Imagine a heavy punk-core assault, one with a bad attitude, weird experimental asides, an unhinged vocalist, and a rhythm section suitable for pulverizing concrete. How do you take it to the next level? Add a saxophone.
The Greyboy Allstars :: Como De Allstars
Sunny, loose-limbed, and grinning from ear to ear, this collection of infectious and sometimes intricate funk sounds like the songs that play in your head as your foot touches the sidewalk on the first day of spring.
Mikal Cronin :: Switched-On Seeker
A fully synthesized version of Cronin’s previous album, this retake offers the same moody melodies as “Seeker”, this time filled to the brim with the warble and saw of old-tyme synthes.
Khruangbin :: Mordechai
The Texas trio returns with their very specific blend of surf, psychedelia, and exotic spice, but this time around they’ve dropped the “instrumental” part by adding gloriously subdued vocalizations to some of the tracks.
Nano Banton :: Inna De Bedroom
The name should be enough to tune you in, but a more descriptive review would be to say this is deconstructed chiptune jungle dub, all your favorite riddims as DJ’d by the Mario Brothers.
The Fearless Flyers :: Tailwinds
“Fearless” is a good word to use for this fully-formed funk outfit, as are “fierce,” “fiery,” “finessed,” “futuristic,” and so many effing others. A blend of precision and groove that does well on repeat.
Chicano Batman :: Freedom Is Free
A fluid mixture of influences and identity, with tropical flavors and delicate pop sensibilities layering up with street-tough attitude for some songs, like a leather-jacketed hoodlum holding a bouquet of roses.
The Mountain Goats :: Songs for Pierre Chuvin
No topic is too esoteric for John Darnielle to base an entire Mountain Goats album on, not even the persecution of pagans as a wave of Christianity moved through Europe in the middle ages.