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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
Nice Nice
Chrome
Temporary Residence Ltd.

Rating: 8/10 ?


October 1, 2004
The daring young men of Nice Nice worked without a net on Chrome. Figuratively speaking, Portland, Oregon's Jason Buehler and Mark Shirazi somehow manage to avoid falling to their deaths. Chrome is dangerously ambitious, a flying trapeze act of mind-melting dub, spacey drones, insane no-wave noise and future-shock funk that Nice Nice recorded live with no overdubs. They're either crazy or brilliant. Take your pick. How you choose depends on how much dissonance your ears can take.

Like pro wrestling, the chaos is meticulously choreographed. "Cold Sweat Part XVI" locks a syncopated groove in a sleeper hold and squeezes the life out of it with Shirazi's airtight drumming. The funk of "Fight The Face" is more mechanical, but still drips with fat and in both songs, Buehler takes cues from Beck and Mike Patton and strains frenzied vocals through a megaphone for more paranoia. Weird, woozy effects from Beuhler's guitar pedals make "See-Thru Plastic" and "Pulp" nauseous and disoriented. "Nein" is the sound of an assembly line breaking down, with its disjointed guitar blips and squiggles. Then midway through, Buehler conjures up a gorgeous meteor shower of watery, rippling effects that shimmer like Sonic Youth's "The Diamond Sea." Buehler's phaser is permanently set on STUN.

And there's more, including the Xiu Xiu-style kabuki percussion of "Joinus" and "Disclaimers 1-5", the Hella-inspired nuclear fallout of "Chez Clix", and the atmospheric flights of "Thank You" and "Bees Make Honey." Say what you will about how sounds and genres clash on Chrome, but Nice Nice is never boring.

They say the exciting thing about live TV is you never know what's going to happen. Actors can forget their lines. A monkey geeked to be out of his cage at the zoo might make a grab for a talk show host's genitals. It's all fair game. Nice Nice is just as unpredictable and that's got to count for something, doesn't it?

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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