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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
Last of the Juanitas
In the Dirt
Wantage USA

Rating: 8/10 ?


March 22, 2005
"Rooting" is a very particular word. As a pig tears apart the earth in search of a truffle, he snorts and destroys and carries on in furious motion. He burrows his snout into the ground, on a mission. This is why the title and porcine cover art of In the Dirt are so appropriate, as "rooting" is the exact word I'd choose to describe the sound of Last of the Juanitas.

Their instrumental, furious, mud-slinging post-rock is both focused and unapologetically dirty. It's what you'd expect, considering the band features an alumnus of Drive like Jehu - that is to say, it never lets up. In the Dirt is a massive, relentless album. It makes several perfect moves, not the least of which is track size - the longest cut is its opener, at 5:15, and it only gets more succinct from there; it is a strong choice in a genre filled with overlong noodling.

Its other great asset is its notable variety. "Baghdad" has atmospheric, almost religious elements to it; "Smashed by Nothing" has a bizarre harmonic dimension to it, where shouts of soprano and alto collide into an artfully demented sound; the title track is almost New Wave in influence; "You Gotta Wait" has a swanlike, strangled grace that feels momentously askew. Each of these differing sounds are bounced off of a wall of gnashing post-rock noise, the sharpness of which never dulls, but is only enhanced by the unexpected genre changes.

Last of the Juanitas is worthy of any acclaim they may garner, if at first from their historic rock connections, then undoubtedly from their own merit. The band succeeds on the angular post-rock mission, but finds even more surprising, incalculable treasure as they dig around.

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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