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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
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Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
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The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
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No Age - Everything in Between
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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
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Fat Possum
The Marlboro Chorus
Good Luck
Future Apple Tree Records

Rating: 8/10 ?

October 1, 2004
The Marlboro Chorus offers up very little information about itself, the group's individual members or their whereabouts. What can be deciphered from their press release and the back cover of the CD is that they hail from Davenport, Iowa, they are a quartet, and 1000 copies of Good Luck have been pressed. Such obscurity usually signals a self-released pile of garbage, an album that deserves little attention. So you'll probably be surprised to learn that Good Luck is actually a pop gem, one which the music speaks volumes about the group and its talent, much more so than any over-hyping press release and fancy-schmancy liner notes ever could.

Much of Good Luck is a throwback. Wholesome and shimmering, acoustic and folksy, there are elements of country, and even a bit of a ragtime piano thrown in on the opener, "Potters, Daisies". Yet even with the subtle blends of American popular music's past, the group never strays far from the well-worn path of sharp pop. The acoustic jangle and bubbling pep of Good Luck's 10 tracks calls to mind underground press pop darlings the Wrens. But it would be remiss to hang this group's influence solely on contemporaries like the Wrens, Wilco or even Spoon. The Marlboro Chorus' main inspiration seems culled from the highlight reel of pop music's past, referencing everyone from the Beach Boys to Big Star.

The Marlboro Chorus' charm can be best summed up in the pep of "The Unrulable Child"- 2 minutes and 45 seconds of aural confection that is nearly impossible to deny, foot tapping and head bobbing guaranteed. The song sets it's hooks about 30 seconds in with the backup vocals of " Ah ha ha". Afterwards, the band doesn't relent with the ear candy, keeping it up with "Mrs. Bury-The-Bone" and on through to the album's closer, "The Endgame".

So it seems like the Marlboro Chorus are a bit like the "little band that could" - chugging along in search of a willing audience, somewhere out there, to welcome Good Luck with open arms. The Marlboro Chorus is the underdog everyone should root for.

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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