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 » 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
Hillary Step
Second Time Means Nothing
Urinine Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
As of late is has been very rare for an album to come through the LAS offices that I really enjoy and, to be honest, the drought of quality sonic entertainment has been dragging me down a bit. The Hillary Step, like a monsoon in the Mojave, brings relief right out of the package. Before moistening my parched ears, this record delights with a very busy design heavy on the digital alteration and manipulation. The tones and the ideas of the visuals remind of Ohio Girl's work on the first Castor album, which is nice. I've become rather tired with all the tasteless minimalist design (see Antarctica's 81:03) that seems to be all the rage right now. Once the disc enters the player, my delight continues.

The Hillary Step are from Kansas City, and it shows now and then, especially in the high end guitar tuning ala Boys Life and the driving-in-a-rock-kinda-way-rather-than-a-hardcore-way ala Shiner. Peeking through even more than their hometown roots, however, are the Louisville influences of bands like June of 44; influences which give the Hillary Step's moodiness a bit more of a brooding aire than the frustrated Midwestern tones of their KC brethren.

I would be hard pressed to pick a top track off of this record, but "Our 'We' Day" - with it's backwards tracks mixed over a satisfying low end - is definitely gold standard, as is it's successor, "Refined, Regrouped & Reassured." The combination of classically jangly KC guitars and droning bass in "She Dreams of Oceans" is another tight composition.

With odd time signatures, engaging guitars and smartly mixed vocals (which can impress similarly to those of Vitreous Humor front man Danny Pound) that may or may not be about girls, the Hillary Step are sure to be the next big deal out of KC, if they aren't already. This record is a keeper.

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth

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