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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
Rainer Maria
Long Knives Drawn
Polyvinyl Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Rainer Maria had my complete and undivided attention as they directed me through the notes of Look Now, Look Again but when their follow-up album, A Better Version of Me, seemed lackluster and unnecessarily brash (so much so that LAS didn't even review it), I grew wary of ultimately being let down by someone I'd once loved.

When I came face to face with Long Knives Drawn and it's ever-symbolic cover of a flowery, pink dress bejeweled with sharp cleavers, I heeded the warning. I was sure to keep an open mind to the potential softness and beauty, but I steadfastly backed it up with a guarded heart against the danger that might present itself. From the opening vocal heights, my reserve proved to be the best approach to Long Knives Drawn. The introduction provided in "Mystery and Misery" is undeniably majestic. It matches the tuneful intricacy of their sophomore sweetheart with their newfound, thunderous sense of adventure.

While some of the tracks, like "Long Knives" and "Ears Ring", seek to capitalize on the success of unabashedly loud, atypically feminine bands like Bikini Kill and Pretty Girls Make Graves, the real triumphs of Long Knives Drawn come in the moments when the trio tighten the reigns on such intensity and concentrate on their melodic aptitude. "The Awful Truth of Loving" is a perfect example of when both sides of their dueling artistic ability present themselves in fruitful measures.

The instrumentation, while at times lacking the band's signature detail, still provides a solid background to Caithlin De Marrais's soaring, formative vocals, and keeps its composure through an endless number of sharp turns. While it may not entirely recapture the magic of their previous full-length efforts, this fourth offering shows that Rainer Maria are conscious of the balance that made them stand apart, and will freely mesh history with future in their own chosen moments.

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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