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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
31 Knots
The Curse of the Longest Day
Polyvinyl Records

Rating: 7.5/10 ?

September 8, 2005
Recently, Polyvinyl Records has taken a turn in its direction for featured artists. When the label first began, eccentric indie rock powerhouses like Aloha, Kerosene 454, Rainer Maria, Pele and Radio Flyer were the norm. Since then, the growing company has seen faces of the scene come and go, and with these changes came a new ushering of style. Somewhere along the way the angular and dissonant-yet-agreeable edge was pushed to the side for more artistic and generally euphonic sounds. Bands like Rainer Maria got cleaner and more poppy, American Football broke off into the melancholic Owen, and Pele is experimenting with Collections of Colonies of Bees; newer bands Saturday Looks Good to Me, Red Hot Valentines, Decibully and Picastro were all bled from a more artistic, softer rocking vein.

Just as Polyvinyl's new image seemed to become matted onto its new surroundings, 31 Knots has arrived by way of a background with 54'40'' or Fight!. Departing that label - known for its brash and often angular indie rock taste palette - they've created a new EP on Polyvinyl that lugs some of that hardness to their new surroundings.

The Curse of the Longest Day features a sound that is three parts Faraquet, two parts Dismemberment Plan and maybe a drop or two of Mars Volta. From Faraquet, 31 Knots lead singer/guitarist Joe Haege takes away dark, hook-driven, distorted guitar melodics that are also capable of riding into solo diversions and uncommon rhythmic patterns; likewise, Haege features a vocal styling very similar to the yelling/singing of Devin Ocampo. The essence of Dismemberment Plan can be felt in the emphasized vocal harmonies and sometimes straight-forward rawwwk segments (these are moments when it is almost OK to flash the "rock" hand gesture). Finally, there are moments that dive into an experimental edge, boasting a specific grandeur as Frances the Mute is so well known for. During these segments - as found in the five-song EP's untitled track - Haege uses samples and keyboard effects that would sound out of place for any other band who'd attempt to do this style.

31 Knots manage to pull it all off. This recording is not greatly special, though it is an excellent beginning for them on their new label. In listening to The Curse of the Longest Day, fans will be anticipating the band's full length release, Talk Like Blood, which is set to come out later this year on Polyvinyl. Expect both the label and the band to move in unpredictable ways.

Reviewed by Josh Zanger
Joshua Ian Zanger, a native of rural Chicago, rocks many a world with his writing, style, and generally sweet aroma.

See other reviews by Josh Zanger



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