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 » 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.
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 » 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!
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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
The Missouri Compromise
Creation of Maine
Roydale Recording Company

Rating: 7/10 ?

October 1, 2004
They say you don't get a second chance to make a good first impression, and that's okay because, as of right now, The Missouri Compromise and I are on solid ground.

Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, The Missouri Compromise - which may or may not be named after actions taken by the U.S. Congress to end the first of a series of crises concerning the extension of slavery - have just unveiled their debut album, Creation of Maine. The Compromise consists of David Vlasits (vocals/guitar), Dan Schiller (vocals/guitar/keyboard), Ryan Rezvani (bass) and Rob Soller (drums), and the quartet have finished carrying out the most important task in their music career thus far: winning over an LAS writer.

Honestly, my initial reaction to was one of hesitation - with all its hushed guitars, unswerving drums and unrefined-because-that's-the-way-it's-suppose-to-be vocals, I thought that maybe I was confronted with the emo record of the week. Those thoughts, however, were later realized to be false and hasty generalizations.

The first track, "Boys Need Product Too", starts off dim and blurry. Though with the help of coy and persistent drumming by Rob Soller, and jagged yet serene vocals from David Vlasits, it eventually comes into focus. It, at times, sounds like a fusion of Pavement and Les Savy Fav - singing metaphors about beauty products to survey male-female disconnect, no less. The edge is clear and patented through tracks like "Directions" and "$1.85", discreetly showcasing a wide-ranging scope the band manages to encompass, by way of guitar blitz's and all-out keyboards with simplicity and elegancy in the forefront.

In comparison with the rest of the record, the title track could be one of the more inferior moments throughout. From the very first note a slight disapproval is embedded, as monotonous guitar measures and commonplace lyrics take its toll earlier than anticipated.

Carrying the album across the home stretch is "Peter Greenaway," a tale of an old man who left behind the comfort of a "weeping angel" if for no other reason than to "get back on the road." Amongst irritable, multilayered feedback and a keyboard with pin-point accuracy, the song is destined to exhibit a nursery rhyme melody and stands strong as a promising light for future endeavors.

Though the album remains fairly consistent, it's important to note that The Missouri Compromise, at least apparent from their debut, are only capable of so much. Despite the fact that the album hints of greater things beyond this particular pasture, there are no truly stunning moments to be found. Chalk it up as an exercise of design - and let's hope The Missouri Compromise see reason to raise the bar.

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