Sunday, September 29, 2013

Weekend Music Roundup

I missed last weekend's roundup due to being away, but I'm back again with another list of all new releases. Some of my favorite bands have put out new albums in the last few weeks, and there's still more to come in the next few. I'm just trying to stay on top and enjoy the wave. There's a nice mix of sounds on here, so hopefully you'll find something that intrigues you. Enjoy.

Dr. Dog - B Room: Due out this week is the eighth studio album from Philly's psychedelic folk heroes. As with last year's Be the Void, this album lacks the chaotic weirdness of their early work in favor of a more digestible sound. Though there are more moments on this record where they return to the sound that endeared them to me so many years ago. So far, I'm definitely enjoying it more than the previous album. "Minding the Usher," "Too Weak to Ramble," "Cuckoo," and "Love" are the real stand out tracks. A solid album that grows on me with each listen.

The Strypes - Snapshot: Released a few weeks ago, this is the debut album from the Irish mod/garage rock revival band. There's an obvious 60's feel to the record, with power chords, Jagger vocals, and pounding back beat. All in all, it works very well. By definition, it's not all that original, but it still sounds pretty good. It reminds a little bit of the first Arctic Monkeys album, at least in attitude. Just fun rock and roll that's definitely worth checking out and keeping an eye on.

White Denim - Corsicana Lemonade: It's been two years since the last album from the Austin based indie band. This is a very loose album, and definitely has has some funk/soul influences, but distorts them into groovy blues rock. The consistent feel is something that I like very much, and in that way it reminds me of Kurt Vile's newest record.  "At Night in Dreams," "New Blue Feeling," "Cheer Up/Blues Ending," and "Distant Relative Salute" are among my favorites.

The Underachievers - The Lords of Flatbush: The first official EP release from the Brooklyn hip hop duo, though they had a mixtape out earlier this year. There are flashes on this where both artists sound dynamic, where the beats are dope, and where they truly sound like they are the lords of Flatbush. But as a whole, it's a bit uneven. Even within the songs, it can be uneven. Still, it's good to hear that old New York sound again.

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Bonnie 'Prince' Billy: For his 1000th album, Will Oldham has released this self-titled record. Of course, he doesn't really have a thousand records, though sometimes it feels like. Having been one of my favorite songwriters of the past twenty years, he always manages to put together a solid piece of folky goodness. This album is no different, but that's part of the problem. At some points it feels like he's just singing a list of things he sees in his house. A pleasant album, it just feels a little uninspired.

Kings of Leon - Mechanical Bull: After two albums of arena stardom, the Followill brothers (and one cousin) have returned to their southern rock roots for their sixth album, and first in three years. It doesn't quite go all the way back to their raucous debut, but rather resembles their more mature third album, Because of the Times. Though I enjoyed their last two records, I certainly missed this sound. I've been listening to it all week. Definitely the comeback album of the year.


Kings of Leon - Youth & Young Manhood: After listening to the new album, I went looking up some performances from this 2003 debut and got swept right back into its gritty southern blues sound. Definitely one of my favorite albums of the year when it came out, I still rank it among one of the best debut records of all time. I pulled out the CD a few days ago and listened to it twice that day. I've since listened to it another three times. Every song is amazing, adding up to an incredible tale of disillusioned youth trying to make some sense of the world and finding little to none. It's just as powerful as it was ten years ago.

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