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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
Rye Coalition
On Top
Tiger Style Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
If the searing, chord based Camaro rock assault doesn't tip you off to Rye Coalition's love for 70s power rock, the song title "Stairway to the Free Bird on the Way to the Smokey Water" will. You remember the scene in The Virgin Suicides when Josh Hartnett's character, Trip Fontaine, walks into school, stoned and swaggering with trouser-bulging machismo? This album is the soundtrack to that very attitude, and it is a damn good time.

While not as incredibly overpowering and immediate as Rye Coalition's now classic Hee Saw Dhuh Kaet and The Lipstick Game albums, On Top is undoubtedly the most focused the band has ever been. The clarity of statement on tracks like "Hot Strikes" is most certainly the result of Steve Albini's beyond-notorious (I guess that would be infamously) heavy handed studio guidance, a relationship that has unfortunately taken some of the bite out of Rye Coalition's sound but has greatly amplified their lip-curling bark.

This is the natural progression in the development of Rye Coalition, and I'm comfortable with that. It might not necessarily be exactly what I wanted, but that's fine since I basically wanted Hee Saw Dhuh Kaet II. Rye Coalition have what it makes to be both commercially viable and indie credible, and in some ways the development of clarity and polish in On Top reminds me of the development of Social Distortion. While I never was ultra keen on Social D, I am keen on the Rye Coalition. They've got hot sounds, hot moves, a killer name and a cutting edge, and people don't seem to call them out on the Fugazi thing. If you're into Haymarket Riot, AC/DC, Tight Bros From Way Back When, cheap beer and/or fast cars, you're certainly going to be down for Rye Coalition.

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth

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