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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
Resurrection Eve
Ascension
Endless Records

Rating: 8/10 ?


April 7, 2006
Regardless of their hipness quotient or talent with a pen, most webzines, smaller mags and freelancers like yours truly have our work cut out for us getting press copies of releases that honestly matter to us. I'm not talking about the major label fodder or the high-profile indie rock releases, but rather the Stuff You Really Want, the albums that the editor and/or writer is eager to experience and tell the world about. Every rock journalist goes through this at one point or another: All I want for Christmas is the new so-and-so album, but I don't want to pay for it. It's the principle of the thing, you see.

My own kampf has been with the techno genre. I couldn't possibly get enough futurepop or trance albums, although I could paper my walls with all the metal CDs that come in on the tide. For quite a while, Metropolis Records fulfilled much of my electro needs, but last year some imbecile decided to upload to all the cybernetic world a hideously rare rough-cut advance of VNV Nation's Matter + Form. Metropolis promptly lost all control of their bowels and went all Lars Ulrich on us, declining to send out promos and forcing us instead to take crash courses in downloading and burning our own CDs for the car. It was a dark day [and probably ultimately counter-productive for Metropolis' goals].

One problem for technohead Baboon Dooleys like me is that most of the output comes from Berlin, and it's costly for these labels to send their materials here to the United States of Jesus. Mind you, contributing to a couple of European mags got me a bucket of CDs, whether or not I was paid a grand total of zero dollars and zero cents and got way too much email from one enthusiastic fellow.

Cut to the past month or so, when it was with great glee I received a rather thick package from Endless in Germany. My hands shook and I sweated stinkily: Praise be to you, O Lord, but please make these albums better than all that generic backwash from Black Flames and whatnot.

As bad a sinner as I've been in life, Yahweh granted my request. Australia's Resurrection Eve is not typical of the generic sewage coming out of Europe, which often sounds as if the synth-man had a grand total of one day's experience with Reaktor software and had his friend from the weinerschnitzel shop over to record a few half-assed vocals that affect a sexually bored zombie. No, this is a record that was done with great care, offering nice fat layers of whooshing synths and hummingbird 64th notes. The singer may eschew Ronan Harris' maturity by going only by the name Jordan, but he's possessed of a young-Steve-Winwood tenor that gets a nice workout, most notably in "Through the Darkness" and the speed-trance ambient "Save Me."

Ascension wouldn't be a techno record with at least some prostrating to Teardrop Explodes and so forth, and those references show up during "Life." "Death" is a Cirrus-like noise-a-thon comprised of slo-mo pops of synth and subtle breakbeats, and it starts with a cool fake-out that sounds as if something's gone disastrously wrong with the CD player. Most of the remaining material is remindful of Covenant on a good day; nothing wrong here as far as hooks or slickness.

It's another sign that Australia has something to offer the fetish-club world; fellow countrymen Paradoxx aim for the same but aren't quite in the same league as this quite decent band.

Reviewed by Eric Saeger
An LAS staff writer based in New Hampshire, Eric Saeger was named alt.flame\'s Newbie of the Year in 2000.

See other reviews by Eric Saeger

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