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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
Mantissa
Building a Working Model
Lazyline Media

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
As time forwards itself musically, fresh approaches- or perhaps dated approaches that are being acknowledged and embraced widely for the first time- are privileged with their allotment of time in the forefront of the indie music field of vision. To counter artists of this sort of importance are bound to be a multitude of followers; people who are either mimicking a style or had their moment of inspiration too late. These bands function only to exhaust excitement in a movement, and cheapen the idea of a style's innovators. The duo of Mantissa, unfortunately for my eager ears and my receptiveness to the electronic-organic indie pop style they employ, fail at bringing anything new to the table... in fact, they're more the clumsy type who will mean well but in turn spill your orange juice into your peas in a bumbling, apologetic gesture.

Noisemaker Nathan Jones and his companion Brian McGrath craft some soft-spoken, guitar based pop made buoyant by electronic sounds. Rather than "electronic sounds" I intended to write something with a little more distinction, but I realized that it wasn't possible without forcing it. In fact, most of Jones' contributions to this record are so minimal and unaffecting I spend most of my listening without even noticing their presence. Additionally, none of the ten outside instrumental contributors provide much aid in layering this very bare-sounding work. It's not that I have a distaste for sparseness, but some parts of this record would be suited better- well... suited. Covered up. Cloaked. As they stand thet sound amateur in their execution.

McGrath's voice doesn't lack depth and it could claim even a little charm, but it is flat a considerable amount of the time. Throughout "Airport" he intentionally mispronounces words and litters the emphasis of syllables basically at random, resulting in a pseudo-foreign delivery that is completely in debt to the movement of electronic music spewing out of Europe. If McGrath claimed to me that he'd never heard The Notwist, I'd fail to believe not only that, but most likely never trust another word the man uttered.

Despite it's depleting characteristics, and the groaning that ensues as a kid from Georgia tries to sound German, this isn't a terrible record. [It is also not by these handsome people] It's just one that is too static, too unimpressive, and too full of ruining moments (like the quick fade ending after McGrath begins hitting dead notes on his guitar in "Nosedive") to ingrain itself to memory. Especially with better records by similar artists, such as Jimmy Tamborello or the offerings of Morr Music occupying my head space.

Reviewed by Jordan Reid
A former staff writer for LAS, Jordan Reid used to go by another name, but the Internet freaked him out and he changed it. We have no further information on Mr. Reid.

See other reviews by Jordan Reid

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