» 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
East River Pipe
What Are You On?

Rating: 7.5/10 ?

March 10, 2006
What Are You On? is a record for languishing, unshowered, in your comfiest clothes, the residue of grime and sleep feeling wrong and good. It is for staring into nothingness and blinking yourself awake at the very tip of a lost thought. The album if comfortable in its own skin - dirty as it may be - and while it may not be as bright or recognizably patterned as F.M. Cornog's past efforts, it should appeal to the same fans in a mood not to think or feel, but to drift.

Present are the hints of early Guided by Voices, spotty Who outtakes and country-tinged acoustics that make East River Pipe so beloved, but here these influences tread, weighted, underwater. The humble layering and self-sufficiency of Cornog's music are as straightforward as ever; however, as he looks you straight in the eye, his eyes are dulled and pale, entering in and out of dreams.

While poppy moments can certainly be found in tracks like "The Ultrabright Bitch" and "Absolutely Nothing", their paisley print has all but worn away. Instead, tracks like the rain-soaked, reverent "I'll Walk My Robot Home" are at the album's heart, and in the end a beautifully bored, dazed mood wins out. Some tracks, like "Life is a Landfill", even have an AIR-like atmosphere, with "Trivial Things" playing like one long, sustained note. The closing track, "Some Dreams Can Kill You", is rightfully the most awakened, but while open-eyed, it is still drowsy and moving in sleep-slowed strides.

What Are You On? is a record for those days when you can roll out of bed, pull up to your kitchen table, swallow a cup of reheated coffee and stare into oblivion. It is at times lonely, but never hurtful, chipper but not abrasive. It is pleasingly numb, content to just be - and conscious of just how good it feels.

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



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