by: Tommy DeSilva
Lee Bains III + the Glory Fires - Youth Detention (Nail My Feet Down to the Southside of Town) – (Don Giovanni Records)
Solid rock out of the South singing about whitewashing history, decolonialism, antiracism, and "radical notebook scribbles" with the occasional Spanish line. Strongly reminiscent of the Who in the Quadrophenia era, complete with the sounds of waves breaking on some tracks. A truly solid album - highly recommend listening if you'd like some new-school politics with an old-school sound.
Reduction Plan - Somewhere - (Maladjusted Recordings)
Synthy, vaguely goth, dark indie songs, with a hint of Nick Cave and the Cure both. Out of Connecticut, frontman Daniel Manning takes a turn away from his roots in punk towards his old fondness for melancholic guitar lines and almost moaned lyrics with no shortage of reverb. Give a listen if you're a fan of the Smiths or want something softer to play.
The Linecutters - Anthill - (Slope Records)
Good old-fashioned hardcore with solid metal influences out of Fort Collins in Colorado. Distorted guitars, plugging punk basslines, death growls, and enough lyrical complexity and disrespect for authority to satisfy. A few tracks (such as #3, Jett Fuel, and #10, Anxiety) have ska guitar lines going through them. Although there's OPI on several tracks, clean versions are available electronically.
The I.L.Y.'s - Bodyguard - (Castle Face)
A superb, strange, punk/rock/something else album out of Los Angeles. You'd never know it from listening, but this is the side project of Death Grips' Zach Hill and Andy Morin, the drummer/producer and recording engineer. There's no experimental hip hop here, however - the album is much more along the lines of experimental punk and indie with fairly genre-blurring lines crossing all the way from metal through to indie dream pop. In that way, there's some similarities to Death Grips themselves, who hardly could be described in one line as just another hip hop group, and there's some comparison to fellow travelers in hard-to-describe indie music Deerhoof and Xiu Xiu.
Mutoid Man - War Moans - (Sargent House)
Excellent sludge metal from Brooklyn's long-time beloved metal and punk band Mutoid Man. This album will be familiar to fans of the band: driving, complex guitar lines, stellar musicianship, surprisingly clean vocals. In that way, they're very similar to many of their labelmates on Sargent House, and for those who have yet to listen to the band, they have more than a little in common with Protest the Hero and Mastodon.