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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
Innaway
Innaway
Some Records

Rating: 9/10 ?


July 13, 2005
The plane is going down. It's losing cabin pressure fast, and the instrument panel is going haywire with all the dissonance in the air. And what about those ominous tribal drums, or the primal screams emitted by birds and monkeys? Even if the source is the California experimental pop band Innaway, and those animal sounds in the exotic, feedback-drenched instrumental "Fall", are really just strangled, distorted guitars, can you deny the feeling that death is imminent?

Actually, you can with "Fall"; it just depends on your perspective. What might sound like air escaping from the lungs of an aircraft on its panicked descent might just be the roar of a jet's hydraulics as it flies overhead and disappears into the stratosphere. Unless you're a flight mechanic or a pilot, it's hard to tell on "Fall" what the aircraft is doing. It could simply be powering down as it taxis down the runway after a safe, uneventful landing.

Whatever the case may be, you need closure - and you won't be getting it from Innaway. The ending leaves you guessing, and that's what makes the cinematic mini-suite of "Fall" - and its proceeding companion piece, "Rise", Innaway's first single - such a clever deceit. Together, they offer thought provoking meditations on human mortality and perhaps a scenario for the afterlife that raises more questions than it answers. After all, what better analogy for purgatory is there than an airport terminal, with all the arrivals and departures?

Speaking of departures, "Sing out, the end is near…again" and "The clock ticks on and on/And we know the time is binding" are lines from "Rise", and they are particularly prescient considering what your fevered imagination will likely dream up after listening to "Fall." Musically, "Rise" couldn't be more different than its predecessor. After chirping crickets and shifting percussive sands set a relaxed, early morning mood, the peace is disturbed by loud, mind-bending dual guitar squalls. Just as quickly and unexpectedly as they came, they are gone, replaced by soft keyboards and wistful, ocean-spray vocals that harmonize like the Beach Boys doing barbershop.

Caught in that same old-fashioned sway, Innaway croons, "The curtains drawing in/let the ravishments begin…again." And they do, as Innaway does a reconnaissance mission to test and explore the hazy, technophobic psychedelica of Granddaddy on "The Strings of North Egg." A swooning, Jazz-Age melody is carried along by synthetic strings, shimmering keyboard whirrs and wheat-textured acoustic guitar to stunning effect.

With a confluence of 70s influences - like the heavy metal of Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd's trippy space-rock - Innaway makes reconnaissance missions to explore more ambient soundscapes, like those of Air or even Aphex Twin. On "Golden", the group wraps clipped beats in scratchy static and inject a measured dose of echoing, dubbed keyboards to medicate the hyperactive electronica.

Hanging over the bluesy opener, "Threathawk", are the hazy vocals drifting in off Neil Young's endlessly referenced On The Beach. The tortured harmonica wail at the beginning of "Threathawk" and its roundhouse rhythm guitars have a bluesy drone that's quite hypnotic - so are the quiet, starry melodic expanses of "Tiny Brains" and "Follow Moon", and the blissful closer, "George Walker On Walker." Here, Innaway is at its most subdued and reticent, caught by the moonlight nightswimming with American Analog Set.

It's a lot to digest, but Innaway's ambitious songcraft goes down so smoothly, you won't notice how satiated you feel. There's an innocence to Innaway that's charming, but it's the band's pop sophistication and elegant musicianship that carry the day. Wave goodbye to obscurity and Radiohead comparisons, Innaway. The bar band you used to be is dead and gone. Embrace the new you, respected for your innovation and style.

Reviewed by Peter Lindblad
Peter Lindblad lives in Appleton, Wis., and bleeds green and gold just like all the Packer fan nutjobs in the area. He does draw the line at wearing blocks of chedder on his head, or any other body parts for that matter, though. His professional career has taken weird twists and turns that have led him to his current position as an editor at a coin magazine. He hopes his stay there will be a short one. Before that, he worked as an associate editor at a log home magazine. To anyone that will listen, he\'ll swear that Shiner was one of the greatest rock bands to ever walk the earth. Yet he also has much love for Superchunk, Spoon, DJ Shadow, Swervedriver, Wilco, Fugazi, Jawbox, ... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Modest Mouse, among others.

See other reviews by Peter Lindblad

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