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[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.
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 » 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!
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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
Grand Unified Theory
Grand Unified Theory
Undetected Plagiarism

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
First off, let me start by saying that this whole indie rock fad is not really my cup of tea... HA! Just kidding. I don't much care for tea. Sorry, it's a "you had to be there" thing. But really folks, Grand Unified Theory play emotional loud/soft rock, moderately paced, that shares more than a little in common with some of Omaha's finest.

Diego Montero, guitarist and bassist, writes in an informative flyer on the band "We all like to listen to groups like Bright Eyes... and Cursive." Of course, some bands were omitted for effect, but without ever reading the somewhat childish, innocently written document, it's fairly obvious that Bright Eyes and Cursive are influences in Grand Unified Theory's first release, more so than perhaps they even realize.

Consisting of only three members, Grand Unified Theory do manage to create some decent songs, but at times, their similarities can be alarming. Singer Jerry Chen screams and whimpers as if the chosen one Himself had lent His voice on this effort. The song structures are not nearly as interesting or complex as many of Cursive's songs, but they rely very much on the similar subdued-to-unleashed style. Breaking up the typical guitar/bass/drum formula, Chen also adds some synth-piano into the mix, and as the record progresses, so does the strength of each song, with the aggression rising, interjecting some much needed sparkle into the mix.

While each song may often lack overall originality, the lyrics happen to be masterfully written, really projecting beyond the music. From meanderings about trying to write a song while the television distracts and the words are simply rehashed from other sources, to a little girl trying to fall asleep as her parents argue about who should take her (neither seem to want her), to a tale about a corporate lifestyle and the means to achieve success. The words are poetic and intelligent and really save what otherwise could have been a forgettable effort. Perhaps with some repeated listens, Grand Unified Theory could grow on the listener, especially if they take the time to digest the lyric insert.

Reviewed by David Spain
Based in Chicago, Illinois, David Spain is a contributing writer for LAS magazine.

See other reviews by David Spain



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