Over three releases since 2005, these cheeky Brit-punks declared intentions as clear as their album titles: they’ve bang banged Rock & Roll, got a bit complicated, and fought Satan to no avail. Now on LP4 they’re attempting to be both brilliant and tragic, which seems a bit heavier. Expect the usual divisive Art Brut formula (clever, self-aware ramblings over three-chord bashers) again produced by Frank Black (Pixies), plus an updated delivery from Eddie Argos: less talk/more sing—a dangerous development now applied to topics like the Principality of Sealand and Axl Rose.
It might sound odd that Beck's Sea Change is the natural headspace to start in for Demolished Thoughts, but within a few seconds of listening, it all makes beautiful sense. The stripped-down, string-laced introspection of that 2002 soul searcher is in the forefront here, thanks in part to Beck's presence as producer. If that's where to start, the Sonic Youth legend quickly makes this his own, opening up in a newfound noise-free world, while maintaining that cool, trademark power. These two guys have nothing left to prove at this point (nor have they ever really cared, watch this hilarious 1994 interview), which makes this particularly earnest change of pace that much more compelling.
Represented by a 2008 debut and nonstop tour dominance ever since, Friendly Fires aren't that far from 'more a live band than an album band' status. That's not a bad spot to be in for a UK dance outfit who's mission essentially is to inspire physical euphoria. And still, you get the feeling Pala is taking that leap for depth, destined for a few sophomore missteps. It's obviously a vibrant effort, just look at like that cover, and perhaps, it could be just a feather too forced at times. Either way we know this thing is going to own a sweaty tent at Coachella.
White Denim is prime for a year that lands them in the larger pond. The Texas trio turned foursome has delivered on all the promise of a self-released rags to review-riches EP in 2007, now twice over on two lovable LPs. Not to mention a random freebie collection in the final days of last summer that more than held fans over. Who knows, maybe their unique noodling, which dips just as much into dad’s classic free jazz as it does acid rock, is right where it should be: a constant and uncompromising sound...that band you can go see anytime and not have to worry about a sudden and unfortunate shift in fan-base.
Hey they're 20 albums deep, why not release two at a time? Everything these unclassifiable Japanese titans do, they do it big, loud, and spontaneously. While Heavy Rocks goes hard, Attention Please gets up close, easing off the metal in favor of some stoner drifts, with lead guitarist Mata taking on full-time vocal duties—a first in their 15 year run.