As summer ends, so our fascination with finality begins. Between pioneering power-pop princes, THE POSIES’ reissued DIY debut, “Failure,” and death-metal grinders COLUMNS overdosed, “Please Explode” doomsday blooms anew, leaving polyrhythmic dance-pop missionaries RUBBLEBUCKET’s resourceful, “Survival Sounds,” and open-hearted indie-rockers DRY THE RIVER’s desperately delicate sketches, “Alarms in the Heart,” as pro-active prophets and slacker ambassadors THE DUE DILIGENCE’s raucous, beautifully retooled garage-rock cool, “Are You Down,” the merciful mercenary.
David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights - End Times Undone
Album title: End Times Undone
Record Label: Merge
Glistening six-string christenings switching luscious crushes for electric caresses, New Zealand’s Kilgour masters a placid muse whose seashore chords splash beneath brackish clatter, carpeting soft, focused vocals in heavenly cushions drawn from swampy tsunamis. Blessed by restless alchemists, the rambling strands holding, “Undone,” together converge in tender suspension manifesting languid jangle inside knotted indie-rock; serpentine designs assigned behind blustery bliss.
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Christopher Denny - If The Roses Don’t Kill Us
Album title: If The Roses Don’t Kill Us
Record Label: Partisan
Major chord euphoria baptized in warm purring Wurlitzers, bantering pianos and gurgling guitars; “Roses,” flows in spunky country-gospel, embracing Church-bell bright liturgies and family-friendly redemption. Sprinkled in Dixieland boogie, dusted with evangelical twang and shielded by hand-quilted happiness, Denny’s folksy notions are pitched with revival-meeting zeal and colored in frontier lovers’ gumption, turning lively homespun wonder into gentle denim revelations.
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Elephant Stone - Three Poisons
Album title: Three Poisons
Record Label: Hidden Pony
Hard-wired McGuyvers tripping in interstellar systems, Elephant Stone’s sneaky dream-rock stalks snarled schematics engineering half-magic acrobatics as wavy sci-fi soul barrels through dharma bum blues. Crafted micro-encapsulated psychedelics harness mod-melodic pyrotechnics while groovy utopian glow flickers in glam-trampled guitars and incense-dispensed sitars; “Poisons,” seep between sleepy memories and swimming visions, bending minds in polished cosmic doppelgangers and throbbing phosphorescent testaments.
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The Wind and The Wave - From The Wreckage
Album title: From The Wreckage
Record Label: RCA
Gripping cynicism washed in high-minded harmony and waxing nostalgia, “Wreckage,” wrestles desert divas from defensive confessions. Edgy treasures cloaked in smokin’ hot subplots, Texans Dwight Baker and Patricia Lynn rage and coo in a swaying buffet of alt-country canters and folk-pop trots where tough marries fluff with strong-worded flirts skirting sizzling pistol-whipped shuffles, heartbroken cowboy ballads and stern, spurned barn-burners.
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Merchandise - After The End
Album title: After The End
Record Label: 4AD
Literate dilettantes skimming deep wells stocked in jealous rebels, vampire-rockers Merchandise power around cool moody subterfuge; smoldering consolers rebounding from romantic panic through calm elegant honesty, a brave sincerity born from seamless melancholy adrift in glittering indifference. Distinct but distant, muscular yet paralyzed, “After, ” unmasks underhanded candor, conjuring dark theatrics composed over steely blue-eyed soul and post-punk dance anthems.
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Bishop Allen - Lights Out
Album title: Lights Out
Record Label: Dead Oceans
Fun-loving summer plunges plunder fairground funk grafted to groove-proven pop; “Lights,” delights in firefly flair, bouncing from sassy tropical follies shrink-wrapped in space-bop to sweet collegiate chamber-folk roasted over liberating wit. Dancing with chameleonic grace, the sly and versatile Bishop Allen produce studious fusions to launch glorious weekend get-aways, incessant tensions firing bouncy counterpoint into smart art-songs paired alongside calypso-discos.
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Dire times require strong faith and August albums offer positive titles reaching out to a higher power. Surrender your will and join beatnik-punks THE MUFFS’ char-broiled beach-party, “Whoop Dee Doo,” taste Mississippi-bred singer-songwriter PAUL THORN’s steaming rock gumbo, “Too Blessed to be Stressed,” or accept swinging narco-chimeras SW/MM/NG’s psychedelic jangle-pop, “Feel Not Bad.” Praise blues-crooner RUTHIE FOSTER’s upright, hip-shakin’ clambake, “Promise of a Brand New Day,” dark-rock overlords WALKING BICYCLES’ eerie, “To Him Who Wills the Way,” and crisp psycho-folk eye-opener ROBYN HITCHCOCK’s meticulous British mojo, “The Man Upstairs.”