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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
Metal Hearts
Socialize
Suicide Squeeze

Rating: 7/10 ?


April 14, 2006
Introducing ourselves to the Metal Hearts on their debut, Socialize, it may be easiest to think of them in the same vein as All-Time Quarterback's minimal key-pop, but with baser, less precious intentions. While this is a good start in understanding their sound, it is better to think of Socialize on more thematic, emotional terms than to pick apart its literal layers. Beyond simple sounds and words, the album works as an expressive journey we can all relate to.

The overwhelming feeling of the opening title track is one of loss. "Socialize" feels like Metal Hearts' story begins with the death of a loved one; it is a mingling of bleary-eyed remorse and cold mortality. "Foothills" arrives next like a beautiful, straight-face ghost that haunts the daylight to impart harshly heard wisdom. "Disappeared" embodies a vengeful loner with a misunderstood heart as "Gentlemen's Spell" rises up with all of the anger and spiteful threats of a jilted lover. "Mountain Song" is a ticking bomb of miscommunication as voices battle back at one another for justice; the thick, stung reality of "Midnight's Sun" marks the need to close off emotionally after great pain. "Sunray" is the disc's sinewy, undeniable rock bottom; its desolate bleating cuts straight to the core.

Since it seems appropriate to consider Socialize in stages of recovery, after "Sunray" and its detached low, we move through the sad, exhausted reprise of "No More Ghosts", where painted memories elicit a creeping smile. Healing begins on "Vampires/Tendency To Run", though still lost in denial, and the disc ends with the slow glide of "Airplanes Flying", where a feeling of safety is cautiously regained. Careful words and minimalist, programmed sounds are exchanged over this rite of passage, but the trial itself remains Socialize's importance. Though it is a work of music, it appeals to what we can express in silence; it resounds quietly in the spirit for precisely this reason.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters

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