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New Album Reviews:

Titus Andronicus: The Most Lamentable Tragedy
Buy! - (Merge)
This New Jersey band isn’t known for lacking in ambition, but their fourth album is epic even by their own standards. A 29-song, 94+-minute rock opera inspired by frontman Patrick Stickles’ struggle with manic depression, The Most Lamentable Tragedy features a full, grand sound to match with strings (courtesy of Owen Pallett), piano, horns, organ and more fleshing out a fierce, on-point rock band blending anthemic Springsteen rock with blazing hardcore punk, reckless Replacements abandon, stomping Pogues Celtic punk, Stones swagger, choral majesty and more on an impressive variety of literate, live-wire songs that add up to one of the year’s best albums. 7/24/2015 - Don Yates

Other Titus Andronicus album reviews:

Local Business - 10/19/2012
The Monitor - 2/26/2010
The Airing of Grievances - 1/13/2009

Seapony: A Vision
Buy! - (self-released)
This Seattle band’s third album is another captivating set of breezy, well-crafted dream-pop with jangly, surf-inflected guitars, atmospheric keyboards, wistful melodies, soft, airy vocals and melancholy lyrics. The album also features a bit more of an organic sound, mainly due to swapping out the drum machines of their first two records in favor of live drums. 7/24/2015 - Don Yates

Other Seapony album reviews:

Falling - 9/7/2012
Go With Me - 5/17/2011

Mas Ysa: Seraph
Buy! - (Downtown)
The debut full-length from Montreal-born, Woodstock, NY-based artist Thomas Arsenault (aka Mas Ysa) is a potent set of moody electro-pop with bright synths, propulsive rhythms, dramatic, tremulous vocals, emotive lyrics and epic sing-along choruses. 7/24/2015 - Don Yates

Pete Quirk: Fail On, Fail Better
Buy! - (self-released)
The frontman for Seattle band The Cave Singers steps out for a fine set of well-crafted folk-pop that sounds like a more intimate and acoustic-oriented version of the music he makes with his regular band. 7/24/2015 - Don Yates

Adult Mom: Momentary Lapse of Happily
Buy! - (Tiny Engines)
The debut album from this project led by Purchase College, NY artist Steph Knipe is a promising set ranging from lilting garage-pop to stark, intimate folk-pop, with her soft, light vocals delivering often brutally honest lyrics revolving around gender identity, heartache, loss and growing up. 7/24/2015 - Don Yates

Wilco: Star Wars
Buy! - (self-released)
Released by surprise on July 16th, the ninth album from this veteran Chicago band led by Jeff Tweedy is a smartly crafted blend of stomping glam-rock, buzzing motorik post-punk, atmospheric space-rock jams, plaintive psych-folk ballads and more, combining a raw, live sound with shape-shifting arrangements and plenty of adventurous guitar work from Nels Cline. 7/17/2015 - Don Yates

Other Wilco album reviews:

The Whole Love - 9/20/2011
(the album) - 6/22/2009
Sky Blue Sky - 5/8/2007
A Ghost Is Born - 6/11/2004
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot - 4/15/2002
Summerteeth - 3/15/1999
Being There - 11/15/1996

Strange Wilds: Subjective Concepts
Buy! - (Sub Pop)
This Olympia trio’s debut album is an impressive blend of aggressive post-punk, Nirvana Bleach-era grunge and fiery hardcore punk with guttural guitar riffs, pummeling rhythms, snarling vocals and fist-pumping song hooks. 7/17/2015 - Don Yates

Gwenno: Y Dydd Olaf
Buy! - (Heavenly)
The solo debut album from this former frontwoman with the Pipettes is an impressive set of psych-tinged space-pop with eerie analog synths, hypnotic rhythms, breathy vocals and dystopian lyrics of a totalitarian future. Seven of the album’s eight songs are sung in Welsh while the other is sung in Cornish. 7/17/2015 - Don Yates

Tame Impala: Currents
Buy! - (Interscope)
The third Tame Impala album from Perth, Australia’s Kevin Parker finds him setting aside most of the guitars and heading in a more electronic-oriented direction for a beautifully crafted, psych-tinged blend of spacy electro-pop, sleek astral soul and disco-inspired dance-pop that combines a densely layered and intricately detailed sound with his Lennonesque, falsetto-laden vocals and reflective lyrics about loss and change. 7/17/2015 - Don Yates

Other Tame Impala album reviews:

Lonerism - 10/5/2012
InnerSpeaker - 6/18/2010

Miguel: Wildheart
Buy! - (RCA)
This LA artist’s third and best album is a masterful, expansive blend of futuristic R&B, funk, prog, psych-rock and more that’s reminiscent at times of other musical adventurers like Prince, D’Angelo and Frank Ocean. The album features a hazy, beautifully detailed sound featuring fuzzy psych-rock guitars, spacy keyboards and blunted funk rhythms accompanying his aching, soulful vocals and LA-centered lyrics blending the carnal with the philosophical. 7/10/2015 - Don Yates

The Chemical Brothers: Born in the Echoes
Buy! - (Astralwerks)
The longtime British duo’s eighth album (and first in five years) is a strong set ranging from psych-tinged acid house jams with squelchy synths and propulsive rhythms to atmospheric psych-pop ballads. 7/10/2015 - Don Yates

Other Chemical Brothers album reviews:

Further - 6/18/2010
Push the Button - 1/14/2005
Come With Us - 1/15/2002
Dig Your Own Hole - 4/15/1997

Veruca Salt: Ghost Notes
Buy! - (El Camino)
This veteran Chicago-bred band sounds revitalized on the first album to feature their original lineup since 1997. It’s a consistently strong set of crunchy power-pop with a dynamic sound combining razor-sharp guitar riffs, punchy rhythms, sugary harmonies, often-biting lyrics and sparkling pop hooks. 7/10/2015 - Don Yates

EZTV: Calling Out
Buy! - (Captured Tracks)
This Brooklyn trio’s debut album is a consistently strong set of jangly guitar-pop with a warm, summery sound, melancholy lyrics, glowing harmonies and wistful melodies. 7/10/2015 - Don Yates

Vince Staples: Summertime '06
Buy! - (Def Jam)
This Long Beach, CA rapper’s official debut full-length is a powerful double album of dark, brooding hip hop. Produced by No I.D. along with DJ Dahi and Clams Casino, the album combines a spare, ominous sound with Staples’ matter-of-fact delivery and incisive rhymes of growing up hard in the bleak streets of Long Beach. 7/10/2015 - Don Yates

Ratatat: Magnifique
Buy! - (XL)
This Brooklyn-based duo returns to the more guitar-driven sound of their earlier records on their fifth album, while still offering a sleek blend of funk, hip hop and electronic styles with prog, psych and hard-rock on a variety of instrumentals ranging from crunchy, driving funk-rock to atmospheric, steel guitar-infused ballads. 7/10/2015 - Don Yates

Other Ratatat album reviews:

Classics - 8/2/2006

Failure: The Heart Is A Monster
Buy! - (INresidence)
This reunited LA band’s first album in 18 years is a strong return to form that finds them successfully recapturing their dark, moody blend of psychedelic space-rock and grungy hard-rock. 7/10/2015 - Don Yates

Radioactivity: Silent Kill
Buy! - (Dirtnap)
The second album from this Denton, TX band led by The Marked Men’s Jeff Burke and Mark Ryan is a strong set of catchy garage-punk with buzzing guitar riffs, amphetamine rhythms, sneering vocals and an abundance of pop hooks. 7/10/2015 - Don Yates

The Space Merchants: The Space Merchants
Buy! - (Aqualamb)
This Brooklyn band’s debut album is a promising set of dark, bluesy psych-rock, combining ominous psych guitars and organ with muscular rhythms, alternating male/female lead vocals and haunting harmonies on songs ranging from smoldering hypnotic drones reminiscent of The Black Angels to jangly, folk-tinged psych-rock. 7/10/2015 - Don Yates

White Reaper: White Reaper Does It Again
Buy! - (Polyvinyl)
This Louisville band’s debut full-length is an impressive set of punkish power-pop with well-crafted, consistently strong songs featuring crunchy guitars, bright keyboards, energetic rhythms and an abundance of catchy pop hooks. 6/30/2015 - Don Yates

Bilal: In Another Life
Buy! - (Purpose/eOne)
This Philly-bred artist’s fourth album is another strong set of expansive, ‘70s-steeped funk and soul incorporating elements of hip hop, jazz, prog, psych-rock and other styles. Produced by Adrian Younge, the album combines a gritty analog sound with Bilal’s elastic vocals and bold lyrics balancing the personal and the political. 6/30/2015 - Don Yates

Other Bilal album reviews:

A Love Surreal - 2/28/2013
1st Born Second - 8/15/2001

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