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SPIN’s Review Roundup: 129 Lengthy and Tweet-Sized Takes on May 2013’s New Releases

The long and the short of the last month

SPIN iconBy: SPIN Staff // June 6, 2013

The-Dream

POP and R&B
AGNETHA FÄLTSKOG – A
7: ABBA queen maintains dignified downtempo decorum except on a fab disco tune where she actually sings “restroom.”—BW

FITZ & THE TANTRUMS – More Than Just a Dream
WORST NEW MUSIC: Read full review

LITTLE BOOTS – Nocturnes
7: ’90s-era Sophie Ellis-Bextor pop ambition with disco glaze. DFA-touched synths and cowbell glitter throughout.—PP

MS MR – Secondhand Rapture
5: Self-descriptive debut flagrantly bites Florence Welch’s tribal goth-pop steez, fails as hooks falter.—BW

LAURA MVULA – Sing to the Moon
Read full review

ALICE RUSSELL – To Dust
7: The UK’s most underrated soul diva serenades us again with her magnificently grainy voice.—MR

STANDISH/CARLYON – Deleted Scenes
7: Lovesick sophistipoppers run thicker than chillwave, remember Real Life, coo about subliminal love.—CW

THE-DREAM – IV Play
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MARQUES TOLIVER – Land of CanAan
8 – Soul Romeo totes Motown to the chamber. If crooning don’t romance, twinklefingers activates violin.—JES

WHEN SAINTS GO MACHINE – Infinity Pool
6: Danish synth obsessives enlist Killer Mike, tie their pop up in knots, lose themselves in murk.—DB

WILLY MOON – Here’s Willy Moon
5: Kiwi fashion plate revives rockabilly riffs via hip-hop production, suggests Suicide minus the menace.—BW

YUNA – Sixth Street
6: Cool-voiced Malaysian Myspace phenom combines chart-friendly songwriting with baroque pop filigree on Feist-y EP.—BW

Kylesa

METAL and PUNK
ALICE IN CHAINS – The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here
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A PALE HORSE NAMED DEATH – Lay My Soul to Waste
7: Frowny, ex-Type O Negative dude makes another LP of great, melodramatic alt-gloom-metal.—KG

ANTIGAMA – Meteor
6: Polish band’s sixth is an alternative to electroshock: a half-hour mix of machine-gun grindcore and occasional synth.—KG

ASG – Blood Drive
8: Southern sludge-pop bros emerge from hibernation with hooks, riffs, attitude. Their first for Relapse and their best. —GC

THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN – One of Us Is the Killer
Read full review

GAYTHEIST – Hold Me…But Not So Tight
7: Gay, atheistic Jello Biafra type makes fun, fuzzy alt-metal about killers, poop, chilling out.—KG

IRON TONGUE – The Dogs Have Barked, The Birds Have Flown
7: Angry Arkansas metal sorcerers put a hex on whoever stole their Blue Cheer LP.—JF

KINGS DESTROY – A Time of Hunting
6: New NYC doom squadron gets the sound and glory, but sometimes delivers with sheet-music stiffness.—GC

KYLESA – Ultraviolet
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MY DYING BRIDE – The Manuscript EP
7: Typically festooned goth metallers succeed at playing it straight, still sound undead-undead-undead.—KG

POP EVIL – Onyx
5: Influenced largely by Shinedown and Puddle of Mudd, more proof that radio-ready hard-rock shlock will never die.—KG

RETOX – YPLL
7: Ex-Locust dry-heave crew move to Epitaph, clean up, sharpen teeth, lumber, still hilariously cynical despite efforts.—CW

SURVIVAL – Survival
8: Liturgy frontman swaps black metal for concentrated, hypnotic prog chant-alongs that play out like a pagan ceremony.—JF

TESSERACT – Altered State
3: Djent metal meets soft rock with Kenny G-style alto-sax solos. Like a root canal by Dr. Richard Marx.—KG

THE VIBRATORS – On the Guest List
6: Old-school punks’ pals (Ty Segall, Wayne Kramer) appear on each track; raucous riffs trump name-drops.—JF

ZOLLE – Zolle
6: The Fucking Champs of doom metal, this Italian crew loves ill-angled grooves, bug-eyed riffs, cartoons that become real.—CW

Laura Marling

COUNTRY and AMERICANA
SAM AMIDON – Bright Sunny South
7: Lonely folkie pares his sound, mixes traditional tunes with earnest Mariah Carey, Tim McGraw covers.—JY

THE BAPTIST GENERALS – Jackleg Devotional to the Heart
6: Left-field country-folk veterans re-emerge, proffer rickety, Ozzy-inflected aches.—DB

GRIM TOWER – Anarchic Breezes
7: The Devil, drugs, Dobro make for a folky, uneasy-rider soundtrack by a Black Mountaineer and Imaaf Wasif.—KG

HANDSOME FAMILY – Wilderness
8: Exquisitely weird country gem where Custer haunts Wal-Mart, octopi hypnotize fish, crone doses villagers.—RG

COURTNEY JAYE – Love and Forgiveness
5: Slick and efficient, this Nashville songwriter weds ’70s Cali-pop to modern country. Deft but rote.—JY

LADY ANTEBELLUM – Golden
4: Aching to feel a desperation and abandon their lyrics prove they can barely imagine. Maybe if they drank more?—KH

LIBERATION PROPHECY – Invisible House
7: Shades of Mingus, Carla Bley, Norah Jones fuse in Louisville octet’s tornadic outsider Americana.—RG

NATALIE MAINES – Mother
5: Blame this ex-Dixie Chick’s loss of wit and sass on the Bush era, but that Pink Floyd title track’s all on her.—KH

LAURA MARLING – Once I Was An Eagle
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PISTOL ANNIES – Annie Up!
Read full review

DARIUS RUCKER – True Believers
5: Warm baritone so relentlessly reassuring, so self-possessed you’ll never believe he’s heartbroken.—KH

SHE & HIM – Volume 3
Read full review

GEORGE STRAIT – Love Is Everything
5: 28 ordinary years after his one great album, “Something Special” is a more accurate title than ever.—KH

Oliver Mtukudzi

INTERNATIONAL
AHMAD SHAM SUFI QAWWALI GROUP – Introducing
6: Afghan sextet rocks first four heavenly tracks; flute-drums duo send bottom half to hell.–RG

MEXICAN DUBWISER – Revolution Radio
7: Like the namesake brew, Marcelo Tijerina taps frothy, fresh fun on ñu-cumbia/dub/mariachi mix.—RG

OLIVER MTUKUDZI – Sarawoga
7: Zimbabwe star polishes folk roots, swings immaculate acoustic guitar on Shona-tongued 61st album.—RG

Eluvium

AVANT and JAZZ
AIDAN BAKER WITH PLURALS – Glass Crocodile Medicine
7: Nadja head, CD-R dronesters quietly pilot kraut ship through dank, bleak cosmos.—CW

CO LA – Moody Coup
6: Meet the IKEA chillfünken, a stylish avant construct (goopy bloopy New Music), tough to unpack yet functional.—CM

ELUVIUM – Nightmare Ending
SPIN ESSENTIAL: Read full review

RUSSEL HASWELL & YASUNAO TONE – Convulsive Threshold
5: “Years of research” yields 46 minutes of numbing digital skipping, ugly silences.—CW

DANIEL MENCHE – Vilké
8: Prolific noise vet samples actual wolf howls, embraces galloping rhythms. Like Black Dice gone dark ambient.—CW

HEDVIG MOLLESTAD TRIO – All of Them Witches
7: Deep Purple’s “Tokyo” or T. Rex’s “MacKane” tuned into Ruins-style prog-jazz, still grooves.—CW

LES RHINOCÉROS – II
6: D.C. jazz-punkers Bungle about with klezmer and surf and dub and Camper Van Middle Eastern ska.—CW

ELSE MARIE PADE & JACOB KIRKEGAARD – Svævninger
6: Two generations of sound artists join to make deep, wobbling soundwave friction.—CW

VAN DYKE PARKS – Songs Cycled
7: Throw your straw boater in the air, shout “huzzah” for the most cleverly arranged LP of the gilded age.—DM

PEALS – Walking Field
8: Members of Double Dagger and Future Islands abandon jagged dance-punk for hushed Fahey-meets-Four Tet drone.—BS

PHARMAKON – Abandon
7: Brooklyn bloodletter kickstarts another wave of Whitehouse yelling, now for the chilly pulses of nu-noisetronica.—CW

JOSHUA REDMAN – Walking Shadows
7: Tenor sax giant’s seriously sophisto soloing levitates string-laden, martini-sipping balladic standards.—RG

SALTLAND – I Thought It Was Us But It Was All of Us
8: Silver Mt. Zion cellist weaves drones like cosmic x-rays, steady as forever.—PS

JUSTIN WALTER – Lullabies & Nightmares
6: More snoozy than scary, Nomo trumpeter blows long, slow, no-Hassell electronic-valve improvs.—RG

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