The Long Blondes - Couples I'm still waiting for the day I'll hear the Long Blondes blasting from some frat-girl's Hyundai on the Garden State Parkway. Last album it was "New Girl," this time my vote goes to "Guilt," the best Madonna single since "Material Girl" in a world of needless Madonna singles, including her own. Imagine Mrs. Richie with a Marr-fan guitarist and a drummer still listening to Duran Duran, and you get the idea. Nothing will be better than the two EPS by the LBs, released on vinyl before their debut, but this'll do for now. The Long Blondes - Century
Grand Archives - The Grand Archives I dug Carissa's Wierd, past band of this, and while I haven't latched onto this one in a deep way, I hope it either grows on me soon or does well (anyway), or both. The Grand Archives - Torn Blue Foam Couch
As for Fleet Foxes, I wonder if all a band has to do is sound exactly like Band of Horses in order to curry Pfrawk's favor. Dimwits soon to mention The Band in their Fleet Foxes reviews ought to be hogtied, slathered in bunny blood, and thrown into a shed filled with starved wolverines. The Band was named so because they were just that: a goddamned band, cutting their teeth while backing Ronnie Hawkins and able to play anything well, from country to blues to soul to rockabilly. Fleet Foxes comparisons are more accurately executed by mentioning Crosby Stills, Nash, and Young. And that's not a good thing. (although FFs' infrequent tropicalia-like leanings on the EP hint a more fruitful path for them to follow ... and they don't. ) The Fleet Foxes - Ragged Wood (link removed at the request of Susan Busch, Sub Pop Records, Director of Radio Promotions/A&R. email@example.com, 206-428-1343; AIM:eptgal1, but you can probably download the whole album easily by entering "rapidshare" etc and Fleet Foxes into Google. Anyone other than me wonder how Sub Pop always cries loudest when their stuff is leaked while their stuff leaks more than anyone else's (maybe save Matador, who also cries loudest)? I smell policy.
The Black Keyes - Attack and Release An album of slow blues & ballads by BK is swell by me, but that's not the album you hire Danger Mouse to produce. The Black Keys -Things Ain't Like They Used to Be (aka almost the Beatles "Don't Let Me Down")
The Breeders - Mountain Battles A pleasant surprise? I listen once daily while pinching myself. The title track will blow minds. The Breeders - It's the Love
Nick Cave - Dig Lazarus Dig Awwww, I don't know. I prefer the balladry over the fire and brimstone-speak, always have. I'm more "Ships" that "Mercy Seat." This feels as reeled off as the Grinderman thingy, and I have a feeling this album is an outgrowth of Grinderman. That said, I'm digging "Midnight Man" for it's subtle echo of "Magic Man" in the organ riff and "We Call Upon the Author," in which Cave calls Bukowski and idiot and big ups Berryman, setting the universe right for me. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Midnight Man Kelly Polar - I Need You to Hold While the Sky Is Falling The Junior Boys, but now with songs! That isn't meant to be entirely negative, and I can confess to owning a couple Metro Area singles on the wax, which I do enjoy. I also liked a track or two off the Polar's previous LP, which I lost about a laptop or two ago. The track below (and others) makes my inner bloopy bleepy pop fan happy. Someone's listening to Thomas Dolby's first two albums. And Scritti Politti and Prefab Sprout. Kelly Polar - Chrysanthemum
Tindersticks - The Hungry Saw Imagine me taking a deep, sad breath. I've said it here before: I will never be cooler than the 1992 night I attended an friends-only EP-release party in the crypt of a London church for Asphalt Ribbons, the band who was to become Tindersticks, and was told --that night - they were chaning their name and coming up with something bigger, and soon.That was their 1993 debut, still their best. Although respectable and sturdy, The Hungry Saw makes me miss the debut's instrumental risks. Somewhat. It's growing on me. Tindersticks - Yesterday Tomorrows
Atlas Sound - Let the Blind Lead Those With Pretentiously Long Titles on A Long Walk Off a Short Pier It's not as good as the Deerhunter album it probably would have become, had it been recorded in 2003, but this is still a gripping, too-long collection of odd shoegaze and ambient pop. A calculated solo move, nonetheless. Expect Deerhunter to be officially defunct by the end of the year (or are they already?). Atlas Sound - Recent Bedroom