This year’s April fools seem to either speak in tongues or utter prophetic pronouncements. April’s theme is divided between album titles employing onomatopoeias and imperatives. Filtering through election year wisdom, authoritative nonsense and pedantic babble can be difficult, but whether it’s barking commands or just plain barking, there are no losers where good music is concerned.
Clinic - Do It!
Album title: Do It!
Record Label: Domino Records
Snaggle-tooth serenades whine around an eerie, swirling psycho-circus, pounding and pirouetting as acid-tinged punks mumble bittersweet mantras over woozy, shard-spitting solos. Hell-bound lounge music dissected, reassembled, roughed-up and fuzzed-out, “Do It,” does it without alienating or disappointing. Intriguingly seedy and giddily ramshackle, Clinic takes you down dark paths - letting loose, but never letting go.
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Los Campesinos! - Hold on Now, Youngster
Album title: Hold on Now, Youngster
Record Label: Arts & Crafts
Youthful exuberance propels a head rush of sneaky cacophony, revved-up ridicule and snappy, hip-swinging bravado as Canada’s Los Campesinos produce tub-thumping beats and ambulance-chasing playfulness. Syncopated shout-outs and tongue-twisting lyrics produce frenzied fits of pep rally rock as, “Youngsters,” bleat and shriek for an energetic free-for-all. LC plays two nights at Chicago’s Empty Bottle starting May 26th.
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Wilders - Someone’s Got to Pay
Album title: Someone’s Got to Pay
Record Label: Free Dirt
From hoedowns to honky-tonks, the Wilders’ commando jams swing through toe-tapping tempests and last call melancholy. Somber, fuel-injected traditions and snazzy, twang-filled philosophy highlight “Pay” with big returns on the listener’s investment as real-life murder ballads meet slammin’ solos of fiddle and dobro. The Wilders hit Madison’s High Noon April 16th.
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The Wilders online:
Kills - Midnight Boom
Album title: Midnight Boom
Record Label: Domino Records
Inspired by a documentary on playground clapping-songs, The Kills’ dirty up childhood rhymes for some catchy, cocky rock and roll. Maniacal, industrial-strength bump and grinds rock nocturnal yearnings into a sexy, slaughter-house burlesque driving, “Boom,” with an explosive mix of throbbing hooks, salivating metaphors and steamy teases. The Kills headline Madison’s Annex May 10th.
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Was (Not Was) - Boo!
Album title: Boo!
Record Label: Warner/Rykodisc
After twenty-years rest the party starts up again as, “Boo!” serves up sly soul, wacked-out cyber-irony and fishy tail-shaking funk. Respectfully subversive and sweetly deceitful, the original line-up still stays one step ahead of the competition, jiving and conniving with a goulash of grooves and gallows humor, political smarminess and hip, wicked wit.
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Kooks - Konk
Album title: Konk
Record Label: Astralwerks
Sad-eyed scoundrels rattling off breezy, rhythmic panache, The Kooks return with charming razzle-dazzle tailored to slippery romance, urbane insolence and rollicking guitar shuffles. Lolly-gagging in upbeat beatnik cheekiness, Konk coolly crunches British consciousness into three minutes jabs strummed to a keen ear and sharp eye. Likeably petulant, The Kooks play Milwaukee’s Turner Hall June 1st.
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Pythagoras always contended a strong relationship between math and music and while he was more concerned with harmonic convergence, this spring music offers a number of numerals to peruse. From perceptive alt-folk oddball ADAM GREEN’s freakishly true-life narratives, “Sixes and Sevens,” to global wizard JAMSHIED SHARIFI’s ethereal, “One,” primed, pumped and newly rejuvenated BLACK FRANCIS’ jaw-dropping blast of an action-packed mini-album, “Svn Fngrs,” or delicious pixie GOLDFRAPP’s lush, hallucinogenic, “Seventh Tree,” it all adds up to good vibrations.