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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
Joe Lally
There to Here
Dischord

Rating: 4.5/10 ?


November 6, 2006
Dischord is a label that seems to land in waves. First came the virile dose of hardcore punk spearheaded the Teen Idles and Minor Threat, which was followed by a second wave of punk that would later go on to provide the blueprints for a new genre called 'emo'. The DC scene's broadening horizons were documented with the releases from the Nation of Ulysses and the Make-Up in the early-to-mid nineties, before post-punk resprung to the surface with Q and not U and Bluetip. Evidently, Ian MacKaye and Jeff Nelson aren't afraid to follow their noses, and indeed their noses have served them well over the years, but the dissolution of the last batch of DC protégés has left the musical world wondering which direction Dischord will tread next.

The dropping of Joe Lally's There to Here provides little reassurance. Having gained his pedigree as bassist in Fugazi, Lally has opted to fulfil his musical compulsion through his own bass-guitar-oriented solo recordings, with the added help of such DC scene stalwarts as Guy Picciotto, Jerry Busher, and MacKaye. Although the sparseness that Lally has exercised with these recordings appears to have been billed as one of There to Here's selling points, it's a practice that comes across as overstretched as few as two or three tracks in.

"Reason to Believe" plods aimlessly, as Lally loops a three-note bass riff to Jason Kourkounis's unadventurous percussion. "Like a Baby" is an unremarkable journey from A to B, shy of the subtle sensibility evident on the few Fugazi tracks in which he flirted with center stage ("The Kill" from The Argument, for one, springs to mind). The few glimpses of memorable grooves ("The Resigned," "Lidia's Song") are repeated over and over again to the point that they become boring, even on first listen. Granted, his fragile, barely-in-key vocals possess an understated charm, and he manages to articulate his messages with the panache that only a man with his experience could, but as a cohesive sum of its parts, There to Here lacks dynamism.

Moreover, There to Here's troughs reach abysmal levels. The a cappella "Sons and Daughters" makes for an almost embarrassing listen, while "X-Ray the Lullaby" is naively basic, at which point Lally's all-too-familiar dubby bass begins to wear thin.

Ian MacKaye's lo-fi reinvention in The Evens may have provided a hint to Dischord devotees regarding Lally's next direction, but those longing for dynamic, driven rock songs akin to his upbringing in this guise are destined to remain unsatisfied. Despite aiming to strike a minimalist vibe, Joe Lally's end product has somewhat missed the mark. Listening to There to Here from start to finish feels like a chore that no amount of sloth-like, clumping basslines will make less tiring. Don't expect to be dazzled.

Reviewed by Mike Wright
A staff writer based in London, England, Mike Wright is eternally troubled by the American bastardization of the English language.

See other reviews by Mike Wright

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