» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » 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]


 » 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
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
Calibretto/Mercury Radio Theater
All of These Things Do Not Belong
Standard Recording

Rating: 4.5/10 ?

May 19, 2005
Not to be confused as one entity, Calibretto and Mercury Radio Theater worked together to make this 10-song split release: two different bands, two different sounds. As an added storyline twist, this is a posthumous release for Calibretto, the band having called it quits due to increasing dissent among band members and diminishing returns from their music (they changed their sound, ideology and labels; lost fans and money).

This is my second encounter with Calibretto, the first being their Dead By Dawn EP, a dark, bouncing rock record. Calibretto isn't quite as scathed in shadow on this EP, but still maintain their manic, organ-driven, carnival rock on six of the disc's 10 tracks. The vocals are as whiny and spastic as ever, the songs still hyper and cocky, but it seems Calibretto's focus is off; the production not nearly as tight, the songs not quite as engaging.

There are highlights though showcasing Calibretto's scathed sense of humor, like on "The Object of My Affection," where the disturbed protagonist serenades his blow-up doll purchased on the Internet, or on "Leader of the Frat," a bashing of the Greek system and the arrogance associated with stereotypical male-dominated views and ethics.

Then there's Mercury Radio Theater, the other half of this split: a post-punk instrumental outfit. It's difficult to pinpoint their direction since, after some exploration, it seems that their live show is a large part of their act. Apparently using projectors and a disembodied voice to help tell a story, Mercury Radio Theater plows their way through disjointed songs.

On this split, the only vocals present are yelps and screams of nonsense, sometimes offering insight, like on "Exploding Robots Are Hard to Miss," where some incoherence is spewed, and finally, we learn, per the screaming voice, exploding robots are indeed hard to miss.

The disc is an odd collaboration of two bands with different sounds, and obviously different directions in their musical endeavors. Calibretto called it quits, Mercury Radio Theater have a new disc coming out, and life still manages to lurch along... a testament to the resilience of humanity.

Reviewed by David Spain
Based in Chicago, Illinois, David Spain is a contributing writer for LAS magazine.

See other reviews by David Spain



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