Nada Surf – The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy (Barsuk)
The latest album comes out firing, bears no letup/letdown, and blasts with its gleeful refusal to go gentle into any good night. 2012’s finest?
exlovers – Moth (Young and Lost Club U.K.)
Finally, the debut LP from this charming yet exciting London quintet!
Whipping Boy – “No One Takes Prisoners Anymore” (Rocket Girl U.K.)
One of the truly remarkable ’90s bands reappears with their first release in 12 years, a two song single for the original Dublin wonders.
Honeychurch – Will You be There With Me (Siren Electric)
Gentle melancholy turned breathtaking,with elongated, elegiac, rural church stillness added to the Bucks County, PA group’s alt.country-folk.
The Avengers – The Avengers (double-CD) (WWater)
The most exciting U.S. punk band of its original 1976-1979 era!!!!! Don’t ask questions, just buy! (And a great bonus CD for fans who bought the long out of print 1983 version.)
Maxïmo Park -“The National Health” (2/Coop U.K.)
Though musically no departure, this first Maximo record in three years, a single, is particularly ferocious for them, with a bashing double-time beat in the pre-choruses, rushing tempo, and typical big time chorus. To play it once is to invite repeats, while taking the temperature of your own nation’s wellbeing.
The Lucy Show – Remembrances (Words on Music)
A knockout rarities ’n’ unreleased collection that rivals both the band’s original, essential ’80s LPs, presenting a uniform, more esoteric/challenging side!
Veronica Falls – Veronica Falls (Bella Union/Slumberland)
They’re like a combination of three of the best U.K. bands that immediately preceded the current Slumberland/Captured Tracks twin-headed monster craze, the sadly missed Long Blondes, regrettably two-years-dormant Hatcham Social, and ex-Lovers (plus older Slumberland Scots, Bricolage).
Ruts. D.C. – Rhythm Collision Vol. 2 (Sosumi U.K.)
The original Ruts (Ruts D.C.) finished with an unexpected, all-dub triumph, made with dub legend Mad Professor in his bedroom studio: 1982’s self-released Rhythm Collision Vol. 1. Finally, however, bassist Segs Jennings and drummer Dave Ruffy (rock’s Sly & Robbie) have attempted Vol. 2, again with the compatible Mad Professor.
The Redettes – The Redettes (Phratry)
A corking new band from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, playing refreshingly reductive, rousing pop—with guest violin and anonymous, pumping piano, which, like A.C. Newman’s “On the Table,” adds the special ingredient.