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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
El Guapo
super/system
Dischord Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Running into this disc surprised me. I haven't seen Dischord Records putting out as much music as they once did, but seeing as they put out this new El Guapo album I guess they're still in the game. What was even more surprising is that El Guapo are not your typical Dischord band. They seem to take more inspiration from bands like Trans Am, and the Dismemberment Plan than Fugazi. On super/system, their sixth release they appear as a three-piece, but they began as a two-piece.

The comparison to Trans Am is apparent mostly in the production, which was engineered by Phil Manley of Trans Am. What El Guapo creates is definitely art-punk, but that term in itself does not illustrate the level of their abstraction. They rely heavily on bass, drums, electronics and keyboard, but they also let the odd sounds of accordion and oboe to swirl into the mix, which really gives these songs a life of their own. There are vocals, but they are minimal. Almost all of the lyrics are just a line repeated over and over again. The structure of their songs is pulsating and hypnotic, but is frequently broken down into jazzy crescendos or 80's style dance beats. What keeps El Guapo so abstract and hard to follow is that their songs have no definite beginning or end. This will make you wonder, why even listen at all?

El Guapo makes music for the listener who doesn't believe there are any definite answers in rock music. They create blips in the mind with their brief and sporadic hooks. None of them culminating to a point where you think you get the idea. You may not like where El Guapo takes you while listening to super/system, but once you have turned the cd off, you may like where you were even more.

Reviewed by Gregg Evangelista
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See other reviews by Gregg Evangelista

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