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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
84 Nash
A Secret Reward
We Want Action

Rating: 4/10 ?


October 1, 2004
There's a lot of good buzz surrounding the shoulders of 84 Nash. Their first proper LP was put out by fellow Ohioan (and living legend) Bob Pollard, and their previous releases have all seen positive press. What I'm about to express, then, comes as a surprise to even me, as I was set out to fall head over heels for this band. To put it bluntly: something is wrong.

As the introduction pushes thirteen seconds of bleating trumpets into the foreground, there is a threatening air that gives way to a charmingly clumsy feel for what the album may have in store. A "give up all pretense" moment never hurt anyone, especially in the beginning stages of their album.

The first two proper songs, "False Start" and "She's a Warrior," deliver on the very promises they've been branded with. The tracks are furious and swift, calling to mind a lo-fi version of the Kinks, or a thin and scrappy replay of "My Sharona."

From there, however, the songs begin to sound too similar, too flat, and tarnished by their most notable flaw: they aren't catchy enough. All the pieces are there - the tinny garage stomp, echoing Guided By Voices reverb, and jolly, jangly piffle of bleached surf rock. It is only that the garbled vocals and the onslaught of musical moves completely overwhelm any discernable melody. Yes, the chords are raw and recognizable, but the refrains floating above the foundation are rarely comprehensible.

As 84 Nash gets compared to Graham Smith quite often, I will say that the similarity boasts a clue toward the band's need for improvement: Smith works as one man to produce the same sound. When a band of four people gives its all to a decidedly lo-fi recording, every part sounds too loud, too forced or too exasperated. There is simply too much going on. If they can tone down their stylings just enough so that the inherent tune rises to the surface, they would be an extremely enjoyable listen.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters

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