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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
Black Heart Procession
Amore del Tropico
Touch & Go

Rating: 9.2/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Yes! Yes! Yes! The salsa inspired sounds of the Black Heart Procession's dark and brooding opus, Amore del Tropico, has wrapped itself around my fevered brain like an icy margarita sombrero and delivered me compassionately into the depths of eternal hell fire.

Before you can really know that the album of your shitty year is beginning, "The End of Love" blurts out of the speakers and into your lap like some ten-second backdrop for a Push, Nevada commercial during a pause in Monday Night Football coverage. What was that? Ah, it was a taste of the paradise that awaits you south of the blood and barbed-wire border that has encircled the ghastly eulogy music of Black Heart Procession's past. Put on your best black Stetson and dust off your bolo tie, it's time to turn that funeral procession into a party train!

While the San Diego outfit is undeniably as dark and drab as ever, Amore del Tropico - their first properly titled album in four full-length outings - ads subtle and overt textures and dimensions to the otherwise blanketing mourning veil of stumbling percussion and drunk, sadistic guitars. There is the lulling invitation to eternal sleep in the album's fifth track, hypnotic with guitars, seductive with keys and downright scary with resonating bass lines, but the barbiturates and booze of "The Invitation" is followed up with the comparatively romping "Did You Wonder" - a splashing account of the brighter stops on the tour of the Black Heart Procession's songbook for the graveyard. The track blasts through the speakers in relatively quick time, clattering to a halt before you can think "Oh, yeah, Three Mile Pilot" and, just as quickly as the rollicking thoughts could come, they disintegrate with the soft tolling of "A Sign On the Road".

If you took the cast and crew of David Lynch's Mulholland Drive down to the Yucatan peninsula for a weekend and had John Singleton re-write the script with Quentin Tarantino, Amore del Tropico might pass as the score. The fifteen tracks and interludes are soaked in the saturnine cloud of the Black Heart Procession's previous efforts, but the morbid, plodding desperation of record has been somewhat replaced by an exotic flavor of lust and intrigue with a twisted sense of deception and faithlessness, with the occasional three-wheel motion of Boyz N the Hood's more cinematic, slow-burning moments (check the intro to "A Cry for Love"). Songs like "Before the People" and "Fingerprints" won't find a place in one of those "girls' night out" Mitsubishi commercials, but they'll find a place in that hardened lump of coal you call your heart, you sinister connoisseur of western wear, you.

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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