This month human nature’s strangeness takes center stage. Whether pavement-pounding ghost-rocker FACES ON FILM’s hip, slippery, “Elite Lines,” dusky synth-pop industrialists ROMAN REMAINS’ hard-wired mirages, “Zeal,” or pitter-patter pianist HAUSCHKA’s electro-acoustic confluence, “Abandoned City,” humanity’s unique insanity permeates March’s musical titles. So take a clue from alt-rockers BLEEDING RAINBOW’s cut-throat lightning bolts, “Interrupt,” or a lesson from lofty art-poppers HIGHASAKITE’s elaborate enchantments, “Silent Treatment” and immerse yourself in man-made mayhem.
Withered Hand - New Gods
Album title: New Gods
Record Label: Slumberland Records
Casually compassionate, disseminating infectious revelations in vagabond sing-alongs, Scotland’s wise and enterprising Withered Hand manages to candidly span lovelorn storms with meditative playfulness. Rambling folk jangle and zesty zydeco mojo makes for tuneful ruminations wound around homespun hope and pop-rock sounds as the beautifully exuberant and tenderly Dickensian, “Gods,” lodges its chronic honesty in rich, pithy passages and boisterous choruses
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Sally Seltmann - Hey Daydreamer
Album title: Hey Daydreamer
Record Label: Arts & Crafts
Thoughtfully melodic tales seasoned in lovely buttery bounce and rainbow taffeta laughter, “Daydreamer,” leaps between life’s peaks and valleys landing on carnival-lined crossroads trimmed in whimsy. Spring-loaded poems nurturing jump-rope jaunts and lavish magical lullabies through spotless chamber-pop chops, Seltmann’s ambitious wishes and sparkling self-reflection colors the grayest days in bright insights; subtly twisting emotional indecision into clever, extra-perceptive visions.
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As Animals - As Animals
Album title: As Animals
Record Label: Atmospheriques
Mastering theatrical characters embroiled in romantic catastrophes, France’s As Animals traipse from cheeky divas to regretful coquettes. Soulful moments packed in Cheshire Cat sass, shapely arrangements and lusty percussion, their self-titled debut is infused in silky smooth moves stylishly combining tribal bite with nightclub bluster while sleepy bedside overtures overturn frisky late-night heart-break and symphonic longing dispenses smart, sensitive medicine.
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Warm Soda - Young Reckless Hearts
Album title: Young Reckless Hearts
Record Label: Castle Face Records
Thundering bubblegum conundrums tumble from sly reprisals, elevating, “Hearts,” from re-bottled power-pop to ingenious glam-rock rip-offs whose fizzy lo-fi wizardry tackles garage-god swagger in driving dime-store rhymes, race-track riffs and toasted locomotives for sugar-coated commotion sure to dissolve upon impact and leave a sweet taste in the aftermath. Lovesick misfits, Warm Soda resurrect restless petulance fueled by burning, yearning sentiments.
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Nothing - Guilty of Everything
Album title: Guilty of Everything
Record Label: Relapse
Bristling in super-saturated sizzle, sputtering cosmic fuzz and congealing electric squeals, Nothing’s uncoiled turmoil lays thick textured sheets of ghostly gloss for polished squalor whose colored lulling unveils stark phosphorescent sparks. An intergalactic factory welding corrosive guitars over tranquil banquets, “Guilty,” forges past shoe-gaze haziness into fluid space-rock awesomeness building explosive potions from brazen buzz, fog-bound preponderance and dream-streaked feed-back. Nothing vists Madison’s Majestic Theater opening for Pelican May 18th.
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Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs - It’s Her Fault
Album title: It’s Her Fault
Record Label: Transdreamer
Brimstone cornpone carousing around backwoods toe-tappers, “Fault,” exalts howling juke-joint boogie, muddy-water rockabilly and hog-tied honky-tonky for a formidable twist and shout from shotgun honeys wielding skid-row licks drenched in swamp-water kicks. Recorded on their Georgia farm, Golightly and partner-in-crime Lawyer Dave stay true to their country-blues roots reaping delicious rib-tickling kitsch beneath gritty buckshot ballads and rollicking hootenanny anthems.
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A frustrating species, we do have some interesting aspects. From headstrong determination as displayed in buoyant Irish retro-rockers SEPTEMBER GIRLS’ cavernous passions, “Cursing the Sea,” Latin music maestros DANNY RIVERA and NELSON GONZALEZ’s classic infatuated boleros, “Obsesión,” and punchy cyber-funky number-crunchers COLOR WAR’s cool, cooing, “It Could Only Be This Way” to extracurricular friction offered by Sweden’s techno-kinetic chanteuse LUNE’s ethereal, “Music & Sports, suave Britpop connoisseurs METRONOMY’s succinct, unblinking valentine, “Love Letters,” or apocalyptic tripsters DEAD RIDER’s lawless jigsaw-rock, “Chills on Glass,” we are nothing if not wildly amusing.