Recorded on defiant analog tape in Dave Grohls garage (albeit with the
assistance of superproducer Butch Vig and top-notch mixer Alan Moulder),
the songs on the Foos latest are an equally yin-yang mix of the high
sheen and the grungy. First official single Rope has pushy drums that
solidify the raw pop/rock beat and charging punk-popster Bridge Burning
plays out that garage-band feel, while more restraint and smoother
arrangements are shown on tracks like These Days, I Should Have Known,
and the Bob Mould-guesting Dear Rosemary. The new songs are definitely
fodder for the Foos potential headlining spot at Lollapalooza this year.
The Dears - Degeneration Street - Dangerbird
The Dears fifth set is a mournful one, mired in the years of backstory -
and member changes - that this band has gone through, with tension and
desperation showing through in many of the songs. Reuniting their original
lineup seems to have added just as many problems as the band had back when
they were a more fragmented group, as evidenced in the melodramatic plot
points of the lyrics; melodically, its okay at best, with the big songs
(Stick with Me, Kid, Thrones) being overly earnest, and the quieter
tracks (Galactic Tides) falling tepid. Hopefully theyll work the
wrinkles out and conjure up something better next time.
Noah and the Whale - Last Night on Earth - Def Jam
After Noahs lead singer Charlie Fink directed a short film to go along
with the bands prior album, The First Days of Spring, he found himself
inspired by filmmaking in and of itself, and those visualization elements
are showcased in part here on their third set. The albums first single is
the ridiculously catchy, modern-campfire singalong L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.
with its spell-check refrain; Just Me Before We Met taps into Finks
romantic, poetic side; and Tonights the Kind of Night depicts a late
night escape from the mundane, which is a good representation of the album
itself, and its quirky brand of indie-folk-pop appeal.
Cold War Kids - Mine is Yours - Interscope
American indie-rockers CWK having been making big strides out of their
So-Cal locale the past few years, first with a standout set at
Lollapalooza and now with their latest album. Full of the familiar dense
guitar/busy beats/arena-ready vocals that fans have already become
familiar with, lead single Louder Than Ever begins the chartattack with
its immediate hook, and is followed up by the likes of the
Bono-reminiscent Bulldozer, the soulful Royal Blue, and the
dynamically-arranged Out of the Wilderness that almost blends two
different song moods into one great track. Its more accessible than
previous efforts, but without losing the bands aim.