The Music Lab was once again locked in the building for the weekend with instructions to sort through the hundreds of new tracks that came in the previous week. Here are their verdicts.
1. Eagles of Death Metal, Long Slow Goodbye
Eagles of Death Metal Presents Boots Electric Performing the Best Songs We Never Wrote (UMG)
Recommended If You Like: Friends covering friends
The title says it all, really. Jesse Hughes (the rest of the EoDM sat this one out) has prepared a covers album featuring their renditions of songs by his buddies Queens of the Stone Age (this song), KISS (God of Thunder), Love and Rockets (So Alive), and AC/DC (High Voltage/It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock’n’Roll). Oh, and for good measure, Jesse also takes on George Michael and Mary J. Blige.
2. Ra Ra Riot, Flowers
Superbloom (Rob the Rich Recordings/Caroline)
RIYL: Baroque pop—whatever that is to you
Despite the churn of membership (and the strange death of a drummer), Ra Ra Riot continues to soldier on thirteen years after their founding in Syracuse, New York. Their fifth album (due August 9) was produced (at least in part) by Rostam Batmanglij, ex of Vampire Weekend.
3. CAAMP, No Sleep
By and By (Mom+Pop Music)
RIYL: Easygoing indie folk-pop
This band featuring a couple of boyhood first found its feet in the coffee shops of Athens, Ohio. First, I had no idea Athens had that many coffee shops. And second, there’s an Athens, Ohio? They’re now a trio thanks to the addition of bass player who apparently enjoys drinking light beers while wearing denim. (That fact comes from the band’s official bio, so don’t yell at me.)
4. Skye Wallace, There is a Wall
Skye Wallace (Independent)
RIYL: Assertive women in rock
Skye gets around, She’s lived everywhere from the BC coast to Norris Point, Newfoundland, to Dawson City, Yukon. Now based out of Toronto, she specializes in a form of rockin’ Canadiana (punky neo-folk?) that demands attention. This is her fourth album.
The Raconteurs, Help Me Stranger
Help Us Stranger (Third Man Records)
RIYL: Jack White, naturally
It was a nice surprise when we heard late last year that Jack White was reactivating The Raconteurs after keeping them on the shelf for the better part of a decade. When it arrives on June 21, Help Us Stranger will be the first Raconteurs record since Consolers of the Lonely, which was released on March 25, 2008. That’ll be an interval of 11 years, three months, and 27 days. Jeez, Jack, that’s a Tool-level gap.
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