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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
...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead
So Divided
Interscope

Rating: 7.5/10 ?


November 13, 2006
The ELP comparisons that raised eyebrows after 2005's Worlds Apart can probably be put aside for good after this display of altie bric-a-brac from Trail of Dead (and critics should thank Christ there's an abridged version of their name, which doesn't even qualify as a complete sentence).

Maybe it's me, just to caveat, but it appears they've decided to mimic the vague Abbey Road allusions Yo La Tengo made in Beat Your Ass by giving the White Album a sideways 'you-da-man' here in So Divided. The drums/singing/guitar-switchoff interplay from longtime buds Jason Reece and Conrad Keely results in count-'em one display of proggish weirdness, namely a too-busy bongo line whose sole purpose is to mask the blatantly pop-radio leanings of "Wasted State of Mind," which summons up a vision of hipster-friendly supermarket speakers that's about as rebellious as Air Supply when you get down to it.

But the album's lead single is not the only example of pop-rock sensibility being milked. As hinted at above, there's quite a bit of Beatles piffle, but we needn't get into that; if you can easily picture the swimmy, nasal elevator ambiance it tables, you get it already, while if you're young enough to be vaguely certain you've never been subjected to the Beatles you can go back to your hipster bullshit, but just know that that's what you've been popping hits of ecstasy to.

It gets better, kinda. Jump-off track and lone ass-kicker "Stand In Silence" appears at first to be an inverted "Jane Says" until you realize the riffs were brazenly stolen from Led Zep's Houses of the Holy LP, but either way it's a mucus-loosener to crank on your drive to pick up a blind date. Elsewhere there's tow-the-line indie copycatting: Pinehurst Kids getting the ball on the title track, Raveonettes on "Naked Sun."

The fact that they're Interscope branded hasn't escaped Trail of Dead, so don't expect tin-can production - it's about as dense as the last Trent Reznor album and five times as trendy, which should appeal to poseurs and regular shlubs more than those dreadful scenester twits, but so what. Despite its not deserving it, So Divided will probably get a drubbing from the neck-deep-in-horseshit know-it-alls, whose masochistic streak still hasn't prevented anything decent - up to and including Death Cab For Cutie - from moving onward and upward.

Reviewed by Eric Saeger
An LAS staff writer based in New Hampshire, Eric Saeger was named alt.flame\'s Newbie of the Year in 2000.

See other reviews by Eric Saeger

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