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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
Assistant
The Assistant
Milligram Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
You've been there, in that crowded room, packed with kids, yelling their fucking heads off, you can smell the guy next you sweating, your hair's wet, and every few moments something amazing happens onstage with that band that you're listening to, maybe they pull some smooth transition, jump from a hard guitar line to some weirdly atonal part, or maybe the drummer just starts to go crazy, it's not what he's supposed to do at that point, but the other guys in the band just keep up with him and you understand that you're about to get your money's worth, shit that you might never hear on an album. Some bands can pull that off live and reproduce the experience in the studio, some can't. The Assistant pull it off on their first album. From the opening track, "Humyn Capital" ("I don't like school at all, they set me up to make me fall...I'm still writing with crayons"), they scream and freak out musically, weaving all over the place, lapsing into subtlety, holding it just long enough, then they pull the rug out, go beneath the surface and flip out again, neurotic, fucking angst-ey hardcore, beautifully ugly in every way, and hard.

Their lineup consists of two guys on guitar, a guy on bass, a guy on drums, and a girl on keys and vocals. This allows them to do some great hardcore style harmonizing, and they do it over metal thrash riffs mixed in all over the place, so they just sound fucked up and flipped out. Added bonus with this album is the 44-page booklet that accompanies it, full of really personal diary rants and pseudo-political screeds (of the personal is the political variety) on the state of the world vis-a-vis the white suburban middle-class wasteland of sprawl and corporate bloat. It's also got the lyrics in there, a great inclusion, 'cuz half the songs are indecipherable. Oh yeah, they use this sample (from Fight Club) as an intro to one of their tunes, which kicks ass in my book:

"Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don' need. We're the middle children of history, man, no purpose or place. We have no great war, no great depression. Our great war is a spiritual war, our great depression is our lives. All of us raised on television to believe that one day we'd be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars, but we won't, and we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off."

Reviewed by James Hoey
A long-time contributing writer for LAS, Jim lives in North Carolina and drives an early 70s model mustard yellow Chevrolet Blazer.

See other reviews by James Hoey

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