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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.
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 » 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!
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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
Patent Pending

Rating: 3/10 ?

September 18, 2006
Heavens are like a malformed gothic castle made of legos. They have all the right pieces in all the right colors, and in mostly the right places, but it is impossible not to notice the contrasting cracks where every single colored block was forced into position. Heavens are catering to the goth generation, and they have all the pieces: biblical references, a dark tone, an official Satanist, dark themes of lonliness and heartache. Unfortunately every ounce of the band's effort stinks of incencerity, and as a result the the entire effort feels appropriately meaningless.

The brainchild of Alkaline Trio mastermind Matt Skiba and his former housemate Josiah Steinbrick, Patent Pending has a sound surprisingly unlike the table scraps from Alkaline Trio. It is, in fact, worse.

Skiba's voice is easily discerned in the mix but for all of its standing out, it lacks the fury heard even in his prior solo work. The lyrical material for Heavens spurts from the same general vein as most of Skiba's repertoire, but his overall performance crawls from a place more yawn-inducing.

The album's opening track, "Gardens," attempts to posit the band as a tasty treat for the goth kids (seemingly Heavens only goal), as Skiba nonchalantly spells out "G-O-D." But, as with most of Patent Pending, the result is nothing if not lackluster.

Skiba consistently sounds bored. On "Counting" he drones "I'm counting on you" in a bombastic-less monotone that fails to sound menacing or malcontent. Whoever he's counting on must be off the hook rather easily-he's not putting too much weight on their shoulders. While some sort of inspired accompaniment could do wonders to help Skiba's inferred disinterest, Steinbrick's soundscapes tend to increase the monotony, rather than stir it up.

The title track and "Annabelle" are the most likely suspects for anyone hunting Alkaline Trio leftovers - ones that have been been left in the fridge far too long and created a new, horrid life of their own. But while fridge monsters could be kind of cool, these songs simply feel forced, cheesy, and uninspired.

The only hope for Heavens is Skiba's name recognition, but Patent Pending will do little for him in return.

Reviewed by Natalie B. David
A fresh graduate of the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia, in her spare time she can be found clumsily manipulating words and phrases for LAS and Beautiful/Decay magazine, hungering for sushi, naming inanimate objects or pondering the existence of stiletto heels. If you see her, you should buy her a cup of coffee because, chances are, she probably needs it.

See other reviews by Natalie B. David



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