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

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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.
[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
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April 3, 2008
A few nights ago, three hairy gentlemen damn near launched Manhattan's Cake Shop, like a vessel of muffins and doom-rock ecstacy, out of the Lower East Side and into the cosmos. Hailing from San Francisco by way of Boston, Wildildlife blew through New York City as part of their current nationwide tour, a journey on which they seem determined to melt the faces of anyone bold enough to stand in their path. By the time the band rolled out of the city on Monday morning, they'd left at least a few Big Apple moustaches singed.

Stomping in the footsteps of bands like Boris, Shellac, and Jesu, Wildildlife carry the Gloom-Sludge-Metal torch high enough to melt the mullet of even the tallest goon. With a dizzying amount of distortion, molasses-thick bass lines, and cavernous drums, the band is able to achieve a more elephantine level of rock than many of their contemporaries. The intricate melodies and furious riffage are balanced remarkably with long, glacially-paced passages of atmosphere, and the juxtaposition translates beautifully to a live setting. Songs that work as a perfectly heady moment alone at home on the headphones are deftly transformed into a unique shared moment with a larger audience. As each song weaved in and out of its multitudinous sections, the band conveyed a sense of participation to the crowd at the Cake Shop, leaving everyone with the impression they'd survived an epic journey through a plethora of daunting earthly landscapes.


Sunday's set list consisted mainly of tracks from their excellent new EP, Peas Feast. Starting with their most concise song, "Shining Son," the band went positively apeshit for the ensuing 40 minutes, which left the little pastry shop cum rock bar on Ludlow Street shaking like it'd been hit by a sonic tornado of hair, sweat, and instruments. Even in a cramped space and with guitarist Matthew J. Rogers hampered by a foot injury, our photographer, Jenny Applebaum, proclaimed them to be "the hardest band to photograph, ever." Wielding such nimble swells of cacophonous riffage, it would be easy to cast Wildildlife aside as another Californian troupe of manic self-indulgers if the songwriting weren't so tight. Unlike current masturbatory drone heavyweights Sunn0))), there is structure to a Wildildlife jam. Hidden beneath the layers of effects and noise are mini guitar solos, vocal harmonies(!), and riffs that wouldn't feel out of place in a Led Zeppelin song.


The San Franciscan trio may shun such titles, but Wildildlife represent the standard bearers of the emerging "freak-metal" scene - massively crunching bands that are unafraid to step back for a minute and incorporate a drum circle or tribal chant here and there - that has erupted as a logical antithesis to the Devendra Banhart-helmed "freak-folk" movement. Anyone looking to trade scalps with these pioneers of a somewhat nebulous genre should absolutely pick up their records (their album Six was released last year by Crucial Blast) and visit Wildildlife on the road. Oh, and when you do venture out to see them, don't forget to bring armor.

SEE ALSO: www.myspace.com/wildildlife
SEE ALSO: www.crucialblast.net
SEE ALSO: www.cake-shop.com

--
Mike Shea
A staff artist for LAS magazine, Mike Shea is bringing comics all up in the ish from his home in Brooklyn, New York. You can visit his blog at www.mikeshearules.com.

See other articles by Mike Shea.

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