Sleater-Kinney – No Cities to Love

Sleater-Kinney is back with a new record after ten years of studio album silence.

Viet Cong – Self-Titled

Viet Cong picks up the pieces left in the demise of Women, and pulls together some great–but very similar–material on their self-titled release here.

Modest Mouse – “Lampshades on Fire”

Modest Mouse’s new album, Strangers to Ourselves, its first in eight years, is well on the way. Recently they released this joint, a happy-go-lucky and uninhibited song that puts the indie rock group back in the music spotlight for the upcoming new year. “Lampshades on Fire” is powerful and hectic, but also thoroughly danceable. Front man Isaak Brock uses the occasion to be as wild and unhindered as he can be in the delivery of his lyrics. The intertwining of hand claps, up-tempo keys, a silky smooth bass line and clever drumming transform this track into a standard but respectable study in indie pop-rock. Curiously enough, this is a song that has been part of Modest Mouse’s live set since 2011, but now serves as a glimpse into the next direction that they will be taking with Strangers to Ourselves. With this strong single, fans are sure to welcome the indie rock vets back with open arms.

Strangers to Ourselves is due out 3 March via Glacial Pace.

- Ron Grant

Sleater-Kinney – “Surface Envy”

With tracks like “Surface Envy” being let loose on the public like an escaped zoo animal, I think it’s safe to say Sleater-Kinney‘s return from an almost 10-year hiatus has been an explosive one. While the wailing vocals and frantic guitar freakouts here aren’t the band’s wildest moment on record, the end result is undeniably fun and visceral.

The band plans to drop what is effectively its comeback album on January 20th via Sub Pop Records. The title: No Cities to Love.

TV on the Radio – Seeds

TV On The Radio returns with a slightly more electronic sound on Seeds.

alt-J – “Left Hand Free”

Nobody tell Sun Kil Moon‘s Mark Kozelek about this band or this video. If he called The War on Drugs beer commercial music, I’m not sure his mind could handle a band whose video essentially is a beer commercial. alt-J channel their escapist 90s soul in this video, and combine it with a very polite but catchy blues riff that carries throughout the song. Just watching this, it’s easy to understand why this band is so controversial. Listeners that need to take their music seriously 100% of the time probably won’t understand alt-J. Sure, they don’t have teeth, Joe Newman’s vocals ape a dated rap rock style, and stereotypical “oohs” and “whoas” persist throughout the song. But you know what? It all adds up to three minutes of pleasant escapism, and that’s all they’re trying to do.

Our review of the new alt-J album:

- Garrett Cottingham

Ariel Pink – “Picture Me Gone”

Ariel Pink has just shared a fittingly chilling and tragic video for “Picture Me Gone,” taken from his upcoming “solo debut” pom pom. The track might just be Ariel’s most mature and moving track yet, expressing with commendable candor the anxiety and pressure that the prospect of starting a family makes him feel. The song’s also one of his most frightening, dwelling on the matters of our ultimately ephemeral existences and our fading senses of sentimentality in the modern world. But none of that’s anywhere near as disquieting as the latex Ariel mask that appears throughout the video…

pom pom is out November 18 via 4AD. If you’re still an Ariel Pink skeptic, he also did a powerful rendition of “Picture Me Gone” recently with the PS22 Chorus that you might wanna check out. Find it here:

Deerhoof – La Isla Bonita

Veteran indie rockers Deerhoof mark their 20th year as a band with La Isla Bonita.

Screaming Females – “Wishing Well”

New Jersey indie rockers Screaming Females have a new “EP”–it’s kind of a single, really–out via Don Giovanni Recs titled “Wishing Well.” Rather than delivering their usual deluge of shrill screams and wild guitar licks, the band is toning things down to deliver a pretty sweet tune. You could probably show your grandmamma this one, and then you could ease her into “Boyfriend.”

I’m loving some of the lyrics frontwoman Marissa Paternoster is bringing to the track, too. With the line about all of her “change going to hell,” this ranks as one of her most clever choruses yet. While I haven’t loved much of what the Scremales have been doing lately, this track is bringing them back on my good side.

Deerhoof – “Last Fad”

Idiosyncratic indie rock band Deerhoof drops yet another cut from their forthcoming album, La Isla Bonita, and the track features one of the most nasty, dizzying, and dissonant guitar leads to ever make it into one of their songs–and that’s saying something.

Look for La Isla Bonita on November 4th via Polyvinyl Records.