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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
Song in the Air
Revelation Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
On their third full-length and with their brand new line up, Louisville's Elliott is taking a route that has more in common with The Cure and Sigur Ros than with any of the progenitors of emo and post-hardcore with whom their roots are firmly embedded. With the addition of new members Benny Clark on guitar and Jason Skaggs [no relation to Ricky] on bass, and some lush string arrangements to boot, Elliott is advancing their version of rock to a level that brings up the word mature, for better or for worse.

Chris Higdon's vocals soar above the tracks in a style reminiscent of Perry Farrell or Cedric Bixler as he tends to sing in the uppermost octaves. The problem is that most of the time they are soaring above spacey, jazzy song structures, that flirt with the idea of rocking out but always act the tease. It gets a bit frustrating, as build-ups never pay off and the listener becomes sore with musical blue balls. Now, I would never suggest that it is the duty of the rock band to satisfy, especially if they are purposely taking on a new direction. Tracks like "Carry On" [no mention of a "wayward son"] and "Believe" push and prod in a sensitive and soft sort of way, strings rising cinematically, as their positive and quasi-religious messages utter forth. The instrumental "Drag Like Pull" revs its motors as guitars feedback over pounding bass and whirlwind riffs plug away. Higdon really gets up there during the title track, backed only by strings and piano, a song that is really quite pretty.

One look at the Revelation imprint on the CD case and you might be getting ready for some aggro-hardcore like it's 1993… but of course, it isn't. It is 2003 and bands are listening to way too much Radiohead and Sigur Ros and "developing." These comments may seem a bit scattered, praising Elliott for their flanged guitars, piano backgrounds, softly skittering drums and loping bass one minute, and damning them the next. But that is what the highs and lows of their music does; it pulls you up and occasionally shoots you back down before you have had a chance to take it all in. It is too easy to simply call Song in the Air a progression of sound, especially when maybe you prefer the clichéd but effective posturing of the soft-loud sing-scream. No matter, Elliott isn't concerned with that convention any longer. It's all about the texture now and they are getting it down with their rich production, instrumentation and arrangement, echoing off into your eardrums.

Reviewed by Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other reviews by Jonah Flicker



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