10 Albums You Can Hear Now: Nine Inch Nails, the Julie Ruin, King Khan & the Shrines, and More

Plus: Vista Chino, Belle Adair, Lurve, Hookworms, Surf City, This Frontier Needs Heroes, and Mark Pritchard

nine inch nails, trent reznor, hesitation marks
Nine Inch Nails playing Outside Lands 2013 Photo by Wilson Lee
Kyle McGovern WRITTEN BY
Kyle McGovern

Prepare yourselves: This week's round-up of streamable albums features long-awaited comeback records from two recent SPIN cover stars — Nine Inch Nails and the Julie Ruin. And we've also got the latest from King Khan & the Shrines, Kyuss Lives! (now called Vista Chino), and electronic music chameleon Mark Pritchard. Dig in below.

1) Nine Inch Nails, Hesitation Marks. "Speaking about the album in SPIN's September cover story... [Trent] Reznor explained: 'I just want to do the best I can do, and not squander any more time than I already have when I was high... If I'm going to do this, I want to win.' NIN have already shared wordless opener 'The Eater of Dreams,' plus surreptitious 'Copy of A,' darkly hypnotic 'Find My Way,' laser-guided 'Everything,' and meta 'Came Back Haunted.' They have also performed the seething 'Disappointed' live. Hesitation Marks is produced by Reznor and How to Destroy Angels collaborator Atticus Ross, along with Alan Moulder. King Crimson guitarist Adrian Belew, super-bassist Pino Palladino, and Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham also contribute, among others." — SPIN (via iTunes)

2) The Julie Ruin, Run Fast. "In early September, the Julie Ruin will release Run Fast, a raucous album that unites Hanna's songwriting strengths — punk wailing, pop hooks, '60s girl-group harmonies, synthy squelches, and of course, lyrics that waver between polemical and terribly personal. Their first single, 'Oh Come On,' could almost be a Bikini Kill track with its power chords and sneering vitality, yet it still sounds fully contemporary." — SPIN (via NPR)

3) Vista Chino, Peace. "From 1991 to 1995, [Vista Chino frontman John] Garcia was the frontman for Kyuss, the band who helped pioneer stoner rock's husky dude-rock vocals and charging post-Sabbath melodies, fogging up the alterna-landscape like a smoking steamroller. Since their breakup, the band's guitarist, Josh Homme, has certainly stayed busy, yet Garcia and drummer Brant Bjork cycled through band after band with a fraction of the spotlight until reforming (with livewire bassist Nick Oliveri) as Kyuss Lives! in 2010. Renamed Vista Chino in 2010, Garcia and Bjork still have that Kyuss character in spades on their debut, Peace, writing bulldozing stoner anthems that live up to the legend of their former band." (via SPIN)

4) King Khan & the Shrines, Idle No More. "King Khan and the Shrines' latest album, [Idle No More is] a sleazily spiritual LP that grooves to the sounds of a personal apocalypse. When discussing the 12-track effort, Khan... cites gospel music as a primary influence, noting the themes of struggle and perseverance. 'There is so much joy in it, but you know that joy is coming from pain,' he says. 'I think that whole thing, you turn shit into gold, you turn misery into something that is positive and hopeful and in doing so you give other people who listen to it that same feeling of hope.'" (via SPIN)

5) Belle Adair, The Brave and the Blue. "Belle Adair are a folk five-piece led by principal songwriter and frontman Matt Green, who crafted much of the crew's upcoming debut album in the wake of a fire that destroyed his apartment in Birmingham, Alabama. After losing everything, Green returned to his hometown of Muscle Shoals and imagined most of the songs that would become The Brave and the Blue. Understandably, the 10-track effort is imbued with melancholy. It's not a gloomy record — on the contrary, the whole LP glows with a deep, dusky aura — but there's a somber resignation that colors the ambitious collection of genre-straddling tunes. Belle Adair harness improvised ambiance ('Be Brave'), channel the lullaby-like progression of Radiohead's 'No Surprises' ('Sister'), and douse Green's voice in subaquatic effects ('Slowest Routine')." (via SPIN)

6) Lurve, Hey Babe. "Brooklyn fuzz junkies Lurve look like punks and shred like punks, but they bless all of that noise with crunchy grooves and powerful melodies — who cares if you can't quite make out the words of the hook, you'll slur-sing along anyhow because the chorus compels you... The boys themselves hail from a handful of Northeastern hardcore units, but their stylistic forefathers are folks like Dinosaur Jr. and Jawbreaker, with a close cousin being Wavves, of course. Toss in a little power-pop and you've got an undeniable gem in album opener 'Wires.'" (via SPIN)

7) Hookworms, Pearl Mystic. "[England's Hookworms] specialize in thick, shoegazy propulsion — the same kinds of droning, tripped-out epics that J. Spaceman scaled with Spacemen 3 in the 1980s. Unlike their drug-fueled forebears, though, Hookworms reportedly didn't rely on 'chemical assistance' when writing and recording their upcoming debut album, Pearl Mystic. Instead, the enigmatic outfit assembled the nine-track LP with clear heads, crafting a gauzy, sneering full-length that deep-dives into depression, heartbreak, and, according to group leader MJ, a 'half-hearted suicide attempt.'" (via SPIN)

8) Surf City, We Knew It Was Not Going to Be Like This. "New Zealand's Surf City shall not be accused of false advertising. The Aukland trio specialize in grindy guitar fuzz and ooh-enriched vocals, plus a certain aural je ne sais quoi that hearkens back to the nearly tangible depth of Phil Spector's old productions. But singer/guitarist Davin Stoddard, bassist Jamie Kennedy, and drummer Logan Collins are no one's Beach Boys. To wit, take the first line of their new album, We Knew It Was Not Going to Be Like This... On 'It's a Common Life,' our host's voice creaks as he declares, 'Have you heard the devil's back in town? / Fuck the kids, they don't know what's around.' Surf City owe just as much inspiration to the misanthropic mutterings and noisy explorations of the Jesus and Mary Chain, coloring their mostly bright productions with whorling distortion and bending melodies as they please." (via SPIN)

9) This Frontier Needs Heroes, Hooky. "Brad and Jessica Lauretti are This Frontier Needs Heroes, a New York-based brother-sister duo who spangle heartfelt Americana with psychedelic brightness and lyrical levity. Their forthcoming album... is aptly titled Hooky — these eight songs are ear-worms in their own right, even though they're the stuff of deep ruminations and loving assembly. The wistful bliss of the titular opener recalls Grandaddy and vintage Flaming Lips in parts (and let's not overlook that slight touch of Pixies in Jessica's backing vocals) while Brad's lines tell their own inspiring story: 'Let's go to Disneyland, throw ourselves in the sand / Maybe we should start a band / It only takes five strings ... to jam!' While 'Down on the Farm' dwells in mortality and melancholy, a certain romance prevails." (via SPIN)

10) Mark Pritchard, Lock Off EP. "After two decades as one of electronic music's most unpredictable shapeshifters, Mark Pritchard — formerly known as Harmonic 313, Troubleman, N.Y. Connection, and Link, and a former member of Africa HiTech, Global Communication, Harmonic 33, Jedi Knights, Reload, Use of Weapons, et al... has released a handful of records under his own name over the past few years... [But] a new trio of EPs for Warp marks his artistic rebirth as the man he was all along. 'It just so happened that these three releases — [the Lock Off EP], the one after, and the Ghosts EP — have a certain vibe to them,' Pritchard says. 'They're quite clubby. There's a bit of footwork, a bit of jungle, a bit of dancehall, a bit of old-school rave.'"(via SPIN)

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