» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » 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]


 » 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
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
En Garde
Initial Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Thank yous in the front cover of Criteria's debut range from A.J. Mogis to Ryan Fox to Conor Oberst, but with friends worn on the sleeve, En Garde emphasizes how derivative the current scene is getting.

Many of the songs included are, in all rights, pleasant and enjoyable, but they are so rote and by-the-numbers that they instill a sense of boredom and impatience. As a reviewer, I kept waiting for Stephen Pederson to change things up, bring in different elements, and brandish his unique qualities, but our boy did not. He is content to strum along and drown in the same tears that are flooding the rest of Omaha. Forgive me if I don't find it all passionate anymore, but this is too cleanly recycled for my taste.

"Mainline Life" is the first track that helped me see his positive potential, blending post-Cursive style jagged guitars with the spirits of Conor Oberst (no, not those spirits, he clutches those too tightly) wailing at the moon. He does a great impersonation, but little else. Pederson's voice is prominently pained, though not distinct; he sounds more hoarse than haunted.

"Play on Words" recalls the slower, more plodding side of The Casket Lottery, employing a tight drum line and multi-layered, droning vocals. Any Further Seems Forever fan should feel very comfortable in these established dynamics.

"The Life" is another Cursive-inspired piece of gravel, laced into the pattern of "The Great Decay" and begging to be called out to a live audience. I can't say for sure that those who like Cursive won't have an agreeable stance toward Criteria, but they may shudder a bit at the look of generic monochrome when they can have full color.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters



If you'd like to help spread the word about LAS, or simply want to outfit yourself with some adhesive coolness, our 4" circle LAS stickers are sure to hit the spot, and here is how to get them:

--> Send an with $2 in PayPal funds to cover postage. Don't worry, we'll load you up with enough to cover your town. Then just be patient. They will arrive soon.


LAS has staff and freelance writers spread across North and South America, Europe, and a few in Southeast Asia as well. As such, we have no central mailing adress for unsolicited promotional material. If you are interested in having your project considered for coverage, please contact us before sending any promotional materials - save yourself time and postage!