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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
Save the Whale
Firsthand Footprints
Self-released

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
I'm usually not one to jump to conclusions and pass judgment on an album based on such relatively trivial matters such as names, cover-art, or other such non-music related aspects. This time, though, I knew exactly what I was getting into well before even hearing a single note of Save the Whale's very obviously self-released CD. I'm sure these kids (I sincerely hope you guys are still in high school, otherwise thanking your mom for letting you "jam all the time in the basement" would seem downright pathetic) have good intentions, and it's obvious they're very new to the game - so I'm going to try my hardest to spare these guys' feelings and remain positive in the face of adversity - the adversity being the extreme degree of pain it caused me to listen to this CD.

This band does a fairly decent job of replicating their pop-punk and emo heroes' sounds while bringing absolutely nothing unique or even remotely interesting into the mix. Emo music minus emotion. The lyrics are trite, stale, and flatly delivered; deserving of far less attention than I have given them already. There simply is no excuse for such tired phrases "and I meant every word I said/ even though I was brain dead" and "why do you want to change?/ I just can't see why you want to mask your face". In Save the Whale's defense, however, they do give credit where credit is due when ripping off cliché after tired cliché -- namely Friction-era Bob Nanna and Bill Watterson's comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes", from whom the majority of lyrical content for the songs "Were You There?" and "Another Gray Hair for Mom" was directly lifted. The fact that the Watterson-inspired "Gray Hair" tries to take a light hearted, humorous cartoon and use it as the basis for a song attempting to deal with serious and meaningful themes is, I'm sorry, just plain stupid. Throw in a couple of throwaway "instrumental" tracks which sound like little more than half-assed ideas for songs they never even bothered to finish, and what you've got is a very amateurish, hastily thrown together attempt at an album.

Now, this is not to say that Save the Whale are entirely incapable of writing good music, as here and there they actually do show some potential for writing a reasonably catchy riff. If they keep working at it, I'm sure they could be quite good, someday. At this stage, however, for all their good intentions, what they seem to lack more than anything is simple good taste.

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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