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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
Arab Strap
Ten Years of Tears
Chemikal Underground

Rating: 8/10 ?


February 23, 2007
'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. They may not be Tennyson, but Arab Strap have loved, lost, got drunk, and fucked enough times to detail their misery over the past ten years. Fortunately, the band has left its fans with one final bleary and teary goodbye.

Throughout their career, Arab Strap have been dedicated to detailing the futility of love. Their songs are tales of broken romances, told over too many pints in dimly lit pubs, set to music. The band has no illusions about the pitfalls of love and instead portrays it as the bruised and wounded emotion that it is. Knights in shining armor are fantasy; the reality is one-night stands and drunken mistakes. Relationships never work out, at best one can only hope to escape from the inevitable ashes relatively unscathed.

Over the course of this eighteen-song compilation comprised of everything from b-sides to remixes to Peel Sessions, Arab Strap weave their tales of forgotten Saturday nights and cloudy Sunday mornings. The casual listener will be quick to label this depressing; the pessimist will find it honest. It can, in fact, veer dangerously close to utter despondency. What keeps the band from wallowing in despair is the glimmer of hope that winds itself through their lyrics every once in a while.

Interestingly, the band begins the final song on its final album with the line, "Not everything must endů" Arab Strap may be gone, but their legacy lives on in the empty pint glasses, cold beds, and broken hearts of all the fans that looked to Arab Strap, raised a glass, and drowned their sorrows.

Reviewed by Kevin Alfoldy
An aspiring global adventurer who cut his teeth on the sandy beaches and dirty bitches of Southern California, Kevin Alfoldy now spends his non-vacation days in Brooklyn, New York, where he occasionally finds the time to rub the crust out of his eyes long enough to contribute reviews and feature articles for LAS. A longtime staff member, Kevin also captains the tattered, often half-sunk raft of EPmd, our irregular column of EP reviews.

See other reviews by Kevin Alfoldy

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