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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
Film School
Beggars Banquet

Rating: 6.4/10 ?

November 28, 2007
Film School's frontman Greg Bertens and keyboardist Jason Ruck, having dispensed with most of the workings for last year's eponymous album, return to the fold for Beggars with a relatively new lineup. This time out, for Hideout, the pair have introduced female vocalist and bassist Lorelei Plotcyzk, former sound man turned guitarist Dave Dupuis, and drummer James Smith into the Film School fold.

Similar to the self-titled effort they tabled last year, Hideout draws its sound from a fairly standard pool of oft-cited post-punk influences, the Cure and Joy Division being two of the more prominent touch-points. Which is to say nothing of the influence Wire's 154 brought to bear on the album, a flavor most prominently displayed on the poignant "Sick Hipster Nursed By Suicide Girl." For the year 2007, Film School have updated Wire's 1979 post-punk statement with their own urgent bass lines coupled with deep, detached vocals.

Like the music of the benchmark artists they draw ideas from, Film School's songs are brooding. Unlike the purveyors of the original sound, however, their approach is expansive and, at times, melodic. In an effort to further distinguish themselves from so many Interpols, Film School draws heavily from Isn't Anything-era My Bloody Valentine, and in the process they manage to capture the grating and ethereal tendencies of shoegaze. With a precision that Kevin Shields would be proud to associate himself with, "Lectric" and "Capitalized I" highlight Film School's penchant for deploying otherworldly vocals and piercing guitars into deep and moody seas of sound.

Somewhere between 154 and Loveless, Film School find some middle ground for Hideout to balance itself in a fog of Nü-shoegaze atmospherics. This neither-here-nor-there approach lends itself to a style that, taken in concert with everything else going on, is at once haunting and soothing. "Two Kinds" and "Go Down Together" are melodic, darkly uplifting numbers that equal Interpol's best moments of tranquility.

A pensively dark listening experience that finds Film School drawing heavily from their influences while perhaps biding time to reevaluate their sound, Hideout is kind of "meh" from top to bottom. It does not break new ground so much as it signals a shift for the band, a move that in time will hopefully be denoted on their career trajectory by a slight detour, as opposed to a step backward.

Reviewed by Patrick Gill
In in a state of suspended adolescence, Patrick Gill can be found hiding away in northwest Ohio, where he spends most of his time rediscovering shoegaze, noise pop, britpop, slowcore, sadcore, lo-fi, neo-psychedelia, post-rock, trad rock, and trip-hop music. In his spare time he teaches college English.

See other reviews by Patrick Gill



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