The first thing you notice about Jason Vieaux, right arm outstretched for a handshake, are his...
Published: 10/03/2013 | 0 Comments Posted
Notwithstanding the Haim sisters’ shade-sporting L.A.-rock-star image, their ass-kicking live shows and their ample use of twitchy guitar licks, the songs on their long-awaited debut LP are no less technologically abetted studio creations than those of that other red-hot trio of the moment, Chvrches. And despite the Fleetwood Mac RIYLs, Days Are Gone (Columbia) lands a good deal closer to Thriller than Rumours. Just remember which one of those had Van Halen on it.
—K. Ross Hoffman
Seems Nine Inch Nails returned to a major not because Trent Reznor lost his (self-) righteousness, or fell to resignation, but because he’s suddenly hoping against hope. And if he “Came Back Haunted,” Hesitation Marks (Columbia) proves he’s earned his ghosts — and the right to put a straight-up pop number like “Everything” smack in the middle of a taut, post-industrial record that throbs with bass and skitters on acid-glitch. “I survived everything/ I have tried everything …/ I am home. ”
Arp (Alexis Georgopoulos) used to make hazy, minimalist synth music informed by 1970s German kosmische, so his third outing — an album that scampers from quaint, music-hall piano ditties to buzzy guitar stompers, princely harpsichord filigree to swaggering saxophone chorales, with a majority of tracks featuring vocals — is quite a curveball. His heart may remain largely in the same decade (Berlin-era Bowie and “rock” Brian Eno are obvious touchstones), but More (Smalltown Supersound) is more slippery than a simple summation of its influences.
—K. Ross Hoffman
Imagine the Texas Troubadours were natives of Lake Charles, La., rather than San Antonio. That mixture of local tradition (Cajun with a taste of Creole) with all the other dance music favored by workers who’d come to town for the oil industry (honky-tonk, country, blues and a soupçon of Western swing) is how Ganey Arsement does it. Le Forgeron (Salty Bayou Music), about Arsement’s great-granddad, opens with a driving accordion and old-school French vocals and closes with the recording that inspired him as a child, his granddad’s single.
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