Wednesday, October 23, 2013

October 22 Releases, 2013

By: Colin Roose, Album Reviews Editor

I think it says something about our culture when a week with nearly two-dozen major-label releases is considered disappointing. Think about it: how many new albums are you going to listen to this week? I can't claim to know you, sir or madam, but probably not anywhere close to all of them. Do you know what that means? It means that you, me and the rest of America have come to expect a level of music production far greater than our capacity to consume. Oh, capitalism.

Anyway, you're probably not going to sell many albums this week if you're not Katy Perry. Prism is guaranteed to smash all the records when it descends upon the FM-listening public this week, and will probably be number one for about ten bazillion weeks. 

If you've been breathing air for the last month, you're 200% likely to have heard the lead single "Roar." It's stuffed with big, obvious hooks, hacky, clichéd lines like "I've earned my stripes," and was accompanied with an equally tacky music video. And I love every second of it.

No, no, don't roll your eyes. I'll talk about good music in a second here, after I sift through all the names I've never heard of on the list of releases.

Aha! Best Coast, with its EP Fade Away. Original surf-rock may have lost its relevance the moment The Beach Boys made Pet Sounds, but all those punks picked it back up and kicked it around for a while in the early '80s. And now we have this band to give the California beaches a nice jangly indie sheen. You can almost see the waves cresting and crashing on the guitar reverb and singer Bethany Cosentino yelling from across the sand. I miss summer already.

There's Motörhead too, who, according to metalhead extraordinaire/my roommate Justin, have put out the same album over and over since the '90s. I think it's understandable, though. I wouldn't know how to top "Ace of Spades" either. Lemmy still somehow sounds like a car trying to start, and the guitars have a modern flavor of angry.

Ducktails! Woo-oo! Continuing the trend of "one guy trying to pass himself off as a band," Matthew Mondanile makes music lonely dudes tend to create: vaguely psychedelic, very-produced indie rock. The style of his new EP Wish Hotel has been christened with the name "hypnagogic pop." Dream-pop is already sleepy enough, so apparently hypnagogic pop is indie's equivalent of Ambien. If you have a tolerance for the blurry-eyed wonder mood, you may enjoy this children's cartoon-loving hypnotist.

Aaaand…yep, that's everyone you're going to care about in music this week. No, we are not talking about Ted Nugent. Ever. No, we are not talking about a band called "Gringo Star." I wish we could talk about Donna Summer, but she only has a remix album out this week. Pity. But stay tuned until next week, when Arcade Fire will reflekt some sunlight onto the dim light shone by this week's album releases.