» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » 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]


 » 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
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
Stylish Nihilists
Revelation Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
I vaguely recall listening to Christiansen many moons ago and pawning them off as just another emo band, a mistake that I now have a chance to remedy. Christiansen will likely be categorized under a variety of genres, from emo to indie rock, to post this and post that, but regardless what tag you'd like to assign this band, Stylish Nihilists proves that Christiansen are a talented band, creating some really dynamic, off kilter hard rock that is familiar but simultaneously original.

Vocalist Brandon Bondehagen sounds alarmingly like Cedric Bixler (At the Drive-In, Mars Volta), sans the speed and caffeine injections, but still melodic in a manic, piercing way, providing unique vocals that become another instrument in the song at times, rather than a vehicle for lyrical delivery. Along similar lines, he often has a similar vocal delivery as Walter Schreifels (Quicksand, Rival Schools) adding a tense urgency to his voice, ultimately injecting further power into the songs.

Unfairly or not, since Bondehagen's vocals are so similar to Bixler's, the rest of Christiansen's sound will be likely be scrutinized and compared with At the Drive-In by default. This is an accurate assessment for the most part, although Christiansen's lyrics are decidedly more accessible than they could hardly be accused of being copycats or even attempting to imitate any sound in particular.

As Stylish Nihilists progressed, it was obvious that Christiansen had their own ideas and sounds they wished to convey, and in its natural progression, the end product is similar to other recent efforts, but the key is that it's natural as well.

Not forced or contrived, Stylish Nihilists presents each song with metallic whines and complex rock structures, moderate tempo changes, and Bondehagen's vocals really the focal point of the effort, which at times can take away from the fact that there is some talented musicians fleshing out the songs as well, but really adds a unique tinge to the music that other bands lack.

Reviewed by David Spain
Based in Chicago, Illinois, David Spain is a contributing writer for LAS magazine.

See other reviews by David Spain



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