Round-Up, April 30th-May 6th

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Crumb – Ice Melt

★★★★

Released April 30th, 2021 on Crumb Records

Languid songwriting backed with frantic rhythm work that unveils a paranoid structure a la late-period Radiohead. Builds glittering structures and then breaks them apart with noise spasms.

Manchester Orchestra – The Million Masks Of God

★★★

Released April 30th, 2021 on Loma Vista Records

The power of some of the uptempo tracks is undercut by the slower tracks, which tend to drag everything down; there’s too much mid-tempo on here and it makes the album less of a splash than it could have been.

Flying Lotus – Yasuke

★★★★

Released April 30th, 2021 on Warp Records

Soundtrack work that makes more coherent sense and has a greater scope of vision than his last proper record.

girl in red – if i could make it go quiet

★★★☆

Released April 30th, 2021 on AWAL Records

The singles are still the best part of the record (although “hornylovesickness” holds its own) but there is a sense even at the age of 22 that Marie Ulven could do something big in the near future.

Royal Blood – Typhoons

★★★☆

Released April 30th, 2021 on Warner Records

The glitzy-glam UK indie scene is every bit as trash as the Sunset Strip scene was by the late Eighties but with that basic idea in mind Typhoons is the indie scene’s Pride and Royal Blood is their White Lion.

Beachy Head – Beachy Head

★★☆

Released April 30th, 2021 on Graveface Records

The problem that I’ve always found with bands formed out of members of other bands is that everyone wants to write and play in a way so as not to step on anyone’s toes, so the result is music by committee. Beachy Head is no exception.

Teenage Fanclub – Endless Arcade

★★★★

Released April 30th, 2021 on Merge Records

Teenage Fanclub only misses out on being the most consistent band in alternative rock because they only do it every five years or so now and Deerhoof does it every single year.

Blackdown & Burial – Shock Power of Love EP

★★★★

Released April 30th, 2021 on Keysound Records

All this Burial coming out in dribs and drabs makes me absolutely require a new album. Let’s do this already.

Matt Sweeney & Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Superwolves

★★★☆

Released April 30th, 2021 on Drag City Records

The sequel to 2005’s Superwolf is uneven but brilliant in spurts. Some of it can get kind of stodgy but in other places Will Oldham’s flair for apocalyptic folk comes shining through hard.

Grave Flowers Bongo Band – Strength Of Spring

★★★☆

Released April 30th, 2021 on Castle Face Records

Squealing, scuzzy psychedelic rock indebted as always to the Nuggets part of the Sixties and produced excellently by Ty Segall. About as San Fran psych as you can get from an L.A. band.

Guided By Voices – Earth Man Blues

★★★☆

Released April 30th, 2021

This is their 33rd album. It is their 11th since reuniting for the second time in 2016. During this same period Bob Pollard also released a solo record and a record with Circus Devils, one of his several side projects. And yet, the ratio of hits to misses is about as high as it always is. Remarkable.

Cadence Weapon – Parallel World

★★★★

Released April 30th, 2021 on eOne Records

Rollie Pemberton, former Poet Laureate of Edmonton, is a busy guy. You can tell because Parallel World is just his fifth full-length record in 15 years. It’s good to see him return to making music in 2021, and it’s better to see him in fine form, turning his ire on targets both general (landlords, society) and specific (Doug Ford, John Tory).

Growing – Diptych

★★★

Released April 30th, 2021 on Silver Current Records

From a single chord, a mighty tree is grown.

Dawn Richard – Second Line

★★☆

Released April 30th, 2021 on Merge Records

Please wait longer than 10 years before ripping off Janelle Monae in such a wholesale fashion.

The Coral – Coral Island

★★★★

Released April 30th, 2021 on Run On Records

Imagine, if you will, a Blue Rodeo or Travelling Wilburys that was fronted by Jeff Lynne who was also at that time fronting a combination of Jackson Browne and the poppier side of the Eagles.

Big Scary – Daisy

★★☆

Released April 30th, 2021 on Pieater Records

It doesn’t actually break out until 2/3 of the way through the album, so if you’re waiting patiently for the album to get going you’ll be waiting awhile.

Julia Stone – Sixty Summers

★★★

Released April 30th, 2021 on BMG Records

Middle-of-the-road alt-pop that acts as though it’s still five years ago.

Veik – Surrounding Structures

★★★☆

Released April 30th, 2021 on Fuzz Club Records

Finds the sweet spot between Suicide and Kraftwerk.

Ya Tseen – Indian Yard

★★

Released April 30th, 2021 on Sub Pop Records

I fell asleep three times listening to this.

Bowerbirds – Becalmyounglovers

★★★☆

Released April 30th, 2021 on Psychic Hotline Records

Splits the difference between 00’s freak folk and contemporary indie folk rock with a flair that’s all their own.

Moullinex – Requiem For Empathy

★★★

Released April 30th, 2021 on Discotexas Records

Groovy and slinky, but never really breaks out of second gear.

Rosie Tucker – Sucker Supreme

★★★★

Released April 30th, 2021 on Epitaph Records

As my grandfather was fond of saying, “the name’s Tucker, not Sucker.” I don’t know what this has to do with this finely crafted slab of modern power pop. His name wasn’t even Tucker.

GlümeThe Internet

★★★★

Released April 30th, 2021 on Italians Do It Better

The deubt album from the self-proclaimed “Walmart Marilyn Monroe” comes complete with the breathy, doomed vocals and a shimmering layer of gloomy Italo-disco courtesy of IDIB, who will very rarely steer you wrong.

Knowsum & Wun Two – Dream Cruise

★★★

Released April 30th, 2021 on Sichtexot Records

A woozy, at times Dilla-esque cruise through a couple of stoned heads.

Origami Angel – GAMI GANG

★★★

Released April 30th, 2021 on Counter Intuitive Records

Lighthearted and despairing, filled with interesting little guitar bits but also painfully earnest and a little undercooked.

Birdy – Young Heart

★★☆

Released April 30th, 2021 on Atlantic Records

Another kid who’s grown up thinking they could be the vanishing point between Joni Mitchell and Taylor Swift. Time will tell, I guess, but this ain’t it.

Gojira – Fortitude

★★★☆

Released April 30th, 2021 on Roadrunner Records

As solid a metal collection as you could possibly want, but the band takes no real chances here. Red meat for the mosh pits of the world.

Evile – Hell Unleashed

★★★☆

Released April 30th, 2021 on Napalm Records

A friend of mine once said “Diversity is nice, but sometimes you just want to get grabbed from behind and railed hard.” I humbly submit a similar creature comfort, but for thrash metal.

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