This Month's Picks

A Pill For Loneliness (CD)

City And Colour
Alexisonfire vocalist and guitarist Dallas Green releases his sixth solo album under the City & Colour moniker with A Pill For Loneliness . It’s a fitting title for Green’s eternally melancholy brand of singer/songwriter rock, as these 11 songs often sound like the product of a solitary mind, yearning for meaningful human connection. The song names themselves hint as much; “Strangers,” “Me and the Moonlight,” and “Astronaut” all suggest the loneliness of the title, yet in markedly different ways. “Strangers” takes a post-punk beat and relentlessly minor-key melody in a desperate plea for reconciliation, while “Astronaut” is an expansive, post-Britpop ballad that gradually turns into an extended psych guitar workout, sounding like the intersection between such strange bedfellows as Coldplay, The Verve, and Mazzy Star. The lyrics may often be heavy, but that doesn’t mean the experience has to be, as A Pill For Loneliness features a wonderful cornucopia of sounds and textures in its tireless exploration of the state of being eternally bummed out. More
Genre: Rock

Ode To Joy (CD)

Wilco
One of the most revered bands of the past 2+ decades, Wilco earned their lofty reputation particularly on Jeff Tweedy and Co.’s determination and ability to continually innovate; a sonic restlessness that led to band’s creative peak in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, including some of the best music of the era from anyone. Since 2007’s Sky Blue Sky , however, the latter half of Wilco’s catalogue has settled into a much more familiar groove. The dogged experimentation that was the band’s driving creative engine was replaced with a far more comfortable sense of songwriting acumen, as Jeff Tweedy pulled from bits and pieces of Wilco’s past to craft a series of solid, mature albums that served almost as tidy summaries of what could be defined as the onetime shapeshifting group’s “sound.”   On Ode To Joy , that pattern is broken. Not since A Ghost Is Born (or, some could argue, the aforementioned Sky ) has a Wilco album so eschewed expectation, and that sense of unpredictability is more than welcome. The tidiness of the past few albums is gone, replaced with a minimal, stripped-down sound that tends to heavily emphasize acoustic instruments along with Glenn Koetche’s drums, rendering everything else a wispy breeze. Though it’s not exactly “Spiders Kidsmoke” part 2, on songs like “Everyone Hides,” the effect is quite hypnotic. With a name that belies the content, likely intentionally so, Joy is not a particularly happy album. Personal and political turmoil intertwine in many of these songs, yet the prominent backbeat and an inventive production prevent the record from ever sounding like a dirge. A meditation, perhaps. Purposeful, definitely. For the first time in a while, Wilco have put out an album that feels like it has something greater at stake: the comfortable, well-respected band behind Star Wars and Schmilco feel uncomfortable again, and Ode To Joy thrives because of it. More
Genre: Rock

Jarhead: Law Of Return (BLU)

Major Ronan Jackson (Devon Sawa), an accomplished fighter pilot for the Israel Defense Forces and son of a U.S. Senator (Robert Patrick), is shot down while flying through Syrian airspace. After miraculously surviving the crash, Jackson is taken captive by a group of Hezbollah militiamen. A gripping and powerful story packed with hard-hitting action, Jarhead: Law of Return follows a squad of elite soldiers, led by Gunnery Sergeant Dave Torres (Amaury Nolasco), as they risk their own lives in the hopes of saving an ally they've never met. More

Driven (BLU)

Inspired by true events, Driven is a wickedly comedic look at a bromance gone bad. Set in the opulence of early 1980s California, the story follows the meteoric rise of John DeLorean (Lee Pace), and his iconic DeLorean Motor Company, through his friendship with charming ex-con turned FBI informant, Jim Hoffman (Jason Sudeikis). More

Doom: Annihilation (BLU)

Doom: Annihilation follows a group of space marines as they respond to a distress call from a base on a Martian moon, only to discover it’s been overrun by demonic creatures who threaten to create Hell on Earth. More

Sleeper Hold EP (12")

Rituals Of Mine
Inspired by ‘90s trip-hop, footwork and downtempo R&B, Rituals of Mine is the emotionally dense electronic recording project of Los Angeles-based songwriter Terra Lopez and live percussionist Adam Pierce. The new EP finds Lopez writing more directly about her experiences as a queer woman of color. Lopez’s longtime collaborator and producer Wes Jones helped turn her heartfelt writing about trauma and personal growth into urgent and powerful electronic tracks. More
Genre: Rock

Retrofuture (CD)

Tiger Army
Tiger Army founder and frontman Nick 13 wrote the songs for new album Retrofuture with the idea of challenging the perception that people have of his band and its music. That’s because, more than 20 years after he started the band, he’s still on a journey of musical discovery and invention–one that’s perfectly captured by the title of their sixth full-length. It’s of the now and looking ahead as well. Yet while this album is another clear sonic evolution for the band–now completed by double-bassist Djordje Stijepovic and drummer Mike Fasano–it still brims with the band’s trademark dark romanticism and existential despair. More
Genre: Rockabilly

Whiskey Myers (CD)

Whiskey Myers
With an album name like Whiskey Myers , expect to be submerged in some seriously sozzled Southern rock. Frontman Cody Cannon basks in blue collar honesty, fusing southern rock and outlaw country on these Dave Cobb-produced ballads and stompers. The band behind the album of the same name is cut from — no shocker here — the same cloth as the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd. The lyrics are brash, bold, and thoroughly unapologetic, the melodies rowdy-as-hell. The men of Whiskey Myers are the boys your mama warned you about. More
Genre: Country

In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights (CD)

The New Pornographers
The New Pornographers return with the perfectly polished indie pop gem In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights . On this newest album, the band finds themselves grappling with the dilemma of seeking and enjoying happiness in a tumultuous era. The perfect example is lead single “Falling Down the Stairs of Your Smile” — there’s a queasiness beneath the soaring harmonies, a curious combination of joy, confusion, and questioning. Yes, The New Pornographers are contemplating some tough questions on this album but those exquisite melodies fans expect are, of course, there in spades. Guaranteed to please longtime fans of the band…and to turn some new heads, too. More
Genre: Rock

War In My Mind [Limited Edition Box Set] (CD)

Beth Hart
Beth Hart gets raw on War In My Mind . The Grammy-nominated singer has never been one to shy away from baring her soul, but on War In My Mind Hart seems to go a step further. The melodies are filled to bursting with raucous blues energy while Hart lays out some of her most vulnerable, soulful vocalizations yet. Atmospheric and edgy, it’s the perfect soundtrack to a sweltering late summer night, even — yes — when we’re moving onto less sweat-soaked, passionate seasons. Vital, bold, and full of surprises. More
Genre: Rock