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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
Slow and Gifted

Rating: 6.5/10 ?

October 1, 2004

Typically, self-released albums are those that don't make much of a ripple in the tank. Small groups save their money so that they can record, edit, and generate a couple hundred copies of records that they put together with blood, spit, and sweat. Isn't this how it usually happens?

To find hidden gems, sometimes it takes a 30-minute car ride, luck finding a dream parking spot, and the beat of one's feet on pavement up to a late-night music venue. Even in these situations, it is never guaranteed. Sometimes you become fortunate, and instead of being forced to sit through a painful opening set, you catch a glimpse of an act with promise and potential. One night in October brought this situation upon me while watching Archaeology, a four-piece of Chicago natives.

Archaeology is most easily characterized as a post-punk/pre-hardcore outfit, with textural elements somewhat akin to Ethel Meserve. The group's debut album, Slow and Gifted, comes off as an emotional cloud that looms in the sky, but is always accompanied by flashy, explosive lightning bolts. Archaeology uses contrasting dynamics and poignant lyric delivery but does not get lost in the small-detail aspect and crafts an album that also bows to the power of quasi-driving, quasi-grooving rhythms (both through percussion and bass/guitar riffs).

Slow and Gifted is a well-produced and executed album, spanning 30 minutes and five songs (all given binary code titles). Although the band is not adverse to the big rock riff, this often strident element takes a subtle route to the forefront. A two guitar lineup often leads the way with dancing shoegazer melodies, and eventually an attack of powerful distorted angular chords comes through, somehow both discordant and harmonious. Each track finds a way to pinch together the seams of emotional force with exciting transitions and constantly changing drum patterns. As the songs progress, their dynamic fabric is stretched further behind dark but grooveable instrumental segments. The energized mood is eventually capped by intermittent screams and "woos," aggro-funk basslines, and movie sound clips.

Reviewed by Josh Zanger
Joshua Ian Zanger, a native of rural Chicago, rocks many a world with his writing, style, and generally sweet aroma.

See other reviews by Josh Zanger



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