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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
Parker & Lily
The Low Lows
Warm Electronic Recordings

Rating: 6.5/10 ?


February 22, 2005
Parker Noon and Lily Wolfe's longtime romance is over. Whether or not the band will continue to write and perform is doubtful, but never completely out of the question. The Low Lows, however, might be the metaphorical 'nail in the coffin' that did in the group after three full-length releases and the gathering of a small fan base.

As we have seen throughout time (Beatles and Fleetwood Mac most readily come to mind), relationships can often agitate the tenacious artistic attitude of a musician. When the musicians are romantically involved with each other, this is a recipe for serious blow-ups.

But Parker and Lily never came off as those types of drama-queen, high-maintenance personalities. I was skewed by the fact that the group's efforts always fell into the Low - reverb-tinged, loud-room recording, minimalist rock balladry - style and status. Or maybe something like Mates of State meets Pink Floyd with a tinge of Portishead. People that make this kind of music don't fight or get angry with each other, right? Apparently, the answer is 'wrong.'

Social implications aside, The Low Lows is exactly what the title promotes: depressed compositions surrounding simple themes. Sad, distant vocals drift around and sound as if they are being projected from the bell of an ancient gramophone.

It is amazing then, when Parker jumps into choruses of heightened vocal tensions and harmonies and the entire piece seems to constrict to a greater song focus of outward aggression. For the most part, songs adhere to Parker's tranquil, seemingly melancholic attitude. Drums bang in that Sigur Ros slow-drawn, lethargic tempo and keyboards/slide guitars/dirty tube driven electric guitars all become one in a collective of codeine-induced sound.

The Low Lows is not all gray though. Songs like "Suit of Fire" and "User's Guide" are pushed forth to enthusiasm with potentially cool Casio drum beats and lounge bossanova organs. The whole time, Parker sticks to his 'spacey vocal' guns and voices relationship problems: "Chapter one, user's guide/Nothing comes back, nothing goes fine/Chapter two: she gets under my skin/Just a small puncture, then she's in." (from "User's Guide")

Parker and Lily is the type of band that no one would consider their favorite but many would have a special identification with. This recording furthers the notion that to get on a indie label, and put out records, you don't have to be that great of a musician (technically speaking) yet heart and creativity are a must.

Reviewed by Josh Zanger
Joshua Ian Zanger, a native of rural Chicago, rocks many a world with his writing, style, and generally sweet aroma.

See other reviews by Josh Zanger

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