Reviews: It's May 2012, and Seattle Sounds Like...

Our take on every local release.

LOCAL RELEASES

* 7 Horns 7 Eyes, Throes of Absolution (out now, Century Media, facebook.com/7horns7eyes): The debut from this progressive death-metal five-piece is both bludgeoningly heavy and darkly introspective as it races across time signatures, moods, and tempos, wowing with its technical proficiency at each turn. Ex-Nevermore shredder Jeff Loomis even shows up for a solo. DAVE LAKE (Sat., May 19, El Corazon)

Afraid of Figs, Safe (out now, self-released, aofmusic.com): A paradigmatic power-pop record. Clean, simple, prominent guitar riffs and energized drums drive this album, backed by harmonious vocals. If you dig Weezer, Safe is calling you. LAURA SWARTZ

At the Spine, At the Spine (out now, Global Seepej Records, atthespine.org): The fifth LP from this Seattle indie-rock band channels the sound of their various peers from Mudhoney to Vendetta Red. At times raging, at others restrained, the band is at their best when they combine big riffs with big choruses, as on "Meteorite." DL (Mon., May 28, Folklife)

Atomic Bride, Dead Air (5/23, self-released, atomic-bride.com): Psychedelic garage punk that's part B-52s, part Dead Kennedys, and part Groovie Ghoulies. Particularly fun is the bouncy "Radio Recession," anchored by a killer surf-guitar riff, which shows off the dueling male/female vocals of Astra Elane and Chris Cool. DL (Sat., May 19, Lo-Fi Performance Gallery)

Ayron Jones and The Way, Baptized in Muddy Waters (out now, self-released, ajandtheway.com): This blues-rock trio's debut EP is an impressive introductory vehicle for their Hendrix-influenced frontman's gritty, soul-baring vocals and wondrously fluid electric-guitar soloing. ERIN K. THOMPSON (Thurs., May 17, Comet Tavern)

Barcelona, Not Quite Yours (5/8, self-released, facebook.com/Barcelona): This record, while decent, is not nearly as good as 2007's phenomenal Absolutes. But it's rangier, and thus marks a successful effort to ditch local critics' Coldplay-copycat assertions. But there's such a thing as an overcorrection, and this may be it. MIKE SEELY (Fri., May 18, Columbia City Theater)

The Beautiful Sunsets, Coalminers & Moonshiners (out now, Global Seepej Records, thebeautifulsunsets.com): Male/female harmonies highlight this LP, which blends traditional folk songs and a few covers with the band's twangy originals. The highlight is an upbeat version of Ewan MacColl's "Dirty Old Town." DL (Mon., May 28, Folklife)

Blood Orange Paradise, Blood Orange Paradise (out now, self-released, bloodorangeparadise.com): It's fitting that some members of this four-piece hail from Washington, D.C.: The influence of Dischord Records and post-hardcore greats like Fugazi and Jawbox figure heavily into this eight-song record, simultaneously raw and tightly wound. ANDREW GOSPE (Sat., May 5, Sunset Tavern)

Sonny Bonoho, "ATTN:" (out now, self-released, sonnybonoho.com): The lead single from SB's upcoming The Vag project finds the singer/rapper looking within in his jumbled thought kind of way. This time, The ARE's nicely sampled beat (and DJ Rhettmatic's scratches) bring out the best in our wacky local hero. TODD HAMM

BRAD, United We Stand (out now, Razor & Tie, thebandbrad.com): Full of easygoing, smooth adult-alternative jams, Stone Gossard's Pearl Jam offshoot project is fronted by the local forefather of shaggy-white-boy soul, Shawn Smith. The perfect disc to throw in with the cargo pants and golf club you're planning to send Dad for Father's Day. MA'CHELL DUMA LAVASSAR

Brite Lines, Make Shift (out now, self-released, britelines.bandcamp.com): Poppy folk-rock, plumped up with strings, that occasionally employs zany instrumentation a la Squirrel Nut Zippers, but which is most effective when it takes a straightforward approach and lets the songs' emotional brevity speak for itself. MDL (Wed., May 9, Tractor Tavern)

*Broken Water, Tempest (5/29, Hardly Art, facebook.com/brokenagua): Nineties-vintage Olympia indie rock, with serious shades of Sonic Youth in the deadpan male/female vocals, bursts of sludgy noise, and resilient melodic figures. ERIC GRANDY

*Cex, Presumed Dead (out now, Automation Records, automationrecords.bandcamp.com): This art-core indie rapper, producer, and early blogger returns with an album of ambient electronic bass music, with a low end that sounds depth-charged even on earbuds. EG

William Charney, Tempestuocity (out now, self-released, williamcharney.com) This local jazz composer's straight-ahead originals are more developed than the last time we checked in, but they still lack a sense of urgency and originality. Chris kornelis

CopperWire, Earthbound (out now, Porto Franco, copperwiremusic.com): This new three-person project (which includes local good guy Gabriel Teodros) is perhaps best seen as an allegorical statement regarding life and the Ethiopian diaspora. The simpler truth is that it's an adventurous album that sounds good on quite a few levels. TH

*Craft Spells, Gallery (5/15, Captured Tracks, facebook.com/CraftSpells): This four-song EP finds the Stockton-to-Seattle transplants tightening their '80s new wave sound, pulling back Idle Labor's gauzy curtain of reverb to reveal bright yet sleepy hooks somewhere between those of New Order and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. EG (Wed., May 9, Neumos)

Daega Sound/Kid Smpl, No Northwest Cycle 2 EP #3 (5/15, Car Crash Set, carcrashset.com): This EP pairs Vancouver, B.C.'s Daega Sound with Seattle's Kid Simpl (and Keyboard Kid on the remix) for takes on dubstep (respectively) lurking like Shackleton and aqueous like Burial. EG

*Branden Daniel & the Chics, Keep 'Em Flying (5/8, self-released, facebook.com/BrandenDanielAndTheChics): We now live in a world where the trippy soul of King Khan and the pseudo–garage rock of Kings of Leon hold court equally in a single band. GWENDOLYN ELLIOTT (Thurs., May 17, Chop Suey)

*Jarv Dee, Dopamine (out now, Cloud Nice, cloudnice.com): The Cloud Nice representative kicks some highly entertaining (and intermittently comically misogynistic) rhymes that add up to another W for the south-end collective. TH (Fri., May 18, Chop Suey)

*Deadkill, Deadkill (5/22, Good to Die Records, facebook.com/deadkillseattle): They may have a song called "5150" on their four-song debut 7-inch, but that's where the Van Halen comparisons end. This is Black Flag-inspired punk rock from current and former members of the Absolute Monarchs, Himsa, and the Meices. It's raging, it's in-your-face, and it's all over before you know it. DL (Thurs., May 17, Barboza)

*Demon Hunter, True Defiance (out now, Solid State, demonhunter.net): It's impossible to be let down by Demon Hunter. True Defiance is all over the place: fast, slow, intense, beautiful, momentous. "Tomorrow Never Ends" is a powerful track with a heartfelt message, though it's hard to beat the furor of "God Forsaken." JOE WILLIAMS

*Everything Points Up, Everything Points Up EP (out now, self-released, everythingpointsup.bandcamp.com): Creative, adventurous, indie electro-pop from the guys behind local rock act the Glass Notes. These "demos" are a bit rough around the edges, but that's what helps give this EP such a warm, analog feel. The melodies here carry infinite potential. CK

Fatal Lucciauno, "Big Bro (Action Jackson Remix)": (out now, Sportn' Life, fatallucciauno.bandcamp.com): This track from Fatal's recent album Respect showcases the MC's untouchable delivery as well as any, and Fly Moon Royalty's DJ Action Jackson bends his 'hood observations into an underworld love song. TH

*Father John Misty, Fear Fun (out now, Sub Pop, fatherjohnmisty.com)

Former Seattleite and ex-Fleet Foxes drummer Josh Tillman has built something of a reputation as an eccentric, hippie-hipster underachiever, enhanced by his popular Twitter account, which tells the world about things like getting stoned and sleeping through 4/20. But if Tillman is some sort of hilariously addled slacker, he beats the lazy clichés. Fear Fun, his debut as Father John Misty, is an intricately orchestrated album that incorporates careful touches of organ, mandolin, and, at least once, whistling, all tied together by Tillman's strong, fluid, surprisingly pretty vocals.

FJM's freewheeling music reflects the golden '70s of Laurel Canyon (Tillman's current home) without being derivative. Misty keeps it all fresh by skipping from heavy psych-rock ("Hollywood Forever Cemetery Song") to easy acoustic (the lovely opener "Funtimes in Babylon") and whimsical folk ("Well, You Can Do It Without Me"). His CSNY-style rocker, "Only Son of a Ladiesman," is the lone track that faintly rings of Fleet Foxes.

Lyrically, the songs are reminiscent of the Beatles' "Ballad of John and Yoko,"with verses reeling off whimsical, globe-trotting adventures. Misty's world is colorfully populated by the gun-toting Sally Hatchet; Heidegger and Sartre sipping opium tea; John the Baptist commingling with Joseph Campbell and the Rolling Stones. And while it's true that Fear Fun is refreshingly infused with a sense of humor that flippantly, joyfully references drugs ("I ran down the road/Pants down to my knees/Screaming, 'Please come help me/That Canadian shaman/Gave a little too much to me!' ") and sex ("You said 'Whip it out!'/And I started to shout/'I'm in love with a woman! Again!' "), Tillman makes all his jokes knowingly.

Fear Fun is a storyboard of Tillman's excessive life—the good times and California cool—but it comes with a relatable poignancy: the urgent need to capture and crystallize the current now before everything changes again. "I'll just call this what it is: My vanity gone wild with my crisis," he sings on "I'm Learning to Love the War": "One day this will all repeat/I sure hope they make something useful out of me." ERIN K. THOMPSON (Mon., May 7, Neumos)

Hanssen, Statement of Work (out now, Innerflight, soundcloud.com/hanssen): Three tracks of glossy techno, from dance-floor pulse to night-driving cool to ambient, with three remixes that stretch the originals further in each direction. EG

*Hotels, Cinemascope I (out now, self-released, hotelsmusic.com): This promising EP combines two of the '80s' most influential musical trends—new wave and post-punk—to great effect, especially on closer "True Crime," with its lockstep drumming and synthed-out coda. "The Reddest Rose," which sounds like a keyboard-heavy Strokes outtake, is also a keeper. AG

The Jefferson Rose Band, Seismic (out now, self-released, jeffersonroseband.blogspot.com): Their Kickstarter-funded debut LP is a chill, afro-funk summer cocktail. It's no wonder 141 people chipped in to make this instrumental happen. CK (Fri., May 18, Nectar)

The Jesus Rehab, Drunken Hillbilly Fight Bar (out now, self-released, thejesusrehab.com): Plucky indie pop with a heavy '90s angle a la Everclear and Third Eye Blind, with a little Pavement and Weezer thrown in for credibility. While the music may seem familiar, this is a solidly produced effort with undeniable commercial viability—this band was made for KNDD. MDL (Mon., May 14, Crocodile)

*Keyboard Kid, The Transition EP (5/7, Donkey Pitch, keyboardkid206.bandcamp.com): Local #based music purveyor Keyboard Kid takes some heady bass pulses on a ride through an echoey synth forest as electro-snare trees fly by and filter-crushed samples babble in the background. TH (Sat., May 12, Crocodile)

Killing Jenny, Whatever (out now, self-released, reverbnation.com/killingjenny): Singer Noelle Rimestad, who fronts this pop/rock band, sounds like Pat Benatar, but unlike Benatar's 1979 debut, Whatever lacks a "Heartbreaker." DL

Kingdom Crumbs, "For the Birds" (out now, Cloud Nice, cloudnice.com): The lofty future-funk beat fits the song's avian subject matter well, and indulges the group's most laid-back inklings. TH

*Kingdom Crumbs, "Pick Both Sides of My Brain" (out now, Cloud Nice, cloudnice.com): Upon what is perhaps Tay Sean's most captivating instrumental, the KC MCs drop some easy-flowing, pro-grade rhymes. Kingdom Crumbs has officially arrived. TH

Lake City Poets, Lake City Poets (out now, self-released, myspace.com/thelakecitypoets): If you like spoken-word music touching on subjects as diverse as window washers, clinophobia, and photography, read by a guy who sounds sort of like The Dismemberment Plan's Travis Morrison, this album might be the hottest release of the year. AG

The Last Temptations, Penny Dreadfuls (out now, self-released, thelasttemptations.bandcamp.com): Part rockabilly, part Alkaline Trio if they were fronted by a female and only listened to Otis Redding, Penny Dreadfuls is a smooth and delectable release full of slow rock, eerie melodies, and toylike jingles. JW

*Legato Bebop, Jargon (out now, self-released, legatobebop.bandcamp.com): An odd, borderless solo album that builds and drifts from ambient din to full-on grunge-crunching rock to fluffy hip-hop beats to Panda Bear/Fleet Foxes–derived harmonies. EG

Longboat, Instant Classics (out now, self-released, facebook.com/Longboat): Longboat appeared on the map with 2011's Greater Seattle, a sardonic take on Seattle's many neighborhood-centric cultures. With Instant Classics, Longboat continues with eclectic Richard Cheese-meets-They Might Be Giants-esque nerd-pop about buses, mastodons, and other often-passed-over song subjects. GREGORY FRANKLIN

*Mount Eerie, Clear Moon (5/22, P.W. Elverum and Sun, pwelverumandsun.com)

To put it mildly, a few themes recur through Anacortes indie auteur Phil Elverum's work as the Microphones and Mount Eerie: the moon, the universe, the natural world mythically personified or made into existential metaphor. So for his latest album to return to his old muse the moon, and open with a stereo-echoing guitar strum familiar from The Glow Pt. 2, in a sequel to "Through the Trees" from Mount Eerie's 2009 album Wind's Poem, is no surprise. Phil still wallows like Phil—but even as his early sense of wonder has slowly hardened over the years into something more somber and melancholy, his sonic palette has steadily expanded, taking in black metal, drone, Twin Peaks synth pads, and now spooked-out jazz (on the songs "Lone Bell" and "House Shape") to augment his acoustic explorations. ERIC GRANDY

*NoRey, NoRey (5/11, self-released, noreymusic.com): This five-track release will make you want to quit pruning your pubes, live in a yurt, do mind-expanding drugs, and take group showers. It's natural, it's groovy, it's sexy; fronted by Colombian cocksman Alejandro Garcia, No Rey might be Seattle's most authentic, original band. MS (Fri., May 25, Crocodile)

Polyrhythmics, "Pink Wasabi" (out now, Electric Cowbell Records, soundcloud.com/polyrhythmics): This reggae-and-soul-spiced instrumental will be a tasteful addition to your summer barbecue mix, and spark endless debates about the jazz-flute solos (which are well played here). CK (Fri., May 12, Nectar)

Prom Queen, Night Sound (out now, self-released, facebook.com/promqueenmusic): Celene Ramadan's '50s-pop project utilizes sultry vocals and dreamy, slumping instrumentals to create a sound at once unique and vintage. Night Sound is a sweltering collection of original songs that wouldn't sound out of place soundtracking a Tarantino or Lynch film. EKT

*Ryan Purcell and The Last Round, Pick Me Up (5/25, self-released, ryan purcellandthelastround.bandcamp.com): This album, sung by a man who sounds like an amalgam of John Cougar Mellencamp and Steven Tyler after consuming a half-case of Bud Light Platinums and a carton of Camels at a stock-car race, made me immediately pour myself a glass of bourbon—at 3 on a Tuesday afternoon. That's the mark of a perfect country-rock album; the title track shimmers. MS (Fri., May 25, Columbia City Theater)

Purty Mouth, A Night at the Opry (out now, self-released, facebook.com/Purty-Mouth): A solid old-school effort from twang purists Purty Mouth. Featuring dueling male and female vocalists, there is no "alternative" in this band's brand of country, as reverent to George Strait as to George Jones. MDL

Q Dot, "Indivisible 2.0" (outnow, Royalshack Publishing, myspace.com/qdotmusic): The Tacoma artist put together a nice, gentle piano beat for the occasion, but his lyrics are disjointed and drag the song down. TH

Geoff Reed, The War Ain't Over (out now, Reedco Records, candyvan1.bandcamp.com): This joke-rap EP, featuring horrendously cheesy beats and even worse lyrics (sample: "I jack off to John Denver"), has one saving grace: It's less than six minutes long. AG

Lionel Richie, Tuskegee (out now, Mercury Nashville, lionelrichie.com): The R&B legend just added the Wedgwood Broiler to his burgeoning restaurant empire, and celebrated by cutting a duets album of his greatest hits with Nashville superstars, including Darius Rucker. Listening to Shania Twain coo her way through Diana Ross' part on "Endless Love," you come away convinced that she was Easy (Like Sunday Morning) when the Penny Lover suggested they hang out All Night Long. MS (Fri., May 25, Shanty Tavern)

River Giant, River Giant (out now, self-released, rivergiant.bandcamp.com): This soulful three-piece takes chamber folk to the edge with lusty, rowdy riffs, bluesy jams, and low-end bass lines that liken them more to the Absolute Monarchs than the Cave Singers. GE (Sun., May 13, Columbia City Theater)

Roaming Herds of Buffalo, Roaming Herds of Buffalo (5/3, self-released, roamingherdsofbuffalo.com): Forging a sound between the Shins' melody-heavy pop and the groove rock of Doug Martsch, these eight tunes craft a catchy, quirky, up-tempo pop sound filled with perky hooks. GE (Wed., May 9, Barboza)

Sampson and McDean, Low Hangin' Men (out now, Reedco Records, candyvan1.bandcamp.com): The kind of record that attempts to blend humor and country music (think "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer"), and that you'd seek in your grandparents' record collections for the poop jokes. MDL

Says, "Only X" (out now, self-released, saysmusic.bandcamp.com): Sedate yet uneasy mood rock whose spaciousness, avant-jazzy and electronic touches, and general melancholy owe a great deal to Radiohead. EG

Slant Rhymes, "Hall Pass" (out now, Reedco Records, candyvan1.bandcamp.com): This mid-'80s reissue begins with the promise of a Casio-fueled fun ride, but comes to a screeching halt when the vocals/lyrics kick in. It's not that these guys lack musicianship—their computer-generated tunes were way ahead of their time—they just have nothing to say. MDL

Soul Senate, Good Side (out now, self-released, soulsenate.com): This eight-piece soul orchestra brings back the funk sounds of the '60s and '70s in a six-song EP of original tunes and booty-shaking grooves, lead by singer's Felicia Loud's rich, exuberant vocals. GE (Fri., June 8, Columbia City Theater)

Spoonshine, Song of the Sockeye (5/4, self-released, spoonshine.com): On their debut full-length, produced by Adam Kasper (Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Nirvana), this Anacortes-based Americana band weaves lively string instrumentation and punk rhythms into 10 jumpy, jam-based folk tunes. GE (Fri., May 4, Tractor Tavern)

Station to Station, The S2S EP (Out now, Televisionary Records, SoundCloud.com/station-to-station-s2s): This new wave-lovin' quartet throws in a turntable and presents an alternate ending to the mashup of rock and the DJ booth. An interesting, encouraging debut. CK

Shannon Stephens, Pull It Together (5/22, Asthmatic Kitty, facebook.com/thebreadwinner): On her third release, this Seattle songwriter and former Sufjan Stevens bandmate achieves her most gorgeous work to date. "Cold November" is a delicate and tender listen, and I've never heard a song manipulate phrasing as does "Faces Like Ours," a duet with Will Oldham (who covers her song "I'll Be Glad"). GE (Fri., June 8, Sunset Tavern)

Thaddeus David, "Jones" (out now, Members Only, membersonly206.bandcamp.com): The State of the Artist MC exercises his sharp lyricism over five minutes of spliced, mutated Nas beats (from Nas' classic debut, Illmatic). The result is creative and strong enough to serve as more than mere promo. TH

*This Providence, Brier (out now, self-released, thisprovidence.com): Upbeat and passionate, Brier is full of flavor. Vocalist Dan Young's loose, fun style is similar to that of Cage the Elephant, though the band's approach is anything but. "You're Mine" has a classic, surfy feel, while "In or Out" is a catchy track for fans of West Coast rock. JW

Type, Bad Tattoos Vol. 1 (out now, self-released, themctype.bandcamp.com): Five songs cut from Type's other albums (he has stated it's because "they aren't hilarious"), BTV.1 works with some legit production to mixed results, but as always, the guy is good for a few smiles. TH

Uncle Pooch, Oneirophrenia (out now, The IBCT, unclepooch.com): For fans of throwing up their fists and scowling, Oneirophrenia plays like a sludgy Korn cover album minus vocals. Full of dropped tuning and gritty guitars, the progressions are repetitive, flat, and easily forgettable. JW (Fri., May 11, Sunset Tavern)

Art Vandelay, "Hey Zeus!" (out now, Unimpressive, art-vandelay.com): Producer Mack Formway comes through with another adventurous composition, but aside from a sharp chorus, Ricky Pharoe's lyrics are too clichéd and self-referential to live up to the delightful mindfuck he's gotten us used to. TH

Willow & the Embers, Radio Sky (out now, self-released, willowsmusic.com): West Seattle's Willow has a haunting and ethereal voice, and her songs can take on the same traits. This preacher's daughter makes delicate, ambient folk music, and for Radio Sky she adds a pair of musicians, Kevin Wood and Bob Congleton, who add gentle bass lines and well-placed guitar swells to provide just the right amount of texture. DL (Fri., May 11, Skylark)

Witch Gardens, R-I-P (out now, Waterwing Records, witchgardens.bandcamp.com): The least goth record named R-I-P you will ever hear, with sprightly guitar lines and G-rated lyrics split between leisurely female harmonies and taunting sing-song chants, and an all-around easy summer vibe. EG

LOCAL LABELS' OUT-OF-TOWN BANDS

Anberlin, Dancing Between the Fibers of Time (out now, Tooth & Nail, anberlin.com): Dancing is a hard thing to swallow for Anberlin fans. A greatest-hits album spanning the band's three phenomenal T&N releases before they jumped into the majors, each track is a sad reminder of their glory days. JW

*Beach House, Bloom (5/15, Sub Pop, beachhousebaltimore.com): On first listen, the esteemed Baltimore duo's fourth full-length contains no immediate standout tracks, like Teen Dream's "Walk in the Park" or Devotion's "Gila." But as a whole, Bloom is a strong album that reinstates the band's warm and familiar dream-pop sound while venturing in a few new directions (hear the tinkly video-game-sounding keyboard tones that open "Lazuli"; Victoria Legrand stretching her vocal range on "Wild"; the ambitious and expansive closer, "Irene.") The more listens you give it, the more it does, indeed, bloom. EKT

Becoming the Archetype, Celestial Progression (out now, Solid State, facebook.com/becomingthearchetypemusic): What happens when you mix progressive death metal with Skrillex and clouds? "We Ride (Giant Robot Remix)," I think. The music on this remixed, digital EP version of their March 29 release is honestly top-notch, if not a tad overwhelming. JW

Haste the Day, Best of the Best (out now, Solid State, hastetheday.com): That this band ever got to the point of having a greatest-hits album is remarkable, given there are almost as many former members as current members. Newcomers will find classics like "Pressure the Hinges" alongside others like "Mad Man." JW

The Letter Black, Hanging on by a Remix (5/22, Tooth & Nail, theletterblack.com): Remix records can be dangerous, but The Letter Black have managed to pull one off. Though a good bit of their hard edge is covered by the dancier, electronic feel, it's impressive to hear the evolution of songs like "All I Want." JW

K-Holes, Dismania (out now, Hardly Art, facebook.com/K-Holes): K-Holes make dirge-y, ritual rock full of dirty guitars, crashing drums, squealing saxophone, and witchy moans. Probably should've been named after peyote instead of ketamine. EG

*King Tuff, King Tuff (5/29, Sub Pop, subpop.com): This eclectic Vermont musician's sophomore album falls somewhere between '60s pop ("Keep On Movin' "), '70s glam ("Anthem"), and the scuzzy beach rock of a band like Wavves (earworm single "Bad Thing"). It's immediate, uninhibited, and catchy as hell. AG

KJ-52, Dangerous (out now, BEC, kj52.com): On the whole, a letdown—Family Force 5 sans originality. The hip-hop side is really great; it's when the kind-of-rock is added that the songs become saturated. If every song were like "They Like Me," this wouldn't leave my car stereo. JW

Kutless, Believer (out now, BEC, kutless.com): A solid mixture of alt-rock and hard rock, Believer's biggest strength is its range. "All Yours" is a slower, inspirational track that builds upon itself, while "If It Ends Today" is a punchier track with impressive guitar work akin to Anberlin's. JW

Manafest, Fighter (out now, BEC, manafest.ca): Think Linkin Park with more hip-hop and better morals: Fighter meshes rap and hard rock into a decent musical conglomerate that's a tad niche-y for the average person. JW

Nobunny, "La La La La Love You" (5/8, Suicide Squeeze, suicidesqueeze.net): Sadly, it's not a cover of the like-named Pixies song, but an adenoidal garage-pop throwback on the front with a pretty, leisurely toy-piano serenade on the B-side. EG

*Obits, "Let Me Dream if I Want To" b/w "City Is Dead" (5/15, Sub Pop, obitsurl.com): How a bunch of grown men can sound so angrily bitter toward the world is beyond me, but Obits manage to pull off cranked-up codger better than anyone. On their newest Sub Pop single, they cover Mink DeVille and the Kids, adding their own dank, garage twist to the songs. GF

*Tara Jane ONeil, "Sirena" b/w "Rainbow Connection" (5/22, K Records, tarajaneoneil.com): The Portland artist's new "Sirena" is a wholly peaceful lullaby composed of warmly strummed guitars and brushed drumbeats; "Rainbow Connection" chirps and bobs with a similar sense of magic. EKT

Ramona Falls, Prophet (out now, Barsuk, ramonafalls.com): Brent Knopf's second album as Ramona Falls shows him brightening his sound since his sweet but melancholy 2009 debut, Intuit. His new songs pop with layers of harmonic vocals, pretty piano melodies, and the occasional jolting guitar riff. The lively "Sqworm" is a standout. EKT (Thurs., May 17, Sunset Tavern)

Rocky Loves Emily, Secrets Don't Make Friends (out now, Tooth & Nail, rockylovesemily.net): Though this band is signed to T&N, Rocky Loves Emily is closer to the Jonas Brothers than to Emery. Middle-school girls will find hundreds of hours of quality material, no doubt, but I suspect this album was written exclusively to play in Journeys. JW

To Speak of Wolves, Find Your Worth, Come Home (5/22, Solid State, facebook.com/tospeakofwolves): If garage-core were a genre, TSOW would be the godfathers. As a whole, this album is a bit spastic, opting for long stretches of screeching guitar and haphazard yelling instead of legitimate breakdowns. Still, there's a lot to love. JW

Various artists, X 2012 (4/10, BEC, becrecordings.com): A melting pot of Christian artists across all genres, X 2012 pulls out the big guns with bands like Demon Hunter, Hawk Nelson, and Family Force 5. With 20 tracks ranging from metalcore to crunk rock, there's literally something for everyone. JW

*Wax Idols, "Schadenfreude" (5/8, Suicide Squeeze, suicidesqueeze.net): Female-fronted punk rock from San Francisco, all sharp-angled guitars, pelvic-thrusting bass pulses, and Elastica-like attitude for days (but significantly less of a Wire rip-off). EG

music@seattleweekly.com

 
comments powered by Disqus