Cleaning Out My Closet (Universal Republic)
Over an old Eminem beat, rapper Haze unleashes a shockingly graphic account of childhood sexual abuse. It’s a downright traumatizing listen, which makes its “look at me now” conclusion all the more cathartic.
Barackstar O’Bummer (Alternative Tentacles)
From the sound of this part free-jazz, part hardcore screed against the most loved president since Bill Clinton, Jello Biafra isn’t any more impressed by Barack Obama than he was by Ronald Reagan. Which is saying something.
Dirty Love (Sony)
Hate on Ke$ha all you want, but she’s doing electro-pop Motor City dance jams with Iggy Pop, and you’re working the counter at Starbucks. Oh, and don’t forget—no whipped cream with that.
Legacy of Disorder
Last Man Standing (Independent)
What’s even more impressive than the fact that he’s the last man standing is that he survived the metalcore mosh-pit war at a Legacy of Disorder show. Now, which way to the hospital?
Wild Animal (Earache)
Part Redd Kross and part the Cult back before they grew out their hair and went completely electric with Rick Rubin, Rival Sons sound like the ’70s never went out of fashion, even if flares did.
I Feel It in My Bones (Island)
For their annual Christmas single, the Killers offer a dark, 1980s-leaning take on the sorrow of being on Saint Nick’s naughty list. Well, maybe not as dark as “Don’t Shoot Me Santa”.
Amor de Días
Jean’s Waving (Merge)
If you miss the Clientele as much as you damn well should, “Jean’s Waving” should offer a bit of consolation, seeing as how Alasdair MacLean does pretty much the same thing here as he did in that great, sadly on-hiatus band.
Cradle of Filth
For Your Vulgar Delectation (Nuclear Blast)
Ah, nothing says “I’ve got that holiday feeling” more than a guy who sounds like Satan with throat cancer gargling his way through a strip-mine metal maelstrom titled “For Your Vulgar Delectation”. Pass the mandarin oranges, please.
Dirty Shirt (Sub Pop)
Every once in a while you need a postpunk rager that takes sandpaper to your ears and makes you want to hurl yourself around the room, knocking over lamps and smashing into walls. Or maybe you don’t need that, but here’s one regardless.
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
We No Who U R (Bad Seeds Ltd.)
Cave and company—and what sounds like some kids—get all mellow and contemplative this time out. Which is kind of a relief, because our hearts are still recovering from that last Grinderman record.
The Mohawk Lodge
Howling at the Moon (White Whale)
On this loose-limbed rocker, Ryder Havdale gives free rein to his inner Bruce Springsteen, reimagining the Boss as the lovelorn frontman for a grunge-era indie- rock band.