Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Quick Spins

SantigoldMaster of My Make Believe 
Four years after her brilliant debut, Brooklyn’s Santigold returns with a record that was worth the wait. While she was ahead of the curve and ahead of the musical landscape, she continues on her alternative stream but gets much more introspective on Master of My Make Believe. In between albums Santi produced for Devo, worked with Jay-Z, Beastie Boys, Spank Rock, Diplo, and picked up a few things from her famous friends to enhance her new album. Master of My Make Believe is easily one of the years best.

Hot Water MusicExister 
If every comeback record sounded like Exister, every comeback would be not be as special, so with that, Hot Water Music made not only one of the best comeback records of all time (and the blueprint on how to do it right), they made one of the best albums of their career. Eight years after the band’s hiatus, Chuck Ragan and Gainsville, Florida punks get together with a record full of disciplined anthems, inspiring songs and ball-to-the-wall rock and roll. As abrasive as the band have always been, the incorporate melodies more in their new record, which makes it and them progress in all the right ways. In case you missed or forgot about this band – they steadfast remind you to remember.

Damon Albarn Dr. Dee 
The musical genius that is Damon Albarn arrives with his long awaited solo-debut and it is nothing like you would expect. Dr. Dee is a symphonic opera that comes from the same name of Albarn’s 2011 opera. Yet, this may sound unlike what Albarn has done in the past, which is exactly why it is one of the best reasons for Albarn to do it. Always pushing boundaries, always pushing the musical limit and raise the bar. While the album is unique territory for Albarn, he still lays his signature sound on it.

The hardcore supergroup finally delivers their long awaited debut and running in under a half-hour, the record is exactly what music needs now. A pure raw, unconditional and full throttle old-school hardcore punk record from a group of old school punks. Songs lasting under a minute, riffs as furious as vocalist as Keith Morris’ lyrics, OFF! Delivers high energy and vintage fun. Read our April interview with Dimitri Coats of OFF! HERE.

The Cribs In The Belly of the Brazen Bull
The UK trio return with their first album since the departure of Johnny Marr. In The Belly of the Brazen Bull hears the band capturing their live sound and tossing it on wax. The raw and raucousness of this record hears the Jarman brothers just being themselves and doing what they love – playing loud, fast, punk. The Cribs have made a fine record and one for all to hear.

Silversun PickupsNeck of the Woods
The California rockers return with album number three and delivers exactly what fans would expect – high emotional, roaring rock and roll. Neck of the Woods hears Silversun Pickups evolve in the ever-so-slightly ways, it is a record that will be embraced by both fans and critics and may turn others onto the band.

ReptarBody Faucet 
Athens, Georgia’s latest buzz band finally brings their debut to the world and is exactly what one would expect from a band named Reptar – simply fun. Body Faucet is a enjoyable and well developed first album from a band with so much hype around them. With catchy hooks, pop riffs and hyper rhythms; Reptar will have you bouncing for hours. Read our 2011 interview with the band HERE. 

The UK adult rock band finally find their voice. For all of Keane’s albums they have always sounded or mimicked the sounds of someone else, their debut, Hopes and Fears though fantastic still heard the band following the piano rock coattails of Coldplay. Their sophomore record, Under The Iron Sea was their take on Achtung Baby-era U2, their last record, Perfect Symmetry was them trying to be a bad version of Duran Duran. Now, back with Strangeland, Keane finally sound like Keane and for that, they made their best record since their debut. Still taking a focus on piano ready radio-friendly rock, they perfect the art and may even have Chris Martin scratching his head wondering if this is what he should be doing with his band.

Norah Jones Little Broken Hearts 
The Brooklyn jazz singer returns with a mellow rock record produced by the one and only Danger Mouse. Little Broken Hearts is an emotionally heavy but musically sedate record from Jones, with an album title like that, the motif of the record is straight away. Having Danger Mouse on the decks and lending a hand as a musician on the record, Little Broken Hearts continues their relationship that they developed last year with Mouse’s Rome album. 

Beach HouseBloom 
The shoegaze dream-poppers return with their fourth record and pick-up where they left off. Bloom is just a continuation of the band’s summertime sound, nothing new, nothing different, just more of the same.

Tenacious D Rize of the Fenix 
Rock and Roll’s favorite comedic duo return with another album of comedy anthems over heavy hitting metal. Rize of the Fenix is a Tenacious D record through and through, nothing more, nothing less.

Best CoastThe Only Place 
Best Coast comeback with their sophomore release, and like another shoegaze dream-pop band – Beach House, they continue where they left off.

Pennywise All or Nothing
Influential Cali punks return with their new album and new singer, Zoli Téglás. All or Nothing is a traditional Pennywise record, just under new vocal powers – fast, raw, loud and thrilling.

Marilyn MansonBorn Villain 
Eight albums in Manson still has something to say. Born Villain is a look inside the man who has been blamed, ridiculed and frowned on for so much in the music world. However, for Manson, the problem is this record would have been much more relevant a decade ago. Now, the controversy and issues that brought him to popularity have subsided and the discussion within the lyrics of the record seem a bit irrelevant. Musically, Manson takes a darker turn (if that could be possible) and much more intricate than his previous records of the last 5-10 years, yet not much has changed considering his is still covering old songs – only this time he has Johnny Depp on board to do it.