TV on the Radio
Dancing Choose (Interscope)
A rapid-fire critique of contemporary superficiality that will have you thrashing around
your living room in an orgy of gratification and shame.
The Mae Shi
Run to Your Grave (Team Shi)
Screamy, gospel-tinged glitch-punk that almost inspired us to give up our worldly possessions and follow the righteous path. We reconsidered when we realized that would mean surrendering our 80GB iPod. Some things are truly sacred.
Land of Talk
Some Are Lakes (Secret City)
If some small part of your heart doesn’t crumble when Elizabeth Powell sings, “I’ll
love you like I love you/Then
I’ll die,” you have no soul.
Sugar Man (Light in the Attic)
A lost psychedelic-soul-folk nugget from 1969 that made its mono-monikered Mexican-American author a star in South Africa but has only now gotten a much-deserved reissue in this hemisphere.
Ra Ra Riot
Ghost Under Rocks (Barsuk)
Keep a box of Kleenex handy for this strings-gilded rumination on mortality, elevated by a buoyant rhythm section and an indelible melody. Sadness never sounded so sweet.
Hexes & Ohs
You’re a Hologram (Noise Factory)
Montreal couple delivers simmering bedroom electro-pop tailored to those who’d rather mope with the blinds drawn than bust a move on a dance floor crowded with judging strangers.
Get Happy (Razorblade)
Doing some serious damage to their effects pedals in the process, Bristol drone mer
chants tackle the Harold Arlen/Ted Koehler chestnut in a way that would give Judy
Garland the heebie-jeebies.
Matt & Kim
Good Ol’ Fashion Nightmare (RCRD LBL)
Dead-simple indie pop that’ll have even the most rhythmically retarded punters doing a spirited stomp-stomp-clap along with the beat.
Strike of the Ninja (Roadrunner)
Forget the cheese-smothered synths, crushed-yarbles vocal histrionics, and sym-phonic layers of Marshall-powered guitars. What’s really awesome about this retro-metal meltdown is that DragonForce has no idea it’s 2008.
The maggots who worship Slipknot are loath to admit it, but as “Snuff” proves once again, the masked Iowa marauders are at their best when displaying their sensitive acoustic side.
So What (LaFace)
Clearly not losing any sleep over her split with her BMX–racing husband, P!nk stomps
back into action with an electro rocker that sounds like Joan Jett going down on Gwen
Stefani at a Bikini Kill reunion show.