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Ry Cooder | Election Special

Nonesuch (2012)
Ry Cooder's spur-of-the-moment (or is it heat-of-the-moment?) political album opens like any good political album should, with a rollicking blues song told from the point of view of Mitt Romney's dog.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  August 14, 2012


Shed | The Killer

50 Weapons (2012)
If aliases in the world of techno indicated split personalities, Rene Pawlowitz would surely qualify for dissociative identity disorder treatment.
By: MICHAEL C. WALSH  |  August 14, 2012


Six Organs of Admittance | Ascent

Drag City (2012)
Ben Chasny is the thinking man's shredder, a chin-stroking, Gaston Bachelard-quoting antithesis to philistine six-string savants like Steve Vai.
By: RYAN FOLEY  |  August 14, 2012


Antibalas | Antibalas

Daptone (2012)
As its simple title would suggest, the fifth album from the Brooklyn Afrobeat torchbearers gets back to basics.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  August 13, 2012


M-Dot | Layercake

EMS Productions  
I stopped paying much attention to M-Dot about two years ago.
By: CHRIS FARAONE  |  August 07, 2012


Nas | Life Is Good

Def Jam (2012)
Life Is Good is the album Illmatic fans have browbeat Nas into making while undervaluing an astounding number of achievements over a dozen "other" albums.
By: DAN WEISS  |  August 07, 2012


Niki & the Dove | Instinct

Sub Pop (2012)
On their debut full-length Instinct, these electro-pop Swedes strike a delicate balance between trance-y hooks and artful, world music weirdness — and the results typically sound like Cyndi Lauper covering Fleetwood Mac, as produced by Kate Bush.
By: RYAN REED  |  August 07, 2012


Redd Kross | Researching the Blues

Merge (2012)
It's difficult to imagine that Redd Kross once boasted a sound so hard-charging that punkers were crestfallen when the band traded it in for the poppier style that made up 1987's Neurotica, an LP time has let slip through cracks filled by Sonic Youth and the Pixies.
By: MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER  |  August 07, 2012


Reverend Horton Heat | 25 to Life

Yep Roc (2012)
With a charismatic frontman like Jim Heath, whose inimitable voice sounds as if it has been soaking in a vat of whiskey, it's not hard to believe the Rev has been going strong for more than two decades.
By: JULIA R. DESTEFANO  |  August 07, 2012


Attika 7 | Blood of My Enemies

Rocket Science Ventures
There's two ways to look at former Biohazard singer/bassist and wannabe pornstar Evan Seinfeld.
By: MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER  |  July 31, 2012


Baroness | Yellow & Green

Relapse (2012)
Saying that Baroness have strayed from metal orthodoxy with this, their third long-player, is to betray an ignorance of the sound and evolution of this Savannah foursome, who since 2003 have been wringing out more and more sheer beauty from a bedrock of sonic sludge.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  July 31, 2012


Candlemass | Psalms For The Dead

If this is truly, certainly, most definitely the final Candlemass album (the doom-metal progenitors called it quits in both 1994 and 2002, only to reform both times), then the swan song on their swan-song release is "Black as Time," a middling, excessively lengthy number.
By: RYAN FOLEY  |  July 31, 2012


In This Moment | Blood

Century Media (2012)
After In This Moment's 2007 debut, the Los Angeles quintet took part in something called the "Hot Chicks of Metal Tour."
By: RYAN REED  |  July 31, 2012


Nachtmystium | Silencing Machine

Century Media (2012)  
The end is nigh, and it will be ugly. With Silencing Machine, Nachtmystium's sixth album, Blake Judd and his fellow Chicago-based melodic black metallurgists have put together a fantastically tormented document — a recipe for Armageddon that promises things getting darkest before the death.
By: REYAN ALI  |  July 31, 2012


Torture Chain | Time Is But a Doorway to the Incinerator

Eternal Summer (2012)
Torture Chain have had black metal locked down with an ultra raw punkish aesthetic over three demos for the past four years.
By: JANSSEN MCCORMICK  |  July 31, 2012


Serengeti | C.A.R.

Anticon (2012)
The wondrous character rapper Serengeti is a study in the disparity between the real life a rapper lives and that of his escapist fantasy.
By: DAN WEISS  |  July 24, 2012


Teenage Bottlerocket | Freak Out!

Fat Wreck Chords (2012)  
Man, how old are the dudes in Teenage Bottlerocket by now?
By: REYAN ALI  |  July 24, 2012


Icky Blossoms | Icky Blossoms

Saddle Creek (2012)
Icky Blossoms prefer their retro-styled dance music deep-fried and nasty.
By: RYAN REED  |  July 24, 2012

frank ocean-4

Frank Ocean | Channel Orange

Def Jam (2012)
Since the ’80s, when R&B began to lean more heavily on the candid bling-and-booty-centric tropes championed by its plain-speaking hip-hop cousins, the music’s subtlety, nuance, and imagination have faded.
By: ANDREW GRAHAM  |  July 24, 2012


Fang Island | Major

 Sargent House (2012)
Although I admit that I was won over when I saw that their press photo is an Olan Mills portrait, I am happy to report that Major is pretty incredible.
By: JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  July 24, 2012


Blur | 21

EMI (2012)
Best Britpop band? That’s a question of taste — though if your answer is Oasis, you’re probably wrong, and if your answer is Blur, you’re probably right.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  July 24, 2012

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