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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
Further Seems Forever
How to Start a Fire
Tooth & Nail Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
I don't know what is going on. What passes for emo these days, well, it just isn't the same as it was in the early 90's. I think the main difference now is the lack of screaming in emo, or the complete abandonment of that silly but defining term "screamo." The scream quotient was very important to the genre because it balanced the tender wussiness of the music with a hard edge, keeping it from crossing completely over into pure theatrics and melodrama. It kept it rock. But the new crop of emo bands, mostly from the Vagrant Records camp, is just plain sap that sticks to your heart (or the bottom of your shoe) in the most annoying way. Vocals strain at the edges of their range, guitars follow formula and teenagers lose their shit. Mix and repeat.

Florida's Further Seems Forever's new album follows the formula to a T. They used to be fronted by a guy named Chris Carraba, who you probably know from seeing Dashboard Confessional perform unplugged on MTV. Well, they've got a new vocalist, Jason Gleason, who does pretty much the same thing. There are some interesting sounds in the bands repertoire, some vaguely At The Drive-In-reminiscent moments in songs like the title track and the smoldering ballad "A Blank Page Empire." But the rest is what you would expect from a band that just finished up a tour with New Found Glory and gets compared to Sunny Day Real Estate and Saves the Day. "Against My Better Judgement" opens with that muffled production sound that has started songs on so many emo records (Braid, et al.). "I Am" finds Gleason in full Bono mode as he literally croons "I am rejection, I am desire" before the distorted guitars kick in halfway through. Come on man, let go and scream, it would do you and the band so much good. Take your punk rock past and put it into use.

How to Start a Fire is immaculately produced and is sure to please the kids who were just hitting puberty when bands like Boys Life or Strictly Ballroom were putting their angst into their art. Further Seems Forever is a band that certainly can't be faulted for lack of talent; it's just too bad they don't put it to better use.

Reviewed by Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other reviews by Jonah Flicker

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