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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
Sleigh Bells
Treats
N.E.E.T.

Rating: 10/10 ?


May 17, 2010
If it seems too perfect that Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller chose exactly this perfect moment to roar disrespectfully all over the polite province of Vampire Weekend and Beach House, well, bands like this only will themselves into existence out of extreme restlessness. Sometimes boredom.

A 10? The short answer is because I played it four times yesterday and I still wanted to hear it three times (so far) again today. Nothing else in 2010 has made me do that. 2009's a little fuzzy as well.

But there's nothing else like this band right now and possibly ever. The volume and power of late 90s rap metal without all the stupidity and endless chugalug. Vocals that not only sing sweet melodies but support them with harmonies that push and pull against the current of noise, only sassy and canny, like a My Bloody Valentine that's being marketed to pre-teens (awesome idea). If you can stand them at all, there are no bad songs here. It also helps that they pull the plug at a neat 32 minutes, before it theoretically wears out its welcome and leaves you wanting more (take notes Titus Andronicus).

Treats also has moments of genuine, gasp-out-loud surprise, most notably the splashy, feedbacking last minute of "Infinity Guitars" that they conspicuously left off the original demo posted on their Myspace (Brilliant marketing ploy changing the ending to surprise people who thought they already knew the song, though it's more likely they thought of it after the fact). It continues to jolt me after dozens of listens even though I know it's coming every time. Sweat beads in anticipation. I simply can't remember the last time a moment in music slammed that hard - Sleater-Kinney's "The Fox" maybe? Fear of a Black Planet? A Prince guitar solo?

Another neat thing about Treats is it comes at the end of a messy decade that it appears to sum up in fractured jumbles: the end of nu-metal's ubiquitous AOR reign of terror. The return of disco dollies like Lady Gaga and pop idols like Miley Cyrus. Several years of Dirty South crunk. And the last six months of lo-fi girl-group pop like Best Coast and Dum Dum Girls. Sleigh Bells stuff it all into a bag with dynamite, seamlessly, confidently, and as many have charged, obnoxiously. How dare they use tasteless CD-era overcompression as a tool to sound literally louder than everything else? How unfair is that?

As is such in the blogoverse, they're already riding a steady torrent of backlash and charges of gimmickry and novelty. I'd be amazed if they survive, though on this evidence they seem pretty coolheaded. It's a shame they're more than likely to be publicly over by their second album when there used to be a time this stuff was what rock and roll fans lived for even if they didn't know what crunk was yet. I'm going to enjoy them all the way to the only Spin cover they'll ever grace.

Reviewed by Dan Weiss
Dan Weiss is the music editor for LAS. Formerly an editorial intern at CMJ and creator of the now defunct What was It Anyway?, his work has appeared in Village Voice, Pitchfork, Philadelphia Inquirer, Stylus and Crawdaddy among others. He resides in Brooklyn where he enjoys questionable lifestyle choices and loud guitars.

See other reviews by Dan Weiss

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