Out This Week 3/26

In Stores Now
Jim Beckmann

This week's short list of new releases sees some old names returning with fresh new sounds. 80's electronic alternative icons Depeche Mode return with their thirteenth studio album, perhaps their strongest effort yet in this post Y2K world. Delta Machine contains the familiar tropes: dark eroticism featuring Dave Gahan's swooningly romantic lyrics amid swirling keys and syncopated if occasionally aggressive electric percussion. Though the band has been stripped down to the trio of Gahan, principle songwriter Martin Gore, and bassist Andy Fletcher, the new album is richly produced by Ben Hillier and adeptly mixed by Flood. Longtime fans will no doubt approve. Their predecessors/contemporaries, post-punk Brit band Wire also has a new album, their fourteenth, for which they revisited uncompleted songs from their past to breathe new life into them. Change Becomes Us features these nuggets, stillborns and forgotten gems as they never could have been, filtered now through decades of the band's sonic evolution. It's late night listening you'll likely want to put on after Delta Machine is over.

Among the newer bands with albums out this week, you'll want to check out Wavves' latest, Afraid of Heights. If this fourth album by Nathan Williams isn't his best yet, it's certainly his most fully produced and realized, featuring his killer riffs more prominently than ever before. NYC band The Strokes, whose dozen-year legacy had at least some influence on garage rockers like Williams, are back with their fifth album, and it's definitely turning heads -- but in which direction depends on who you ask. Comedown Machine seems to be polarizing critics. You'll want to sample a few tracks at least to see in which camp you land. In the same vein as Waaves, at least, Oakland band Warm Soda debuts with what our Music Director, Don Yates, calls "a promising album blending melodic, hook-filled power pop with scruffy garage-rock." Yet another Oakland band, Wax Idols, might find more in common with Depeche Mode and Wire. Their second album, Discipline & Desire, "is a well-executed set of goth-tinged post-punk, with a dark, atmospheric sound featuring ringing guitars, doom-laden synths, driving rhythms and stern vocals."

Other interesting new releases out this week come from buzzworthy electropop trio CHVRCHES, who debut with a short EP; Irish band Little Green Cars, who we debuted during our CMJ broadcast last year, and whose first official LP "is a well-crafted set of anthemic folk-pop highlighted by impressive five-part harmonies and stirring melodies," and a new album from the reincarnated Simon Bonney-led project Crime & The City Solution, who return after a two-decade hiatus with a Berlin-based group that includes Einstürzende Neubauten’s Alex Hacke, percussionist Jim White (Dirty Three, Cat Power) and David Eugene Edwards (16 Horsepower, Wovenhand), among others.

There's more new music to discover this week, so be sure to sample the songs below before heading out to your favorite record shop:

  • CHVRCHES - Recover

  • from Recover EP on Glassnote
  • Crime & The City Solution - My Love Takes Me There (MP3)

  • from American Twilight on Mute
  • Depeche Mode - Heaven
  • from Delta Machine on Columbia Records
  • Lapalux - Forlorn (ft. Busdriver) (MP3)
  • from Nostalchic on Brainfeeder
  • Lapland - Where Did It Go?
  • from Lapland on Hundred Pockets Records
  • Little Green Cars - The John Wayne (MP3)
  • from Absolute Zero on Glassnote Records
  • Julian Lynch - Gloves
  • from Lines on Underwater Peoples
  • The Milk Carton Kids - The Ash & Clay
  • from The Ash & Clay on Anti- Records
  • Mwahaha - Love (featuring Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs) (MP3)
  • from Mwahaha on Plug Research
  • The Strokes - All the Time
  • from Comedown Machine on RCA Records
  • Tartufi - Underwater (MP3)
  • from These Factory Days on Southern Records
  • Twinstar - Lost Ends (MP3)
  • from The Sound of Leaving on Commercial Suicide
  • Wavves - Demon to Lean On
  • from Afraid of Heights on Mom+Pop/Warner Bros.
  • Wax Idols - When It Happens
  • from Discipline & Desire on Slumberland Records
  • Warm Soda - Busy Lizzy
  • from Someone For You Out on Castle Face Records
  • Wire - Love Bends (MP3)
  • from Change Becomes Us on Pinkflag

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