For every bad album we get sent to the station, we get a whole bunch of good records that are more than worth the attention from your ears. It’s all about the rock n roll this week, ranging from power pop, to obtuse slacker rock, to two counts of dark, brooding rock and the return of a 90s rock legend. Here’s what made our music staff dig into the earth and create a new society with a religion based upon music.
- Mikal Cronin – MCIII
A best bud of garage savant Ty Segall, Cronin is definitely included in the camp of stellar songwriters who know how to band out a killer rock n roll song. In this case, however, it’s satisfying power pop instead of blazed out garage rippers. MCIII is Cronin’s second album for Merge Records and it seems as though he’s grown into his role as a Merge Records band, which is to create a sound that will appeal to the veterans of the label as well as the hip, young kids. This record accomplishes that with ease, supplying listeners with essential summer jammers like “Say” and “Gold,” along with some more intimate tunes like “Alone” and Different.” While I don’t think this record is as good as its predecessor, it’s still an seminal record for the summer of 2015.
- Speedy Ortiz – Foil Deer
Northampton, MA slacker rockers Speedy Ortiz are a team favorite over in these parts; playing in CT on almost every tour they take part in. Personally, I’ve seen them four times, three of which have been at the same venue in CT, so there we go. Nutmeggers must like them for their angular riffs, their snide cadence and overall catchy, yet obtuse songwriting. I bet those are the reasons that a lot of people like them, but I’m going to speak for all CT residents for this one.
- Built To Spill – Untethered Moon
Classic 90s rock band Built To Spill are back with a new album after six years of silence and boy howdy does it sound good to have them back. What’s most incredible about this album is that the vocals of Doug Martsch, the lead singer, have not changed since the hey-days of BtS’s career. That one shining relic within the mid-tempo melodic pop rock allows listeners to connect the two realms together to discover that this actually is a great record, one of the best in their catalog, actually, and not one to pass up on like many other records from older, washed up bands.
- Marriages – Salome
Marriages’ latest full-length record is definite Sargent House records faire, but that is definitely not a bad thing. Here we have expansive, dark instrumentals in the slight post punk vein, while also traversing into possible stoner metal veins as well. The crown jewel of this record, however, are the biting vocals of Emma Ruth Rundle, who amazed me last year on her solo record Some Heavy Ocean. This is like a step up from that, complete with full band and moody, buzzing guitars.
- Torres – Sprinter
Torres, AKA Mackenzie Scott, has brought the folk sound from her stellar, self-titled debut and dirtied it up a little bit by bringing it into the darkness, lyrically and instrumentally. Rife with deep, slow electric guitars that painstakingly jab away at the listener at a snail’s pace while Scott’s powerful, syrupy vocals glaze over listeners like a deadly poison. It’s an album that either is drowning or is drowning someone else. Power in darkness, that’s for sure.