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Sleigh Bells | Reign of Terror

Mom + Pop (2012)
At least three unrelated people we know responded to Treats, the 2010 opening salvo from this Brooklynian pop duo, with statements like, "It's drum loops that took five minutes to write, cock-rock guitars, a singer who usually sounds like she's parodying a porn actor faking an orgasm — and it's super cool?"
By: BARRY THOMPSON  |  February 21, 2012


Anti-Flag | The General Strike

It wouldn't be easy for Anti-Flag to stay relevant nearly a quarter century into their careers, but it's as if they're not even trying anymore.
By: BARRY THOMPSON  |  February 15, 2012


Band of Skulls | Sweet Sour

Electric Blues/Vagrant
Band of Skulls aren't innovators, and they probably won't ever be.
By: REYAN ALI  |  February 15, 2012


Cotton Mather | Kontiki [Deluxe Edition]

Star Apple Kingdom
When it was released in 1997, Cotton Mather's sophomore album racked up glowing critical huzzahs across the pond (not to mention big-ups from Oasis), yet dudded here in the States.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  February 14, 2012


Craig Finn | Clear Heart, Full Eyes

In the near-decade he's spent as frontman-lyricist of bar-rock saviors the Hold Steady, Craig Finn has hardly been labeled a happy camper.
By: RYAN REED  |  February 14, 2012


Cursive | I Am Gemini

Saddle Creek
Cursive blew their chance to get out of this town a long time ago when they let cellist Gretta Cohn go.
By: DAN WEISS  |  February 15, 2012


Field Music | Plumb

Memphis Industries (2012) 
The buzz about Britain's Field Music has been growing for some time.
By: JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  February 27, 2012


Die Antwoord | Ten$ion

Zef Recordz
Moreso than any "controversially-lipped" chanteuse (to borrow from one of Lana Del Rey's many observers), South African rap/rave/meme/satire/knuckleheads Die Antwoord beg the question:"Is that all there is?"
By: DAN WEISS  |  February 07, 2012


Ital | Hive Mind

Planet Mu
If there was a broken-record knock against electronic music in the last decade, it's that it all sounded the same.
By: MICHAEL C. WALSH  |  February 07, 2012


J the S | The Last Days

Same Plate/Greater Good
J the S has been promising The Last Days since he went by Jake the Snake.
By: CHRIS FARAONE  |  February 07, 2012


The Punch Brothers | Who's Feeling Young Now?

Nonesuch (2012)
For a group full of virtuosos, the Punch Brothers refuse to dole out prodigious string-murdering sessions.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  February 07, 2012


Tennis | Young & Old

Fat Possum (2012)
Denver's Tennis, the husband/wife duo of Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley, are back with another slab of dreamy, feather-light pop.
By: RYAN REED  |  February 07, 2012


Van Halen | A Different Kind of Truth

Who would've thought Eddie Van Halen would still be innovative in his late 50s?
By: MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER  |  February 08, 2012

Off the Record: Air - Le Voyage

Air | Le Voyage Dans La Lune

Astralwerks (2012)
It was inevitable that Air would one day be asked to soundtrack a colorized version of an iconic 1902 silent French film about moon exploration, right? There's the French thing, the moon thing, the kitsch-cool factor.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  January 31, 2012

Off the record: The Asteroids Galaxy Tour

The Asteroids Galaxy Tour | Out of Frequency

BMG Rights (2012)
Getting a boost with songs from their 2009 debut, Fruit , featured in iPod and Heineken ads, and getting handpicked as concert openers by a then-still-functioning Amy Winehouse in their native Copenhagen, the Asteroids Galaxy Tour rode a lucky streak out of the gate.
By: MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER  |  January 31, 2012

Album review: Be the Void

Dr. Dog | Be the Void

Anti- (2012)
With Be the Void , their sonically raw sixth album, these Philly psych-pop oddballs have pulled a fussy, self-conscious about-face, indulging in their weirdest ideas in years.
By: RYAN REED  |  January 31, 2012

Grimes -- Visions

Grimes | Visions

Arbutus (2012)
The debut record from Grimes, an alias of the Montreal-based Boucher, kicks off the peculiarity parade by presenting song titles steeped in cutesy affectation.
By: REYAN ALI  |  January 31, 2012

Off the record: Mark Lanegan Band

Mark Lanegan Band | Blues Funeral

4AD (2012)
Unlike a few of his early '90s Seattle contemporaries who made tons of money, erstwhile Screaming Trees vocalist Mark Lanegan has not died, put out shitty records, or made a self-deprecating cameo on Portlandia.
By: BARRY THOMPSON  |  January 31, 2012

Off the record: Habits

Schoolboy Q | Habits & Contradictions

Top Dawg Entertainment (2012)
Without much that can be considered "structure" in terms of the verse-chorus-verse standard, Q confidently wobbles through an album's worth of jaded bangers.
By: MICHAEL C. WALSH  |  January 31, 2012

Onwards to the Wall - Review

A Place to Bury Strangers | Onwards to the Wall

Dead Oceans (2012)
Onwards to the Wall clocks in at 16 minutes and 35 seconds, and it could shatter into smithereens at any moment.
By: REYAN ALI  |  January 24, 2012

Dark Past

Brite Futures | Dark Past

Turnout (2011)
A few years ago, the cutesy teens in Natalie Portman's Shaved Head slid out of Seattle on the hot pink shoulders of robo-bounce kinda-hit "Me + Ur Daughter" and the cheap intrigue of a ridiculous moniker.
By: MICHAEL MAROTTA  |  January 24, 2012

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