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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
Figurines
Skeleton
Control Group

Rating: 8/10 ?


August 1, 2006
Hailing from Denmark has got to be tough for a rock band. It's true, I don't know much about the country, and what I do know I learned online. For instance, did you know that Denmark is home to only around five million people? While the owners of Greenland may be small, size is no reason to count them out early. And, heck, while we're on the subject, here are a few other Danish facts:

.: Some of the most famous Danes are Hans Christian Anderson, Director Lars Von Trier and the Laudrup brothers (they play football).

.: In 1971 Denmark became the first country to establish a ministry for the environment - how's that for thinking about the future?

Speaking of the future, get a load of Figurines. These guys have just released their second album here in the US after having released it in Europe a year ago. A brief summary of the band's sound might liken them to Built To Spill on speed - not a lot of speed, mind you, but enough to take the depressing edge off of Doug Martsch's voice and kick the amps up from ten to eleven.

For their tiny peninsular homeland, there is a heavy post-grunge Seattle sound influencing Figurines on Skeleton. You can hear the same twang that can be found in early Modest Mouse, as well as the three-chord jangle of The Shins. Driving guitar and simple lyrics keep the album moving, while the slower moments give the listener a sense of something deeper.

Skeleton begins with a light piano song, "Race You," that could be passed off to those not in the know as Isaac Brock covering a Bright Eyes tune. It is a nice song, but Figurines quickly pull thw rug right out from under us with a shift in direction on track two, "The Wonder," which begins with a Futureheads-esque bass/guitar riff and keeps on chuggin' for three minutes. A time change or two would benefit Figurines greatly, but the gear they are stuck in is in no way a terrible one.

At times, the lyrics and chords are overrun with a quirkiness reminiscent of the Starlight Mints. Although an amateur sound bleeds through all the songs on Skeleton it is obvious that this group of Danes take themselves seriously. It is that seriousness that makes this album so enjoyable, as it affords the band a certain degree of confidence in their quirkiness.

Toward the end of the album there is a back-to-back power punch of songs that closes things off nicely and leaves the listener with satisfied ears. "Back In The Day" is a sort of Euro take on Americana rock, a Denmarkana number, if you will. In fact, it sounds like America ("Horse With No Name") and, simply put, it's beautiful. Followed up with the album closer, "Release Me On The Floor," the pair make a convincing closing argument. While the latter is a bit too long, it has the perfect tempo of a solid warm-down, and is just about the perfect way to say adjø, farvel to a fun album.

Reviewed by Bob Ladewig
Having been introduced to good music by his sister in the early years, Bob Ladewig has been searching out all the best in indie music ever since. He also rides a skateboard and performs/directs comedy shows and, like all great men, he\'s afraid of really growing up.

See other reviews by Bob Ladewig

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