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LITERATURE

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

MUSIC

 » 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
The Distant Seconds
Spectral Evidence
Sweetheart Contract

Rating: 7/10 ?


December 5, 2008
Formed in the hallowed musical community of Austin, Texas, The Distant Seconds aren't sheepish about looking at the past to inform their present. Comprised of guitarist/vocalist Matt Baab and drummer Charlie Ewing (both late of Velvet Underground-inspired darlings the Soft Set), as well as keyboardist Brandon Bunch and bassist Kirk Miles, the four-piece takes its cues from the pantheon of indie gods, with echoes ranging from Television to Devo.

Following their Matador-approved single "Gertrude Stein" in 2006, the Distant Seconds have finally compiled a proper full-length in Spectral Evidence, a tight and punchy outing that neither relies on subtlety nor bombast. The piano tones and rolls of mysterious opener "Disembalmed" give way to the more straightforward rock squall of "Throb in Unison," where Baab's Tom Verlaine-esque vocals commingle with the jangly rhythms and flecks of keyboard noise. Muted strums and organ chords from a bygone era prevail on "We're Unstoppable," a track that's seemingly less about braggadocio and more about self-empowerment.

Baab and Ewing's Soft Set years, where the aforementioned Velvet Underground and the Modern Lovers were touch points, seem to resurface on the brief, buoyant "The Manual," which is leveraged by a single synth note and sunny guitars. Meanwhile, album highlight "Half a Believer" is a somber tome where smooth ivory flourishes, Baab's hushed guitar chords and strained, yet delicate vocals crash against Ewing's shuffling drum cadences.

While the band can't help but bear the imprints of its 70's and 80's-era muses, the Distant Seconds nevertheless have finely honed their grooving brand of indie-rock. They needn't create any overt dischord to state their point; finding the catchy nuances in between is fine enough.

Reviewed by Kiran Aditham
When not contributing to LAS and other music/film publications, Kiran Aditham toils away during the day in Manhattan as a reporter for an advertising magazine…though he’d rather not say which one.

See other reviews by Kiran Aditham

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