This Month's Picks

New Bermuda (CD)

Deafheaven’s fusion of black metal, shoegaze and post-rock continues to grow richer and bolder on their third album. Following the crossover success of their much-celebrated second album,  Sunbather , it may have been tempting for the band to trim off their rough edges — namely, the black metal influence that accounts for a large part of their sound — to focus on the more accessible parts. The fact that they didn’t speaks highly of their integrity, sure, but it’s also ensured Deafheaven stays an original. With five extended tracks,  New Bermuda  feels like one massive, evolving piece, making it easier to point to moments rather than entire songs that speak to you — the way “Luna” folds melodic chords into its double-bass barrage and ends up in a scenic place as lovely as anything on  Souvlaki  or  Agaetis Byrjun ; or how “Come Back” clears the way for Kerry McCoy’s chugging power chords and harmonic descending scales and George Clark’s shriek from the depths; or “Baby Blue’s” heroic, Pumpkinsy wah-wahed solos. Any metal fan can extoll the genre’s ability to soothe not in spite of, but because of its brutality and decibel level. There’s something about the music’s capacity to overwhelm and obliterate outside noise, memories, anxiety and trauma that’s rather unparalleled. Deafheaven’s commitment to bringing that sound into an indie-rock setting and vice versa has helped make them the best and most important metal crossover act since Metallica. Whatever your preferred noise is in which to lose yourself,  New Bermuda  is a crucial meeting point. More
Genre: Rock

Wake Up (CD)

The Vamps
One listen to The Vamps' latest and you know why they've been one of Britain's most successful pop acts of the last decade. The cherry flavored, oh-so-sweet, instantly infectious tracks are perfect radio anthems that grab your ear and refuse to leave. Subverting the boy band norm of getting interchangeable pretty faces that sing, The Vamps are a real band disguised as a boy band, albeit still with pretty faces. Having the chops of any other rock band, they take their rock energy and fuse it with synth-pop to make tracks that sonically feel closer to the world of '80s new wave. Their eponymous lead single, "Wake Up," is delicately coached into being a mega-hit from the songwriters who've brought you the dance jams of the decade by Maroon 5 and One Direction. "Wake Up"'s sensitive and haunting lyrics provide the perfect aura to their upbeat powerhouse that makes it more than just a catchy melody. Produced to addictive perfection, the anthem-ready beats pulsate and get you starting to feel emotional as they explore their takes on modern rock, reggae, and punk. Don't be surprised if you fall in love with The Vamps for their music and not their good looks. More
Genre: Rock

Dont Look Back [1967] [Criterion] (DVD)

The quintessential document that defines rock. Bob Dylan at the peak of his masterpiece, Bringing It All Back Home , embodies cool, proto-punk attitude during his acoustic tour of England, before his self-destructive electric tour the next year. Between seeing him create apathy toward the press, disgust to fans and rambling amphetamine driven rants, this is what rock stars emulated since 1965. More

No One Ever Tells You (CD)

Seth MacFarlane
It's not enough to simply conquer movie screens and  Sunday -night television—Seth MacFarlane can also croon like Ol' Blue Eyes. With smooth, classy arrangements that feel right at place in Rat Pack-era Vegas, Seth MacFarlane has the pipes that can swing their way around perfectly in any jazz club. More

South Atlantic Blues (CD)

Scott Fagan
The endless record digging by new record labels brings us many forgotten treasures. The latest discovery by Saint Cecelia Knows is Scott Fagan's little-known masterpiece. Blue-eyed-soul-infused psychedelia with rich arrangements that are guaranteed to be mixtape gold for the next year. Includes a conversation between Fagan and his biological son Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields. More
Genre: Folk

A Night At The Odeon (CD)

After airing live on the BBC in 1975, this legendary concert had been lost to the annals of time. Queen now returns ready to destroy your speaker with operatic rock and wailing guitars. Watch Freddie Mercury in his prime not just perform, but perform rock history right in front of you. Incredible. More
Genre: Rock

Primus & The Chocolate Factory With The Fungi Ensemble [5.1 Dolby Surround Sound] (CD)

The masters of cheese, Primus, have their latest album mastered in 5.1 surround sound. Taking their stoned, cartoon POV look at the  Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory  soundtrack, they morph the essential children's classic into a strange, grotesque joke onto itself. Far out! More
Genre: Rock

Classic Quadrophenia (CD)

Pete Townshend
The Who's Quadrophenia is, without a doubt, one of the great rock albums. Now Pete Townshend converts the already surprisingly operatic album into a glorious full on symphony. With the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and featuring special appearances by Billy Idol and Alfie Boe, Classic Quadrophenia reinvents and subverts rock into something even more spectacular. More
Genre: Rock, Classical

Timeline (CD)

The Mild High Club
The ever expanding Stones Throw Records deviates completely away from hip hop and electronic beats and treads into the world of spacey, funky, Johnathan Richman-esque vistas. In a sort of low-fi, bedroom take on indie by-way-of soul, Mile High Club's Alexander Britten shows off his skills after previously cutting his teeth with Ariel Pink, R. Stevie Moore and Mac DeMarco. The jams for windy, cold mornings.More
Genre: Rock

Spectre [OST] (CD)

Thomas Newman
Renowned film composer Thomas Newman's soundtrack for the latest Bond flick ebbs and flows with nuanced atmospheres and vibrant crescendos. Tracks like "Donna Lucia" are slow and mysterious, allowing tension to build until it boils over on the movements of "Snow Plane," which doesn't need its filmic hero to generate suspense as its sixteenth-note beats and strings send your pulse racing. The best part? Mexican percussion group Tambuco joins Newman's orchestra to give opener "Los Muertos Vivos Estan" its syncopated underpinning the whole soundtrack some levity with the lively "Day of the Dead." Moody and thrilling, the soundtrack is another exercise in excellence by Newman. More
Genre: Soundtracks