Ray LaMontagne / God Willin & The Creek Don’t Rise / RCA
Twisting the inner beauty of bright lights suburbia and the porch swing countryside, New Hampshire’s Ray LaMontagne calls on his band to pen a fourth studio effort covered in the dust of folk and soul. The bearded poet exceeds his boundaries with bluegrass funk and hymns mimicking Neil Young, but it’s his frail, wholehearted rasp that suffocates your most hurtful memories. “Deep down inside I’ve got to face the truth / That you’re not coming home,” croons the songwriter on the heartsick 4 a.m. wail “This Love Is Over”. If Damien Rice is the “King Of Pain”, Ray LaMontagne is the wounded bird drowning in sorrow in a desolate field.
Download: “New York City’s Killing Me”, “Are We Really Through”
The Devil Wears Prada / Zombie EP / Ferret
Ruthless, vindictive and in your face like the mindless feeders the EP is named after, the Ohio metalcore outfit’s latest batch of numbers show you the group’s constant hunger for creativity. Amidst the high-octane thrash and reformed vocals is a zombie apocalypse theme wrapped in inhuman songwriting and tied with a bow slathered in brutal aggression. The unusual change in pace questions if The Devil Wears Prada can transfer such an imaginative beast to their next full-length, but tracks like “Revive” and “Survivor” (tattered with a horrific conclusion) disregard any concerns.
Download: “Survivor”, “Outnumbered”
Hey Monday / Beneath It All EP / Decaydance
Bad girl gone good? That seems to be the premise behind the Florida pop punkers torn EP that’s more karaoke-ready than a horrid 90s’ hits compilation. Beneath It All consoles you with a striking pop construction but force feeds you images of Kelly Clarkson (“I Don’t Wanna Dance”) and an edgy Taylor Swift with an innocent butterfly tattoo. Not all is lost with singer Cassadee Pope as her vocals do their best Cartel impression on “Where Is My Head”, but one adolescent anthem will regrettably spit out the “one of these things is not like the other” expression.
Download: “Where Is My Head”