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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
Roto
The Low Power Hour
Resin Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
It seems a bit odd that a project anchored by the collaboration of a bassist and a guitarist would end up focusing so heavily on and being so dependent on the performance of the percussionist, essentially a hired hand. Luckily for David Arbury and Carleton Ingram, the afore-mentioned bass and guitar duo, their selection of percussionists has ensured them a lively performance with solid beats guiding the delivery. While I am not at all in agreement with the monotone vocals and their lazy delivery, the songs' ability to convey mood in a tight package with this album a spot in my permanent record collection.

Roto come off like a half-wit brother to punk and jam, having the undeniable DC edge to it as well as a loose, airy feeling to the recording. "Wrecking Ball" is a great song because, like the band itself, it straddles the line where tongue-and-cheek and passion meet and are blurred. Thrilling at times, positively laid back at others, The Low Power Hour presents a wide variety of sounds without ever really leaving the ballpark, if you know what I mean. While the percussion ends up being the focal point of most songs - largely because the vocals and strings become a bit played out in the later tracks - none of the drummers really present a style that is distinguishable from the other two. Harris Klahr has the most solid beats of the three kit-sitters, but John Davis' tracks offer up more in the way of tempo.

While there are certainly stand out tracks on this album musically - specifically the Warmers-esque "The Show" (both versions), the brief instrumental "Dancing Crab" and the previously mentioned "Wrecking Ball" - each one of them would improve ten-fold with a real vocalist at the helm. The spoken, nasally vocal delivery of lyrics that are overall uninspiring begins to wear by the third or fourth track, scraping like nails on glass by the end of the seventeenth and final track. Fix the vocals and there is some real potential with this project.

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth

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