» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » 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]


 » 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
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
Joy Electric
The Ministry of Archers
Tooth & Nail Records

Rating: 6/10 ?

September 12, 2005
This is an introduction to Joy Electric for me; I have never heard any music made by Ronnie Martin, but he seems, historically, to be quite accomplished. His discography includes 6 albums under the Joy Electric title and two with Dance House Children (a band he was in with his brother Jason Martin of Starflyer 59). The music on this album sounds like music of the future from 1984. Confusing? Well stay with me…

You know how, when watching the original Terminator movie, you notice both the visual and sound quality don't stand the test of time? You remember it being mysterious and cool, but the poor effects make the movie look like garbage when comparing it to films of today. It was an important step in filmmaking in the mid 80s; it's just too bad it doesn't hold water today.

This album has the exact same quality, only the first time you saw the Terminator you thought it was high tech - you are now willing to forgive the poor quality of the film given that it was made in 1984. In the case of Joy Electric, I'm certain it will sound just as poor in the future as it does today. That's not to say the sound quality is bad - I believe this record was made with high quality equipment - it's just that the sounds that the equipment creates is poor.

With this being the sixth album for Joy Electric, one would wish that it would be compared to the far superior Terminator 2: Judgment Day, but alas Arnold Schwarzenegger was the bad guy in the making of this record.

I suppose it needs to be said that I have never been a fan of electronic music: this is electronic music that sounds like it's made by robots on purpose. If I were a fan of science fiction I might enjoy this robotic repetition more than I do, but as it stands, the vision of the future of music is very bland.

This is music created with both vintage and modern machines, all to result in a very typical album with no real standouts. "Become as Murderers" slows the pace down a bit and gives a spookier view of the future (a view without all the dancing), but overall, the instrumental tracks - though repetitive - are the most enjoyable… and that's quite a detraction.

As I work at Midway, I am surrounded by videogames all day. When I am forced to listen to electronic music, I generally try to see if it would make a good soundtrack for one of our games. The music here fits the feeling of early Nintendo games - games in which fantasy was better than reality (although I suppose that's the case with most games). To put it in these terms, The Ministry of Archers fits the soundtrack for the very first release of the game Metroid (Nintendo, 1986). It was not much of a challenge, but it spawned many sequels. I guess it's no coincidence this is Joy Electric's sixth album.

Reviewed by Bob Ladewig
Having been introduced to good music by his sister in the early years, Bob Ladewig has been searching out all the best in indie music ever since. He also rides a skateboard and performs/directs comedy shows and, like all great men, he\'s afraid of really growing up.

See other reviews by Bob Ladewig



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