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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
Jimmy Eat World
Stay on My Side Tonight

Rating: 7/10 ?

December 12, 2005
Jimmy Eat World and Mark Trombino go together like peanut butter and jelly. Although such a staple it may seem bland and repetitive every day, you sure do miss it when you haven't had it in awhile.

Futures, released in 2004, found Gil Norton at the production helm after early sessions with longtime J.E.W. producer Trombino were scrapped, but the Arizona quartet's decision to move on to a new knob-twiddler wasn't a complete loss; the three original tracks on Stay On My Side Tonight stem from these original Trombino sessions. Most noteworthy of the three is the much-hyped "Disintigration," easily one of the best post-"The Middle" Jimmy Eat World songs. In addition to Zach Lind's drumming talent, Jim Adkins, Trombino and Tony Hajjar (of Sparta fame) all hit the skins as well. As expected, the thunderous, tribal drumming is the most compelling aspect of the 7-minute and 45-second epic.

The release of singles such as Stay On My Side Tonight inevitably boil down to a stop-gap measure of marketing and PR, a way to keep a band with the kind of swelling fanbase and global recognition that Jimmy Eat World has from slipping out of the non-attentive public eye during the lulls between album releases and major tours. Hence, with the bar set relatively low for a band with such capability, "Disintigration" is clearly the main attraction of Stay On My Side Tonight. Although the lyrics are similar to the rest of the J.E.W. catalogue, the multiple, forceful drums and ominous, tribal rhythm shows the band has a few tricks left up its sleeve. What it all boils down to is that "Disintigration" is easily one of the best Jimmy Eat World tracks in years and, as much as any other cut, worthy of release as a single.

The dark cloud that settles over the opening track refuses dissipate for "Over" and "Closer," the poppier tracks that follow. It may seem foreboding, but this tone ties the EP into a cohesive effort, one less likely to simply be a marketing ploy from label bigwigs.

Known for his indie rock tastes, singer Jim Adkins picks from the obscurest of the obscure with the band's cover of Heatmiser's "Half-right." Serious fans may recognize lyrics from the Futures track "Kill," which references this song. The inclusion of this cover is a clever way to tie the two releases together when little about them seems the same.

Closing off the EP is a remix of the cliché Futures ballad "Drugs or Me." The technobeats replace the sappy, soaring guitars of the album version for an almost unrecognizable version that ends up being, well, better. Despite my typical purist leanings, I can't help but find this version stronger-if only because it's not so sweet.

As with most non-debut, non-collaborative EPs, Stay On My Side Tonight will primarily appeal to the most faithful of fans, but-as with most Jimmy Eat World EPs-it does include some of the bands best experiments and is ultimately worth checking out.

Reviewed by Natalie B. David
A fresh graduate of the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia, in her spare time she can be found clumsily manipulating words and phrases for LAS and Beautiful/Decay magazine, hungering for sushi, naming inanimate objects or pondering the existence of stiletto heels. If you see her, you should buy her a cup of coffee because, chances are, she probably needs it.

See other reviews by Natalie B. David



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