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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
The Language of Cities
Kindercore Records

Rating: 8.9/10 ?

October 2, 2002
If there is one word to describe Maserati's debut for the otherwise childish Kindercore label, it would have to be "epic". Sure, the term is overused, and often misused at that, but The Language of Cities is an instrumental opus from beginning to end that hits all the right notes between the compass points marked by, of all things, Illinois bands such as HUM, Absinthe Blind and Volta Do Mar. It is rather intriguing that a band harkening the heyday of upstate Illinois' alt-rock should reign from a muggy throne in Georgia, but it is impossible to deny the similarities between--and, to great satisfaction, the amalgamation of strong suits of--HUM and Volta Do Mar. There are droned-out space symphonies such as "The Language" that reference the former, and more progressive, fret burning, stomach churning numbers such as "Keep It Gold" that nod to the latter littered throughout the album, but everything sort of blurs together in a mural of lingering intricacies. There are moments when Maserati strip away the layers of guitar and percussive bombast (drummer Phil Horan can be a monster when he wants to) to reveal a melodic touch capable of disarming the most accomplished vibraphonist, and there are other instances when the process comes full circle and everything that had been so tightly wound up, sealed off and crystallized as the perfect moment, explodes in stereo sound.

The Language of Cities may not make heavy reference to any particular urban metropolis, but like Atlanta, Chicago, and Los Angeles, the album is sprawling, dense and intricate all at the same time, which for most bands are oxy-moronic terms. Maserati one-ups bands like the cross-over Moneen and the pathetic, unimaginative Situation at 1200 from a few years back to break out of the mold cast by modern icons such as HUM and Slowdive. Just listen to "Cities" and you will understand how in-depth Maserati's sonic studies go, and how fantastically astonishing it is that a *trio* could milk their instruments to such a lush, mesmerizing extent. The Language of Cities might pass below the radar of most rock critics because of its lack of vocals, but the rich tapestry woven by the Georgian trio rivals the greats of the sonic/drone scene with the added benefit of melodic intricacies without the noodly hindrances. One of the best obscure albums of 2002 without a doubt, The Language of Cities packs a walluping punch.

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth



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