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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
brakesbrakesbrakes
The Beatific Visions
Rough Trade

Rating: 6/10 ?


May 16, 2007
Five years ago, a supergroup of sorts was formed by the White brothers of Electric Soft Parade and keyboardist Eamon Hamilton of British Sea Power. The addition of Marc Beatty completed the line-up that would become known as brakesbrakesbrakes, and the Rough Trade Records signees would release their first album, the much heralded debut Give Blood, in 2005.

Since then, however, something has changed. Working with Stuart Sikes (Cat Power, White Stripes), the band took their time developing The Beatific Visions, and the results clearly show a band trying too hard to make a statement. Instead of maintaining the momentum of Give Blood, the Brighton quartet seems to have taken almost too much time, leaving the urgency found in their first album feeling faked the second time around.

Recorded in Nashville, the band's influences interrupt the mangled, punkish tendencies of the rest of The Beatific Visions. Tracks like "If I Should Die Tonight," the Eagles-esque ease of "Mobile Communication," and "On Your Side" are uncomfortably out of place alongside the chaos of "Porcupine or Pineapple," which might be the worst song of 2007, and "Cease And Desist." Yet it is the former batch of songs, the outcasts, that comprise the album's best material, with Hamilton's otherwise obnoxious vocal being reigned in on the slower numbers.

Overall, The Beatific Visions is a sonic dichotomy of country and punk sensibilities. For every hit, there exists a miss. And to be honest, the hits are hardly on target and the misses are a mile away.

Reviewed by Matt Conner
A contributing writer, Matt Conner lives in Anderson, Indiana.

See other reviews by Matt Conner

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