New Music Reviews (4/9)

Album Reviews
04/06/2018
KEXP

Each week KEXP's Music Director Don Yates shares brief insights on new and upcoming releases. See what's coming up this week below, including reviews for new releases from Dr. Octagon, The Moondoggies, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and more.


Dr. Octagon – Moosebumps: An Exploration Into Modern Day Horripilation (Bulk)
Kool Keith has revived his Dr. Octagon alter ego and reunited with producer Dan The Automator and turntablist DJ Qbert for the proper follow-up to the landmark 1996 Dr. Octagon debut album. It's a surprisingly strong return to form combining moody and cinematic boom bap beats and rapid-fire scratching with Kool Keith's head-spinning non-sequitur raps.

The Moondoggies – A Love Sleeps Deep (Hardly Art)
This Everett band's fourth album (and first in five years) is a strong set of psych and roots-tinged rock. Produced by Erik Blood, the album combines a jam-heavy classic-rock sound with soaring harmonies and heartfelt lyrics of finding love amidst these unsettled times.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Sex & Food (Jagjaguwar)
The fourth album from this Portland-based project spearheaded by the New Zealand-born Ruban Nielson is a diverse, densely produced blend of heavy, noise-addled psych-rock, dreamy lo-fi soul, buoyant, disco-inflected dance-pop, delicate acoustic folk and more.

Mastersystem – Dance Music (Physical Education)
The debut album from this band comprised of members of Frightened Rabbit, Editors, and Minor Victories is a potent set of anthemic, '90s-steeped post-punk combining loud, fuzzy guitars and pounding rhythms with Scott Hutchison's angst-fueled lyrics revolving around aging and life's struggles.

Hinds – I Don't Run (Mom+Pop)
This Madrid band follows up their promising 2016 debut album Leave Me Alone with a more confidently crafted blend of ramshackle garage-pop with '60s girl-group pop, surf, '90s slacker-pop, dreamy psych-pop and other styles, combining an abundance of buoyant song hooks with frank lyrics of love's ups and downs.

Laura Veirs – The Lookout (Raven Marching Band)
This Portland-based artist's 10th album is another well-crafted set of expansive folk-pop. Beautifully produced by Tucker Martine and featuring a strong supporting cast, the album combines a warm, dreamy sound with her graceful vocals and finely chiseled lyrics of community and resilience during troubled times.

The Amazing – In Transit (Partisan)
The fifth album from this Swedish band led by Christoffer Gunrup features a bit fuller sound for their astral psych-pop, combining dreamy guitars, spacey keyboards, gentle, at times jazz-tinged rhythms, soothing vocals and wistful melodies.

Sons of Kemet – Your Queen Is A Reptile (Impulse!)
The third album from this London-based band led by saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings is a vibrant, politically charged blend of jazz with Afrobeat, dub, soca, grime and more. The band's rhythm-driven sound features two drummers along with sax and tuba.

Goat Girl – Goat Girl (Rough Trade)
This London band's debut album is a promising set of scrappy, at times roots-tinged post-punk combining a clattering lo-fi sound with sharp song hooks and sardonic, often-politically charged lyrics.

Mien – Mien (Rocket)
The debut album from this group comprised of members of The Black Angels, The Horrors, The Earlies and Elephant Stone is a haunting blend of droning psych-rock and dark industrial, featuring a rhythm-driven sound with fuzzy guitars, spacey keyboards, sitar, flute and other instrumentation accompanying Alex Maas' ominous vocals.

Vitamin D – Bornday 3: Full Circle (self-released)
The veteran Seattle producer/rapper teamed up with an impressive guest lineup including Porter Ray, Gifted Gab, Tiffany Wilson, Fatal Lucciauno and other notables for an assured set of warm, jazz-tinged hip-hop recorded on his birthday.

Willie Nelson – Last Man Standing (Legacy)
The latest album from the prolific country legend is another strong latter-day release combining a rootsy, often-lively outlaw country sound with sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant lyrics of loss and mortality.

BlackWater HolyLight – BlackWater HolyLight (RidingEasy)
The debut album from this Portland band led by Allison Faris is a promising set of heavy stoner-rock combining rumbling guitars and sludgy rhythms with her ethereal vocals.

The Voidz – Virtue (RCA)
The second album from this New York band led by Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas is a wildly diverse, politically charged set ranging from rhythmic New Wave pop-rock and crunchy stoner rock to noisy punk and a bit of acoustic folk along with some decidedly odder fare.

Eels – The Deconstruction (E Works)
The 12th album from Mark Oliver Everett & co. is a mostly low-key set of reflective folk-pop that finds him in a more optimistic place than usual.

Mind Over Mirrors – Bellowing Sun (Paradise of Bachelors)
The seventh album from this Chicago-based project spearheaded by composer/musician Jaime Fennelly also functions as part of a multimedia project debuting at the Museum Of Contemporary Art Chicago, though its adventurous motorik jams stand up well enough on their own, with a hypnotic sound combining cascading synths with zither, harmonium, fiddle, percussion and occasional vocals.

Joshua Hedley – Mr. Jukebox (Third Man)
This Florida-bred, Nashville-based fiddler/vocalist's debut album is a strong set of straight-up '60s-steeped country ranging from swinging barroom honky tonk to poignant heart-song ballads, combining a beautifully crafted sound with his warm crooning.

Dead Meadow – The Nothing They Need (Xemu)
This DC-bred, LA-based band's eighth album is another solid set combining heavy stoner-rock with psych-rock and folk through a potent blend of fuzzy guitars, muscular rhythms, and melodic crooning.

Juliana Hatfield – Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John (American Laundromat)
The latest album from this veteran Boston-based artist (and former Blake Babies member) is a fine tribute to the Australian pop and country singer that brings a bit more rock crunch to Newton-John's sunny pop.

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