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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
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Thunderbirds Are Now!
Frenchkiss Records

Rating: 9/10 ?

March 22, 2005
It's not very often, as a writer, I get to tackle a review that witnesses a band moving from goodness to greatness, but favorite sons Thunderbirds Are Now! have done exactly that. In fact, it would be a true shame if they didn't garner the acclaim they deserve or end up on numerous year-end lists with Justamustache, because it could very well be this year's Funeral.

I don't take that comparison lightly - I feel that Thunderbirds Are Now! have gone from great, off-kilter rock to indisputable respectability, where their name should rightly come in the same breath as Arcade Fire.

Whereas Win, Regine and company garner closest comparisons to the Talking Heads, however, Thunderbirds Are Now!, on their latest release, have managed to turn a similar formula on its ear, culling more favor from the Mission of Burma camp. Justamustache is more than Thunderbirds Are Now! have ever done before - just more. There are more scene-stealing details, more focus and more overall classicism and depth. Justamustache sounds like a classic album, and with any true justice, it will be revered in kind.

Key phrases to remember include 'propulsive,' 'bizarrely danceable,' 'intense,' and of course, 'intelligent.' Much of the album continues the party atmosphere the band's become known for, but does so with a straight face, a revived, breakneck speed, a darker edge and a hidden agenda. Speeding through its ten distinct numbers, it still manages to feel epic, as it is larger and deeper than that initially appealing surface level.

There is so much brilliance found in the crashing, kinetic dance. Tracks are moody, despite their incredible speed, and smart, despite their immediate pull. There are layers upon layers that continue to surprise. Standouts surface at every turn, from the grandiose punk blow-off, "Eat This City," to the strung out, distorted disco of "198090 (Aquatic Cupid's)" to the edgy, rolling squalor of "Enough About Me, Let's Talk About Me" and the hide-and-seek, desperate searching of the pair, "To - Skulls," "From - Skulls."

They have gone, very surely, beyond just upping their game; Thunderbirds Are Now! have reinvented themselves as important figures in the modern indie rock scene: worth watching, worth following, worth emulating and certainly worth applauding.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters



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