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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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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
Alkaline Trio/One Man Army
BYO Split Series Volume V
BYO Records

Rating: 6/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Dim light dances across a wall, flickering over paint that is peeling and faded from time. Emptied liquor bottles and half-filled glasses top the table that steals the naked and stained mattress away from solitude. Suddenly, the sun comes out and announces its presence as it streams through the window in its partly cloudy glory. The presence of that sun is the difference between emo-goth-punks the Alkaline Trio, and punk rockers One Man Army.

This disc offers six new tracks from each trio, recorded in late 2003 and early 2004. And the two bands, sharing similar paths into darkness, compliment one another well.

Songs from the Alkaline Trio contain their usual brand of lyrics drenched in misery and masochism, crafted alternately by singer/guitarist Matt Skiba and singer/bassist Dan Andriano. The images created by these two songwriters never fail to create a setting like the one described above. This set, their first new material since last year's Good Mourning, is no different. Among these offerings, AK3 included a cover of The Damned's "Wait For the Blackout" as well as five songs that could have easily found themselves at home on AK3's last release.

Of the depiction above, One Man Army could certainly be seen as the clouded sunlight to the Alkaline Trio's dim misery. There's just enough light here to clear the crush of desperation. One Man Army's set may not be flowers and bunny rabbits, but their bouncy punk sound is fun, and ultimately forgiving.

Even though this band's sound perfectly balances that of AK3, the Alkaline Trio is indeed the better band here. On tracks "The TV Song" and "All the Way" the Army trips into lyrical clichés without enough individuality to make them seem fresh. When Jack Dalrymple shouts, "We've been fighting/and I've been drinking" you can't help but feel you've heard it so many times before that you've lost count.

Overall, I'd suggest that this offering would appeal mainly to fans of either band. Although good, this is hardly AK3s best material, and I would assume the same for One Man Army. Ultimately, each set is strong enough to win over fans from one band to the other, and I suppose that's the point, anyway.

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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