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Tobacco :: Hot Wet + Sassy

Electronic music seems to trend towards extremes of ambience, rhythm, or noise, but there is a place of balance where textures and beats combine aggressively into what can only be called a rock barrage.

IDLES :: Ultra Mono

It’s difficult to explain why this sort of aggressive guitar-forward post-punk sound feels so much more anthemic when it comes from the UK, but the effect is certainly there.

Blitzen Trapper :: Holy Smokes Future Jokes

I don’t know why I want to call this sound “California country”, when it’s not from California nor is it truly country, but its twangy aroma and psychedelic coloring are probably a big reason why.

Oh Sees :: Protean Threat

The name of this band may change every few years, but the implacable drone is unmistakable, like a heavy, doomed Ramones with a penchant for occasional celestial excursions.

Rob Crow :: Everybody’s Got Damage

When Rob Crow gets to anthologize the songs he wants to cover into an album, the results are disparate, insightful, and educational, ranging from King Crimson to the Melvins to the Beach Boys.

Sneaks :: Happy Birthday

There is something familiar yet quite subversive in the way Sneaks assembles their synthetic layers and stream-of-consciousness vocalizations into a collage of desperate modern living.

Yo La Tengo :: Sleepless Night

A new collection of covers from Yo La Tengo is not unusual, but their frequency does allow for some measurement of the band’s current mood, and the songs are always trailheads for musical exploration.

The Paranoyds :: Pet Cemetery

Spooky and unhinged, this single plods along with the menacing tone you might expect from the title. The flip side is more interesting, with call-and-response vocals, a bad attitude, and a woozy organ.