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SPIN’s Review Roundup: 100 Lengthy and Tweet-Sized Takes on June 2013’s New Releases

The long and the short of the last month

SPIN iconBy: SPIN Staff // July 10, 2013


ROCK

AUSTRA – Olympia
7: High-fashion electro-opera pulses and quavers mightily like pre-throat-singing Björk, might stay too icy for own good.—CM

BIG DEAL – June Gloom
5: Beefier guitars mean Brit boy/girl duo get Jesus and Mary Chain-y, but tunes remain as deadpan as the delivery.—BW

BOOKER T – Sound the Alarm
6: Legendary organist cedes spotlight to ace singers (Estelle, Anthony Hamilton), soars on Gary Clark Jr. jam.—JY

CAMERA OBSCURA – Desire Lines
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CITY AND COLOUR – The Hurry and the Harm
4: Alexisonfire guy goes easy-peasy, straddling lite-rock with indie bite. Too earnest by half.—JM

ELEANOR FRIEDBERGER – Personal Record
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FUTURE BIBLE HEROES – Partygoing
7: Synth-ier Magnetic Fields splinter group croon epicurean concept album with typical tipsy cheek.—BW

STONE GOSSARD – Moonlander
7: Pearl Jam guitarist mixes stripped-down acoustics with the comfy, weepy, weird flourishes of a Beat poet.—JF

STEVE GUNN – Time Off
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HAUSU – Total
5: Sighing deeply, Portland quartet parrots the Cure, adds discord, congratulates self on thoughtful intensity.—JY

HELIOTROPES – A Constant Sea
8: Rookies ascend: Brooklyn crew bridges girl-group pop, metallic sludge, shiny psychedelia with woozy flair.—JY

HOSPITAL SHIPS – Destruction In Yr Soul
8: Kansas-based Indie rock that’s anthemic, adenoidal, and downright Doug Martsch-isch.—DB

JASON ISBELL – Southeastern
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JIMMY EAT WORLD – Damage
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LIGHTNING DUST – Fantasy
5: Minimal synth-pop of Black Mountain side-trip feels underwrought third time around, histrionic yet tepid.—JY

THE MANTLES – Long Enough to Leave
7: Never say retro: Bay Area crew’s rough-hewn folk-rock is peppy, rowdy, always fresh.—JY

THE MOWGLI’S – Waiting for the Dawn
2: L.A. octet don SF-boho vibes for tiring cavalcade of cornball folk shouts.—BW

PITY SEX – Feast of Love
4: Post-post-shoegaze, post-post-Weezer snoozers battle for ‘Empire Records’ back-half placement.—CW

PORTUGAL. THE MAN – Evil Friends
7: Danger Mouse lubes lush, spiritual, oft-platitudinous look back to days of wine and wasted Wasillans.—RG

PRIMAL SCREAM – More Light
6: Too many stock psych-rock gestures, too few freaky non-rock ones (free-jazz blarts, Bobby Gillespie raps).—DM

QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE – Like Clockwork
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ROGUE WAVE – Nightingale Floors
7: Barely remember their Shins-y 2003 debut? This frequently pretty set is a good place to re-up.—JM

SIGUR RÓS – Kveikur
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SMITH WESTERNS – Soft Will
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SONNY & THE SUNSETS – Antenna to the Afterworld
8: Sonny Smith adds synths to his thrift-shop garage pop, remains funny, sad, lovable.—JY

SURFER BLOOD – Pythons
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TUNNG – Turbines
6: Soughing male-female harmonies, twee folktronica, hyperlocal concerns: OK Cupid comes to the senior center.—RG

JOHN VANDERSLICE – Dagger Beach
8: Brooding troubadour hones mastery of creeping unease, stews over breakup in elegantly glum reveries.—JY

J. Cole / Photo courtesy of J. Cole

HIP-HOP
J. COLE – Born Sinner
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DESSA – Parts of Speech
7: Robyn’s emotional complexity and Chance the Rapper’s buggy-yet-mannered lyricism over post-rock trip hop.—BS

DJ MUSTARD – Ketchup
8: Bleeps, bloops, boings, sproings, pings, pongs, splats, smacks, “ay!”s, “oh!”s and “ugh”s. HANH?—JS

FAT TONY – Smart Ass Black Boy
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HODGY BEATS – Untitled 2 EP
7: The most undie of the OF-ers effs around with boom bap, chillwave, and ill-advised Trash Talk-assisted punk.—BS

THE LONELY ISLAND – The Wack Album
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MAC MILLER – Watching Movies With the Sound Off
5: New underground MCs who should know better assist rap bozo for co-signs of convenience.—BS

MIGOS – Young Rich Niggas
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QUASIMOTO – Yessir, Whatever
7: Madlib resurrects his smoker’s fantasia with B-sides and loops as tinny as a moldy cassette.—MR

R.A. THE RUGGED MAN – Legends Never Die
8: Rap game Eddie Van Halen finds 100 new ways to tell the world to kiss his ass.—CW

SERENGETI – Kenny Dennis LP
8: Chicago MC uses mustachioed middle-aged alias to deliver blue-collar bon mots: “You like em, you bang em.”—CM

SLUM VILLAGE – Evolution
6: Conscious-street binary breakers reform with only one surviving member like a hobbling, mostly busted Voltron.—BS

WALE – The Gifted
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KANYE WEST – Yeezus
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YOUNG FATHERS – Tape Two
8: Afro-Scottish soul-rap pups run PM Dawn #vibes thru Shabazz Palaces filter, share via TV-on-the-Tumblr.—CM

Disclosure / Photo by Erik Voake for SPIN
DANCE and ELECTRONIC

MATIAS AGUAYO – The Visitor
8: Chilean dance-floor agitator channels Suicide, acid house, cumbia, and Tom Ze on mesmerizing Kompakt LP.—PS

AIRHEAD – For Years
6: Fractured folk and devolved electronica by James Blake guitarist is a cool bad dream, inviting and menacing at once.—JY

ANTON ZAP – Water
7: Young Muscovite’s schweppervescent debut mixes burbling aquatic house with tranquil Eno-esque ambience.—RG

BOARDS OF CANADA – Tomorrow’s Harvest
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CONGO NATTY – Jungle Revolution
7: British Rasta crams 50 years of reggae, jungle, and dubstep into 50 minutes—CM

CSS – Planta
4: Brazilian dance oddballs minus leader songwriter meet Dave Sitek; singer Lovefoxxx mauls minimal melodies.—BW

DFALT – Helsinki Beat Tape (Part One)
7: Like a less demon-haunted Boards of Canada with hip-hop drums that knock good and proper.—BS

DINKY – Dimension D
7: Once known for icy mnml (“Acid in My Fridge”), Chilean DJ melts hearts, lush as a deep-house Juana Molina.—PS

DISCLOSURE - Settle
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DJ HAUS – Thug Hauz Anthems Vol. 1
6: A smiley-faced rave pastiche so winkingly pitch-perfect it could be called Etsy-beat.—PS

EMIKA – Dva
6: With so much stiff competition (Jessie, Aluna) this bass-dipped trip hop has no business having such stiff vocals.—CM

GOLD PANDA – Half of Where You Live
8: Knob-twiddling Londoner expands horizons, bottles Brazil, Tokyo, and more for heady headphones trip.—DB

HOOVERPHONIC – The Night Before
6: Belgians replace vocalist, trade trip-hop beats for Bond-y symphonic grandeur, await TV placements.—BW

JON HOPKINS – Immunity
8: Classically trained Brian Eno bro removes brain, discovers body, throws grimy-glorious rave for the rest of us.—CM

GEORGE ISSAKIDIS – Karezza
8: Techno slowed and smeared. Charcoal supplants sub bass, and arcane synths dial up druggy frequencies.—PS

MATHEW JONSON – Her Blurry Pictures
8: Cobblestone Jazz cornerstone bends time and space around lithe 808s and livewire modular synths.—PS

KELPE – Fourth
7: Surface similarities to Dilla and Four Tet fade under the sway of moon-walking boogie and beefy, colorful plunder-funk.—PS

KÖLSCH – 1977
7: Kompakt once urged, “Bring trance back,” and now they do, with lighters-in-the-air anthems from the “Calabria” dude.—PS

THE ORB & LEE ‘SCRATCH’ PERRY – More Tales From the Observatory
5: “Funky Punk”-level cheese toasting from a dad-filled Starbucks in space.—BS

THE-DRUM – Contact
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VARIOUS ARTISTS – Ed Rec Vol. X
7: French house label Ed Banger seizes Daft moment, unleashes lush ‘n’ funky exclusives from Justice et al.—BW

ZOMBY – With Love
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Kelly Rowland / Photo by Getty Images
POP and R&B

BRITISH ELECTRIC FOUNDATION – Dark
7: Po-mo cabaret covers from Heaven 17-er and friends (Boy George, Shingai Shoniwa) ooze D-R-A-M-A.—BW

CAPITAL CITIES: – In a Tidal Wave of Mystery
6: Breezy summer electro jams by guys who know what commercial means (feat. Andre 3000).—JM

LOU DOILLON – Places
5: French actress’ seductive but samey delivery lacks the je ne sais quoi of half-sister Charlotte Gainsbourg.—BW

CHRISETTE MICHELE – Better
6: Her mix of Ella’s girlish insouciance and Billie’s shapely vowels worked better with Ne-Yo’s well-made songs.—KH

KELLY ROWLAND – Talk a Good Game
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MAVIS STAPLES – One True Vine
7: Jeff Tweedy carves out rootsy, slightly staid settings for gospel great to bless Funkadelic and Low.—DM

Deafheaven / Courtesy of Deafheaven
METAL and PUNK

AUTOPSY – The Headless Ritual
7: Death metallers play it safe, despite love songs like “She Is a Funeral,” which would be sexy to Pinhead.—KG

THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER – Everblack
8: Modern death-metal stalwarts still deliver precise bursts of wrath, taut melodies with conviction.—JF

BLACK SABBATH – 13
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DEAFHEAVEN – Sunbather
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DEMON LUNG – The Hundredth Name
6: Vegas doomsters huff Alice in Chains’ vapors then thrash and stagger through a séance.—JF

FUCK THE FACTS – Amer
7: Ontario grindcore band swipes textures and tempos from death metal and hardcore, morphs into multiheaded monster.—JF

LESBIAN – Forestelevision
7: Seattle band’s schizo, 44-minute doom epic travels to Sleep, prog, boogie, black metal; runs to the hills.—CW

LOCRIAN – Return To Annihilation
8: Wildly prolific Chicago candelight dronesters descend into post-metal haze, Carpenter synth madness.—CW

MAN’S GIN – Rebellion Hymns
7: Neurosis-style doomsdayer riffs propel Alice in Chains Unplugged-style last call brooding.—CW

MEGADETH – Super Collider
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MUMAKIL – Flies Will Starve
6: Approximate this Swiss grindcore band’s sameyness by running a drill press 24 times in a row.—KG

NAAM – Vow
7: ? and the Mysterians synths, psychedelic stoner riffs, ominous harmonies create soundtrack for a spaceship peyote party.—JF

OBLIVIANS – Desperation
7: Timeless trash reigns when Memphis great Greg Cartwright and ca. 1995 buds reunite for garage-gnash bliss.—JY

PALMS – Palms
7: Chino Moreno and three-fifths of Isis are the soaring sum of their soaring parts.—CW

POWER TRIP – Manifest Decimation
7: Southern Lord cosigns reverb-heavy mix of old-school thrash, tuff-guy hardcore, mosh-ready breakdowns.—JF

TRANSPLANTS – In a Warzone
7: The brotherly joy of righteous rage, with party only slightly pooped by the vagueness of their targets.—KH

WREKMEISTER HARMONIES – You’ve Always Meant So Much to Me
8: A 38-minute art-metal suite for Ligeti strings, Patton moan, blackened doom.—CW

Houndmouth / Photo by Getty Images
COUNTRY, FOLK and AMERICANA

ALELA DIANE – About Farewell
8: Graceful songbird dusts off wings post-divorce, makes minimal, psych-kissed Americana for solo porch-sits.—CM

BILL FRISELL – Big Sur
6: Pastoral guitar and strings swerve and sway in effortless luxury, like a Prius cruising the NoCal coast.—RG

CASE STUDIES – This Is Another Life
8: Seattle sad bastard tips whiskey with Jason Molina’s ghost, muses on life, death, love, lust.—CM

HOUNDMOUTH – From the Hills Below the City
7: The Band-loving Kentucky pups drip tradition, gorgeous harmony like gritless Alabama Shakes.—JM

CHEYENNE MIZE – Among the Grey
7: Sprawling, colorful epics from Louisville singer-songwriter like Björk gone mainstream.—JY

VARIOUS ARTISTS – Sing Me the Songs: Celebrating the Works of Kate McGarrigle
7: A rousing salute from son Rufus Wainwright, Jimmy Fallon.—JY

Femi Kuti / Photo by Getty Images

INTERNATIONAL, AVANT, and JAZZ
DATE PALMS – The Dusted Sessions
8: Oakland duo is like Earth sans metal, a dusty Morricone-on-codeine tortoise plod through dubby deserts.—CW

DEVEYKUS – Pillar Without Mercy
7: Philly doom trombonist roars Hasidic melodies, enough art-jazz and fake-metal to score a Jarmusch flick.—CW

RAMY ESSAM – Introducing
7: Fascist-killing guitars bolster convincing Arabic-language protest songs from tortured star of Tahrir Square.—RG

TRILOK GURTU – Spellbound
6: Percussion pioneer’s horn-centric album splits difference between electric Miles and mellow Mangione.—RG

HIGH WOLF – Kairos: Chronos
7: Krauty French Tumblr-synth bubbler finds fresh rhythms, dubby zones, ecstatic sunshine.—CW

FEMI KUTI – No Place For My Dream
7: All news is bad news. Taut Afrobeat-from-the-source laments. World, hell, handbasket.—RG