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New Album Reviews:

Perfume Genius: Too Bright
Buy! - (Matador)
The third album from Seattle artist Mike Hadreas (aka Perfume Genius) is an often-stunning set of dark avant-pop. Co-produced by Portishead’s Adrian Utley along with Ali Chant, Too Bright features a fuller, edgier and more dramatic sound than his previous releases, combining stately piano, buzzing synths and guitars and ominous noise with his tremulous vocals and intimate, often-biting lyrics. 9/19/2014 - Don Yates

Other Perfume Genius album reviews:

Put Your Back N 2 It - 2/17/2012
Learning - 7/2/2010

Alt-J: This Is All Yours
Buy! - (Canvasback/Atlantic)
Now pared down to a trio with the departure of bassist Gwil Sainsbury, this English band carries on with their second album, a generally more subdued, organic and atmospheric take on the band’s quirky, expansive prog-pop, combining intricate, unpredictable arrangements with Joe Newman’s warbling, high-pitched vocals and cryptic lyrics. 9/19/2014 - Don Yates

Other Alt-J album reviews:

An Awesome Wave - 6/15/2012

S: Cool Choices
Buy! - (Hardly Art)
The fourth S album from former Carissa’s Wierd vocalist/guitarist Jenn Ghetto is the first one produced in a real studio and also the first to feature a full band. Produced by Chris Walla, Cool Choices is an excellent set of emotionally cutting indie pop-rock with a crisp, clean sound combining jangly guitars, propulsive rhythms and occasional piano and synths with her breathy vocals and intimate lyrics of a failed relationship. 9/19/2014 - Don Yates

Other S album reviews:

I'm Not As Good At It As You - 4/30/2010

Aphex Twin: Syro
Buy! - (Warp)
The first Aphex Twin album in 13 years from British electronic musician/composer Richard D. James is a typically masterful set of acid techno flavored with funk, hip hop, jungle and other styles, with intricately arranged jams combining squiggly synths, funky breakbeats, jittery bass lines and warm melodies. 9/19/2014 - Don Yates

Shellac: Dude Incredible
Buy! - (Touch and Go)
The fifth official album (and first in seven years) from this Chicago trio led by Steve Albini is another potent set of minimalist post-hardcore with a visceral, tension-filled, sparsely arranged and meticulously produced sound featuring raw, angular guitars, heavy, time-shifting rhythms and snarling lyrics filled with bile and black humor. 9/19/2014 - Don Yates

Other Shellac album reviews:

Excellent Italian Greyhound - 6/6/2007
1000 Hurts - 8/15/2000

Mr. Twin Sister: Mr. Twin Sister
Buy! - (Infinite Best/Twin Group)
Formerly known as Twin Sister, this New York band offers up their second album (and first under their new name). It’s an impressive, beautifully executed blend of club-friendly electro-pop and reflective dream-pop, combining glittering synths, sleek guitars and propulsive rhythms with smooth vocals and lyrics revolving around identity and isolation. 9/19/2014 - Don Yates

Tweedy: Sukierae
Buy! - (dBpm/Anti-)
Tweedy is the new project of Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy, joined by his drummer son Spencer. Their debut album under that name is a 20-song double album ranging from hook-filled psych-pop and subdued folk-rock to sprawling prog-influenced jams. The album’s title is an old nickname for Tweedy’s wife, Susan, and her current battle with non-Hodgkin lymphoma gives extra poignancy to the album’s lyrics of love and mortality. 9/19/2014 - Don Yates

Purling Hiss: Weirdon
Buy! - (Drag City)
The seventh album from this Philadelphia band led by Mike Polizze is the second in a row they’ve recorded in a studio with a full band. It’s an even tighter, punchier and more melodic record that expertly blends ‘90s-steeped psych-rock, garage-punk, folk-pop, grungy Crazy Horse rock and more on strong songs combining Polizze’s impressive guitar work with sturdy song hooks. 9/19/2014 - Don Yates

Other Purling Hiss album reviews:

Water on Mars - 3/22/2013

Graig Markel and the 88th St. Band: Graig Markel and the 88th St. Band
Buy! - (In Spades)
The latest project from Seattle artist Graig Markel finds him fronting a basic rock trio for an impressive set of ‘60s and ‘70s-influenced soul, juxtaposing fiery rock guitar and muscular rhythms with bright pop hooks and his soft, soulful vocals. 9/19/2014 - Don Yates

Redinho: Redinho
Buy! - (Numbers)
This London-based producer’s debut album is a strong set of warped electro-funk blended with elements of hip hop, house, techno and more, combining bright synths, spacy textures, drum machine rhythms and talkbox vocals into retro-futuristic funk jams. 9/19/2014 - Don Yates

GRMLN: Soon Away
Buy! - (Carpark)
The second album from Kyoto, Japan-born, San Francisco-based artist Yoodoo Park (aka GRMLN) is an impressive set of anthemic pop-punk reminiscent at times of Cloud Nothings and Husker Du, combining layered, distorted guitars, bashing drums, angsty lyrics, sing-along choruses and sticky pop hooks. 9/19/2014 - Don Yates

The Rural Alberta Advantage: Departing
Buy! - (Saddle Creek)
This Toronto-based trio’s third album features a bigger, more polished sound for their anthemic folk-pop, combining acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards and prominent percussion with stirring melodies, sing-along choruses and heartfelt lyrics of love and loss. 9/19/2014 - Don Yates

Other Rural Alberta Advantage album reviews:

Departing - 2/11/2011

Ex Hex: Rips
Buy! - (Merge)
The debut full-length from the Washington, DC trio of former Helium guitarist/vocalist Mary Timony, Fire Tapes bassist Betsy Wright and The Aquarium drummer Laura Harris is an appropriately titled set of punkish power pop and related styles, with searing guitars, energetic rhythms, sly lyrics and buoyant pop hooks. 9/12/2014 - Don Yates

King Tuff: Black Moon Spell
Buy! - (Sub Pop)
The fourth album from this LA-via-Vermont artist (aka Kyle Thomas) is another excellent set of hook-filled garage-pop inflected with glam, psych-rock, beach-pop, hard rock and other styles, with often-lascivious lyrics blending black magic and other spooky stuff with sex and rock ‘n’ roll. 9/12/2014 - Don Yates

Other King Tuff album reviews:

King Tuff - 5/17/2012

Electric Youth: Innerworld
Buy! - (Secretly Canadian)
This Toronto duo’s debut full-length is a promising set of moody electro-pop with twinkling synths, ethereal vocals and wistful melodies. 9/12/2014 - Don Yates

GOAT: Commune
Buy! - (Sub Pop)
This Swedish band’s second album is an impressive blend of psych-rock blended with Afro-beat, Malian desert blues and other styles, featuring a reverb-drenched sound with fuzzy psych guitars, propulsive rhythms, shamanistic vocals and hypnotic melodies. 9/12/2014 - Don Yates

The Drums: Encyclopedia
Buy! - (Minor)
Now pared down to the duo of Jonny Pierce and Jacob Graham, this Brooklyn-based band returns with their third album, which finds them toning down the sunnier aspects of their sound in favor of a darker, more atmospheric and occasionally more agitated take on the band’s jangly, surf-influenced post-punk. 9/12/2014 - Don Yates

Other Drums album reviews:

Portamento - 9/2/2011
The Drums - 6/9/2010

The Juan MacLean: In A Dream
Buy! - (DFA)
The third album from the now-official duo of producer/musician Juan MacLean and vocalist Nancy Whang is a strong set of muscular disco, house and related styles, combining bright synths, occasional fiery guitars, propulsive rhythms and Whang’s crisp, confident vocals (along with MacLean’s occasional less-than-thrilling singing). 9/12/2014 - Don Yates

BRONCHO: Just Enough Hip To Be Woman
Buy! - (Dine Alone)
This Oklahoma trio’s second album is a more polished and New Wave-influenced take on the band’s hook-filled garage-pop, combining fuzzy guitars and energetic rhythms with an abundance of catchy song hooks. 9/12/2014 - Don Yates

Other BRONCHO album reviews:

Can't Get Past the Lips - 1/4/2013

Lucinda Williams: Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone
Buy! - (Highway 20/Thirty Tigers)
The 11th studio album from the Lake Charles, LA-born, LA-based singer-songwriter is a hefty 2-CD set of 20 songs stretching over 100 minutes, and while not every song is top-notch, it’s a typically well-crafted blend of roots-rock, blues, soul, country and folk, with songs ranging from personal concerns of love and mortality to more politically charged numbers. 9/12/2014 - Don Yates

Other Lucinda Williams album reviews:

Blessed - 2/18/2011
World Without Tears - 4/15/2003
Essence - 5/15/2001
Car Wheels On A Gravel Road - 6/15/1998

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