November sponsors several albums grounded in commitment. Feral devils DOPE BODY’s spastic electro-punk attack, “Lifer,” and cool studio sculptor ANDY STOTT’s ghost-programmed mosaics, “Faith In Strangers,” vow empowered allegiance while compassionate folk-maverick NAT JOHNSON’s sweet, lyrical encouragements, “Neighbour of the Year,” honor honest solidarity. Add scintillating synth-vixen LIA MICE’s ultimate Euro-pop promise, “I Love You,” alongside flapper-savvy songbirds MEMPHIS DAWLS’ full-throttled folk-gospel, “Rooted in the Bone,” and deals are sealed.
Megafortress - Believer
Album title: Believer
Record Label: Driftless Recordings
Slathered in ominous studio crackle and lacquered in stripped-down astral-jazz waxing, “Believer,” undertakes an electro-pillaged pilgrimage gathering sparse low-key soliloquies sparking ambient soul-baring humanity. Stark sequestered treasures reveling in dark, unvarnished reflections, Megafortress builds seething electric requiems whose meditative hesitations reverberate in perceptive confessions; baptized transmissions cleansed in crisp penetrating sentiment, steadied by level-headed revelations and colored in wondrous struggles.
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Buzzcocks - The Way
Album title: The Way
Record Label: 1-2-3-4 Go Records
Backed by a new drummer and bassist; songwriters and founding members Shelley and Diggle storm the palace gates with curt pertinent couplets and snarling barroom guitars. Blunt pop-laden punk spiced with decisive social dissection, “The Way,” blazes through breathless rock testaments written by hungry class-ravaged curmudgeons ripe for a fight and armor-plated statesmen armed with forthright bite and open-hearted bark.
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Torn Hawk - Let’s Cry and Do Pushups At The Same Time
Album title: Let’s Cry and Do Pushups At The Same Time
Record Label: Mexican Summer
Embryonic buzz-saws mount chattering catalysts as, “Pushups,” ricochets between cyber-writhing synths, fiendish drum-machines and thrashing axes mastering chain reactions; laser-guided geysers pump short-circuited quirks over spring-loaded explosions raining pulsating mayhem beneath well-crafted commotion. Micro-managing cinematic sound-factories, flight-controlling maestro Luke Wyatt aka Torn Hawk swoops down on a polyglot of runaway nanobot fantasies whose playfully layered mazes surround collapsing musical maps.
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Run Boy Run - Something to Someone
Album title: Something to Someone
Record Label: Sky Island Records
A jaw-dropping combination of Gaelic bluegrass and mountaintop chamber-folk the Arizona quintet’s fiddles, mandolins, cello, bass and guitars borrow from history-rich traditions to foster a scholarly hodgepodge underwritten in moonshine and molasses. Led by strong female harmonies and nimble pickin’, “Something,” skips past rootsy troubadours to branch into torch-song confidants sauntering in enchanting shanties, worldly-wise Americana and twinkling Texas swing.
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Lace Curtains - A Signed Piece of Paper
Album title: A Signed Piece of Paper
Record Label: Female Fantasy
Flying off the page, the wry, slightly sinister mug-shot pop-rock inside, “Paper,” delivers underhanded candor, footloose truths and gritty hubris with a journalist’s eye for detail and a crooner’s ear for tunes. Hep-cat chit-chat to rile up the riff-raff, Austin-based Lace Curtain’s clever squirrel-cage case studies uncover underground scoundrels among groovy sleuths; employing hard-luck pluck to construct solid, rollicking ruckus.
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The Shivas - You Know What To Do
Album title: You Know What To Do
Record Label: K Records
Radical slackers mashing fab platters from the early sixties, The Shivas shake, rattle and roll with rousing garage-rock raves and shaggy surf-punk parades stomping on irreverent teen-age angst through reverb-soaked hillbilly blues, juvie beatnik strolls and party-hardy basement doo-wop. Carrying a torch for scorching R&B rip-offs, “You Know,” revs up barb-wired twang for some back-lot boogaloo steeped in rapturous nostalgia.
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Wandering between being evasive and ambivalent, November albums offer wildly wishy-washy options. From swirling Scottish indie-rockers THE TWILIGHT SAD’s mega-textured existentialism, “Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave,” to covert sound-merchants TARWATER’s vast theatrical skullduggery, “Adrift,” and dreamy emo-industrialists FRANCISCO THE MAN’s rock-hard, “Loose Ends,” the inconclusive meets uncertainty with marvelous results. Whether in techno-pop jockeys SUN BEARS!’ unbridled sci-fi dance-rock, “Future Sounds,” or big-picture jazz-master MIGUEL ZENON’s artistic montage of immigrant interviews and big-band jams for the celebratory melting-pot odyssey, “Identities Are Changeable,” speculation proves irresistible.