Pick Of The Week
Matmos, The Marriage Of True Minds
Baltimore electronic duo Matmos has undertaken some weird projects, from making a whole record using human organs and tissues to working with Björk on her albums Vespertine and Medúlla. The Marriage Of True Minds finds the group acting a little less wackadoo, though the record is ostensibly inspired by a series of parapsychological sensory-deprivation experiments the group has been performing on test subjects. Even without all the gimmicks, it’s a pretty solid LP, blending everything from doom metal to Ethiopian jazz and featuring guest contributions from Half Japanese’s Jason Willett and crooner Ed Schrader.
Don’t Break The Seal
Various Artists, Son Of Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys
With its guest appearances from Tom Waits, Michael Stipe, Iggy Pop, and Keith Richards, this Johnny Depp-curated album might sound appealing, but does Depp really need any more encouragement on his path toward becoming a modern-day pirate person? Pretty much all the tracks from this compilation are guaranteed to show up on YouTube if they aren’t there already, so satiate some idle curiosity by listening there and save those hard-earned doubloons.
Aleister X, Half Speed Mastered
Andrew WK progeny Aleister X might not be as committed to partying as his mentor, but that doesn’t mean his music is a snooze. Half Speed Mastered speeds through experimental and electronic hip-hop cuts at breakneck speed, dropping references to everything from doing rails to his favorite airports.
Beach Fossils, Clash The Truth
While Beach Fossils burst out of the whole late-’00s home-recording boom, it really made its name by playing high-energy live shows. Clash The Truth is the group’s second album, and its first attempt to really capture that in-person intensity.
Black Twig Pickers, Rough Carpenters
When Thrill Jockey signed bluegrass act Black Twig Pickers, the move seemed to come from nowhere. Why was a label known for its post-rock and experimental acts so into this Appalachian throwback? Rough Carpenters, the band’s second full-length for Thrill Jockey, should shed some light on the mystery, or at least remind indie-scene nerds of the intersection between Americana, blues, and rock ’n’ roll.
Endless Boogie, Long Island
Pretty much everything about NYC’s Endless Boogie is ridiculous, from its cock-rock guitar riffs to its overlong songs about “Taking Out The Trash,” but that’s okay, because the band is in on the joke. Long Island is Spinal Tap-level stupid, but once listeners let themselves succumb to the dumb, the album’s actually pretty good.
Dan Friel, Total Folklore
Following Parts & Labor’s 2012 demise, frontman Dan Friel has been delving deeper into his love of electronic music. Total Folklore isn’t folky, per se, but it is peppered with the sounds of humanity, including samples of kids playing basketball in Brooklyn and the inside of a pachinko parlor in Tokyo.
Iceage, You’re Nothing
The Danish teens in Iceage set the blog world on fire with their 2011 debut, New Brigade. While follow-up You’re Nothing doesn’t quite have the intensity or urgency of its predecessor, it has a punk growl that’s more than respectable.
Inc., No World
Creepy R&B act Inc. might win this week’s award for most un-Googleable band name, but at least its style is unique. The California-based sibling duo played as session musicians for Pharrell and Raphael Saadiq before finding their own soulful style and signing to 4AD in the summer of 2012.
Jamie Lidell, Jamie Lidell
British-born, Berlin-seasoned DJ Jamie Lidell first got noticed with his excellent 2005 record Multiply, which fused his soulful singing with electronic sequencing. He’s released several records since to varying degrees of success, but Jamie Lidell is being billed as a return to his soulful form.
Psychic Ills, One Track Mind
Psychic Ills have been making psych rock for 10 years without much fanfare, but maybe One Track Mind will be the group’s breakthrough—that is, if it wants one. Produced by and featuring contributions from Royal Trux’s Neil Hagerty, the record is a sharp follow-up to 2011’s Hazed Dream.
The Relatives, The Electric Word
In 1970, Dallas gospel singer Rev. Gean West and his brother Rev. Tommie West formed The Relatives, which aimed to fuse traditional gospel, soul, and psychedelia by addressing contemporary social issues like war, poverty, and substance abuse. The band never released a record, though—until now. The Electric Word is the band’s debut, features production by Spoon’s Jim Eno, and has been 40 years in the making.
STRFKR, Miracle Mile
Over the past few years, STRFKR has gone from being an electronic duo to a full-blown rock band. Miracle Mile is the band’s first really collaborative effort, with main songwriter Josh Hodges inviting bandmates Patrick Morris, Shawn Glassford, and Keil Corcoran to share some of the musical weight.
Atlas Genius, When It Was Now
Australia’s been producing a wealth of catchy indie-rock acts for the past five or six years now. Atlas Genius—not to be confused with metal act Atlas Moth or Bradford Cox’s noise project Atlas Sound—hasn’t put out a full-length yet, but its 2012 single “Trojans” charted on both the Billboard alternative and rock charts, and When It Was Now tracks like “If So” seem pretty commercially promising.
Bobby Long, Wishbone
Once best known for his role as one of Robert Pattinson’s best friends, Bobby Long has transitioned to being at least minorly notable in his own right. Wishbone is his second full-length for ATO, the label co-founded by Dave Matthews.
Major Lazer, Free The Universe
It’s hard to believe that Free The Universe is only the second Major Lazer record, considering the Diplo-helmed group’s name seems to pop up all the time. It is, though, and it features guest spots from Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig, Dirty Projectors’ Amber Coffman, Tyga, Flux Pavilion, Bruno Mars, Wyclef Jean, Shaggy, and Santigold.
Mark Kozelek, Like Rats
Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon singer Mark Kozelek is nothing if not prolific, and Like Rats is just one of two records he’s releasing this week. While one, Live At Phoenix Public House Melbourne, is a live recording, Like Rats is made up of all covers, including his mopey takes on Bad Brains, Misfits, and Sonny And Cher cuts.
Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, Push The Sky Away
With Grinderman now broken up (in theory, at least), Nick Cave is now free to focus on his namesake act. Push The Sky Away is the first Bad Seeds record since 2008’s Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! and the album’s cover features a naked picture of Cave’s wife, Susie Bick.
Parenthetical Girls, Privilege
Portland-based pop act Parenthetical Girls has been releasing its hand-numbered-in-blood, extremely limited Privilege EP series since 2010, but Privilege is the first attempt to make something cohesive and widely available out of them. The LP, which is an abridged version of the five EPs, comes complete with a DVD “featuring seven promotional films, blood draw documentation, live performances, and other ephemera.”