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The All-American Rejects | Kids In The Street

The All-American Rejects began life as an emo-scarred keyboard-pop band and gradually smoothed out their rough edges (or, rather, gave in to their '70s and '80s rock tendencies) on earworms such as "Gives You Hell" and "Move Along."
By: ANNIE ZALESKI  |  April 03, 2012


Beak | Eyrie

Someoddpilot (2012)
One word describes this debut EP by Chicago foursome Beak: brutal.
By: MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER  |  April 03, 2012


Dr. John | Locked Down

Nonesuch (2012)
The Night Tripper, circa 2012: big fat funky drums, Nuggets-psych organs, ladies in the background going "Yeah-eahh!," woozy/honking brass.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  April 03, 2012


Lightships | Electric Cables

Domino (2012)
Aside from Lightships being a boss band name and Electric Cables being a righteous title, what this hot number really has going for it is that it's the first solo outing from Teenage Fanclub bassist/co-vocalist/co-songwriter Gerald Love, the singer with the really soft, gentle voice that's usually juxtaposed with Norman Blake's more direct, pleading hooks.
By: JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  April 03, 2012


Madonna | MDNA

Interscope/Live Nation (2012)  
There was a time in the mid-'90s when it seemed that Madonna was finally acting her age: with the 1994 release of "I'll Remember" and the subsequent greatest-ballads collection Something To Remember, it seemed as if the Material Girl was resigned to a lifetime of mature songcraft and age-appropriate jams that would serve her well into her 50s and beyond.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  April 03, 2012


Great Lake Swimmers | New Wild Everywhere

Nettwerk Records (2012)
On their fifth full-length, veteran Toronto quintet Great Lake Swimmers specialize in breezy, monochromatic Sunday-school folk.
By: RYAN REED  |  March 28, 2012


Johnny Cash | The Soul Of Truth: Bootleg Vol. IV

Columbia/Legacy (2012)
Unlike his pal Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash didn't merely flirt with a gospel phase or release an album or two of spiritually charged music.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  March 28, 2012


La Sera | Sees The Light

Hardly Art (2012)
Sees the Light, the second album from this side project of Vivian Girls' Katy Goodman, is a surprisingly difficult album to review.
By: JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  March 28, 2012


Say Anything | Anarchy, My Dear

Equal Vision (2012)
If Say Anything frontman Max Bemis were an anarchist, he'd be behind the scenes, printing fliers in the dark.
By: ALEXANDRA CAVALLO  |  March 28, 2012


Spiritualized | Sweet Heart Sweet Light

Fat Possum (2012)
Whenever an artist looks back to a high point in his or her catalogue for inspiration in building a new work, it's typically "uh-oh" time.
By: MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER  |  March 28, 2012


Unsane | Wreck

Alternative Tentacles (2012)
In a lot of ways, the legacy of '90s rock is one of sheer ugliness — so many bands found so many ways to make so many genres sound so unrepentantly unattractive, whether it was the sonic miasma that was late-'90s nu-metal or the post-grunge dirty-blues thick sludge that was the prevailing sound of guitar rock throughout the decade.  
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  March 28, 2012


Modern Day Escape | Under The Gun

Standby Records (2012)
The second album by Orlando quintet Modern Day Escape doesn't reinvent the post-hardcore wheel, but there are still some tracks worth digging into.
By: MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER  |  March 21, 2012


The Men | Open Your Heart

Sacred Bones (2011)
The Men — a four-piece post-punk band that began playing Brooklyn basements and national self-booked tours in 2008 — have accomplished a feat.
By: LIZ PELLY  |  March 21, 2012


Choir of Young Believers | Rhine Gold

Ghostly International (2012)
On their jaw-dropping debut, 2008's This Is for the White in Your Eyes, Denmark's Choir of Young Believers sounded like an actual choir, or maybe a musical militia — angelic voices ascending in ghostly rings of reverb, enveloped by orchestral flourishes and indie-rock thrust.
By: RYAN REED  |  March 21, 2012


Lamb Of God | Resolution

Epic/Roadrunner (2012)
Lamb of God, like the actual lamb of God, have existed seemingly for the purpose of expiating sins — in this case, the sins of baggy-pants late-'90s groove metal.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  March 21, 2012


Margot & the Nuclear So & So's | Rot Gut, Domestic

Mariel Recording Company (2012)
The fifth album from the stubbornly ramshackle Margot & the Nuclear So and So's bears little resemblance to the band's earliest work.
By: ANNIE ZALESKIE  |  March 21, 2012


Miike Snow | Happy to You

Downtown/Columbia (2012)
Miike Snow's Swedish production team of Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg first won acclaim working on Britney's regal but sonically kooky "Toxic."
By: JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  March 21, 2012

Band: Ceremony. Album: Zoo

Ceremony | Zoo

Matador (2012)
Ceremony aren't as intellectual or dryly hilarious as Wire and don't attempt a comparable stylistic variety, but the raucous Zoo is a fine tribute to Wire's heavier side, alternating between powerful, lumbering riffs and manic splatters of guitar noise.
By: GARRETT MARTIN  |  March 13, 2012


Delta Spirit | Delta Spirit

Rounder (2012)
The characters in Delta Spirit's songs— wistful daydreamers, hopeless romantics, and clear-eyed pragmatists alike— are as rich and complex as the music.
By: ANNIE ZALESKI  |  March 13, 2012


Lissy Trullie | Lissy Trullie

Xenon/Downtown (2012)
Lissy Trullie sounds simultaneously hungry and tepid, as if Trullie wants to make a big splash, but her album lacks the conviction or vision to make it happen.
By: REYAN ALI  |  March 13, 2012


Tanlines | Mixed Emotions

True Panther Sounds (2012)
Mixed Emotions is a shiny bear-hug of an album — sometimes short on fresh ideas, but never lacking in heart.
By: RYAN REED  |  March 13, 2012

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