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[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » 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.
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 » 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!
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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
By The end of Tonight
A Tribute to Tigers
Temporary Residence Ltd.

Rating: 8.5/10 ?

February 7, 2005
To me, instrumental rock music is all about the build up and the climax. Most groups will try to wow you with a slow and steady crescendo of swirling guitars and battle ready drum beats; the dramatic tension of the music rises with the volume and once it reaches its apex, the build up reaches the climax in some shimmering symbols, distortion and a new melodic theme. If you listen to these groups (Explosions in the Sky, Godspeed, Mogwai, etc.) that payoff can be quite rewarding - it's as if with every song climax you're due to have some great revelation.

But, while it can have its merits, it can also take too damn long. Sitting through a nine minute track is boring. Sometimes you need vocals to keep you hanging in, or lacking that, some action and variation, some melody but also experimentation.

By the End of Tonight adheres to some conventions of instrumental post-rock laid out by groups that have come before them. There are crescendos and a flair for the dramatic at times - indeed, parts of songs seem fit for movie scores. However, By the End of Tonight shirks convention just as often with its songs. The group can build up, but also can rock out without pretense or overdone crescendo.

The opener, "4s 5s and the Piano that Never Made it Home," reveals the group's multifaceted attack. While it begins with a soporific, melodic intro similar to Explosions in the Sky, it later opens to become what strikes me as a rollicking melodic instrumental emo song; this theme breaks down and the group veers towards post hardcore aggression and metal riffs as the song ends in a fury of guitars and drums.

Much of what is captivating on this album is its unpredictability and overall cool sound. The guitar playing is inventive, never compromising an overt love of melody. Songs on A Tribute to Tigers are much like riding a rollercoaster with a blindfold, you can't anticipate where it's going next, but each shift and change is always exhilarating.

Reviewed by Dan Williams
A staff writer based in Brooklyn, New York, Dan Williams is a frequent contributor to LAS magazine. He once lived in Köln, Germany for a semester, is currently persuing his MBA in New York, and recently switched sides and began working as a publicist for Special Ops Media in New York.

See other reviews by Dan Williams



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