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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
Bullet Train to Vegas
We Put Scissors Where Our Mouths Are
Nitro Records

Rating: 5/10 ?


August 23, 2005
Veering away from the pop-punk of Southern California's Nitro Record's past catalogue, Bullet Train to Vegas offer a screamy, shrill post-punk vision that today's current crop seems to make their bread and butter. Past tours for the band have included jaunts with Pretty Girls Make Graves, JR Ewing, Blood Brothers and Minus the Bear, and the band seems like they wouldn't feel out of place with any of this company. Unfortunately, they don't necessarily offer the urgency or creativity of any of these bands.

There's a workman-like quality to their stop-and-start riffs, as well as in Dan Sena's (Adamantium, Give Until Gone) vocals, which alternate between a scream and a punk rock croon. Song titles like "Cut the Party to Pieces", "The Camera Eye Backbite" and "Feeding God to the Lions" hint at double-meanings and cleverness that San Diego staples like The Locust and Some Girls have monopolized, but again, the time signature changes and movement from power chords to single note picking are essentially run of the mill.

Their press release cites Gang of Four, Wire and Pitchfork as influences, though the latter's sound can definitely be heard more than the 70s godfathers'. BTTV should be commended for not sitting back and settling for the simple chugging melodies of so many bands that christen themselves punk; their screamo-affiliated attributes will please the ears of fans of the mid-90s scene, but when listening to the record, one wishes that they'd push themselves a little further by fleshing out their instrumentation or inserting some dynamic changes where tempo shifts reside.

Of course, there is not right formula: either a band's got the keys to the punk rock El Camino or they don't. Bullet Train to Vegas are borrowing their dad's Toronado and it's due back at 11 PM. Better than some and not as good as many, they're a band that needs a little work.

Reviewed by Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other reviews by Jonah Flicker

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