Power-plays slay September albums. Whether infectiously breathless programmer LYDMOR’s sprawling funk-funded, “I Told You I’d Tell Them Our Story,’ or Brisbane pop-chemists THE GOON SAX’S love-sick politics, “We’re Not Talking.” everything vies for control. Side with torch-song thrill-seekers FRONTPERSON’s melodic acrobatics, “Frontrunner,” visceral visionaries THALIA ZEDEK BAND’s willfully earnest, “Fighting Season,” or persuasive poet-confessor MARISSA NADLER’s melancholy solace, “For My Crimes,” just leave room for shadow-chasing chanteuse MIRAH’s bewitching, “Understanding.”
The Mommyheads - Soundtrack to the World’s End
Album title: Soundtrack to the World’s End
Record Label: Dead Frog Records
Grim wits sneak silver-lining shine to doomsday gloom as, “End,” renders tender amends spiked in savvy arena-rock theatrics and haughty power-pop mockery; gripping last-minute sympathies cautioning hopeful atonements with tipping-point disappointments. Actors on a burning stage huddled around select recollections, The Mommyheads cast one-act ballads encompassing compassionate nostalgia, flabbergasted outrage and unsettling regrets into gorgeous bittersweet journeys down dead-end streets.
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Alexander Orange Drink - Babel On
Album title: Babel On
Record Label: Kobalt/AWAL
Candy-coated anarchy meets barking-mad commando-rock to stitch together sharp, topical observations beneath gleeful truth-seeking tunes; Orange Drink’s sly subversive verses dance alongside wonky New Wave keyboards, militant guitar bravado and driving, feet-friendly beats. Nervous mirthful absurdity lurks behind home-grown wind-up circuses while, “Babel,” sorts and cavorts through modern chaos, finding dystopian delights in manic candor, profound clowning and exploratory paranoia.
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La Force - La Force
Album title: La Force
Record Label: Arts & Crafts
Flooded in sensual chemistry from hypnotic harmonies surfing inside subtly insistent rhythms, “Force,” pours refined high-minded designs over wanton sonic concoctions whose sultry pulses spin exotic gloss bubbling under cool beauty. Posh mermaid disco floats close to sleepy art-song soliloquies with La Force’s soft twilight prayers double-dipped in Avalon satins, wrestling sumptuous punctual rendezvous around restless hesitations and feverish eagerness.
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Miss World - Keeping Up With Miss World
Album title: Keeping Up With Miss World
Record Label: PNKSLM Records
Spritzed in boom-box blasts, trash-talk panache and valley-girl bombast, splashy bratty Miss World’s blitzkrieg chic preaches brash rascally appetites smashed into groovy scenery-chewing amusements; rampant vanity unleashing street-corner taunts inside punk-pop fairy-tales. Provoking amplified tantrums steeped in concussive percussion and megaphone vocals, “Keeping Up,” gets down to brass-tacks with sarcastic malice made into bitchin’ glitter-bombs crashing parties and dropping headlines.
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Brother Reverend - The Tables Turn Too Often
Album title: The Tables Turn Too Often
Record Label: self-release
Moonshine-primed rabble-rousing spills from bohemian-themed honky-tonk, turning, “Tables,” into flimflam jams liquored in riverboat burlesque and juke-joint jamborees churning out loose-knitted blues-rooted story-songs bent in carnival charm, sideshow hokum and tale-spinning whimsy. Dandy shenanigans bandied between basement raves, backwoods hootenannies and greasy-spoon ballrooms, Brother Reverend revive and revel in weathered garage-gospel hospitality, indie-rock jesters grifting rickety wisdom from dubious collusion.
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Seasaw - Big Dogs
Album title: Big Dogs
Record Label: Seasaw Records
Girlish verve swerves and snappy patter curls in silky butterfly trills and bright concise coos as ingénue groovers Seasaw bop, cleverly leveraging novel thoughts from tidy hooks, catchy choruses and bristling riffs. Combining focus and fury, the dynamic duo sizzle throughout, “Big,” digging in deep to stand tall, pitching enticing bite-sized plights over articulate misfit pop-songs colored in alluring coercion.
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As above so below. From trans-global chamber-folk composer MANU DELAGO’s sparkling meditations, “Parasol Peak,” to vagabond troubadour NIGHT SHOP’s unforced portraits, “In The Break,” from sci-fi sophisticates AVA LUNA’s suggestive kinetics, “Moon 2,” to art-punk minimalists LOW’s deep, dark and distorted, “Double Negative,” highs and lows divide and conquer. Bounce between maelstrom-rockers GØGGS’ storm-battered, “Pre Strike Sweep,” and alt-pop life-examiner FRED THOMAS’ transcendental screenplays, “Aftering,” before coming around to street-weary road-warriors GOLD STAR’s resilient reconciliations, “Uppers & Downers,” and pastoral orchestra MUTUAL BENEFIT’s tranquil fables, “The Thunder Follows the Light.”