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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
Blood Meridian
We Almost Made It Home
Teenage USA Recordings

Rating: 6.5/10 ?

February 18, 2005
Open Press Release/Gain Context/Double Take

"Blood Meridian is a sleeping giant of an alt-country/rock band." Let's analyze this statement, if only briefly, so that we, the audience, might understand the music to come.

Blood Meridian - The band of course. This isn't so bad. The ACT was harder than this… coastal schools be damned!

Sleeping giant - Something grand is about to happen, I'm not sure what, but it's going to spectacular... magical even.

Alt-country/rock band - Ah, the genre application. Harmless enough, if not usually accurate. I love a little slice of southern twang; I mean, who doesn't?

Insert Disc/Press Play/Hesitation/Reaction

Ladies and gentleman, this is the reason why press releases for bands, especially bands I'm not the least bit familiar with, need to be heeded with skepticism - even out and out contempt! If you came up to me and claimed you were a "sleeping giant" of anything, I'd offer to buy you an ice-cream fizzy, lead you into a dark ally and make with the shin kicking - but I've been known to smile at the sound of sole kissing bone.

Perhaps "sleeping giant" misses the mark, but Blood Meridian definitely dwells within the dark corners of gothic Americana, more rock than country, but downtrodden nonetheless.

Cormac McCarthy's novel, Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West, relayed the horrors of western expansion in America, and its tone echoes through We Almost Made It Home. Matthew Camirand's dreary tales bring visions of car wrecks, the hopeless lost, life, love, and despair.

In "The Children of God," a man sells his soul to provide for his family, the music mounting and releasing in a frenzied death knell. "We Almost Made It Home" relays an ambiguous journey through weather and resistance that ends just before the titular destination.

Even at its most kinetic moments, such as in "Oh, Oh, Oh," We Almost Made It Home is a somber endeavor. Camirand's often muttered and pained vocals coupled with keyboardist Shira Blustein's off-key backing exacerbate the ominous tone, ultimately creating an atmosphere of darkness, smoky haze, uncertainty.

This is where Blood Meridian succeeds so well, in creating tone and feel. It often harkens to Murder By Death's stellar Who Will Survive, and What Will be Left of Them, though less linear and cohesive in narration, but eerie and engaging all the same.

Reviewed by David Spain
Based in Chicago, Illinois, David Spain is a contributing writer for LAS magazine.

See other reviews by David Spain



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