Julian Casablancas+The Voidz – “Human Sadness”

You know, to hell with the people who say Julian Casablancas should accept his limits as a frontman. Technically speaking, sure his vocal range isn’t the widest and his voice is most appealing when it’s belting out a catchy, bad-ass hook; but I feel when he chooses to break away from those things, it only enhances his DGAF appeal. The above 11-minute-long art-rock odyssey “Human Sadness,” taken from Tyranny (his forthcoming full-length debut with The Voidz), finds Casablancas as far out of his depth as a singer-songwriter as he’s ever been. But rather than sounding like a crushing defeat at the hands of his limitations, it’s more of a bold stand against them. He doesn’t exactly nail the vocal highs and lows The Voidz’s multi-phased composition calls for, but he gives this Sisyphean task his all, which I’d argue is just as (if not more) admirable. In my book Casablancas sounds no less bad-ass doing odd and surprising than he does doing punchy and immediate.

Looking forward to giving Tyranny a good listen when it drops September 23 via Cult Records.

The Orwells – Disgraceland

Crystal Stilts – “Delirium Tremendous”

The eeriest New York garage rock act is dropping a new single via Sacred Bones Records this month, which you can stream above. To me, this is a pretty refreshing track for Crystal Stilts. Not only does the performance seem a bit more coherent than some of the takes on the band’s last album, but the psychedelic instrumental shift in the middle of the song was a sweet and stunning surprise! Enjoy!

OBN IIIs – “No Time For The Blues”

Orville Bateman Neeley (OBN) III has no time for the blues. The Austin frontman is all punk, all day – no bullshit. To call him, with his excited studio persona and writhing stage antics, electrifying would be an understatement; to say his bandmates present a flurry of  barnburning garage-punk grooves would be as much of one. So, I recommend just pressing that play button above and letting the music take you where it may. If you find that the things around you are starting to get broken, like lamps, windows, your monitor, and such – don’t worry; that’s just the OBN IIIs’ magic working.

“No Time for the Blues” is taken from the band’s upcoming album Third Time to Harm, due out May 27 via Tic Tac Totally.

The Scenes – “Anorexia Is Boring”

Finnish rock group The Scenes evidently feel anorexia is boring, but thankfully their music is anything but. This song is catchy, catchy, catchy. The “twiggy” guitar tones, that “woohoo-ooh” falsetto vocal, and my gosh that finale! – they all add up to an unlikely earworm. And of course there’s a good, powerfully-delivered message here: anorexia blows; lead a healthy lifestyle and be cool with your body, y’all. Check the track and its simple B&W music video out above.

“Anorexia Is Boring” is taken from the band’s upcoming LP Beige, which is due out in April via Sound of Finland. Be on the lookout for it!

Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire For No Witness

Singer-songwriter Angel Olsen offers a change of pace from her bold, rootsy sound on her last album.

Doomed Boys/Tom Lincolnway – “Werewolf”/”Trepanation”

Doomed Boys (previously Super Minotaur) is a Chicagoan collective of writers, illustrators, and musicians whose art tends to go in an alluringly scuzzy direction. This can be seen in the few drawings they’ve posted to their Facebook, as well as in these two most recent songs they’ve produced. Above, check out the fuzzed-out garage rocker “Werewolf,” and below, give a listen to the latest lo-fi piece from Doomed Boys affiliate Tim McGinn (under his moniker Tom Lincolnway). Enjoy!

Angel Olsen – “Forgiven/Forgotten”

Singer-songwriter Angel Olsen goes electric and heavy on this new track from her forthcoming record, which is set to drop via Jagjaguwar on February 18th! The title of this thing: Burn Your Fire For No Witness. While I’m not huge on this mid-paced, slightly lo-fi garage rock sound, Angel’s intensely passionate vocals still burn through the chaotic production. With a voice like this, I’m game for surprises this album has to offer. Enjoy!

Check a review for Angel’s previous release right here:

Fuzz – Self-Titled

As Fuzz, Ty Segall and Charlie Moothart bring the incredibly high level of distortion and energy you’d expect from a Ty-affiliated album. However, there are a slew of different factors keeping this record from sticking out in Ty’s ever-growing discography: production, songwriting, vocals. All of these things keep Fuzz from feeling like a truly distinct moment–even though Ty and Charlie are shooting for an entirely different style of rock on this record. While I did like much of what Fuzz had to offer, the lack of finer details and ambition keep this LP from having much shelf life for me, honestly.

Crystal Stilts – Nature Noir

New York rock outfit Crystal Stilts come through with an album that shot for a prettier sound, but only delivers about half of the time.