Cheap Trick – Bang, Zoom, Crazy…Hello
Three dudes, four chords.
Dropping in convenient accordance with their upcoming Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame induction, Cheap Trick prove their place in the annals of American music as one of the most successful guitar pop bands of all time, offering a handful of new songs with their signature blend of classic power pop, hard rock, and gorgeous ballads.
ELECTRONIC / AMBIENT
Torpor begets tumult.
Despair may be the theme of Kate’s debut collection of abstract audio alchemy, yet a warm, ethereal glow suffuses Despairer’s soft-swirl shimmer and hushed, haunting drift. Moments of minimal mesmer and tendrils of ghostly, theremin-like melody are set against luminous conflagrations of gristled static and blurry ambience, reminiscent of fellow electro-dronelords Tim Hecker and Christian Fennesz.
EXPERIMENTAL NOISE ROCK
Give the drummer(s) some!
Temecula, California may not be a hotbed for weirdo, avant rock. But it somehow spawned this strange sonic beast: a triple drummered power trio, whose bombastic battery sounds like Elvin Jones battling the Boredoms or like a bass-less Lightning Bolt. Mix in some dubbed out, mush-mouthed vox, and you’ve got a gloriously rhythmic, psychedelic cacophony!
Soul Music for Metalheads
Sure, the most salient song here is Mr. Bradley’s beautifully heart wrenching cover of Black Sabbath’s “Changes.” But look closer under the hood and you’ll hear that the “Screaming Eagle of Soul” is just as legit as Otis Redding, Etta James, Howard Tate, Sharon Jones, James Brown or any other notable luminaries of the genre.
by Eric Shea
SF’s drugstore cowboy lights up the Best Thang Smokin.
Take a trip with Berner, the Yay’s runner carrying the torch for weed-rap. When he’s not cooking up cookies with Lil’ Kim or rollin’ with notorious stoners Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dogg and B-Real, Berner flows over soulful west coast beats sprinkled with a touch of trapped out thump for the trunk.
Shake your tail feather.
British producer Vynehall stunned on his 2014 debut Music for the Uninvited with soaring, propulsive house (even audaciously sampling J Dilla). Rojus (purportedly a meditation on Bird of Paradise mating rituals) is richly layered, with organic atmospherics, exotic percussion and unexpected melodies, and yet irresistibly, lustfully groovy, the insistent kick compelling you to strut your stuff.
by Party Ben
Moxie Raia’s pop-R&B debut is wise beyond her years.
When you’re formally trained in jazz vocals but your heart is in contemporary hip hop, a result like 931 is a best-case scenario. Fans of Tori Kelly and Alessia Cara will flock to Moxie’s R&B-leaning pop melodies; with an opening slot on Justin Bieber’s world tour, Raia is already blowing up.
Jokes can have feelings too, you guys.
Garcia’s debut album marries rapid-fire punchlines with heartfelt stories and a refreshingly emotional performance. The Comedy Central and This American Life veteran offers up a literal translation of “La Bamba,” recounts losing his virginity in excruciating detail and shares the complicated reality of caring for his ailing father.
A Cosmic and Almost Religious Sense of Space and Wonder
Working in some pretty advanced conceptual spaces, Tim Hecker warps heavily processed pipe organ and voice sounds into pulsing layers of abstract chords with snippets of melodies whisping past in the waves. On Love Streams, he’s moving beyond deep drone into more abstract territory a la Fennesz or Aphex Twin.
Deftones conquer but don’t tame tension and aggression.
The Deftones’ eighth album is the first since bassist Che Cheng passed. There’s plenty to love here for fans of every persuasion. If you dig Stephen Carpenter’s reverb/delay-laden atmospherics and soft/loud dynamics, you’ll love tracks like “(L)Mirl” and “Hearts/Wires.” If you’re looking for Adrenaline-era aggression, check “Doomed User” and the title track.
by Mat Bates