Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Quick Spins

InterpolEl Pintor
With their fifth record and first release with original bassist Carlos D., Interpol return to form and reclaim their spot as one of the best New York City bands to emerge in the last 20 years. El Pintor is the band at their finest, combining their dark tones with a much more aggressive polished rock sound. Easily their best album since 2004’s Antics, Interpol show that even as they have gotten older, they have not lost their edge, grace, and style.

Royal Blood
While Prince William and Duchess Catherine announce they are expecting their second child, there seems to be only one Royal Blood that the music world should care about. The self-titled debut from this English duo combines the furious musicianship of The Black Keys, with vocals reflective of Jack White and John Gourley of Portugal. The Man and mixed with the heaviness of a metal band. Royal Blood have been all the rage back home and now, with this debut, they are set to take the world by storm. Easily one of the best debut albums of the year and a true must listen from start to finish.

FKA TwigsLP 1
Following two critically acclaimed EP’s, England’s latest sensation and the woman bringing trip-hop back to life, FKA Twigs released her debut album, LP1 and showcases the power, seductiveness, and creativity, that will lead her for years to come. Combining the coy and romantic ambiance of The xx, with the sensitivity of James Blake, and the production and influence of Tricky, FKA Twigs is showing British music at it’s finest right now. LP1 is a must listen and a record we will be talking about for years to come.

U2Songs Of Innocence
Only one band could upstage Apple at their own conference and that band is U2. The surprise announcement that their new album, Songs of Innocence was not only finished, but ready for fans to hear, within seconds of the announcement and that it was free seemed to supersede whatever new iPhone or piece of technology the tech giants were going to announce. That being said, it has been a long journey for fans of the Irish legends to hear this album after so many delays, false starts and rumors. With production from Danger Mouse, Paul Epworth, Flood, and others, U2 find a balance that still makes their music exciting but also fresh. A far greater step then 2009’s No Line on the Horizon, U2 bring back the roaring guitars but also utilize a modern twist thanks to the production of Mouse and special appearance by Lykke Li. The record, one of the bands most personal since their debut, Boy, hears Bono singing about his influences ranging from The Ramones to The Beach Boys to The Smiths and just as when they started, the songs are about holding on to innocence, even after all these years it is an idea they are still striving for as millionaire rock stars. Songs of Innocence is 11 tracks that are equally classic U2 and modern U2.

The RentalsLost in Alphaville
For the first time in 15 years, Matt Sharp resurrected The Rentals for a new record and bring with them the classic sound that made them a late 90’s favorite. It is a nostalgic trip around the block with Lost in Alphaville and makes us remember why this band was so loved back then.

TrickyAdrian Thaws
Following the critical success of last year’s fantastic False Idols, Tricky returns using his birth name, Adrian Thaws, for his 10th album. Still proving to not only be the creator of trip-hop, but still reigning as the master, Adrian Thaws features guest contributions from Nneka, Mykki Blanco, Oh Land, and Blue Daisy, to bring his self-made sound to life.

Alt-JThis Is All Yours
The experimental British band returns with their sophomore album and with so much success, both critically and commercially from their debut, An Awesome Wave, Alt-J don’t seem to be phased to live up to any hype on their latest release. The band take things further with the sound they unleashed to the world just two years ago and showcase that all of the pressure and anticipation has not made them crack, only made them stronger and still strange.

Dilated PeoplesDirectors of Photography
Eight years since their last release, the lyrical icons known as Dilated Peoples fire back with a record that shows the new school of rappers how it is done. Directors of Photography does not disappoint thanks to the cadence and lyricism of the group and production by The Alchemist, 9th Wonder, DJ Premiere, Oh No, Twiz and of course, DJ Babu, not to mention the slew of guests including, Vince Staples, Aloe Blacc, Catero, Gangrene, Sick Jacken, Krondon, Fashawn, Rapsody, Domo Genesis, Vinnie Paz and Action Bronson. Directors of Photography is welcomed return and gives fans hope that it won’t take eight more years for another release.

The Last InternationaleWe Will Reign
The Long Island rock band featuring Brad Wilk of Rage Against The Machine blew us away this summer when we caught them at Mercury Lounge, now, their anticipated debut has arrived and it does not fail to pack the same punch as their concerts. We Will Reign is a politically charged rock record that is the siren song of our times.

Johnny MarrPlayland
Following the release of his first ever debut album, last year’s The Messenger, the former Smiths guitarist and icon, Johnny Marr quickly returns with his sophomore album, Playland. This time around, Marr seems to have more fun and still brings the same creative edge to his guitar work that we have known and loved for so many years.

Karen OCrush Songs
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs leading lady brings a much more stripped down and intimate approach to her debut album, Crush Songs. The record is a love letter to people she has admired in her life and while we have all felt the emotion of “having a crush on someone” only Mrs. O, expresses it the way we wish we all could.

Bishop Allen Lights Out
After five years away from the scene, Bishop Allen come back with their fifth record and give fans exactly what they want.

MF DOOM and Bishop Nehru combine forces for this hip-hop extravaganza that showcases each of their strengths together on one album.

Tom Petty and The HeartbreakersHypnotic Eye
The classic American rockers return with their 13th studio album and bring with then a politically charged and angst filled sound that one would not expect from Petty. Musically it hears them throw back to their earlier days. It is a record that at their level of success they did not have to make or could have phoned it in, however, they still feel the urge to write great rock and roll songs and still check their creative pulse.

Ryan Adams
Fourteen albums in, Ryan Adams still has a lot on his mind and still wants to get it all out. Like most Adams records, the first few listens will sound very similar to much of his catalogue, then, after a few more chances and listens, you always find something brilliant and that spark of genius in his lyrics that make you realize why you were interested in a new record from him in the first place.

Blonde RedheadBarragan
The New York indie darlings come back and for the last 20 years, they have shape shifted their sound so much that every record seems to mark a new era in their style, Barragan is no exception. This latest release is their most intimate and somber to arrive to date.

JEFF The Brotherhood Dig The Classics EP
The Tennessee garage rock duo churn out an EP of covers from Beck, Pixies, My Bloody Valentine, Teenage Fanclub and more and do it in the style of The Brotherhood. What is not to like?

Jessie WareTough Love
For her second record, Jessie Ware gets much more personal and poetic than before and even enlists the help of Ed Sheeran, Dev Hynes of Blood Orange and The xx’s Romy Madley-Croft to bring out a deeper sound and tougher sense of love.

The English stadium rock giants return with their fifth record and a decade in the game, Kasabian still want to make swelling sounds that will fill a festival field and surrounding towns. Yet, with all of the sound they create, it all still sounds like a Kasabian record.