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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
Mojave 3
Excuses for Travelers
4AD Records

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
This is some polished material, recorded in several locations, engineered by four people, cut at Abbey Road and produced by Mark Van Hoen. The entire album flows so flawlessly, like a fine wine, that it is ultimately unnerving. There is something to be said for polished production, but folksy singer/songwriter material really is not the place for it. For material like that of Mojave 3 to communicate properly there needs to be an earnestness about it, a gritty or earthy connection to the listener that works the same corners of the brain as a Gretel Ehrlich novel.

For all of the poignant lyrics and beautiful playing, without that gritty sensuality, Mojave 3 come out of the gates with an easily labeled sound and unfortunately never deviate from it, mapping out a saltine rather than a barren, windswept landscape. Unfortunate indeed, especially when the caliber of musicianship is blatantly high. From the opening "In Love With A View" through the ending "Always Right," Mojave 3 are basically a Nick Drake fronted Wilco with a slower Low aspect to it. As much as I might try, there really isn't that much more to say about their sound.

What I can't understand is why an Englishman - as I understand Neil Halstead to be - would be penning somber lyrics about middle America and its social circumstance. Does Neil have any idea what the Kansas wind really feels like? And where does he get off generalizing about Las Vegas strippers being transplanted beaten Kansan housewives in pickup trucks? I know this is fiction, but it is a generalization, something that Brits may want to steer clear of. Biscuit-eating, brown-toothed, Queen Mum-loving wankers.

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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