The brutal dance of a boxer is sprinkled with check-punches; half-shots and light jabs that unbalance the opponent before the pounding ensues. Similarly, Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-La-La Band’s 13 Blues for Thirteen Moons checks the listener with 12 tracks of eerie squeals, unsettling feedback and white noise before easing into “1,000,000 Died to Make This Sound,” a molten- lava ooze preceding an eruption of symphonic fire.
Clinic’s latest batch of punchy British psychedelia, Do It!, is just about what you would expect from a jagged band who imbue a hazy sonic vision. The 11 tracks pulse with a classic fuzz-toned guitar, an acid-drenched set of rock songs that could’ve faired just as well on late-60s radio as it can today.
Dark imagery and golden melodies form the foundation of Lazarus Beach, the full-length debut from Birmingham, Alabama’s Through the Sparks. Brimming with indie zeal and uncanny illustrations, the 13 tracks resonate with guitar-and-piano pop that is meticulously crafted and peppered with imagery that reflects the loneliness of life at any age.
Bill Callahan gave listeners a glimpse of his new album earlier this year when he released the single “Diamond Dancer” with its penetrating violin and R&B bass line. But this teaser barely scratched the surface of Woke on a Whaleheart, Callahan’s first since stepping from behind the moniker Smog.
Menomena bang out songs like they are exorcizing demons. The Portland-based trio ignites fires beneath hook-ready compositions, adding melodic tension to their auditory experimentation. Friend and Foe, the band’s sophomore release, manages to maintain an explosive urgency within accessible throwdowns.