Beach House – Devotion
Surprisingly affecting, more focused and less meandering than the debut, but then again I was only looking for some background music while I washed the dinner dishes.
Sons and Daughters – The Gift
Much better than expected, thanks to S&D adding some fine new ideas to their chugging sound which, on the last release, risked repetitive death. This album may justify my aversion to the Pipettes.
American Music Club – The Golden Age
For a few tracks I wondered: is this the sound of anti-depressants dissolving into good songwriting? I don’t totally mean that as a negative – AMC and Eitzel have the type of sense of humor that could spur them to intentionally make an Air Supply album. And then: “Windows on the World,” a bitter slice of rock star-mid-list life while drunk and high in the titular and gone NYC WTC restaurant. It might be one of the least annoying songs about 9/11 that anyone will ever hear. It’s also easily one of Eitzel’s best songs in a long while, able to hang with the top stuff on Mercury. Bravo.
“Windows on the World”
Xiu Xiu – Women As Lovers
Although I’ve been a fan since album one, I’ve never let JS off the hook for some of the unfinished crap he’s foisted on us (Fabulous Muscles). But Women as Lovers (great title, btw) does the Bowie-meets-the -junkyard-gang -via-Diamanda Galas thing always previously aimed for by XX, and then some, culminating here in a bizzaro cover (and possible mistake?) of Queen’s “Under Pressure,” in the form of a crazy, sax-buttered duet with ex-Swan and Young God records guru Michael Gira, whose voice has always sounded like the embodiment of human decomposition. I mean that in a good way.
“You are Pregnant You, You Are Dead”
Bob Mould – District Line
Well-crafted but overproduced. I suppose if you sorta invented emo, you might as well make an album of it.
“Can’t bring myself to post a track.”
Jon Maus – Love is Real – Older release, mid-2207 I think; how did this slip by? Keyboardist with Ariel Pink, & sometimes Panda Bear, makes an album too tuneful to be a simple parody record, but also oftentimes offers genre workouts too funny to be believed, like a slightly-off, 80s cold-war anti-missiles plea. Love it.
Hayden – In Field & Town literally the sound of a songwriter fading away, as if Hayden knows it, too, himself, and I can’t decide whether to cry or be riveted …
“Worthy of Your Esteem”
Malkmus and Jicks – Real Emotional Trash
If Malky hasn’t yet been on the cover of Guitar Player magazine, this should do the trick, an album full of gearhead tricks and King Crimson-esque soloing, if played by J. Mascis on quaaludes. And after all these years, I still don’t know what the hell he’s singing about, but I do know a lick stolen from Manfred Mann when I hear one.
I couldn’t sign on before, but now I have. Watch this one go huge, as hybrid-hip hop records by indie-rocker-studio-geek-white-dudes only can go huge (p-fork will need a new pair of pants after they review this one).
“These Few Presidents”