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Liner Notes: CD Reviews

 published on Thursday, September 1, 2005

<strong>Augustana</strong><br>
<em>All the Stars and Boulevards</em><br>
(Epic Records)<br>
2/5 stars/issues/arts/693630
Augustana
All the Stars and Boulevards
(Epic Records)
2/5 stars
 
<strong>Between the Buried and Me</strong><br>
<em>Alaska</em><br>
(Victory Records)<br>
5/5 stars/issues/arts/693630
Between the Buried and Me
Alaska
(Victory Records)
5/5 stars
 
<strong>The Black Keys</strong><br>
<em>Rubber Factory</em><br>
(Fat Possum Records)<br>
5/5 stars

/issues/arts/693630
The Black Keys
Rubber Factory
(Fat Possum Records)
5/5 stars
 

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Augustana

With their radio-friendly pop tunes and impeccably unkempt hairdos, the Illinois quartet Augustana is sure to make the young girls swoon. Its debut album All the Stars and Boulevards is loaded with themes of loneliness and heartache that are skillfully packaged alongside catchy melodies fit for alternative radio stations across the country. Augustana's artsy edge mimics that of their recent tour mates Stereophonics. The first single, titled "Stars and Boulevards," has a piano-driven melody reminiscent of British alternative pop bands such as Coldplay. Surely Augustana's lack of innovation and originality will generally be overlooked in favor of their soaring vocals and physical attractiveness. These boys are going places, maybe even to season three of "The OC" soundtrack ... if they're lucky. - By adriane.goetz@asu.edu

Augustana is scheduled to perform Saturday, Sept. 3 at the Clubhouse, 1320 E. Broadway Road. More info at www.clubhousegigs.com.

Reach the reporter at adriane.goetz@asu.edu.

Between the Buried and Me

When bands "blow up," like Between the Buried and Me has in the last two years, I'd expect them to either ride their shtick or jump on the latest trend. But the BTBAM guys aren't interested in rehashing ground they've already covered - instead they produced a killer death metal album with engaging metalcore tendencies. Gone are the awkward shifts from aggressive chugs to harmonies. Fans of The Silent Circus' biting edge won't be disappointed, though. "Roboturner" is something Napalm Death would proud of, while the chorus to "All Bodies" could have easily come off of an In Flames record. The signature twists and turns are still there - just not nearly as theatric. BTBAM has definitely matured into a respectable metal band.

Reach the reporter at sean.loiselle@asu.edu.

The Black Keys

Who would have thought that two lanky college dropouts from Akron, Ohio could throw together one of the best rock albums of 2004? Rubber Factory, the third release from the Black Keys, is a must-have for anyone who thinks rock 'n' roll died after the 1970s. This album channels the gritty garage sound reminiscent of the Motor City Five while also including southern rock-blues fusion by way of Credence Clearwater Revival and The Hollies circa 1979. The stripped-down, no-frills-necessary attitude delivered by the Black Keys makes Jack White look like a sell-out. The second-hand equipment and mediocre sound quality of the recording accentuate the unabashedly raw nature of one of the few relatively new albums that deserves to sit in the "rock" section at Hoodlums.

Reach the reporter at adriane.goetz@asu.edu.



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