NEW MUSIC TUESDAY MAY 11TH
You might still remember what it’s like to look forward to Tuesdays as the Official Day of the Week when new albums, EPs, 7 inches, et. al. were (and still are) released to the world. It’s completely understandable if you don’t â€“ after all, the digital age of music has progressed so rapidly that the artists themselves can barely keep up, let alone the average audience of music consumers.
With the amount of albums coming out on any given Tuesday, we figured we should probably narrow it down for you, since we’re nice.
It’s been two years since Foals released their debut album Antidotes. The timing was a blessing and a curse for the Foals: mid-2008 was a high tide of danceable indie gems. MGMT burst onto the scene with Ocular Spectacular, Tokyo Police Club debuted with Elephant Shell, as wellÂ Cut Copy and The Presets both released amazing sophomore albums. Foals found instant fame riding the wave of great music, but the scene was saturated and the band was lumped into indie rock and lost in the mix. Taking time off was a risky move, but it’s definitely paid off with the release of Total Life Forever. Foals have released a solid, comprehensive album and found a sound that makes them stand out from the crowd. (Spencer Crooks)
I want to curse Brooklyn, NY for housing so many good bands (hear: Yeasayer, White Rabbits, Japandriods). Yet 11-year old band The National might be the cause for this growing trend. Their latest release High Violet has been streaming on the New York Times website for the past few weeks and rightfully so. This 11-track album is full of no frills, well-crafted songs. So much so that I accidentally spent a whole weekend listening to “Lemonworld,” a dark and somber tune that was worth the 100 listens. If you’re late to The National party, be not afraid. High Violet will easily be on many top 5 lists by the end of this music-packed year. (Dustin Shey)
Holy fuck, the new Holy Fuck is good. It’s like they finally decided to take their craft seriously. I say this with the utmost respect… it’s always seemed like Holy Fuck were just a bunch of kids screwing around with noise makers and keyboards. They’ve always had a lot of fun and put on an unrivaled live show, but their sound always fell short of stunning. Well no more: Latin is a well-rounded, well-composed album full of big sounds and driving beats. (Spencer Crooks)
Seeing The Dead Weather at last year’s Outside Lands was truly an enlightening experience for someone who really didn’t give a crap about Jack White outside The White Stripes, and even then it was a stretch. Out of all his side projects this band has the most power and promise, mainly fueled by under-the-radar rock goddess Alison Mosshart of The Kills. Sea Of Cowards is the band’s second release and, by the looks of it, their first album was just a warm up. Check out their video for “Die By The Drop.” (Briana Hernandez)
San Francisco psych trips, Thee Oh Sees, are back in full force with their fourth album. With lo-fi avant-garage pop equipped with brooding fa-la-las and gritty guitar riffs, there’s hardly a dull moment on ‘Warm Slime’ – and that’s including the lengthy 13 minute title track.
There’s a very exciting trend happening: it may be too early to tell, but we might have a new wave of punk on our hands. A handful of lo-fi, fast strumming, hard rocking bands have appeared on the scene getting the kids to uncross their arms and move their feet. Male Bonding joins the likes of The Soft Pack and Vivian Girls bringing a rough but accessible sound to the indie scene. Male Bonding plays fast, energetic rock and in true punk fashion keeps theirs songs under 3 minutes. Nothing Hurts is a perfect debut album showcasing the bands 13-song repertoire in about 30 minutes. (Spencer Crooks)
Kelly Jones’ Rod Stewart-like voice remains one of the few highlights of Welsh band Stereophonics during Keep Calm and Carry On. Yet the band needs to create a new formula that helped them make debut album Word Gets Around and second album Performance and Cocktails some of the greatest albums of the Britpop era.Â Those albums were fresh, while the band’s seventh attempt, at best, is mediocre. Jones needs to bring back the magic, not write lyrics, such as “Everything is touchable/Nothing is going to beat you in this life.” As a whole, I certainly wasn’t touched by the increasingly poppy ambiance. (Julianne Shapiro)
American Ghetto marks Portland-based rock band Portugal. The Man’s sixth album release. With American Ghetto, Portugal. The Man has managed to tame their psychedelic experimental rock sound into a more mainstream accepted indie rock sound. With hints of a funk sound, American Ghetto highlights John Baldwin Gourley’s vocal ability, but lacks the fun that was Portugal’s more experimental and downright nutty sound. Although American Ghetto is still a great indie listen, Portugal. The Man. is slowly slipping toward Portugal. The Generic. (Julia Thomas)
Simply said, Harper Blynn’s Loneliest Generation delivers. With The Stroke’s First Impressions of the Earth producer David Khane helping the New York City indie rock band out, Loneliest Generation is the band’s best album to date. Catchy melodies, finely tuned harmonies and romantic heartfelt lyrics make this album perfect for long drives and crying over recent breakups. My only criticism: why the name change? Harper Blynn, formally Pete & J, threw off their fan base with the switch, using their last names as the new band name. It’s okay though, we forgive you Harper Blynn, Pete & J, whatever your names are. (Julia Thomas)
Oakland/S.F. band Manatee is slated to celebrate their first and last release Indecision with a whopping two tracks. Huh? Someone really thought these two songs needed to be released to the world. While you may not see the dire need for its contribution to Bay Area music, their upbeat alt-rock isn’t half bad and gives you a glimpse of what the world would sound like if Michael Stipe finally got some Prozac.Â (Briana Hernandez)