- SPIN Rating:7 of 10
Former Jawbox frontman, unsung-hero producer, and current Future Planner J. Robbins creates a signature roar that blog-era indie rock has almost abandoned: large-bore guitars that grind yet sparkle, high-res drums, and singular vocal harmonies. He's changed this formula only slightly over the years, here using cello to add swaths of color (or to elegantly parry the melody on "You're Not Alone"). He also experiments with subdermal electronics ("Abandon") and hammers out perfect blends of all of the above ("The Beautiful Barricades"). It's hard to think of another post-hardcore lifer whose return to active duty is so high-five worthy.