Round-up

Hot artists who recently hit the Hub
By DAVID DAY  |  April 9, 2007
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Battles

It’s impossible to keep up with the hundreds of noteworthy artists who release CDs every year. And it’s not much easier to stay on top of all the bands who come through town. So here’s a round-up of tracks by four hot artists who have recently hit the Hub.

Battles,“1 Pt 2” (mp3)
As the line out the door at Great Scott on a recent Thursday indicated, the kids love Battles. Featuring members of Helmet and the less well known metallic math-rock group Don Caballero, Battles specialize in bringing guitars to bear on electronic dance rock. “1 Pt 2,” provided as a download by CNet, may not be the best they have to offer, but for a minute and 48 seconds, you get some impressive guitar work set to a nod-worthy groove. The UK label Warp has made this available simply to whet listeners’ appetite for more. And it’s worth paying for the “Atlas” single.

Of Montreal, “Rapture Rapes the Muses” (mp3)
Playful and goofy, the Of Montreal circus has only recently started to catch on. It’s about time: since ’97, the Southern art-schooled, indie-psych band have been building up to something big, and if the very young-looking crowd that showed up at Avalon March 11 is any indication, they’ve hooked yet another generation of fans. “Rapture Rapes the Muses,” a track from their 2004 album Satanic Panic in the Attic (Polyvinyl), is available from the Web 2.0 music site Last.fm. It’s classic Of Montreal, with Kevin Barnes’s brittle baritone multi-tracked on the sing-song chorus as a vintage organ pounds out one of many hooks.

Apollo Sunshine, “Eyes”

Like Of Montreal, Apollo Sunshine make no bones about why they make music: to have fun. The band, who got their start in Boston, were in town March 24 for the hipster party Happy Endings. “Eyes,” one of the thousands of free downloads available from Amazon.com, is another short but sweet taste of twisted pop that’ll have you wanting more. And isn’t it about time for the band to drop a follow-up to the homonymous disc that came out way back in 2005?

Albert Hammond Jr., “Yours To Keep”

You know him from his key role as half of the Strokes’ two-guitar punch, but Albert Hammond Jr. now has his own album to promote, and that’s what brought him to the Orpheum March 28, where he opened for Bloc Party. You can find “Yours To Keep” at Better Propaganda’s Web site — it’s a wonderful rocker with classic Strokes-style guitar strumming that builds to a frenzy, mellotron embellishments, and Hammond’s coolly crisp yet frazzled vocal delivery.
Related: Slouching toward irrelevance, On the racks: October 24, 2006, Singles scene, More more >
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