Shannon WrightOver the Sun(Quarterstick)
Wright built her rep on despairing lo-fi folk so unadornedthat it made Cat Power sound like Mandy Moore. But here she pumps upher ragged muse via the thick-necked Chicago indie rock that PJ Harveyonce pimped so brilliantly. The flatlined brutalism of Wright's singingdelves even deeper into emotional black pools.
Head AutomaticaDecadence(Warner Bros.)
Dan the Automator foments alt-rock boom-bap behind thetoasting of Glassjaw singer Daryl Palumbo and comes up with a funreimagining of Sublime as Long Island loners. Palumbo sings aboutexotic lands like Hollywood and Brooklyn and complains about girls,while the Automator keeps the meter running till the break of dawn.
The SoviettesLP II(Adeline)
With not much to say and no particularly inventive way to sayit, these adorable Minneapolis wannabes turn to writing ecstaticallyderivative, pogo-ready punk rock. Fourteen songs (11 under twominutes), girls on guitars, boy on drums, flipping their collective wiglike X-Ray Spex with Midwestern smiles.