Broken Social Scene / Forgiveness Rock Record / Arts & Crafts
Forgiveness Rock Record is like a match. In plain sight it looks dull and ordinary, but once struck it ignites and develops into a bewildering flame with intent to entice. The latest offering from Broken Social Scene may appear excessive in creativity, but after a few takes it builds a nest in the back of your head and repeatedly fires stimulating harmonies. In true fashion, the music collective touches different moods with instrumental jams (“Meet Me In The Basement”), frenzied, thrilling anthems (“Chase Scene”) and exquisite literature from the heart (“Sentimental X’s”).
Including guest appearances from new recruits and nostalgic voices like Emily Haines and Leslie Feist, hipsters must note, this isn’t vintage Broken Social Scene. The group breathes a new type of blissful air that hastily extinguishes music manifested by pop-barren sunshine kids and helps them reclaim their spot as the definition for “indie rock”. For a melodic troop like Broken Social Scene, it never gets lonely at the top.
Download: “Chase Scene”, “Romance To The Grave”, “Meet Me In The Basement”
Deftones / Diamond Eyes / Warner
Tired of the same old restless metal scenes eating up the airwaves? Then grab your $20 iPod headphones and devour the sixth studio release from the California alternative metal quintet. Though critics are eager to plaster Diamond Eyes with the label “pop metal”, they can’t. Each track embedded on the disc isn’t swimming with mainstream genes as it’s been fed a sense of dreaminess singer Chino Moreno calls “a positive zest for life”. Trying to create visual imagery could be seen as a downfall, but it lets Deftones give birth to a refined sound that makes creations like “Prince” and “976-Evil” enslaving.
Download: “Royal”, “Sextape”
Minus The Bear / Omni / Dangerbird Records
“Everybody’s got to shine on” yelps singer/guitarist Jake Snider on “Dayglow Vista Road”. It’s true, which is why the group acquired the services of an acclaimed producer to create a record they could hold up to the sun and go “damn, we did it”. Many Minus The Bear fans won’t know what to think of Omni and the pieces of new wave and electronic pop infested in it, but it’s a notch above their previous work. Tracks like “My Time” and the hauntingly honest “Fooled By The Night” seem fresh and unorthodox, but it’s Snider’s sultry croon and the group’s trademark technical indie rock sound that will force you to give the record another try.
Download: “Dayglow Vista Road”, “Hold Me Down”
The Hold Steady / Heaven Is Whenever / Vagrant
It would be critical to call it a shameful release, but there are a few positive highlights in Heaven Is Whenever. One the album cover is unique and doesn’t come off as bizarre or childish and two, its a worthwhile listen if you’re a religious Hold Steady follower. Note the if. The fifth record takes a step backwards into their catalogue and rises with a valiant indie sound that acts progressive, but speaks only one language: classic American rock. It doesn’t hurdle simplicity and instead crashes to the ground, wishing it could embrace the opportunity it had to experiment and watch each member’s distinct talent evolve.
Download: “The Weekenders”
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