When, over a bed of moody piano chords and drunk-haze trumpets, Pete Silberman sings, “I’m out of here tomorrow/And when I check out/It won’t matter how my name’s spelled,” you’ve got to wonder if he’s really talking about the Best Western after all.
Brainded Warrior (In the Red)
Is it metallic punk, or is it punkish metal? Whatever they call it, Zig Zags will rock the world of anyone who has ever bought an Early Man record or argued that Iron Maiden went to shit after Paul Di’Anno got the boot.
Habitat (Paper Bag)
With the drama of grand opera, the atmosphere of black-on-the-inside goth, and the pulse of electric-circuit dance music, Austra never fails to hit the sweet spot for those of us who live to mope and mope to live.
First Aid Kit
Cedar Lane (Columbia)
The sisterly harmonies of Johanna and Klara Söderberg have always been First Aid Kit’s big selling point, and hearing them backed by the Omaha Symphony Orchestra is as glorious and stirring as a Stockholm sunrise.
Montreal Sex Machine
Postpunk and disco haven’t sounded so good together since the heyday of Gang of Four, but as much as Montreal Sex Machine makes us want to shake ass in some greasy dive, the idea of blacking out holds zero appeal.
Sal y Brisa (Six Degrees)
If you’d just worked harder last year, right now you’d be sitting on the Hotel Nacional lawn in Havana, drinking mojitos and watching the ’57s roll by on Malecón. Sadly, you didn’t, but the transporting, electro-tinted Tropicália of “Sal y Brisa” will ease the pain.
Young Again (Nettwerk)
Fog-shrouded Rolands and sensitive new-romantic vocals suggest Young Liars might have more than a passing affection for the Pet Shop Boys, New Order, and other now-old legends of the ’80s.
…shortwave nights (Constellation)
Love slow-building postrock, but entirely done with those humourless twats from Godspeed You! Black Emperor? Get ready to love “…shortwave night”, which is eight minutes of ghostly strings, groaning cello, and space-transmission keyboard fuckery.
What If It Were to Be Reworked? (Maple Music)
To answer the question posed in the song’s title: even if it was, there’s no way the song would sound better. Heliumed vocals, buzzing-bee synths, and crashing drums come together for an eerie approx- imation of Japanese new wave circa ’79.
No Pot to Piss (Alive)
In the event that you can relate to Mount Carmel, why not cue up this ’70s-hued guitar rocker, hop in the vintage El Camino, and take a road trip through Colorado, Washington state, or good ol’ B.C., all of which will help solve your problem?
Water Fountain (4AD)
Merrill Garbus plants one foot in organic tub-thumping hip-hop, the other in banjo- powered indie rock, with a result bound to appeal to those who love the Roots as much as Mirah.