» 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
5RC Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
The first song on Schema's self-titled album slowly grows from a rough sketch of dissonant noises and vocal "duuuuuh"s into a round about fade in and out not quite rock breakdown then back again. It slows down and churns back through a simple bass plus drums combo finally culminating in noise rock end that evokes everything in me from the part in the space movie where the hatch opens and everything gets sucked out to My Bloody Valentine. By the time they get to the second song, you hope there is something left to give.

Schema is the members of Hovercraft plus Mary Hanson of Stereolab who does the vocals. At different times this album calls to mind any number of several influential bands'good parts from U.N.K.L.E. to Sonic Youth. Schema is not afraid to build on ground already paved, but they still carve their own place. No song is too short or too long, this is a band has patience, letting the songs expand on themselves.

"We think we're sane" is the dreamy second song that builds on slow atmospheric noises until the inclusion of a driving beat that is familiar but not wrong. It is the perfect answer to the first song with an enjoyable vocal pattern that repeats throughout most of the song, clipping off only to allow for an excellent drum solo. The third song is almost too noisy and out of touch to begin with, but the drum and bass keep it going and give the listener something to hold onto throughout. The song sounds best towards the end of its eleven minutes as Mary Hansen who has been singing "echolalia" is replaced by "whaah whaah whaah whaah whaah." It took me a couple of listens to notice, but once I did I think it is so cool. I have to admit "far from where we began" does not seem like it would be out of place on Yo La Tengo last album with its "bop ba bop ba bop" vocals, but this album was recorded in 1999 before that album came out so it is probably just a coincidence and it was a mighty good song. Good minds just think alike.

Schema may or may not take itself too seriously. In the press release it says "Schema is a pattern imposed on complex reality or experience to assist in explaining it, mediate perception or guide response." This sounds a little more deep that I would ever want to give any band credit for, but with music this good, I don't really care anyway.

Reviewed by John Steinbacher
The last we heard, Steinbacher was living in Minneapolis.

See other reviews by John Steinbacher



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