Reviews

Let It Rest

Author: Exadore
05/21/2003 | Bornbackwards.com | www.bornbackwards.com | Album Review
In 1945, a joint British and American force firebombed the German city of Dresden. It's an often forgotten little piece of history that left 135,000 German civilians dead, that's more casualties than when the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan. It's also upwards of 45 times the number than died in the attack on the World Trade Center, this was a whole city not just two buildings. The city had little war industry or military importance. In fact, Germany was only 2 and a half months from surrendering, so why did we completely destroy an entire city of civilian women and children, most of whom were refugees from other parts of the country under attack? It was justified by the US claim that it was breaking German civil morale. Although Anglo propaganda had painted the German people as little more than barbarous subhumans, it was still a heinous and huge moral outrage for many Americans. Much like Japanese textbooks gloss over their atrocities in China during the 1930s, American schools rarely mention the firebombing of Dresden, although it was a huge event when it occured. Kurt Vonnegut addressed the topic and attempted to ease his own conscious in his best-selling novel Slaughterhouse Five. Now Saddle Creek is also trying to apologize to the German nation, with Sorry About Dresden, who are on their third full-length release? Will it be enough to heal this grievous sore on history? Will the Germans accept it? Well, it certainly won't do any harm.

The band features Matt Oberst, although it's far from anything similar to his brother's work. It's pretty reliable indie rock reminiscent of most of the more successful bands in the genre over the last 15 years, recalling by turns The Pixies, Pavement, The Replacements and a slew of others without really contributing anything terribly new or capturing the specific magic of these bands. That doesn't mean it isn't decent listening, however and a few of the album's songs hit with great precision. The album opener "Beds and Lawns" is a raucous Stones-revival that cruises at high speed along a jumpy repeating riff that sounds in danger of spinning out of control at any moment. Until the soft, organ-underpinned bridge gives the song a welcome little reprieve before blasting out the riff again. The second track "The Approaching Dawn" is reminiscent both of Mission of Burma's "Outlaw" and a thousand Pixies song, where sharp jags of noise are pieced together and repeated until they become a pop hook. Unfortunately it lacks both the Pixies diabolical insanity and the killer beat that keeps "Outlaw" afloat. At least until the end of the song, where it suddenly develops both of these qualities but for only 18 seconds: the drums are a fast danceable gallop and the guitars flying off in crazy counter-rhythm spirals. Unfortunately this is just a short buildup for the song's decidedly mild ending. Most of the rest of the album follows suit, brief moments of brilliance surface suddenly but retreat just as fast and by the end you're left with little that was particularly memorable besides the two opening tracks and the sad, acoustic pop of "Relax, It's Tuesday." But the experience as a whole isn't a bad one, and you could do a hell of a lot worse next time you go to record store.

It's certainly not a strong enough apology to make up for the deaths of 135,000 innocent Germans, but it's a step in the right direction as far as international relations go. However, it'll take a lot more of these types of gestures from both sides. In particular, the Germans should stop fucking shipping us Rammstein CDs. I understand your memories of the war still hurt you, Germany, but cut that shit out, they're not even popular among the confused middle-class pseudo-metal kids here anymore.

3.5 out of 5
Let It Rest

Let It Rest

CD / MP3




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Let It Rest

Let It Rest

CD / MP3


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