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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
Ester Drang
Rocinate
Jade Tree

Rating: 7.5/10 ?


April 10, 2006
Chill is a word usually reserved for refreshing drinks, bad 80s dialog and jazz compilations - but saying Ester Drang creates "chill music" would be a high and accurate compliment.

Beginning with the pitch-perfect "Come Back Alive," this is promising but removed airport music, like a toned down version of Sparks with low blood pressure and a twinkle in its eye. Intriguingly straight-faced, it employs soaked harmonies, crammed guitars, plinking keys and unwitting noise without batting an eye. While it may be due, at least in part, to the band's involvement in a fatal accident in support of their album Infinite Keys, much of Rocinate is like a beautiful dream witnessing inconceivable things; it proves that dulled senses can be elevated to a higher form.

With impeccable production (at the hands of Tiny Telephone) and remarkable instrumentation, the album stands as a largely unflappable whole, but even when taken on the merit of single tracks it stands brilliantly. "Hooker With A Heart Of Gold" is a soaring, Bowie-esque ballad that takes shots at A.M. Gold. "Everyone Is A Victim" is the most determined of the tracks, pounding and compounding to an unfathomable degree. Some cuts end in collapse ("Grave Mistake"), others in tingling disbelief ("Great Expectations"), but until Ester Drang makes their final statement, every feeling is beautifully removed.

An insuppressible rush of sound can found somewhere within every track, but all remains largely unaffecting - in a good way. The numbness adds and air of mystique that keeps us hanging, so that when on the closing "Proustian Moments" the enveloping sound breaks the fourth wall, it's incomprehensible. Every bit of Rocinate is well-played: it's music for bones that crawls up your spine.

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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