Royal Trux – White Stuff
(March 1st on Fat Possum Records)
When a band comes back after twenty years to release a new album I expect them to play it safe but there’s such a thing as taking it too far. White Stuff is fine, especially if you were into the band Back In The Day, but it sounds like a rewrite of older, better stuff with no attempt at trying to move forward at all.
TOY – Happy In The Hollow
(January 25th Tough Love Records)
Low-tempo Krautrock with a seriously languid groove. If Faust was secretly a bunch of goddamn hippies they would sound like this.
Colleen Green – I Want To Grow Up
Once upon a time I had high hopes for Colleen Green. When she put out her first super lo-fi tracks, back when Milo Goes To Compton was a thing, I thought she was the coolest person in indie rock. She was living proof that all you needed was a guitar, a drum machine, and a bag of weed, and you too could make emotionally connecting pop music. It was freeing in a way that made me instantly fall in love. Then her “actual” debut, Sock It To Me, came out and it fell kind of flat. Sure, the quirks that made up her songwriting style were there, but everything sounded too professional, as though some hidebound engineer had been sitting in the studio saying “OK Ms. Green, that’s cool and all, but we need these to sound like actual songs.” I Want To Grow Up is kind of like that as well, but it’s a bit better in that she seems to have grown used to having to write actual songs that normal people can listen to and not be weirded out by. This makes for some great moments – the two-parter “Things That Are Bad For Me” being the best – but the overall effect is of a jaded Los Angelite channeling Red Album era Weezer. In other words, a decent listen but pretty ho-hum for all of that.