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

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 » 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
Pause Record
Pause Record
self-released

Rating: 7/10 ?


June 9, 2008
Many bands, relatively new groups chief among them, seem to exhibit a pattern of fear when it comes to having their music critically assessed, especially before their material is 'officially' released. This is not true of Pause Record, an Australian band who stepped up to - nay, issued - a challenge under the heading Lost At Sea vs. Pause Record; not only were they seeking second opinions, they appeared to be ready to take a thorough tongue lashing in the process. The gauntlet thrown, I decided to check out some of their stuff.

While initially a bit skeptical, the more I listened to Pause Record the more fond I became of it. The band, while obviously still attempting to find their own sound, certainly has the potential to make an impact not only on the sparsely populated Australian music scene, but in enlightened atmospheric circles around the globe as well. The group is based out of Melbourne and composed of two members, Tim Condon and Aaron Unkovich. The first track on the EP, "Axis of Electronics," uses synthetic guitar and drums to construct an engaging rhythm of beats, the only problem with which is its brevity. The lead-off placement is clever, as "Axis of Electronics" is certainly the most inventive and catchy track on the eight-song disc, but the duo would have done well in stretching it to greater lengths, especially considering the collection's final track stretches to more than 17 minutes.

One of Pause Record's more unique trademarks is their use of somewhat mystical, futuristic beats. In fact, listening to the disc conjures up images of some sci-fi flick, or the feeling of being absorbed in a futuristic novel. Any number of the songs on Pause Record could serve as a score for most any cinematic scene (indie film directors, take heed), and the songs also operate as graceful soundtracks to everyday life. Similar to many other contemporary experimental/atmospheric artists, Pause Record rarely employ traditional musical instruments, instead allowing the versatility of the synthesizer to dominate almost all aspects of their music.

As fluent as they are in ambiance, what constrains the band is that their music, while somewhat innovative in nature, appears to be a bit timid at this point. It's not clear whether the air of reservation is intentional or not, but after multiple spins the absence of any clear climaxes is rather ominous. While many lovers of subdued sound may be drawn to the stable nature of Pause Record, the lack of any distinct musical highs can at times make it stale. However, contained throughout the illustrious yet unwavering disc are hints that the band has the potential to formulate original, mind-jarring beats.

The fifth track, "Coromandel," almost sounds like a Trent Reznor composition; the track cuts, pokes and hammers through thirteen minutes of pure passion. Their other lengthy track, "17 Minutes Over the Ocean," uses an impressive mix of eclectic sounds to fluently convey Condon and Unkovich's journey. These tracks, along with "Axis of Electronics," comprise the best of what Pause Record has to offer, as keeping the listener interested and content for more than a half-hour is a difficult chore for many bands to accomplish over a three song stretch.

Reviewed by Brian Christopher Jones
A student living in Scotland and working toward a PhD in law.

See other reviews by Brian Christopher Jones

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