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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
Dropscience
Experimenting with Contrast: An Audio Interpretation of Color, Light & Space
Happy Couples Never Last

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
You have to hand it to the Dropscience. Possibly the only band I have ever encountered with the audacity to give their own album a title that doubles as a bloated, overly stylized review of itself. As if the title weren't pretentious enough already, the Dropscience takes their artsy-fartsy schtick even further by insisting that the album of otherwise untitled songs is a concept album/rock opera type of thing. If this had been a bad album, my review for it would probably have consisted of little more than a sentence or two ridiculing the band and their absurd title.

But lo and behold, it ain't half bad, after all. It's pretty damn good, actually, despite its numerous shortcomings.

The band hails from sunny San Diego. Their sound, however, clearly resides in D.C., and spends its summer vacations in Chicago. It certainly isn't too hard to tell what these guys are listening to, and what sound and feel they're going for. Normally, I'd be quick to condemn a band for wearing their influences on their sleeve; but in this case, I simply must give the Dropscience credit for picking exactly the right bands (at least in my humble opinion) to rip off. Sharp, bright guitars that cut like razors through a dense fabric of bass guitar and drums; tight, syncopated rhythms; and playfully unorthodox time signatures and song structures-- these are the ingredients that make up my kind of band. The jazzy, hefty rhythm section bears an uncanny resemblance to that of June of 44, and the guitars scream Jawbox in their more jagged and abstract moments. The singer could understudy for Guy Piccioto, and the whole album has a dark, sinister feel reminiscent of Pony Express-era Shudder to Think.

Being the Dropscience's debut, the album shows much promise, but it is by no means flawless. Clocking in at nearly 75 minutes, the album is predictably bogged down by unnecessary filler throughout the latter half. But even during these duller moments, the Dropscience somehow manages to hold my attention. Still, the album could definitely stand to lose about a half-hour. Not to mention the "artier than though" faux-European bit.

These few criticisms of mine seem downright paltry in the face of the bottom line: this is a damn good CD. The bugs will work themselves out with time. Provided that this band's tenacity matches (or even rivals) its audacity, I see great things in the future of the Dropscience.

Reviewed by Dheeru Pennepalli
A former contributing writer for LAS, Dheeru Pennepalli currently lives in Chicago where he performs music with one of the Matts from Re:Rec in a new duo called A Light Sleeper. One upon a time he was in a band called the Bargos Steeler and wrote songs with multiple titles, such as \"Poof! I Am Now a Firetruck\" or \"2 Robots To Do the Work of 3 Robots\".

See other reviews by Dheeru Pennepalli

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