Chris Martins



  • Jaill, 'Traps' (Sub Pop)

    Milwaukee power-pop brewers season Sloan-y songs with Midwestern fuzz and weirdness, deliver fizzy malt tuneage.

  • Bobby Brown, 'The Masterpiece' (Bronx Bridge)

    Old Jack Swing returns after 14 years with songs about love, loss and beating haters: Every little step.

  • Crocodiles, 'Endless Flowers' (French Kiss)

    San Diego fuzzmeisters turn down the 'verb, swoon like Strokes or No Age, make "Bubblegum Trash."

  • Public Image Ltd, 'This is PiL' (PiL/Redeye)

    Lydon belches dangerous angst over lashing guitars and fat bass: First in 20 years, rudie don't fail.

  • Photo by Travis Schneider

    The Hives, 'Lex Hives' (Disques Hives)

    The Hives may be crude, cocksure nostalgists — cavemen, artistically speaking — but they aren't lazy. So how is it that in 20 years of existence, the rawest, most unhinged, and high-energy band to ever play MTV's Video Music Awards has released only five albums, including this one? You've gotta believe it's by design, that the Boys in Black and White know when they're needed — or rather, when rock'n'roll is needed. Because that was the thing, of course, back when they broke through in the nascent aughts: Hives, Stripes, Strokes, Vines. A bunch of scuzzy fucks with actual hooks who blew the door off the garage and told us exactly where to shove our samplers and synths.

  • Riverboat Gamblers, 'The Wolf You Feed' (Volcom)

    ATX punx finally grow up, flex polished muscles, moody might via hard chugging (and flange).

  • Sonnymoon, 'Sonnymoon' (Plug Research)

    Boy'n'girl R&Beats from outerspace (i.e., L.A.); jazz slink + digital soul + hazy ambition = Projectors on DMT.

  • Phon.o, 'Black Boulder' (50 Weapons)

    James Blake's dubstep dreams made maximal by Berliner beatsmith. Dark, heavy and hard to stop while rolling.

  • Shannon Funchess / Photo by Emily Hope

    Light Asylum: Dark-Wave Duo Bring Unholy Mood Pieces to the Dance Floor

    Who: Brooklyn's Light Asylum are as prone to moments of militancy as bouts of beauty. The project pairs the production skills of Bruno Coviello, 32, and the commanding contralto of Shannon Funchess, 40, whose high energy and moody mastery of the mic have earned her comparisons to both Grace Jones and Ian Curtis. After coming together in 2009, the duo shot through the local scene like conjoined meteors, making such an impact with their live show that James Murphy once said the mere idea of having time to produce for them was reason enough to bust up LCD Soundsystem. Sounds Like: Today's electronic futurism hacked by an older era's dystopic visions. Funchess came up in 1980s Seattle, where electronic body music and the funk-punk movements of the era merged with the prevalent DIY punk and indie culture.

  • Slugabed, 'Time Team' (Ninja Tune)

    Twenty-one-year-old beat genius doses UK dubstep with Dilla hop and Left Coast soul; makes Flying Lotus nervous.

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