The Austin band The Dead Space already is no more. Somehow, they're back from the dead with this release on 12XU. Chlorine Dream, recorded in 2015, is out now, and it was the first record from the band in six years prior to that. It's a beast, whether the trio exists anymore or not.

"Head on the Glass" throbs with bad intent, while "Sick & Humble" is a neat blending of a Buzzcocks hook with a Black Flag punch. Elsewhere, "So Wasteful" veers dangerously close to approximating the riff from "Search & Destroy" but that's okay because this is pretty excellent. Quin Galavis (vocals, bass), Garrett Hadden (guitar), and Jenny Arthur (drums) imbue this all with wicked purpose, driving every cut into the heart of the sun.

It's been six years since the last album from Last Days of April, and, thankfully, the new record is worth the wait. Even The Good Days Are Bad, out as of Friday on Tapete, reveals new shades of sound from Karl Larsson and co. Elegiac and hopeful at the same time, the music here is really, really good.

Sacramento trio Best Move make music that's both elegant and full of retro charm. While some of the band's new EP, Mirror Image Twins, sounds like it owes a debt to Air or Jon Brion, there's more here that's fairly distinctive and affecting. The Park The Van release is one of this week's better surprises.

I swear, 11 songs in 9 minutes has got to be some kind of record, even for harDCore. Assault & Battery didn't exist long but the members here went on to some of the best bands from Washington, D.C.'s first wave of punk: Mike Manos and Steve Polcari went on to be in Marginal Man, Rob Moss in Artificial Peace (and a solo career as a writer and musician), and Brian Gay joined Government Issue.

I wish I could say that I was cool enough to have had Darker Days, the debut from North Carolina's The Connells in 1987, when it was released here by TVT Records, but I wasn't. I was, however, fortunate enough to have a friend (site contributor Stan Cierlitsky) who worked at a record store near the one I worked at in early 1988 who prompted me to get Boylan Heights. I did.

While contemporaries Dry Cleaning find the absurdity in modern life and make poetry out of it, Brighton/London band Squid cover similar territory only to tear it all down. The group's debut album, Bright Green Field, out tomorrow via Warp, is both brave and empty in equal measure. For every portion here that feels as if Squid were discovering something new and embracing it, there are other moments that are simply chaos put to tape.

By Stan Cierlitsky

I am so excited to be able to review Iceage's fifth album, Seek Shelter, out this Friday on Mexican Summer. To be honest, I am a little late to the Iceage party. I first heard them on 2018's amazing album Beyondless, reviewed on this site here. In fact, the title track is one of my favorite songs of my life, and that's saying something since I am an old man that has constantly devoured new music as long as I've been on this earth.

There are lots of things to recommend about Pink Dogs on the Green Grass from Paul Jacobs. This new one from the Montreal artist is skewed DIY pop with a distinct flavor about it. Lots of what's here reminds me of that second wave of Britpop artists, where risks where taken and the melodies sitll stayed beholden to the Beatles.

"Day to Day" and "Most Delicious Drink" recall things from East River Pipe, Elliott Smith, and Ben Folds, but with the instrumentation less conventional.

You know it's gotta be a damn good single for me to break my we don't cover singles!-policy here, right? Well this new one from Laurel Canyon is just excellent. A brash, sassy bit of post-punk-inspired pop, "Two Times Emptiness" indicates that you need to start following this duo right away.

Of course readers of this site know that half of this duo was in The Yetis, one of the criminally underrated American indie acts of recent years. Along with Nick Gillespie, Laurel Canyon is Serg Cereja.

Nick Rattigan is using Current Joys to blend the thrills of power pop with the sleekness of synth pop. Lots of what's on his new album, Voyager, is full of bright surfaces, even if a DIY sensibility fuels what's here. The Secretly Canadian release is therefore easy to sink into and fairly easy to enjoy.

With lots of the tracks named after a classic film, Rattigan is being nearly too clever by half.
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