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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
The Rise of Brutality
Universal Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Over the years I have occasionally found myself in a discussion with someone about the differences between nu-metal and hardcore punk. To the devotees of either style the differences are plain as day, but the casual music listener often only hears fast guitars, "pummeling" drums and screamed vocals. Everything from the approach to the production style to the lyrics is very different.

Of course there is one more difference that has little to do with the music but a lot to do with how people perceive it; nu-metal has been commercially successful for the last few years while hardcore never has. But in 2003, the balance began to shift.

In 2003 nu-metal and hard rock bands seemed to get more press through negative concert reviews or legal woes than through music. Standbys like Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit spent far less time in the spotlight this year than they would have just two or three years ago, and MTV and commercial radio were left with a rock power vacuum.

And into that vacuum stepped Universal Records, picking up momentum with the signings of bands such as Thrice and Hatebreed. Few hardcore punk bands have ever made it to the majors, but 2004 could be their year for commercial success.

Hatebreed released their first two albums on veteran Chicago label Victory Records and are a good example of the Victory East Coast hardcore: rootsy hardcore with metallic guitars and screamed vocals that condemn conformity and confront social issues.

The band already has a core following of Victory bulldog hoodie punks and with exposure on MTV they stand to build on that substantially. As you might imagine with its release on a major label, The Rise of Brutality is not nearly as hard and metallic as similar releases by old label mates like All Out War, but it's hard enough and punk enough to distinguish itself from the nu-metal pack. Those who don't care for East Coast hardcore won't find anything new here, but disillusioned nu-metal heads may want to beat MTV to the punch and look for this record when they go to the record store to trade in their Godsmack CDs.

Reviewed by Erick Bieritz
Erick Bieritz lives in Chicago, where is usually either very hot or very cold. He was the brainchild behind EPMD, where he wrote about EPs and singles for LAS, looking for overlooked or underappreciated non-album releases.

See other reviews by Erick Bieritz



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