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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]

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 » 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
Decibully
City of Festivals
Polyvinyl Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
First thing is first, and that is to tell you all the things you should know about Decibully from the get-go: it features members of the latter-day Promise Ring line up, Pele, The Teacups, and Camden. Second, emphasize that no matter how many times you try and imagine an amalgamation of those bands, Decibully sounds nothing like what you'd expect.

Following in the footsteps of such splinter projects as Onalaska and Central Falls, City of Festivals converts some straight rockin' fellas into softhearted, rustic country folk. This new turn really allows their gifts to shine, through songwriting, expert instrumentation, and overwhelming beauty.

"On the Way to Your Hotel" starts things off with a gentle nudge, jingling and spare. The heart of the band's emotion and intent is always in plain sight, never hidden by the distance of experimentation. As the instruments swell, they provide a striking backdrop to their pastoral scene. "Tables Turn" picks up from there, gradually warming in tone and pace with smartly picked banjos and long, drawn out vocals that lay in waiting. Finally, the third track, "We Belong on Rooftops" is the penultimate release, as upbeat visions of Pele swirl with hoedowns and crackling fires. The instruments sound faintly modern in this track, though the whimsy and spirit of a country festival takes all prominence.

As tracks progress, the band's accomplishments accumulate and their range grows wider. "My Lighter and Strings" is breezy and unforced, like a Beatlesque nothing whispered in your ear. "Spiderbites" is more dark and hickory in its Western flavor, while "Tied to the Rhythm" follows suit in a hushed lament akin to a fallow harvest.

Decibully is credibly capable of embracing every degree of the spectrum, from lofty ("Small Circles"), to their dark finale, "Beyond Hope". As the disc closes on that bit of malcontent, we must wait to see where the story turns from here; City of Festivals halts on a note of warning, and a promise of gratification. It is like a story that is just getting good - you want to know what happens next. For Decibully, a band so surprisingly good in a fairly new venture, there can only be a journey toward perfection, measured by every stunning and honest note.

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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