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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
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
The Little Heroes
Cinematic Americana

Rating: 6.5/10 ?

May 9, 2007
This east coast native, now west coast dwelling, quartet has recorded an album called Cinematic Americana, and in it they have managed to capture a very romanticized version of the United States, one that has been soundtracking my last few days. To explain it further, this is the kind of sound teenagers in small rural towns in Germany, Sweden, Poland, Finland - basically any post-industrial nation outside North America - will listen to whilst dreaming of cruising into the sunset as they wind down a highway by the ocean, direction Hollywood. To put it simply, Cinematic Americana is the perfect soundtrack to your favorite "Pretty American Teens With Problems" television show.

The most shining example of this is the album's second track, the incredibly emo-titled "September Falls", with it's upbeat tempo, very American guitar riffs, and piano somewhere in the background. It's a gooey good song, one which will doubtlessly find airplay all across the big apple pie of America this summer. To be more specific, I'm betting this track pops up in either a party scene, beach scene, or car driving scene, in a TV show featuring actors in their 20's playing teens with big bright healthy smiles that belie their darker, more troubled sides. You know, a "Pretty American Teens With Problems" show.

Not to dwell, but such is the sound of The Little Heroes, so textbook sensitive, so brooding, and so American. This poses another interesting question: could this album possibly sell outside of the US, or are The Little Heroes a Jeff Foxworthy of rock? Everyone at Wednesday Records take a deep breath and wipe your brow; of course it will sell. The above-mentioned subculture of European kids who want nothing else than to be American kids (maybe with problems) will eat this up. And just in time, too, as there is a vast market for the sound of The Little Heroes in the summertime party collections that flood mainstream record stores in suburban Europe every May.

To sum it up, Cinematic Americana is a collection of songs that might just be the perfect soundtrack to a teenager's dream summer. The band members enjoy solid musicianship without rocking any stylistic boats, they can find a catchy tune every now and then, and the album is thoroughly produced. At times it feels a little boring and flat, but songs like "September Falls" and the more down-tempo number "Come On" make for an innocuous listen that leave this Swede chanting "USA! USA! USA!"

Reviewed by Daniel Svanberg
A contributing writer for LAS, Daniel Svanberg now lives in Boston, far far away from Sweden, where he once lived, although the weather is the same.

See other reviews by Daniel Svanberg



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