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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
Echoes
DFA/Strummer/Universal

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
From the juicy Euro-Urban synth notes that glide, then fuzz out in the introduction of "Olio", Echoes is a record that's pretty tough to deny. The cold, clinical vocals of Luke Jenner are instantly dominating, resonating deep throughout the arty intelli-punk dancetronica. The Rapture cull from the depths of every band that was ever simultaneously hip, smart, international and popular. Gang of Four markings distinguish the coat of Echoes, but deep inside the beast gestates the eccentricities of Bowie, The Cure, The Police,

Radiohead's more operatic moments compliment the drama of "Open Up Your Heart" from it's beginning until it melts into the club-funk high gloss dance cut of "I Need Your Love". Even in it's most George-Michaels-channeled-by-Sonic-Youth moments The Rapture concoct a strange, tidal balance between minimalism and lushness - incorporating chimes, computer beats, live drums, hand claps, bass, saxophone, guitar and synthesizers into a warm, mellow club mix like it was their job to do so.

A lot of people would simply lump The Rapture into the art-punk bulk bin with Q and Not U, and tracks like "The Coming of Spring" make it hard to argue, but to pin the indie rock journeymen down under one finger is borderline impossible. The Rapture released "House of Jealous Lovers" as the album's first single, and it's a heavy hitter. This song, in its three-and-a-half-minute form here, wreaks pseudo-disco havoc through it's curdling vocals, cowbell (always more cowbell!!), rolling bass line, and repeated lyrics. "Shakedown!!!!" Cue misanthropic guitar solo. Cue drum break. Cue guitar and cowbell (yes!!) reentry. Cue shout-count! The video springs into your mind's eye - "House of Jealous Lovers" siphoned through stop motion, cut and paste Soviet-era/punk rock poster art. The Rapture struck gold with this track, but if you really want to hear what they are all about, listen to the entirety of Echoes. Unbutton your sweater-vest, and dance, dance, dance.

Throughout it's entirety, Echoes hits hard, landing it's punches with the collective force of a strange field of influence. Like the most powerful electron lens collecting influences from , The Rapture wield their upper-echelon pop scalpel with precision. Rumbling bass and cackling experimentalist noise of "Echoes" crystallize and flow into the deep, spiritual house groove of "Killing" effortlessly- smart lyrical delivery buoyed by warm beats, commanding "One, two, three, four/ kick that fucker out the door" into the morning hours.

Beginning in 1998 as a trio after drummer Vito Roccoforte and guitarist/vocalist Luke Jenner relocated from San Diego to more eclectic San Francisco and started playing with Christopher Relya, The Rapture have walked a few miles in a lot of different moccasins. After releasing a single backed with a Psychedelic Furs cover and dropping an EP that included a Kid606 remix, the band packed up and moved to Seattle when the house of recently added fourth wheel Brooks Bonstin burned down. Having been burned out of the Bay city, the quartet sat out less than a year in the wet of Seattle before driving across the United States- playing shows along the way with the likes of Sunny Day Real Estate- and crashing into New York City. After two months in the Big Apple the band's bassist split, but was quickly replaced by Washington D.C. transplant Matt Safer in October 1999, who'd just dropped out of jazz school.

That fall was to be a busy one, as Safer dug into the band's sound and several coincidences fell into place at the right time. The band met up with production team of DFA around the same time that Jenner was soaking up a new spectrum of influences. Funk, jazz and house would sink in and later dance their way into the scratchy post-post-punk right when the band was coming to prominence with the six-song Out of the Races and Onto the Tracks EP released by Sub Pop in 2001.

Continuing to benefit from the input of DFA, The Rapture elevated their renown further with 2002's "House of Jealous Lovers" foot-wide slab of vinyl. The same year multi-instrumentalist and out-of-the-box thinker Gabriel Andruzzi signed on and the band fleshed out their sound into a giant, perpetual segue between the greatest rock-as-art moments of the last 40 years.

From the dramatic costume nod to Queen in "Heaven" to the morphing of past, present and futurism into "Sister Savior" there is hardly a moment when Echoes flounders. The Rapture is deadly accurate without pomp, bolstered by the spirits of David Byrne, Bruce Springsteen, Iggie Pop, Robert Smith, David Bowie, Thurston Moore, Lou Reed, Wire, the Fall, Gang of Four, Radiohead and DJ Spooky all reside inside the Rapture.

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also reviewed by Eric Herboth
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Reviewed by Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other reviews by Jonah Flicker

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