Rock

Good Nature (CD)

Turnover’s Good Nature veers far from the band’s earlier emo/punk tinged efforts. Their latest is hazy, wistful dream pop in the vein of Wild Nothing, Real Estate, or DIIV. Lush and poetic, Good Nature is the sound of rainy day afternoons and late summer cloud-watching. These dreamy new tracks possess a welcome optimism and point towards Turnover as a band to keep an eye on.

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Stage Four (CD)

Burbank, CA-based post-hardcore band Touché Amoré pull no punches on their fourth album. Having recently lost his mother to cancer, lead singer Jeremy Bolm's lyrics and screaming vocals pierce even sharper than before. "Displacement" seems to deal with the tragedy directly, with lyrics like "You died at 69, with a body full of cancer, I asked your God, 'how could you?', but never heard an answer." "Palm Dreams" is particularly urgent in its tenacious delivery, while the melodic "Skyscraper" is a haunting mid-tempo album closer, starting off more subdued, but ending with a powerful and emotional final chorus.

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Sleep Well Beast (CD)

The National turn up their guitar amps on their newest record, sounding all sorts of revitalized and harkening back to the vigor of their Alligator-era material. Yes, this is still the The National we’re talking about, and all the trademark elements you've come to expect are solidly in place: U2-sized melodies delivered with Matt Berninger’s sad dad croon, tom-heavy drums that convey BIG emotion, and melancholy piano work providing a sturdy foundation for the brooding soul of these songs. However, Sleep Well Beast incorporates fresh sounds into the band’s winning formula, including electronic textures and distorted guitar leads. For a band that has perfected their signature style, Sleep Well Beast is at its best when The National pushes outside of their comfort zone.

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Abysmal Thoughts (CD)

After a three year absence The Drums are back with the shimmery, shadowy dance-pop of Abysmal Thoughts. Wearing his romantic melancholia on his sleeve, sole remaining member Jonny Pierce, draws from the late '70s, UK post punk sound to create a New York, dance-punk hybrid. With plucky, surfy guitar hooks, melodic, driving bass, and infectious, wistful vocals Abysmal Thoughts is actually quite a pleasant experience. The release of lead single, "Blood Under My Belt," has been perfectly timed for summer, and is poised to be the number one contender for its soundtrack. "Heart Basel" evokes early Cure, both tone-wise and attitude-wise, and features a most satisfyingly longing chorus, while "Mirror" and "Head Of The Horse," with their more electronic and sampled sounds find their footing a bit more in the 21st century.

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Straight Outta East L.A. (CD)

No, not Da Brat of “Funkdafied” fame, this is the first “The Brat,” a Chicano punk band from, well, can you guess where? In contrast to the aggressive hardcore scene that '80s punk is better known for, The Brat featured the sweet vocals of Teresa Covarrubias, who on more than one occasion channels the Los Angeles equivalent of Debbie Harry, and they could really swing, man! Listen to the amphetamine reggae stomp of “Swift Moves,” before it abruptly shifts gears into a propulsive chorus of such pure sugar, it would make The Go-Go’s green with envy. While the Hollywood and Orange County scene OD’d on angry white masculinity, The Brat brought pop sensibility and post-punk nuance to the DIY spaces and backyard parties of East L.A. and Long Beach. Criminally overlooked in their career, Straight Outta East L.A. collects all of The Brat’s known recordings onto one essential compilation.

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Woodstock (CD)

With breakout track "Feel It Still," Portugal. The Man steps further into the mainstream with their catchiest album yet, Woodstock. Spicing up their laidback psych-pop with contemporary pop and hiphop/dance music production, the band also turns its attention lyrically towards the protest politics of the album's titular festival. Singer John Gourley's light vocals suit the band's musical evolution nicely.

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Talk Tight EP [Bonus Tracks] (CD)

Talk Tight, originally released in their home country of Australia in March of 2016, garnered Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever much critical acclaim for its snappy riffs, spritely drumming, and quick-witted wordplay. Available for the first time in the U.S. thanks to Sub Pop!

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Wide Open (CD)

For his first album in twenty years, Doobie Brothers leader Michael McDonald dives into classic R&B, country, and soft rock. McDonald's smooth voice lingers over heartbreak and regret, buoyed by complex arrangements and stellar guest musicians, including his wife Amy Holland.

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After The Party (CD)

Anthemic pop-punkers The Menzingers address that rocky age transition from the 20s to the 30s on their fifth album, After The Party. With a good dose of self-aware sarcasm and romanticized nostalgia, After The Party features both crunchy shout-a-long tracks and mid-tempo, wistful numbers.

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How Did We Get So Dark? (CD)

Get ready for punchy, sludge-y bass groovin', thick hard-rock drumming, and endless vocal hooks with Royal Blood's sophomore album, How Did We Get So Dark? Producing a surprisingly full sound for only two members, the combination of Mike Kerr's pedal-laden bass and vocals, and Ben Thatcher's drill-sergeant-precise drums creates an instantly catchy mix of head-bangin', dance floor pop and milkshake-thick stoner rock. For fans of Queens of the Stone Age and Arctic Monkeys.

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