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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.
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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
Flee The Seen
Doubt Becomes the New Addiction

Rating: 8.5/10 ?

August 29, 2006
Rare is it that a band can create music that is both brutal and beautiful. Flee The Seen's debut full length, Doubt Becomes the New Addiction, indeed does both. Bassist and vocalist Kim Anderson possess a unique set of pipes, equally likely to let loose a banshee scream as she is a soothing otherworldly melody. This unpredictability is partly what makes this album so darn good. A song that starts dark and punishing will roll into a soaring and melodic chorus. Likewise a tuneful melodic number will be sharply cut off by a throaty scream. Anderson's vocal arsenal, combined with music that is menacing, melodic, dark, and inventive, makes Flee the Seen certainly a band to watch out for. Having a female vocalist in a genre clogged by repressed girl-hating meatheads would be gimmick enough to garner Flee the Seen some attention. Thankfully, however, the band is not content to gain fame from a gimmick- they've also got some chops.

"Wire Tap Out," the band's first single, is the most immediate example of the band's talent. The proggy guitar chugging has enough shifts and changes to make a jittery person jump, yet it's also inherently melodic and memorable. Anderson's screaming is aggressive for sure, but even when she let's loose a shredding shriek she is able to keep everything in perfect pitch. Similarly, choice tracks "I'll Be Back on Sunday" and "Right Before You Disappear" walk the fine line between melodic and aggressive with neither sweetness nor darkness winning out entirely.

After 10 tracks of unpredictability it's fittingly not until the last track that the band let's itself go entirely, crumbling into an eclipsing beauty and melody. The epic and angelic "300 Voices at Liberty Hall" is a 'couples skate' moment for the black hair dye set. Anderson plays it straight with simple, clean and beautiful vocals that, through production trickery, overlap in an intoxicating cacophony. This vocal exhibition is accented by slightly heavy guitar riffing, but the song entirely lacks the aggression of Doubt Becomes the New Addiction's early numbers. Even for the hard-hearted macho types not prone to sappy moments the track begs for repeated listens.

Don't discount a whole genre just because a few bands give it a band name. With all the weak stuff out there, it might be unavoidable to consider screamo a fad long due for departure. Counter to that argument, Flee the Seen plays screamo- but is propelling the genre forward through inventive songwriting and sheer talent. Listening to Doubt Becomes the New Addiction I can only hope that Flee the Seen are not part of a passing trend, but are here to stay.

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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