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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
Buttless Chaps
Love This Time
Mint Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Some days you just want to slow down and escape this hum-drum, day to day life we all have fallen into. Sometimes for only a few minutes, but perhaps on occasion a weekend would be nice. A weekend to getaway and not think about the stuff that stresses you out. No work, No money problems, no worries - if this sounds like something you desire, let the Buttless Chaps be the soundtrack to your escape. The Chaps are an odd blend, with an alt-country spin on a new wave sound. I don't know how they do it, but they throw it in a futuristic blender and it comes out all "Robotic-Americana" (and these boys are from Canada).

This is my first time hearing the four Buttless fellas. With four proper albums already released, Love This Time is their debut for the Mint label. When I first read the press sheet and saw they were described as being Alt-country/New wave, I didn't even want to give it a chance. How in the world could those worlds collide? I'll tell you- it isn't a specific sound in every song. Each song is influenced more one way or the other. "Babbles" starts off very slow, Neil Young-like, but breaks down in the middle with some very beautiful Radiohead-esque instrumentation. "Lonely Hearts" is right off of any random country record found on the floor under the peanut shells at your local steak house, upright piano and all (with very purdy n' twangy guest vocals by Mint's own Carolyn Mark). Then Devo comes in and influences the Chaps as they sing a song about a bad 80's movie, "Fresh Horses". This song comes the closest to combining the two genres they are influenced by, however it is over-ridden with new wave synthesizer sounds, which distracts your ears from hearing the really great violin and piano underscore. It is however, a clever sound topped with clever lyrics.

The New Wave influence gets a bit cheesy and too much to take at times "Shuttle Systems", "Numan". These guys are definitely at their best when using the alt-country influence over the new wave, but thankfully - the majority of songs are performed in just such a manor.

The biggest distraction for me while listening is the similarities between Dave Gowans' voice and that of the Johns of They Might Be Giants. As I've said, the new wave tunes are quirky (and cheesy at times) but they never turn themselves into a novelty act like They Might Be Giants, thankfully. It's not a big thing, just something that distracted me.

The record is fun and is a great escape from life. I'd call it the future according to Devo as translated by My Morning Jacket (sung by They Might Be Giants).

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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