Mild High Club
As America’s Presidential election gets stranger and stranger, August albums tackle power, corruption, cynicism and privilege. From alt-rock scavengers CHELAN’s brooding synth-kissed convictions, “Vultures,” to cautious electro-conscious DYAN’s pop-teased greetings, “Looking for Knives,” suspicion and submission rally together. Meanwhile, alliances form around rascally honky-tonker STEWART EASTHAM’s twang-engrained hoedown, “Dancers in the Mansion,” and surreal scene-stealers and happy-hour power-loungers MILD HIGH CLUB’s trippy, “Skiptracing,” MHC plays Madison’s The Frequency September 17th
Slow Club - One Day All of This Won’t Matter Anymore
Album title: One Day All of This Won’t Matter Anymore
Record Label: Moshi Moshi
Poignant, patient conversations negotiating bittersweet treaties, British multi-instrumentalists Slow Club subtly shifts between self-reflective messages rinsed in bubble-bath ballads and third-person uncertainties poured over sympathetic second-guesses. A restorative indulgence tossing slick licks among passive indie-pop and wary sincerity hidden in modern folk-rock, “One Day,” nurtures cozy vocals polished in chrome diplomacy, primed in well-timed kindness and settled in intelligent perspective.
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Tobacco - Sweatbox Dynasty
Album title: Sweatbox Dynasty
Record Label: Ghostly International
Deranged, disturbed and delightful, “Sweatbox,” rocks funky monster-grinds erupting in hissing nanobot troglodytes; flipped micro-chips plunging in industrial dungeons crunch transistorized data-dumps scampering under cyborg firestorms. A sleazy heaving band of experimental bandits bandaging clogged sprockets with greasy secrets, Tobacco’s syrupy Wurlitzer courtesies wrap around bossy, glossy oscillations as slow-burn turns churn in flustered thrusts, wobbly throbs and plastic attractions.
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The Parrots - Los Niños Sin Miedo
Album title: Los Niños Sin Miedo
Record Label: Heavenly Records
Brandishing raw, outlaw bravado, The Parrots’ ravenous, cavernous surf-rock bursts roll stampede beats into disheveled dust-devil grunge. A cavalry charge of barbed electric guitar launching crooning lunacy and cannonball abandon with weathered punk revelry, the Spanish ranters’ scrappy debut, “Niños,” goes for gritty, bickering squalls; a massaged roof-rattling barrage scrubbed in galloping lo-fi ruckus and inflated into Grand Canyon tantrums.
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Cool Ghouls - Animal Races
Album title: Animal Races
Record Label: Empty Cellar
A late-sixties throw-back telegraphed in kaleidoscopic jangle wrangling brittle six-string synergy, “Animal,” tips a narcoleptic Stetson to West Coast ghosts wrestling echo-laden wig-outs tripping in electric finger-picking and sweetened with tumbleweed pedal-steel and heady harmonies. Yearning folk-rock hold-outs prone to exquisite psychedelic rampages and transcendental anecdotes, Cool Ghouls’ concrete cowboys pound paisley pavements chasing hard-scrambled solos engulfed in house-party R&B.
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Cool Ghouls online:
Robbing Millions - Robbing Millions
Album title: Robbing Millions
Record Label: Play It Again Sam
Quick-pivoting time signatures capture left-brain quatrains in micro-encapsulated packages mapping Robbing Millions’ sharp, intriguing seizures onto art-prog dream-pop. Scoring shiny choruses with savvy calibrations, the Belgian quintet’s supple self-titled tidal-wave blazes through succinct tiddlywink sprints out-thinking dance-rock street-smarts with unglued jazz fusions while dramatic catapults discharging syncopated counterpoint dissect clever pleasures with telekinetic intellect inventing bendable dimensions beneath sizzling juxtaposition.
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Wild Beasts - Boy King
Album title: Boy King
Record Label: Domino
Pumped presumption guiding fuel-injected conjecture into slinky robo-rhythms while pitch-controlled future-soul vamps in slamming glam-rock boogie, “Boy.” runs unencumbered over untapped appetites; lean, mounting hungers velvet-crushing super-model seductions. Prowling downtown labyrinths soliciting illicit decisions, Wild Beasts’ oiled poise rides sonic stallions through moody synthesized grooves shaded in midnight dangers, reaping tense suspense through stylish vibes, gurgling purrs and post-carnal calm.
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From brain-teasing to untrained reasoning, high-minded August albums ponder conceptual treasures. Consider post-rock modulators THE ALBUM LEAF’s casual-jazz carousel turned contrapuntal panoramas, “Between Waves,” before discoursing roaring co-ed indie-rockers FIELD MOUSE’s torrid tour de force cranking out punchy summer wonders inside, “Episodic.” Whether evaluating storm-wracked astro-cats MIDNIGHT FACES’ smoking heartbroken opuses. “Heavenly Bodies,” or crazed narco-provokers EROS AND THE ESCHATON devilishly heavy hallucinations, “Weight Of Matter,” summer summons cunning conundrums. Other esoteric speculations include alt-folk song-rocker HALEY BONAR’s wide-awake, “Impossible Dream,” and snappy, garage-pop sophists COWTOWN’s trigger-happy shotgun-séance, “Paranormal Romance,”