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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
Wild Light
Adult Nights
StarTime International

Rating: 6.7/10 ?


March 24, 2009
Rad indie-esque band name, check. Warbly indie-esque vocals, yep. Oblique debut album title, ten-four good buddy. Producer with a resume that includes Elliot Smith, Beck and Guided By Voices, Roger that. Band member who roomed with Win Butler way back at Exeter, while other band member played in an early version of Arcade Fire, whoa Nellie! Parental Advisory sticker? Alright that's enough, this Wild Light, Adult Nights disc needs to be delved into.

Hailing from the first state in Presidential Primary Season, Wild Light, based solely on their pre-debut resume, have definitely set themselves up as feet to fill some large indie rock shoes. After a bidding war of sorts, StarTime International nabbed the foursome, and released the sunny, sprightly Adult Nights just in time for the Spring Equinox. The thirteen-song cycle does a lot to support the minor hype that's built around the band, yet simultaneously flattens some of the bubbling hyperbole.

Let's start with the song that got them stamped with that relic from the Tipper Gore era, the comically-ubiquitous Parental Advisory label: "California On My Mind." Smartly, it opens the album, and the track practically dares us to not be baited by the sheer number of hooks per verse in the oh-so-ironic piece of pop rock. What sounds like a sunny delight homage to the Golden State has singer Seth Pitman spewing more F-bombs than John Malkovich getting canned in Burn After Reading. The happy romp manages to not only "Fuck California," but even gets more specific, giving the verbal bird to San Francisco as well. But wait, whatever fiasco went down in Frisco must have crossed the Bay Bridge, so "Fuck Oakland" too. Ah, bitterness knows no bounds.

After this addictive icebreaker, Adult Nights follows a more trad trajectory. No more gratuitous swearing, just a dozen poppy songs that follow the well-worn path of adequately talented bands that pepper the land, particularly along the Eastern Seaboard. Wild Light could be Bishop Allen, and though that's not a slight it does make me wonder where bands like this fit these days, in an increasingly crowded field of adequately talented bands. Perhaps the aptly titled "Surf Generation" holds a clue, as it is the strongest track on Adult Nights. The cut travels in familiar circles of hard luck, but there is a deeper personal and poetic motion to it, and the music is a perfect match stylistically. "C'mon Eliza, we've got nothing left to lose/ We're still young, but we know how to sing the blues/ There's a world of heartbreak outside, and I want to be a part of it/ So drag me down the road."

To their credit, Wild Light are a young and obviously eager group, staring down the road so many adequately talented bands have faced. Here's hoping they choose the path less traveled.

Reviewed by Ari Shapiro
A staff writer for LAS, Ari Shapiro mixes up pretty unique smoothies at XOOM in hot Tucson.

See other reviews by Ari Shapiro

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