CHVRCHES – The Bones Of What You Believe (Glassnote) – Pop this record in your ears, and you’ll get a boatload of shiny synth hooks and beats that propel lead singer/front-woman Lauren Mayberry’s sugary bittersweet vocals with enough electro-pop kick to get you through even the toughest commute. CHVRCHES also manage to bring the high energy live, so get this album and go see them on their upcoming tour!
Video: “The Mother We Share”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mTRvJ9fugM
Kings of Leon – Mechanical Bull (RCA) – “Supersoaker”, is the first song (and single) on this record, and its infectious rock beat, jangly guitars and soaring vocals show that the boys from Tennessee are back and seem to have put behind them whatever it was that burned them out a couple years ago. In my opinion, this is their best record since 2004’s “Aha Shake Heartbreak”, and is solid all the way through.
Video: “Supersoaker”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izzY55ACUQo
Mazzy Star – Seasons Of Your Day (Rhymes Of An Hour) – After 17 years, Hope Sandoval and David Roback brought back all the original members of Mazzy Star for this dreamy record, which also features Colm O’ Ciosoig (My Bloody Valentine), and a searing guitar duet with the late, great Bert Jansch on “Spoon”. Sandoval’s vocals aren’t quite as drenched in reverb, which gives the songs a more personal, intimate feel, and Roback’s beautiful guitar work and arrangements will really remind you why you loved this band back in the 90’s.
Video: “California”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEf1Qq6upEU
Deer Tick – Negativity (Partisan) – The fifth album from this Rhode Island band doesn’t stray from their blend of alt-country, folk and indie rock, although it does have a darker vibe than their previous releases, which isn’t immediately noticeable, but starts to sink in beneath the melodies after a few close listens to main man John McCauley’s lyrics.
Video: “The Dream’s In The Ditch”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNnxdLY4Dss
OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES:
Haim – Days Are Gone (Columbia)
Nirvana – In Utero (3CD+DVD Super Deluxe Edition) – (Geffen)
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – Unvarnished (Blackheart)
– Mark Reback for The Independent FM