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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
Frantic Mantis
Data Is Not Information
Lujo Records

Rating: 6.5/10 ?


October 17, 2005
Let me start this review by saying while listening to this record, I could feel my mood change. Normally I have a relatively sunny disposition, though I can get easily annoyed (depending on my blood sugar level). I had a clear mind and was ready for anything each time I put this disc into my computer and clicked the play button, but every time I went through it I would get angrier and angrier. I suppose that means it had an effect on me, but that's not the kind of effect I want to have when I'm about to write a review.

Frantic Mantis is a trio of Swedish friends who got together to stand against the world using punk rock instruments and beliefs along with technological soundscapes. The creativity on this album is its biggest accomplishment, while the overall result is a little lacking.

As a punkier Mars Volta, these guys are making a name for themselves by giving a genre of already existing music a specific title: Datapunk. There is a political message (albeit small) found in the yelling and repetition on this album. Though they embrace technology in the creation of the songs, the feel (and possibly the lyrics, if I could read or hear them) seems to be against it. I'm probably wrong, after all they have a song titled "Economy is the Enemy" where the lyrics say, "Computer please take my job/I hate economy/Economy is the enemy". At least they're specific.

Even the "crazy" interjected 8-bit videogame sounds get old after a few minutes. It's good to have a message, but it's not necessary to continually smash me in the face with it. Give it some time to sink in.

I suppose I don't live in neutral Sweden, but I was in high school ten years ago and I know there's a lot in this world to scream about, but come on. I don't believe yelling and fighting 'the man' has proven to be worth it. I'm not saying anyone should give up, but should use a different tactic when necessary: write a letter, sign a petition, organize a strike - anything other than screaming at me will make me more of a believer. Frantic Mantis run the risk of alienating their audience through forceful expression that's not quite relatable.

All throughout this record we get interludes of technological sounds showing us how quickly the world is evolving toward new technologies. While these moments are nothing but bleeps and soundscapes, they are the most enjoyable tracks on the record. Frantic Mantis can be a good band if they stop with all the yelling. Maybe it is my age speaking for me, but I've had enough; tone it down, you Swedish punk rockers. Nobody's listening yet, anyway, and the one thing you taught me is that technology is more annoying than anything.

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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