The ska orchestra is a rare beast, astounding to behold. Absorbing and expressing a manic energy worthy of ska, big bands, and thrash metal, the TSPO enters its fourth decade still on the redline and with no signs of slowing down.
Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds :: Swing From The Sean Dealer
Looking for some wildman rockandroll? You need look no further than this four-song effort (one of which takes up more than half the album), featuring out-of-control guitar stunts, an implacable rhythm section, and a wonderfully unhinged vibe.
Hearty Har :: Radio Astro
Rock and roll is absent from the charts, and you’d hardly know there is a serious revival going on, this slab of shimmering paisley from the Fogerty kids being a prime example. Get your riffs, hooks, choruses, and more right here.
Tele Novella :: Merlyn Belle
This beguiling set of intricate songs could have come out of a Tin Pan Alley songbook, so calling them old-fashioned is somewhat incomplete. And like all the best fluffy shiny pop led by a heavenly female voice, it hides many razor-sharp barbs.
Scott The Hoople :: NEIL Vol. 1
If you love Neil Young as much as Scott McCaughey does, you’ll be able to grin at yourself on recognizing each and every one of these deep, deep cuts, delivered in McCaughey’s enthusiastic yelp rather than Young’s grizzled whine.
Mexican Institute of Sound :: Distrito Federal
An all-too-short collaborative effort between Camilo Lara, the mind behind MIS, and a witches’ brew of guest appearances making for a selection of space-age cumbias and other sounds as brazenly colorful and exuberant as the city it’s named for.
Femi Kuti :: Stop the Hate
Afrobeat continues to be a family business for the Kutis, and business is booming. Now representing the middle generation in this dynasty, Femi expertly delivers the expected stuttering beats and political dissent we have come to expect from the brand.
Ascendants :: Quarantine
This producer-songwriter duo invests electronic beats and heavily-textured arrangements with soaring vocals, sometimes wordless but always emotive.