Exit's songs aren't all that memorable. They seem to be too focused on musicianship and aren't worrying about the "punch." They're overanalyzing the gut instincts which make music, and art in general, so exciting. Unfortunately, a lot of creative types fall victim to this trap, so not to get all down trodden on The Exit …

Partnered with their soaring rock that subtly changes course within songs, The Exit flirt with reggae-based songwriting on such tracks as "Back to the Rebels" and "So Leave Then." Like the comfortableness seeping from their previous songs, the aforementioned tracks exude the same gloss, but are different in their noisy grooves.

The most memorable song on Home for an Island is an anti-war dirge classically played with an acoustic guitar, harmonica and a lone singer. Of course, the song evokes the neo-folksingers of the late 60s, and while other tracks on the album deal with the twisted politics of the US, as does the album's title itself, "Soldier" is the most earnestly delivered and engaging. Rather than getting caught up in complex song structures and unnecessary tempo changes, it says flat out what is wants to say, and is all the more effective.

Reviewed by Abbie Amadio
The last we heard Abbie Amadio, a former contributor to LAS, was based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

See other reviews by Abbie Amadio

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