Feature ·

[May 2, 2006] Heading to the record store? Here's what's new.

Our writers highlight a handful of notable records scheduled to hit the shelves this Tuesday. Plus, check the full list of this week's releases:



The Bellrays

Have a Little Faith

Cheap Lullaby Records

Led by powerhouse Lisa Kekaula (emphasis on the "house"), the members of Riverside, California-based Bellrays are ready to throw some more of that soulful rock you've been craving since their previous album came out a couple of years ago. "Revolution Get Down," off 2003's Red White and Black, was since featured in a Nissan commercial, but don't yet refer to these guys as "those silly sellouts": they're still the same genuine genre-twisters that Riverside gave us sixteen years ago. ~China Bialos

The Bellrays Web stie

Cheap Lullaby Records' Web site

Streaming audio

Boy in Static


Alien Transistor

Available in Europe since November 2004, Boy in Static finally receives his long overdue debut in the U.S. Signed by the label run by his favorite group, the Notwist, Alexander Chen recorded the bulk of this album on his laptop in 2003 at age twenty-two. A blend of mellow electronic down-tempo and indie folk, Newborn is likely a good album to sit, relax and contemplate to. ~Adrian Covert

Boy in Static Web site

Streaming audio


Curse Your Little Heart EP

Ace Fu

Denver-based progenitors of Tom Wait's dark circus stylings go the cover route on their new six-song EP. Disc highlights include covers of Siouxsie and the Banshees' "Last Beat of My Heart, "Velvet Underground's "Venus in Furs" and Frank Sinatra's "Something Stupid." ~Andrew C. Bradick

Devotchka Web site

Ace Fu Web site

"Venus in Furs" MP3 (Right Click Save As) 


How We Operate


With How We Operate, the members of Gomez step into the Dave Matthews-run ATO label as a well-established, veteran band. Expect the same rambunctious yet lighthearted qualities present on earlier Gomez work -- as well as a take on the more introspective side of things. This time around they entered the studio with Gil Norton (Pixies, Echo and the Bunnymen). The band won a Mercury Prize for its 1998 debut, Bring It On, so we'll see if How We Operate holds the bar high. ~John Bohannon

Gomez Web site

ATO Web site

"How We Operate" stream  

Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam

J Records

First off, let's deal with the avocado on the cover. WTF? Any ideas on its supposed symbolism? Post 'em on the message board. Second, this is supposed to be Pearl Jam's "comeback" album. What exactly the band is coming back from is unclear, however. The guys have stuck around, sticking it to Bush long before that was the cool thing to do. They never flirted with electronica. Never added a guest rapper or turntables. Sure, Matt Cameron came over from Soundgarden, but the band resisted becoming a bastardized supergroup a la Audioslave and Velvet Revolver. The move to J Records, which tends to trade in teeny bop, is odd, but it's not like Epic was ever a rock-purist institution. Judging from "Worldwide Suicide," which is all over the radio, and "Severed Hand," which the band previewed on SNL, we shouldn't expect that Pearl Jam's sound has changed much. And that's not at all a bad thing. ~John Zeiss

Pearl Jam Web site

J Records Web site 

Sunset Rubdown

Shut Up I Am Dreaming

Absolutely Kosher

Spencer Krug will not elude the masses. Taking part in his umpteenth separate musical project, this time as Sunset Rubdown, we may as well call him the Madlib of the indie world. Working under this low- (or lower-) profile moniker, Krug has expanded his solo act to four members. He also is able to branch out and experiment musically more than he was able to with Wolf Parade (although that was no conventional album, either). Shut Up I Am Dreaming should offer up more lo-fi goodness this time around. ~Adrian Covert

Sunset Rubdown Web site

Absolutely Kosher Records Web site 


10,000 Days


There's not much in the way of advance reviews or publicity for the latest release from the prog-metal superstars, but something tells me it may break the bank in first week sales regardless. Lead single "Vicarious" doesn't escape the mold, to the assured delight of Tool fans everywhere. Expect more metaphysical doom in crazy-ass time signatures. ~Mike Legat

Tool Web site

Volcano Records Web site

"Vicarious" MP3 




When a ragged trio of Australians crosses the planet for the debauched canyons of L.A., shacks up in Sound City Studio's hallowed grounds, and grab big-time producer D. Sardy (Dany Warhols, Oasis) to record its debut and big-shot artist Frank Frazetta to illustrate it, we're supposed to take notice. And notice we should. This is precisely when interesting stuff happens -- stuff that we usually only find out after the fact. So here's your heads up: Wolfmother's Zeppelin-obsessed arena rock sounds as outsized as your thrift store bell-bottoms. Now, if only they can remain in season ... ~John MacDonald

Wolfmother Web site

Streaming audio 

Year Future

First World Fever

Gold Standard Labs

Sonny Kay is at it again. The man, who counts among his accomplishments founding GSL Records and acting as frontman of SoCal post-hardcore bands such as Angel Hair and the VSS, is lending his distinctive vocal style to a band that is ready to leave the past behind. Year Future sheds all preconceptions about its "ex-members of" lineup on its debut album, but the band still retains the DIY/punk ethos that has shaped its past projects. ~Jeralyn Eve Mason

Gold Standard Labs Web site

Year Future Web site

"First World Fever" MP3

13Ghosts: Cicada (Skybucket)

Ahmad Jamal: Complete Recordings (Definitive Classics)

Al Green: Belle Album [Expanded Edition] (Capitol)

Alejandro Escovedo: The Boxing Mirror (Backporch)

Atlantic Starr: R&B Chart-Toppers

Baby Dayliner: Critics Pass Away (Brassland)

Backyard Babies: People Like People Like People Like Us (Abacus)

Barbara Morgenstern: Grass Is Always Greener (Monika)

Barrington Levy: Wanted: Live in San Francisco (2B1)

The BellRays: Have a Little Faith (Cheap Lullaby)

The Black Keys: Chulahoma (Fat Possum)

Bob Marley: Very Best of Bob Marley (Mastersong)

Bobby Previte: Coalition of the Willing (Rope-A-Dope)

Boy In Static: Newborn (Alien Transistor)

Brandtson: Hello, Control. (Militia Group)

Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band: Amsterdam '80 (Major League Prod UK)

The Charlatans UK: Simpatico (Sanctuary)

Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band: You're So Beautiful (Water)

The Chi-Lites: Ultimate Chi-Lites (Brunswick)

Christian McBride: Live at Tonic (Rope-A-Dope)

Christopher Lawrence: Subculture, Vol. 01 (System Recordings)

Chronomanic: Sokut (Alien Transistor)

The Comsat Angels: Sleep No More [Renascent Expanded] (Renascent [VCP])

The Court & Spark: Hearts (Absolutely Kosher)

David Ford: I Sincerely Apologise for All the Trouble I've (Red Ink)

Decoder Ring: Somersault: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Bellaire)

Dem Franchize Boyz: On Top of Our Game [Chop't & Screw'd] (Virgin)

DeVotchKa: Curse Your Little Hear (Ace Fu)

DJ Screw: Best of the Best, Vol. 2 (Screwed up Click)

Ellen & Apparat Allien: Orchestra of Bubbles (Bpitch Control)

The Elms: Chess Hotel (Universal South)

Gomez: How We Operate (ATO)

Graham Coxon: Love Travels at Illegal Speeds (EMI)

Human Television: Look at Who You're Talking To (Gigantic)

The Jam: Sound of the Jam [Bonus Tracks]

Japan: Very Best of Japan (EMI)

Jets Overhead: Bridges (Microgroove Canada)

Jewel: Goodbye Alice in Wonderland (Atlantic / Wea)

John Zorn: Moonchild (Tzadik)

Jon Auer: Songs from the Year of Our Demise (Pattern 25)

Josh Wink: Profound Sounds, Vol. 3 (Thrive)

Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez: Choice: The Collection of Classics (Azuli)

Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez: Choice: The Collection of Classics (Azuli)

Kenny Rogers: Very Best of Kenny Rogers (Mastersong)

Kid Creole & The Coconuts: Wonderful Thing (Fontana Int'l)

Love of Everything: Superior Mold and Die (Record Label)

Mae Shi/Rapider Than Horsepower: Don't Ignore The Potential (Strictly Amateur)

Malo: Malo Live (Thump)

Mark Knopfler/Emmylou Harris: All the Road Running (Universal International)

Marykate O'Neil: 1-800-Bankrupt (Seventy-One)

Mike Jones/Slim Thug: Before the Rise (BCD Music Group)

Ministry: Rio Grande Blood (Mega Force)

Mobb Deep: Blood Money (Interscope)

Mon Frere: Blood, Sweat, And Swords (Cake)

Nat King Cole: Very Best of Nat King Cole (Capitol)

None More Black: This Is Satire (Fat Wreck Chords)

Pearl Jam: Pearl Jam (J-Records)

Queensrÿche: Essential (EMI)

Ray Charles: Very Best of Ray Charles (Mastersong)

Reminder: Continuum (Eastern Developments)

RJD2: Magnificent [Instrumental] (DeCon Inc)

Roy Hargrove/The RH Factor: Distractions (Verve)

Scar Symmetry: Pitch Black Progress (Nuclear Blast America)

Scott Walker/Walker Brothers: Sun Ain't Gonna Shine: The Very Best of Scott (Universal International)

Shirley Bassey: Complete EMI Columbia Singles Collection (EMI)

The Sir Douglas Quintet: Live from Austin, Texas (New West)

Smiley the Ghetto Child: Antidote (Amalgam)

Snow Patrol: Eyes Open [CD/DVD] (Universal International)

Stan Getz Quartet/Gene: Live Jazz from Club 15 (Request)

Sunset Rubdown: Shut Up I Am Dreaming (Absolutely Kosher)

They Might Be Giants: Severe Tire Damage (Zoe)

Think About Life: Think About Life (Alien8 Recording)

Thomas Anders: Songs Forever (Edel Germany)

Through the Sparks: Coin Toss [EP] (Skybucket)

Thursday: City by the Light Divided (Island)

Tony Rich: Pictures (I.M.)

Tool: 10,000 Days (Volcano)

Uncle Luke: My Life & Freaky Times (Luke)

Unwed Sailor: Circles [EP] (Burnt Toast Vinyl)

Willie Nelson: Live from Austin, Texas (New West)

Wolfmother: Wolfmother (Interscope)

Year Future: First World Fever (GSL)

*Release dates may change. E-mail brandon@prefixmag.com with corrections or additions.  
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