For anyone who thought the sense of alienation highlighted by ‘80s thrash has vanished, look no further than Vektor’s Terminal Redux to be proven wrong. Mining deep seams of prog-metal originally unearthed by Voivod, Vektor has sought the plains of Gorgoroth to unearth gnarly artifacts that dwell on similar themes of technological horror that plagued our forbearers.
Emergency Fourth Rail Power Trip
Sure, you could describe FIR as a supergroup. But in truth, they are a super-duper group. Boasting members of The Rain Parade, Beachwood Sparks, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and Brian Wilson’s band, this dreamy, jangly, harmonious, summertime single begs for a proper album. Backing vocals by Allah-Las give both songs extra beach blanket bingo bop.
by Eric Shea
Mods and Rockers unite; the endless summer is over.
San Diego’s Mrs. Magician are disciples of the legendary John “Swami” Reis; he produced Bermuda, and the album will be released on his label. Mrs. Magician’s roots are in primitive beach-garage rock ‘n’ roll, but they’ve polished their sound on this album while delivering deceptively dark lyrics over infectious power pop.
by Mat Bates
“It’s not us no more, it’s just you and me.”
Marc E. Bassy’s modern brand of blue-eyed soul reaches new heights with “You & Me,” a reggae-pop breakup song tailor-made for summer nights. Oakland superstar G-Eazy, whose guest verse adds an extra punch to this windows-down jam, complements Bay Area-born Bassy’s smooth vocals.
British balladeers unearth nuggets from the vaults.
The Clientele recently re-pressed their excellent 2005 release Strange Geometry, which has aged remarkably well. Included with the LP is an EP download containing six previous unreleased bonus tracks that could’ve easily made the album. More string-heavy and less reverb-drenched, the group’s gentle, gorgeous and melodic ‘60s-inspired pop is in top form here.
A vision quest with laser beam hi-hits and syrupy bass drops.
Start the engine on “Money Made Me Do It” featuring 2 Chainz, hit cruise control on a sexy slow jam with Jeremih then park her on “Monty” with Lil’ Yachty. First time you’ll hear trapped-out stories of popping pills, then a jam on Fleetwood Mac with spacy singsong vibrations.
by J Boogie
Against a backdrop that fuses African polyrhythm & melodies with Jamaican inspired production, Shatta makes it clear why he’s the King of Ghana dancehall. His voice has a maelstrom’s temperament: wailing harmonies forecast his rasping rhymes, drifting back to more serene pop stylings for a moment before returning with a downpour of bravado and inspired storytelling. (Shatta Movement Music) Diego Herrera
A Solid Swell From Start To Finish
Brooklyn based indie poppers Beverly recently emerged with their sophomore effort, The Blue Swell. This album is much darker than what we’ve come to expect – it showcases a more mature sound that really suits their catchy cacophony. But former fans need not fret, as Beverly haven’t dropped their signature, fuzzy, lo-fi, guitar-heavy sound.
by Crystal Lowe
With artists like Margo Price and Chris Stapleton driving country back to its twangy roots (and now that Americana is a bonafide Billboard chart), more musicians will be vying to ride shotgun on the bandwagon. Lucky for Lauper, her timeless squeak inflects like she was born for this genre. Detour would sound great through an old wooden radio.
by Eric Shea
A Cinematic Cyberpunk Fever Dream
The Ridges unfurls like some sort of sinister, electro, head-trip; a harrowing journey through a dystopian future-world, scored by brooding electro bombast and shimmery cyber-synth minimalism. Hints of John Carpenter and Goblin creep ominously into Diamondstein’s apocalyptic, sci-fi psychedelia, wreathing classic IDM skitter in swaths of crumbling thrum and a murky halo of synth-soaked gloom.