First Look: 01.25.05 (Trail Of Dead, Chemical Brothers, Low)

    . . . And You Will Know Us by the Trial of Dead

    Worlds Apart

    Pushed back from its original October 5 release date (an unfortunate occurrence having absolutely nothing to do with the fact that U2 and Gwen Stefani happen to be Trail of Dead’s Interscope label-mates), Worlds Apart has seen its fair share of speculation. Co-frontman Conrad Keely has mentioned “getting into lots of different types of classical and ethnic instruments” for the new material, and the band was also committed to more in-studio spontaneity in an effort to “try out as many ideas as we want.” Enlightening quotes aside, lead single “Worlds Apart” reveals, if not a giant surge in experimentation, at least a more focused, steadier sound … and a choir of grade-schoolers.
    Album samples


    The Chemical Brothers
    Push the Button

    Yeah, I didn’t think they’d be around this long either, especially considering the massive hype that fell flat on the release of Dig Your Own Hole way back in 1997, when club culture utterly failed to claim its predicted spot atop the pop charts. But the British duo has maintained a decent output in the interim, and with Push the Button, the brothers aim to reclaim past glory by collaborating with the likes of Q-tip (for lead-single “Galvanize”) and Bloc Party’s Kele Okereke, among others. The hip-hop beats and trenchant middle-eastern hooks that propel the single bode well for the UK’s big-beat ambassadors.
    Album samples


    The Great Destroyer
    Sub Pop

    It was, as they say, a busy year for the Duluth, Minnesota trio in 2004, what with the birth of Cyrus, Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker’s new baby boy, in July; the release of a massive career-spanning box set, A Lifetime of Temporary Relief, that same month; and their much-touted jump to venerable Sup Pop Records from Chicago’s Kranky later that year. Of even greater interest, though, was the new shit. Recorded “out in the middle of the woods” with producer-extraordinaire Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, Mogwai), the decade-old progenitors of slow-core shifted gears for a decidedly more raucous sound. Or as singer/guitarist Sparhawk described the new record, “It’s very guitar-based and a lot more aggressive than our past records.” If the seething “Monkey” is any indication, it looks like Sparhawk wasn’t kidding.
    Album samples


    Before the Dawn Heals Us

    With the critics still reeling from the stateside release last summer of Dead Cities, Red Seas, & Lost Ghosts, M83 (now primarily an Anthony Gonzales solo venture) drops yet another delicious blast of analog synth and over-ripe guitar. Or rather, we can only hope so, given the quality of the last album. Alongside Gonzales’s beloved filmic soundscapes, more live instrumentation and female vocals should set the Frenchman’s third LP apart from previous efforts.
    Album samples


    Mercury Rev
    The Secret Migration

    For a band that’s been through so much, it’s strange that Mercury Rev should remain so stubbornly, deeply in love. Anyway, that’s the sentiment that pervades every spectral nook ‘n’ cranny of the Buffalo, New York-based band’s sixth full-length, which will see a special iTune-only release today. Longtime crony Dave Fridmann manned the boards for the love-in sessions in their upstate New York headquarters, and the results recall the trio’s now-familiar weirdness — a potent blend of operatic orchestration, psychotropic guitars and creepy vocals that recall Pee Wee Herman as much as Neil Young.
    Album sample


    Also, thanks to’s recent post that led to some late additions.
    Ani DiFranco: Knuckle Down (Righteous Babe)
    Archer Prewitt: Wilderness (Thrill Jockey)
    Bettie Serveert: Attagirl (Minty Fresh)
    Bevis Frond: Bevis Through the Looking Glass (Rubric)

    Big Noyd: On the Grind (Monopolee)
    Bloc Party: Tulips 12″ (Dim Mak)
    Bonnie Prince Billy and Matt Sweeney: Superwolf (Drag City)
    Bright Eyes: Digital Ash in a Digital Urn (Saddle Creek)
    Bright Eyes: I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning (Saddle Creek)
    Buck 65: This Right Here Is (V2)
    The Chemical Brothers: Push The Button (Astralwerks)
    Coachwhips: Peanut Butter and Jelly Live (Narnack)
    Copywrite: Cruise Control Mixtape Vol. 1 (Nature Sounds)
    Cribs: Giant Drag (Wichita)
    Cunninlynguists: Will Rap for Food (Freshchest)
    Daz Dillinger: The Dogg Pound Gangsta (Gangsta Advisory)
    Destroyer : Notorious Lightning and Other Works (Merge)
    The Devlins: Waves (Rubyworks)
    Drive-By Truckers: Gangstabilly (Remastered)(New West Records)
    Drive-By Truckers: Pizza Deliverance (Remastered)
    DJ Revolution: Class of ’88 (On the Corner)
    Erasure: Nightbird (Mute)
    Fembots: Mucho Cuidado (Paperbag)
    Geto Boys: War and Peace (Hypnotize Minds)
    Giant Drag: Lemona EP (Wichita)
    The Gossip/Tracy and the Plastics: Real Damage (Single) (Dim Mak)
    Graham Coxon: Happiness in Magazines (Trans Copic)
    Har Mar Superstar: Body Request Remix (Single) (Record Collection)
    I Am Kloot: I Am Kloot (Echo)
    Inara George: All Rise (Everloving)
    Lemon Jelly: ’64 – ’95 (XL/Beggars)
    Jennifer Gentle: Valende (Sub Pop)
    Jesu: Jesu (Hydra Head)
    Jimmy Chamberlin Complex: Life Begins Again (Sanctuary)
    John Frusciante: Curtains (Record Collection)
    The Kills: Black Rooster (reissue) (Dim Mak)
    The Kinks: Sleepwalker (reissue) (Velvel)
    The Kinks: Soap Opera (reissue) (Velvel)
    Lil Wyte: Phinally Phamous (Hypnotize Minds)
    Lou Barlow: Emoh (Merge)
    Louis XIV: Illegal Tender EP (Atlantic)
    Lumberjacks: Livin’ Life Like Lumberjacks (Koch/Goodie Mob)
    M83: Before The Dawn Heals Us (Mute)
    M. Ward: Transistor Radio (Merge)
    Marianne Faithful: Before the Poison (Anti)
    Matt Pond PA: Winter Songs (Altitude)
    The Mekons: So Good It Hurts (Quarter Stick)
    Mercury Rev: The Secret Migration (iTunes Only)
    The Moaners: Dark Snack (Yep Roc)
    Octopus Project: One Ten Hundred Thousand Million (Peek A Boo)
    Pierces: Light of the Moon (Universal)
    Pete Rock: The Surviving Elements: From Soul Survivor II Sessions (Rapster)
    Pitty Sing: Pitty Sing (Or. Music)
    Shonen Knife: 712 (Remastered) (Oglio)
    Shonen Knife: Burning Farm (Remastered) (Oglio)
    Shonen Knife: Pretty Little Baka Guy (Remastered) (Oglio)
    Six Organs of Admittance: School of the Flower (Drag City)
    The Stands: All Years Leaving (WEA International)
    The Slits: Cut (Koch)

    Stereototal: Do the Bambi (Kill Rock Stars
    Strike Anywhere: To Live in Discontent (Jade Tree)
    Super Furry Animals: Songbook: The Singles 1 (Beggars/XL)
    Supersuckers: Live at the Tractor Tavern (Mid Fi)
    Tobin Sprout: Live at the Horseshoe Tavern (Recordhead)
    Viva Voce: Lovers Lead the Way (Minty Fresh)


    If you’re anything like us (and we think you are), you can’t wait for Tuesdays, when you frivolously trade your hard-earned cash for a stack of new albums. That it happens every week is one of life’s great gifts, though we know it can be hard to keep up.
    That’s where we come in: Each week we’ll look at a handful of highly anticipated, newly released albums, as well as a list of the rest of the stuff that’s supposed to be coming out. It’s a service we’ll try to provide each week, for as long as they keep releasing albums.
    *Release dates may change. E-mail with correction or additions.