SPIN's Review Roundup: 117 Lengthy (or Tweet-Sized) Takes on July and August 2013's New LPs

The long and the short of the last two months

Jay Z
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WRITTEN BY
SPIN Staff

***ROCK***

BRAIDS - Flourish // Perish
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CAUSA SUI - Euporie Tide 
7: Danish jammers pierce psychonautical wall, discover grunge, the Allmans, other boats for rockist reveries.—JJ

CROCODILES - Crimes of Passion
7: Pond-hopping garage gang rediscover rowdy rock'n'roll spirit, get glammy over lushly loud paisley punk.—CM

DIANA - DIANA
8: High-art synthsperiments meet sax-y soft-rock notions on Austra and Destroyer affiliates' wildly inventive debut LP.—CM 

DIARRHEA PLANET - I'm Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams
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DINOSAUR BONES - Shaky Dream
7: If the Strokes and Interpol co-habitated, then zigged toward big songs instead of zagging away from them.—JM

DISAPPEARS - Era
7: Seven deadly post-punk whims indulged via angular shredding, enigmatic grooves, vampiric murmurs, screwed loops.—CM

THE DODOS - Carrier
7: SF duo’s gorgeous-but-oft-inscrutable streak continues on a straighter path, with less Animal Collectivism.—JM

EROS AND THE ESCHATON - Home Address for Civil War
6: Adorbz couple can’t decide between MBV’s dark shadows or Yo La Tengo’s pop side. —JM

EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY & DAVID WING - Prince Avalanche
5: Guitar swells occasionally summon the expansive images they're meant to soundtrack.—KH

FLAAMINGO - Flaamingos
5: L.A. post-punkers' brooding vocals and dark synths lead to numbing stupor, not sensitive reflection.—JY

FRANZ FERDINAND - Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action
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JOHN FRUSCIANTE - Outsides EP
7: Ex-Chili shuts up and plays Zappa-style guitar on the best cut, tries musique concrète and EDM elsewhere.—KG

GAUNTLET HAIR - Stills
6: Still enwombed in echo, Denver duo's increasingly articulated spasms uncoil into distinct, welcome tummy-kicks.—KH

GHOST WAVE - Ages
6: Kiwi answer to the Strokes almost overdoses on self-conscious cool. Insistent, rapturous guitars save the day.—JY

GRANT HART - The Argument
7: Hüsker Düde retells 'Paradise Lost' on 20 groovy psych rockers, flipping his wig with a faux-Brit accent.—KG

HEBRONIX - Unreal
4: Yuck frontman's directionless guitar twinkle remakes Red House Painters as a jam band.—CW

HIS ELECTRO BLUE VOICE - Ruthless Sperm
8: '90s industrial returns from Italy, where it apparently heard Dinosaur Jr. and Trail of Dead.—JM

JOAN OF ARC - Testimonium Songs
6: Art-rockers fly straighter, but songs still one to 14 minutes long and written for experimental theater.—JM

KING KRULE - 6 Feet Beneath the Moon
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DAVID LYNCH - The Big Dream
4: Hollyweirdo sets synths/guitars on autopilot, drawls year's most unconvincing blues. No meditation epics.—RG

KRIGET - Dystopico
7: Swedish "rock" trio makes euphoric house from krautrock kreepshow, industrial confetti, honking Daft Jazz.—CW

MEDICINE - To the Happy Few
6: After 10 years of quiet, shoegaze emeriti's layered squall is more bracingly sweet than hypnotic/narcotic.—KH

MINKS - Tides End
7: NYC circa now band worships synth-y England circa ’82, frolics in Magnetic Fields. Pouty in a charming way.—JM

NATIVE - Orthodox
5: Fugazi tantrums for an age of post-Hella popcorn-drumming and shimmery guitars — with less melody than either.—CW

SARAH NEUFELD - Hero Brother
6: Candy palaces that dissolve in the air and other post-minimalist solo gimcracks by Arcade Fire violinist.—JJ

NO AGE - An Object
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O'BROTHER - Disillusion
6: A-Muse-ing vocals meet grungy riffs to dramatic effect.—KG

THE POLYPHONIC SPREE - Yes, It's True
5: More vapid kiddie-psychedelia, charming but grating; Flaming Lips minus the darkness (or nudity).—RH 

POND - Hobo Rocket
7: Tame Impala buds’ fifth opus touts psychedelic chaos; gleefully fuses prog, glam, funk, Beach Boys, you name it.—JY

PORCELAIN RAFT - Permanent Signal
7: Stylish Italian guy’s second album of blissed-out synth-rock goes stronger on actual songs.—JM

PORCHES. - Slowdance in the Cosmos
7: Catchy, quirky, synth-heavy, lo-fi singer-songwriter fare that sometimes uses black-metal blasts.—KG

PURE BATHING CULTURE - Moon Tides
5: Willowy Portland synth-poppers aspire to be dreamy like the Cocteaus, comes closer to insomnia relief.—JY

SALVIA PLATH - The Bardo Story
6: Lo-fi Beach Boys riffs from B-more stoner formerly known as RUN DMT. Was 'Guided by Doses' taken?—PS

TY SEGALL - Sleeper
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SMITH WESTERNS - Soft Will
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SPEEDY ORTIZ - Major Arcana
8: Bay State noise-popper gnashes guitar gristle and spits sour notes just like a '90s-loving loner should.—CM

SUPERCHUNK - I Hate Music
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SUPERHUMANOIDS - Exhibitionists
6: Arch, hazy Angelenos bathe in vintage synths and inexplicable accents, missing as often as they hit. —JM

TWIN PEAKS - Sunken
5: Scrappy tunes blurt, "we got something to say"; reverb-smear disguised as lo-fi mutters, "we got something to hide."—KH

WASHED OUT - Paracosm
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WEEKEND - Jinx
8: Recovering Brooklyn-via-Bay Area shoegazers sharpen their songwriting chops, trigger cold sweats with feverish gloom pop.—DB

WHITE HILLS - So You Are…So You'll Be
7: Brooklyn space-metal veterans unfurl seventh and finest set of wooly interstellar mantras.—DB

A$AP Ferg / Photo by Jolie Ruben

***HIP-HOP***

A$AP FERG - Trap Lord
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BIG SEAN - Hall of Fame
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EARL SWEATSHIRT - Doris
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KEVIN GATES - Stranger Than Fiction
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FREDDIE GIBBS - ESGN
Gangsta comfort food from an MC growing more uncompromising or unambitious, depending on your tough-guy tolerance.—BS

HIEROGYLPHICS - The Kitchen
7: Fizzy funk backs up the original bugged-out West Coast weirdo collective. Moments invoke, "Black Hippy who?"—BS

JAY Z - Magna Carta Holy Grail
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JOEY BADA$$ - Summer Knights
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KA - The Night's Gambit
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NO MALICE - Hear Ye Him
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RUN THE JEWELS - Run the Jewels
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TECH N9NE - Something Else
7: KC cult rapper collabs with the Doors, System of a Down, lyrically Kendrick and other youngsters' lunches.—BS

 Fuck Buttons

***DANCE and ELECTRONIC***

ABOUT GROUP - Between the Walls
7: This Heat and Hot Chip moonlighters make prog-pop pastiche. File under: Gastr del Soulseek.—PS

ARAABMUZIK - The Remixes Vol. 1
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BLONDES - Swisher
8: NYC tech-house futurists find transcendence in tribal beats, rave bass, subtle synth, and odd FX.—CM

ERIC COPELAND - Joke in the Hole
8: Up all night to get weird, Black Dicer minces pling-plong funk, broken go-go, hiccuping boogie nights.—CW

DJ RASHAD - I Don't Give a Fuck EP
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FUCK BUTTONS - Slow Focus
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IKONIKA - Aerotropois
7: Less U.K. funky than "Funky Little Beat," Sara Abdel-Hamid's Hyperdub LP renders '80s freestyle in buzzing neon.—PS 

LARRY GUS - Years Not Living
8: Dusty fingers dig up disco-not-disco bass lines, create drum circle bustle by way of broken breakbeats.—BS

MODERAT - II
7: Dreamily emo and dauntingly muscled, Apparat and Modeselektor's bass music evokes Burial on the Charles Atlas plan.—PS

MR. CHOP - Illuminate
7: Electro, techno-funk, vocoder-funk, and motorik prog-rock are but borders to cross in Coz Littler’s fertile mind.—MR

μ-ZIQ - Somerset Avenue Tracks (1992-1995)
8: Still futuristic now, these unreleased, decades-old gems absolve IDM of all sins.—PS

NOBODY - Vivid Green
6: The Low End Theory alum goes trap-rave but leaves space for the psychedelic fusion of albums past.—MR

PRETTY LIGHTS - A Color Map of the Sun
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RAS G & THE AFRIKAN SPACE PROGRAM - Back on the Planet
8: Uneasy electronica somewhere between Sun Ra and Sa Ra, with nods to Bambaataa.—BS

SHIGETO - No Better Time Than Now
6: Tastefully designed laptop beat-suite flickers with chiming instruments and keyboard ambience.—MR

ULTRAÍSTA - Ultraísta Remixes
6: A mixed bag featuring the usual subjects (Four Tet, Zero 7), but Herbert does his best mix in forever.—PS

Alunageorge / Photo by Getty Images

***POP and R&B***

ALUNAGEORGE - Body Music
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CIARA - Ciara
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EBONY BONES - Behold, a Pale Horse
6: British Baduizt jams soul, punk, pop, and strange into kitchen sink, clogs it with chunky funk.—CM

ILLANGELO - History Of Man
8: The Weeknd producer mixes instrumental forays such as “One Dreamy Hum” into a futurist R&B hallucination.—MR

MYRON & E - Broadway
6: Sessions with Finnish deep-funk vets the Soul Investigators nearly undone by antiseptic production.—MR

PET SHOP BOYS - Electric
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RUDIMENTAL - Home
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ROBIN THICKE - Blurred Lines
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Letlive / Photo by Getty Images

***METAL and PUNK***

ALL PIGS MUST DIE - Nothing Violates This Nature
7: Faster, shorter doesn't equal a heavier round two, still a blackened hardcore victory.—CW

PHILIP H. ANSELMO & THE ILLEGALS - Walk Through Exits Only
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CENTURIES - Taedium Vitae
7: Blackened hardcore punks flaunt an emo underbelly and a singer whose throat shreds harder than the guitars.—JF

COFFINS - The Fleshland
Grumbly, rumbly, and unimaginative. Death metal before coffee.—KG

DEAD IN THE DIRT - The Blind Hole
8: Atlanta vegan grind corps won't starve, thanks to protein-packed feedback of these 22 noise etudes.—KG

DESTRUCTION UNIT - Deep Trip
7: The Men took out the trash; DestroUnit's shrill feedback, DRI tempos, cucumber cool vocals still forget.—CW

GOGOL BORDELLO - Pura Vida Conspiracy
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LAZY - Obsession
5: A belligerent and proudly generic Kansas City thrashfest with jabbering boy-girl vocals evokes forgotten '70s punkers.—JY

LETLIVE - The Blackest Beautiful
6: Polemical post-emo tantrum that's a bit too chaotic for coherence, save the soulful "Pheromone Cvlt."—KG

NEWSTED - Heavy Metal Music
5: Ex-Metallica/Voivod/Echobrain dood plays tunes as generic as the LP title, growls "by the teeth of my skin."—KG

OATHBREAKER - Eros|Anteros
8: Venomous hardcore and grim atmospherics meet via Belgians whose bleeding black hearts love hate, hate love.—JF

PILLBUSTER - Pillbuster
4: Virginia Beach metal dudes resurrect angsty '90s alternative hard rock for aging jocks with tribal tattoos.—JF

POP. 1280 - Imps of Perversion
7: Second time out, slime-rockers do dead Devo, dead Bambaaataa, dead Pere Ubu.—CW

PSYCHIC TEENS - Come
Jean-pissing Philly H#TEfuck pigpunk rewritten as shoegaze blur, bat release, one syllable shrug.—CW

TRUE WIDOW - Circumambulation
8: Sun-scorched, ears-wide-open metal gone wrong in a good way. Freak folk off and die.—BS

WATAIN - The Wild Hunt
7: Talk about growth. Finally, there's a Joy Division-y ballad to dramatize with sheep blood and fire.—KG

Valerie June / Photo by Getty Images

***COUNTRY, FOLK and AMERICANA***

THE CIVIL WARS - The Civil Wars
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DAUGHN GIBSON - Me Moan
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VALERIE JUNE - Pushin' Against a Stone'
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MODERN HUT - Generic Treasure
7: Melancholic slacker-folk songs with moments of unintentional sweetness aimed at world-weary youth.—JF

SCOTT & CHARLENE'S WEDDING - Any Port in a Storm
6: NYC cosplay and flowers from Aussie transplant on charming, jangly Gotham honeymoon.—JJ

EDWARD SHARPE AND THE MAGNETIC ZEROES - Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes
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TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND - Made Up Mind
Big voice, bigger slide guitar, Delaney & Bonnie spirit fuels Allman offshoots' brawny roots-rock.—RG

KT TUNSTALL - Invisible Empire/Crescent Moon
6: Howe Gelb settings as gorgeously stylized and restrained as the singer's proud yearning.—KH

Julianna Barwick / Photo by Jolie Ruben

***INTERNATIONAL, AVANT, and JAZZ***

JULIANNA BARWICK - Nepenthe
8: Oceanic choral clouds roll in cathartic Koyaanisqatsian time lapse. Occasional strings. MP3s won't cut it.—JJ

BIG BLOOD - Radio Valkyrie +1905 + 1917+
7: Husband-and-wife CD-Rists make collage suites, ghost songs, a strong case for Portlandia East.—JJ

BITCHIN BAJAS - Bitchitronics 
7: Locked in a woozy Mellotron mind-meld, sparkle-eyed organ droners sound forever (La Monte) young.—PS

KEN CAMDEN - Space Mirror
6: Looping pulsations, arpeggios, and other solo-guitar repetition from silver-surfing Implodes member.—RG

DAWN OF MIDI - Dysnomia
8: Stellar through-composed jazz-funk-Afro-minimalism by acoustic piano trio at a loss for words but little else.—RG

ETRAN FINATAWA - The Desert Sessions
7: Arid, intimate, lively African blues, buoyed by handclaps and the occasional laughing-fit oasis.—RH 

JULIA HOLTER - Loud City Song
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M. GEDDES GENGRAS - Collected Works
7: Sun Araw's synth master taps Terry Riley's new-age dream on aptly dubbed 'Vol. 1: The Moog Years.'—CM

CLIFF MARTINEZ - Only God Forgives: Orginal Motion Picture Soundtrack
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R. STEVIE MOORE - Personal Appeal
8: Joyful '70s/'80s field recordings of genius weirdo writing the DIY psych/pop/fuzz/buzz/bleep playbook.—JJ

PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND - That's It!
8: No preservatives added to corn-free N'awlins originals played with wit, depth, panache.—RG

CHRISTIAN WALLUMRØD - Outstairs
8: In hushed chamber jazz and Norwegian folk melodies, the rustling of trees decoded: "Winter is coming."—PS

ZOLA JESUS - Versions
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JOHN ZORN - Dreamachines
8: '90s downtown regulars animate dense light shows with dexterously flickering vibraphone and warm egghead swing.—JJ

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