Bun-B, ‘II Trill’ (Rap-a-Lot/Asylum)

Legendary Houston fixture Bun B has a flair for Southern-fried folksiness and lyrics that are as poignantly evocative as they are salaciously entertaining. On thi…
By: Will Dukes / May 29, 2008

Blue Scholars, “Butter&Gun$’ (Massline/Rawkus)

As proponents of a style that blends dense lyricism, West Coast jeep beats, and progressive politics, Blue Scholars are one of underground hip-hop's most challenging…
By: Mosi Reeves / May 29, 2008

The Black Angels, ‘Directions to See a Ghost’ (Light in the Attic)

Named after the most abrasive track on the first Velvet Underground album, this druggy sextet from Austin, Texas, reach for spine-prickling, horror-inducing sonic deliverance. Like…
By: Rob O'connor / May 29, 2008

The BellRays, ‘Hard Sweet and Sticky’ (Anodyne)

After more than 15 years in action, Southern California's BellRays have mastered the essentials of swaggering rock'n'soul. As guitarist Bob Vennum spews slashing power chord…
By: Jon Young / May 29, 2008

Animal Collective, ‘Water Curses’ (Domino)

Amid the globules of sound on "Cobwebs," Animal Collective's Avey Tare mumbles about being "organic like strawberry meat." But on this new four-song EP, that'…
By: SPIN Staff / May 29, 2008

Jim Noir, ‘Jim Noir’ (Barsuk)

Wild-eyed Alan Roberts -- a.k.a. Jim Noir -- belongs to the mad-scientist school of pop, concocting intricate epics that create a sense of intense claustrophobia.
By: Jon Young / May 29, 2008

Nine Inch Nails, ‘Ghosts I–IV’ (

Since leaving Interscope last year, Trent Reznor has been on a productive tear. The latest evidence: For as little $5, you can download Ghosts I–IV…
By: Thomas Golianopoulos / May 29, 2008

The Kooks, ‘Konk’ (Astralwerks)

These British phenoms' energetic pop-rock tunes are eminently listenable and sometimes downright joyous (album opener "See the Sun"), but nary a nanosecond of the Kooks'…
By: Josh Modell / May 29, 2008

Frightened Rabbit, ‘The Midnight Organ Fight’ (FatCat)

Glasgow has a well-earned rep for churning out bands led by weepy would-be lotharios, so it's past due for a new angle on the oversold…
By: Shannon Zimmerman / May 29, 2008

Hayes Carll, ‘Trouble in Mind’ (Lost Highway)

This Texas coaster covers plenty of bases on his third album, many of them alcoholic, and the tastiest perched between stadium rockabilly and Dylan-worship folk…
By: Chuck Eddy / May 29, 2008
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