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Empires | Garage Hymns

 History (2012)
In 2011, Empires came tantalizingly close to winning a record deal and a Rolling Stone cover story after making it to the final four of the magazine's "Do You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star?" contest.
By: ANNIE ZALESKI  |  June 19, 2012


Fiona Apple | The Idler Wheel is wiser than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords will serve you more than Ropes will ever do

Epic (2012)
Long delays between albums, equally long album titles, uncompromising artistic vision, the is-Joni-Mitchell-is-not-Joni-Mitchell question, and that "Criminal" video.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  June 19, 2012


The Smashing Pumpkins | Oceania

Martha's Music (2012)
Billy Corgan's ego alone has probably gone triple-platinum, and he's never been afraid of calling himself a genius (even while promoting skanky, mediocre albums like Machina and Zeitgeist).
By: RYAN REED  |  June 19, 2012


The Soundtrack of Our Lives | Throw It To the Universe

Telegram (2012)
While many Britpop fans spent the late 90s onward hoping with that Oasis would pull something out of the cabinet that came close to Definitely Maybe or (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, they should've been expanding their sonic range farther west to Sweden, where the Soundtrack of Our Lives have been rolling out some of the genre's finest compositions.
By: MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER  |  June 19, 2012


Ty Segall Band | Slaughterhouse

In the Red (2012)
Even for a garage-rock record, Slaughterhouse is especially sloppy and overeager.
By: REYAN ALI  |  June 19, 2012


Fawn | Coastlines

Quite Scientific Records (2012)
Jaded girl-boy harmonies, gleeful three-chord riffs, healthy doses of punkish noise and emo melody: Coastlines , the debut LP from Detroit indie-pop quartet Fawn, feels like a charming souvenir from a musical era two decades in the rear-view.
By: RYAN REED  |  June 05, 2012

WIXIW - Liars

Liars | WIXIW

Mute (2012)
The sixth full-length from Brooklyn band Liars is an album in the sense that it's been recorded, has a release date, and is worth a review. But with so much improperly used space and so few tangible ideas, the result doesn't feel like an actual album as much as it does a decent demo.
By: REYAN ALI  |  June 05, 2012

Kin - Crowell and Karr

Mary Karr and Rodney Crowell | Kin: Songs by Mary Karr & Rodney Crowell

Vanguard (2012)
Kin is a finely crafted country ode to home and family from a couple of writers who know the territory.
By: NICK A. ZAINO III  |  June 05, 2012


Metric | Synthetica

MMI/Mom+Pop (2012)
Of all the Canadian acts that stumbled onto the scene in the early aughts, Metric have been the most consistent in putting out quality material.
By: MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER  |  June 05, 2012


Sleep | Dopesmoker [re-issue]

Southern Lord (2012)
In the early-'90s metal drought, a strange strain developed through the cracks in the pavement, as downtuned strings, sluggish tempos, and vintage amplification led to the blossoming of stoner rock.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  June 05, 2012


David Bowie | The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars [40th Anniversary Edition]

Virgin/EMI (2012)
Bowie's greatest album? Depends on the day. Canonically, however, this is and will always be a BFD: an archetype of alternative commercial rock, the primo platter of the so-called glam era; and arguably the best record ever made about apocalypse, interplanetary lust, singer-songwriter role playing, and rock-and-roll-as-alien-outsider stuff.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  June 05, 2012


King Tuff | King Tuff

Sub Pop
King Tuff keep a low profile, but they're not afraid to talk a mean game.
By: PERRY EATON  |  May 29, 2012


Lemonade | Diver

True Panther Sounds (2012)
Halfway through "Infinite Style," the glossy electro-pop opener from Lemonade's sophomore LP, you'll hear the faint sound of a rhythmic exhale — or possibly two sticks rubbing together.
By: RYAN REED  |  May 29, 2012


Neil Young & Crazy Horse | Americana

Reprise (2012)
The track listing for Americana, the first new release from Neil Young & Crazy Horse since 2003's Greendale, may make some fans skeptical at first.
By: NICK A. ZAINO II  |  May 29, 2012


Pomegranates | Heaven

Modern Outsider  
Although the songs on Heaven might not be uniformly good, the Cincinnati-based Pomegranates bring the charm via killer guitar sounds, creative keyboards, and the girlish vocals of twin tenors Isaac Karns and Joey Cook (whose lighter-than-air musings buoy this collection).
By: JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  May 29, 2012


Scott Lucas & The Married Men | Blood Half Moon

The End Records (2012)
The good ol' days of 1996 — the year Local H's "Bound for the Floor" played once every half hour on modern-rock radio — was a long-ass time ago.
By: BARRY THOMPSON  |  May 29, 2012


The Hives | Lex Hives

Disques Hives (2012)
If there was ever a worry of the Hives maturing— or simply becoming less like the Hives — there isn't anymore.
By: DAN WEISS  |  May 29, 2012


Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros | Here

Community Music (2012)
Maybe I'm feeling the ghost of Levon Helm, but it's hard to find many flaws in this new disc from Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.
By: JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  May 22, 2012


Grass Widow | Internal Logic

HLR Records
There is stuff not to like about Internal Logic: a pair of instrumental interludes probably don't need to be there, and the drums aren't as gleefully chaotic as they were on 2010's Past Time.
By: BARRY THOMPSON  |  May 22, 2012


Scissor Sisters | Magic Hour

Casablanca (2012)
"Twist and shout/Boobies hangin' all out," sings Scissor Sister Ana Matronic on the futuristic sci-fi funk of "Keep Your Shoes On," her robo-tastic chirp swallowed in a maze of mind-numbing video-game synth runs and digital blips.
By: RYAN REED  |  May 22, 2012


Shadows Fall | Fire From The Sky

Razor & Tie
Are Shadows Fall still feeling the fan backlash from two albums ago?
By: MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER  |  May 23, 2012

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