Here's a quick look at a handful of new albums, as well as a list of the rest of the stuff that's supposed to hit shelves this week:
[more:] Pelican The Fire in Our Mouths Will Beckon the Thaw Hydrahead Records
Album samples Acoustic metal? Don't act like it's a surprise. Pelican is the post-rock band (with an album title like that, could it not be a post-rock band?) that pretends it's a metal group, and the band did it pretty well on its 2003 debut, Australasia. No vocals in metal can be quite enjoyable if you share my lack of appreciation for a screamer, but, then again, the music has more a tendency to chug along without a proper verse-chorus-verse structure to keep it moving. Still, Pelican is quietly moving to the forefront of the art-metal scene, and this record doesn't seem as if it will disappoint in the "violently beautiful" category.
Buck 65 Secret House Against the World WEA International
Album samples The polarizing music of Canada's Buck 65 isn't likely to crossover into the mainstream, but with Radiohead on his side, there's little to stop him from getting as big as country-twanged hip-hop will take him. Richard Terfry has no less than seven records under his belt, but the artist really broke through with 1999's Voretex, which got him signed to Anticon briefly. Secret House Against the World is a mixture of his influences, with perhaps more of the country side pulled out to emphasize his differences from the majority of hip-hop. Love him or hate him, but for better or worse, there is no one else making music like this right now.
Apsci Thanks for Asking Quannum
Album samples One of the more consistent underground hip-hop labels, Quannum will begin expanding a little bit this year to include some more electronic acts, including this bleeps-and-blips hip-hop trio. Thanks for Asking, the group's debut, merges disco, punk and hip-hop influences into a messy whole that will either go down smooth like a shake or get lodged in the throat like a cockroach. There will be no in between, because I said so.
Concretes Layourbattleaxedown Astralwerks
Album samples Rarities and B-sides discs can be hit or miss, and the Concretes are hoping for the former. After their self-titled Astralwerks debut (and their second album overall) last year garnered almost universally favorable reviews, the Stockholm-based group has decided to go the compilation route to celebrate its 10-year anniversary. The record includes their cover of the Stones' classic "Miss You," which is a good song. I'm going to go listen to it right now.
7L & Beyonder: Moments of Rarity 1994-2004 (Babygrande) Alanis Morissette: Jagged Little Pill Acoustic (Maverick) Apsci: Thanks for Asking (Quannum Projects) Arch Enemy: Doomsday Machine (Century Media) Babyface: Grown and Sexy (Grown and Sexy) Barcode: Showdown (Showdown) Big Dume: Inside My Head (Chartless) Bill Evans: Complete Quartet (Complete Quartet) Bob Mould: Body of Song (Body of Song) Bonnie Prince Billy/Matt Sweeney: I Gave You (Drag City) Brian Culbertson: It's On Tonight (Grp Records) Brian Setzer: Rockabilly Riot, Vol. 1: A Tribute to Sun Records (Surf Dog (Ada)) Buck 65: Secret House Against the World (WEA International) Buster Williams: Dreams Come True (Unidisc) Cher: Cher (Geffen) Chiodos: All's Well That Ends Well (Equal Vision) The Concretes: Layourbattleaxedown (Astralwerks) The Crimea: Tragedy Rocks (Warner Bros.) Criteria: Prevent the World [CD-SINGLE] (Saddle-Creek) Cynthia: All the Hits (Warlock) Dane Cook: Retaliation (Comedy Central) Danny Federici: Out of a Dream (V2) Death Cab for Cutie: Drive Well, Sleep Carefully [DVD] (Plexifilms) deSoL: deSoL (Curb Records) Dire Straits: Brothers in Arms [IMPORT] (Universal Int'l) Dizzy Gillespie: Closer to the Source (Collectables) Dope: American Apathy (Artemis) Dwight Trible & The Life Force Trio: Love Is the Answer (Ninja Tune) Elle: Paradisiaque (Fran Canada) Emily Lord: Brand New Day (Jungle Queen) Erasure : Here I Go Impossible Again [Canada EP] [EP] [CD-SINGLE] (Mute) Excepter: Throne (Throne) Ezekiel Honig / Morgan Packard: Early Morning Migration (Dig) (Gigantic) Fruit Bats: Spelled in Bones (Sub Pop) Galactic Zoo Dossier: Issue #6 (Drag City) The Game: Untold Story, Pt. 2 (Fastlife) Gary Higgins: Red Hash (Drag City) Generation X: Kiss Me Deadly [UK Bonus Tracks] (Kiss Me Deadly [UK Bonus Tracks]) Get Him Eat Him: Geography Cones (Absolutely Kosher) Glass Candy: Iko Iko (Troubleman Unlimited) Goldrush: Ozona (Better Looking) The Go! Team: Thunder, Lightning, Strike (Memphis Industries) Hard-Fi: Stars of Cctv (Phantom) Helicopter Girl: Helicopter Girl (Robbins) The High Dials: War of the Wakening Phantoms (Rainbow Quartz) Ian Brown: Golden Greats [Bonus Tracks] (Koch) Ian Brown: Music of Spheres [Bonus Tracks] (Koch) Ian Brown: Unfinished Monkey Business [Bonus Tracks] (Koch) Jason Mraz: Mr. A-Z (Atlantic) Jeff Black: Tin Lily (Dualtone) Jimmy Witherspoon: Blues Is Now (Verve) The Jim Yoshii Pile-Up: Picks Us Apart (Absolutely Kosher) Joe Strummer: Walker [Bonus Tracks] (Astralwerks) The Juan Maclean: Tito's Way [CD-SINGLE] (Astralwerks) Kevin Tihista: Home Demons, Vol. 1 (Parasol) Kids Like Us: Outta Control (Eulogy) King Elementary: Kudzu (Terminus) Koushik: Be With (Stones Throw) Lil' Rob: Twelve Eighteen, Pt. 1 (Upstairs) Lionel Hampton: Jazzmaster (Unidisc) Lionel Hampton: Moods (Unidisc) Mazarin: We're Already There (I and Ear Records) Mental Care Foundation: Alcohol Anthems (Crash Music) Mike Phillips: Uncommon Denominator (Red Urban Records) The Minor Times: Making Enemies (Razor & Tie) Moonbabies: War on Sound (Hidden Agenda) Nevermore: This Godless Endeavor (Century Media) Norman Finkelstein: Issue of Justice: The Origins of the Isreal/Pal (Alternative Tentacles) Nortec Collective: Tijuana Sessions, Vol. 3 (Nacional Records) Odiorne: Heavy Wish (File 13) Paramore: All We Know Is Falling (Fueled By Ramen) Paul Van Dyk: The Politics of Dancing, Vol. 2 (Mute) Pelican: The Fire in Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw (Hydrahead Records) Rahim: Jungles (French Kiss) Rashanim: Masada Rock (Tzadik) Reel Big Fish: Favorite Noise: Best Of (BMG International) Roger Waters: Radio K.A.O.S. (Sony Japan) Ronnie Dove: Greatest Hits (Collectables) Ruff Ryders: Redemption, Vol. 4 (Artemis) Screeching Weasel: Kill the Musicians (Asian Man) Sick Symphonies: Sickside Stories (Paladin SuperCompany) Silversun Pickups: Pikul (Dangerbird) Sons and Daughters: Dance Me In (Domino) Stephen Bruton: From the Five (New West) Steve Jablonsky: The Island [Original Score] [SOUNDTRACK] (Milan) Stuart Valentine: Melody's True () Ten in the Swear Jar: Accordion Solo (Asian Man) Traffic: Gold (Island) Trey Songz: I Gotta Make It (Atlantic / Wea) Turbonegro: Party Animals (Burning Heart) Twiztid: Mutant, Vol. 2 (Psychopathic) Various Artists: Forever 90s (Razor & Tie) Various Artists: I Love Guitar Wolf: Very Much (Narnack) Various Artists: Number 1 Jazz Vocal Album (Verve Int'l) Various Artists: Putumayo Presents: Swing Around the World (Putumayo World Music) Veda: The Weight of an Empty Room (Second Nature) Weezer: Beverly Hills [Japan] (Beverly Hills [Japan]) The Who: Who Sings My Generation (Sony International) Yerba Buena: Island Life (Razor & Tie) Yngwie Malmsteen: Unleash the Fury (Spitfire) Yoko Utsumi: Yoko Utsumi (Asian Man) Young Jeezy: Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101 (Def Jam) *Release dates may change. E-mail email@example.com with correction or additions.