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LITERATURE

 » 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
Fin Fang Foom
Texture, Structure, and the Condition of Moods
Lovitt Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Ages ago the Makluans, a super advanced race of dragons from the distant planet of Kakaranathara, crash landed a spaceship on the Earth, coming to rest high on the plateaus of Western China. The Makluans, being, like I said, super advanced, and with no means to repair their craft, manipulated their body shapes in order to morph into the ancient Chinese culture, where they would remain silent until the opportunity arose to take control of the planet. Most Makluans were able to remain anonymous within the culture waiting for the day to strike, but one, when brought to rage, would return to his natural firedrake form. This particularly nasty Makluan tangled with noble Chinese warriors many times, ultimately meeting his match and being defeated, sealed in a mystical, cavernous tomb deep inside the Earth. All knowledge of this fiesty Makluan would have been erased over centuries if his appearances hadn't been, obviously, fairly traumatic experiences. Over time this creature and his battles became the stuff of legend, woven through the fabric of Chinese history and lore, (which explains why there are so many "dragon" references in martial arts movies), and references to his strength and power can still be found in ancient Chinese writings known as "The Legends of Fin Fang Foom."

Like their namesake, the North Carolina post-rock trio Fin Fang Foom are a powerful, sly, transcendent force. They wield formidable might as a band, immediately taking hold of the listener's attention with savory guitar, tumultuous bass and a crisp, snappy percussion. The gates fly open with "The Fool and the Feign," which most likely holds the pole position for its blinding appeal to fans of angular indie rock such as the early work of the formidable Fugazi. The guitar of Mike Triplett wails and cuts, the percussion of Mike Glass crackles, snaps and pops like Rice Crispies through headphones, and the bass of Eddie Sanchez rollicks, sinewy and tense. Sanchez also provides the vocals for the trio, which are high in the mix and rather captivating, despite being coded in an indecipherable language that, remarkably, drops a clear "F Bomb" here and there, as noted in "Warriors! Come Out to Play".

What sets the band Fin Fang Foom apart from its reptilian namesake, and from a host of angular post-rock bands content to cull the archives of Slint and Polvo albums for piquant morstles, is their ability to fuse subtle melodies within a dense wall of sound. There are the obvious showcases of detailed tonal patterns on tracks such as the quiet, piano-driven "Of Weddings and Funerals" and the lenghty, vibraphone laden "Blue Holes", and the moody "At Age 23", but in general even the most bombastic tracks have subtleties built in that could be easily overlooked by the impatient soft-rock introvert or the adrenaline fueled metalhead.

Despite being around for some time and making quite a few rounds on the national touring circuit with notable heavy hitters from the East Coast (Blonde Redhead, June of 44), Fin Fang Foom are debuting their full length material on Texture, Structure, and the Condition of Moods (with only a 7" release prior). Their live experience has no doubt lent itself to the tightness found on "Decepticon", and one can only hope that they'll clean up the muddy vocals a bit for the next release. Their debut is impressive and highly promising.

Reviewed by Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other reviews by Eric J Herboth

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