CDs + Vinyl:
American Nightmare – American Nightmare CD/LP (Rise)
American Nightmare is a dark hardcore record that pays homage to groups who have always influenced the band ranging from Negative Approach, SSD, and The Cro-Mags to Joy Division and Siouxsie And The Banshees.
Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet – Landfall CD/2xLP (Nonesuch)
Inspired by Laurie Anderson’s experience of Hurricane Sandy, Landfall is the first collaboration between the iconic storyteller/musician and the groundbreaking Kronos Quartet. Landfall juxtaposes lush electronics and strings with Anderson’s powerful descriptions of loss, from water-logged pianos to disappearing animal species to Dutch karaoke bars.
Angra – Omni CD (earMUSIC)
“If there is any band that put South American heavy metal on the world stage, it’s Brazil’s Angra. Formed better than a quarter century ago by guitarist Rafael Bittencourt, Angra has dropped eight albums and toured the world extensively, sharing the stage with many of their European counterparts. Now, Angra returns with their ninth album, Omni. Their sound and arrangements are expansive and technical, bombastic and soaring. By example, a song such as ‘Insania’ begins with a brash opening only to drop into a bass and drum line that sounds like jazz rock fusion. This juxtaposition of heaviness and fusion continues throughout but allowing for a ripping guitar solo in the center. Somewhat similar is ‘Magic Mirror,’ where the large majestic riffage leads to Fabio Lione’s voice lilting over a fusion of drums and light electric guitar. But this then yields to more aggressive power metal, getting heavier and leading to a middle solo. Then at the 4:30 mark the power metal bluster abruptly ends, allowing for a breakdown of piano, symphonic synths, and a smooth bass line. Omni is another exceptional album of melodic progressive power metal from this seminal band. I would expect nothing less. Get it. Easily recommended.” – Dangerdog Music Reviews
Ataraxy – Where All Hope Fades CD (Dark Decent)
“Ataraxy are a Spanish death metal band and this is their second album. The band combine their death and doom metal influences well across these tracks. Where All Hope Fades comes across as a real old-school treat, so much so that you can easily imagine it being a lost gem from the ‘90s.” – Wonderbox Metal
Belle and Sebastian – How To Solve Our Human Problems CD/3×12” (Matador)
This CD release combines the tracks from three vinyl EPs. The How To Solve Our Human Problems EP project is the latest installment in a career that has always pursued a singular and delightful vision of what pop represents and what it can achieve, a career that has seen them triumph against the odds to win a Brit award, be one of the first bands to curate their own festival, and play at the London residence of the US ambassador. Belle and Sebastian’s new music has the timeless blend of joy and melancholy that has always characterized them. [Stand-alone vinyl pressing of Part 3 is also available this week.]
Born Ruffians – Uncle Duke & The Chief CD/LP+MP3 (Yep Rock)
Produced by Richard Swift (Foxygen, The Shins), Uncle, Duke & The Chief is a record less concerned with what sounds hip than what feels good. In the Ruffians case that meant shedding some of their artier influences (the Pixies, Talking Heads) and reconnecting with the sounds they first heard on their parent’s turntables as kids: Buddy Holly, The Everly Brothers, and pre-psychedelic Beatles. It’s about going back to the deepest, most satisfying itch to scratch, says lead singer Luke Lalonde. And in doing so, the album takes you back to a time when the Ruffians sounded less like a band and more like a gang, raising a wild ruckus and speaking in telepathic tongues. [Limited colored vinyl pressing also available.]
Calibro 35 – Decade CD/LP (Record Kicks)
The sixth studio album form Italian super cult combo. Decade marks 10 years of Calibro 35’s first release and it’s the very first album recorded by Calibro with an orchestral-inspired enlarged line-up that features horns, strings and various percussion instruments.