Porcelain Raft – Permanent Signal (Secretly Canadian)
Italian dreampopper slightly misses the mark on this sophomore effort “Strange Weekend,” which was the debut album from Mauro Remiddi’s project. The album was a great record for both headphones and sing-alongs — rich in texture and melody. However, the quick turnaround of “Permanent Signal” slows Remiddi’s creative momentum, suggesting that more time could have been used to flesh out the songwriting. This is not to say that the album is a major disappointment. Remiddi smartly utilizes more live instrumentation this time around, and the appearance of a full drum kit on “Cluster” is genuinely thrilling following the hazy album opener “Think of the Ocean.” Furthermore, the soaring hook of “The Way Out” makes it one of the year’s best tracks. Sadly, these moments aren’t as abundant as they were on “Strange Weekend,” but they’re comforting proof that Remiddi hasn’t lost his touch for creating songs that stir both your ears and heart.
Recommended If You Like: M83, Phantogram, Still Corners
-Cameron Meindl, Rhyme & Reason on Tuesday 10 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Out Cold – Invasion Of Love (Heavenly)
Just reading the track names makes the hairs on the back on my neck stand up. This album submerges the listener in a sensual experience filled with chill synths and some funky beats. Simon Aldred, the lead vocalist, has a smooth, luxurious voice that flows throughout the album. Romance is in the air with tracks “Shoulder to Shoulder” and “In and Out” adding a sultry element to the electronic experience. Out Cold also has funkier tracks like “Murder Black Corvette.” The soulful aspects of the album are amplified by the electronic beats. This album is an emotional experience for listeners. One can definitely feel that the artists, especially Aldred, are putting their hearts out on the table.
RIYL: James Blake, Autre Ne Veut, Shy Girls
-Jack Fitzpatrick, Soul Beat on Wednesday 8-10 a.m.
Islands – Ski Mask
Islands is one of those bands that has been around for a long time, but stays under the majority’s radar. On their fifth studio album, the quirky Canadian group gives it their all with absolutely no doubts – and Ski Mask couldn’t be any better. Variety is strong on this album, from the breezy opener “Wave Forms” to the odd “Death Drive.” Vocals sway from upbeat, almost spoken word to gentle falsetto, to drawn and deep, making Ski Mask more interesting the closer one listens. If anything, don’t miss hopeful “Hushed Tones”. While the record may be a lot to take in, there are tracks that should not be missed, so give it a go.
RIYL: The Unicorns, of Montreal, Vampire Weekend
-Molly Pfeffer, Velvet Sessions on Tuesday 6-8 p.m.
Crocodiles – Crimes of Passion (French Kiss)
As the album’s title may imply, the first three songs enter a world of sex, drugs and debauchery. With track names with “Marquis de Sade” and “Cockroach,” the band doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for subtlety. They do make some interesting musical decisions, featuring conventional fuzzy guitar riffs with percussion and piano that might seem more at home in a mid tempo Fatboy Slim record and wacky female backing vocals on opener “I Like it in the Dark.” The next four tracks take the basic noise pop bedrock and combine with wobbly, psychedelic backing instruments, creating a set of relatively laidback songs, including the deceptively depressing “Heavy Metal Clouds” and the aptly titled hazy riff rock of “Teardrop Guitar.” The last three tracks include three more straight up rockers and “Un Chant D’amour,” the albums dreamy yet unfocused closer. Crocodiles don’t reinvent the noise pop wheel, but their experiments with percussion and instrumentation create a short and sweet yet engaging slice of fuzz.
RIYL: The Jesus and Mary Chain, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Wavves
-Michael Lovito, WVAU music staff writer
Diarrhea Planet- I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams
Oftentimes when talking about music, the question of how “serious” a band is comes up. Post-Wavves and the rising power of Burger Records, we typically throw most garage bands into a slacker and artistically suppressing box. For a band named Diarrhea Planet, who opens their album with the lyric “Heavy metal rotting through my brain,” it’s easy to toss them off as a band that’s more concerned with their running ’80s arena rock joke than their music. However, Diarrhea Planet’s music features fantastic pop-songwriting beneath the layers of shredding and shouted vocals. Following their fantastic 2011 release Loose Jewels, I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams showcases a band that has matured musically with slow-building tracks like “Kids” and “Skeleton Head.” With all of the same tapping and crowd surfing anthems to party along to, is there any need to question if Diarrhea Planet is just “serious” or just “fun?” At the end of the day, Diarrhea Planet is simply serious fun.
RIYL: The Ramones with 4 Van Halens, Andrew WK, Titus Andronicus, So So Glos
-Mike Creedon, CREEDZUS at Wednesday 4-6 p.m.