By far the best week of the year thus far, there is something for everyone. If you are an old soul, Jefferson Starship has a new album out called Mother of the Sun that is an unironic vintage “Jane” version of the musically polarizing band and Rock is the new Roll favorites Pink Martini are not ashamed to go retro on “The Lemonade Song,”
And, Raul Malo and the rest of the Mavericks are out with, surprisingly, their first all Spanish album in their storied career.
It was tough to narrow things down, but here are five tasty records we like this week.
The Killers – Imploding The Mirage
Much like Vampire Weekend Las Vegas’ own The Killers seem to go away and return just at the time that we really need them most. Bright, bouncy, anthemic, it’s all here “Mr. Brightside” style. The synths are absolutely soaring and on the Springsteen worthy “My Own Soul’s Warning” you know immediately that the boys are back in town. There is not a dud to be found here, and the collaborations with k.d. Lang on “Lightning Fields” and with Weyes Blood on “My God” come out of left field and are both utterly brilliant. Good, bordering on great and just maybe the album of the year so far.
Blues Pills – Holy Moly
It has been almost 4 years since Erin Larsson and Blues Pills shared their retro-tinged blend of Psychedlic Blues with the unwashed masses, and it has definitely been worth the wait. With Holy Moly, their latest release, the third time is definitely a charm as now, three records in, the band has definitely hit their stride with a revamped more rock less blues sound that seems to fit the Janis meets Melissa Etheridge vocal stylings just perfectly.
Old 97’s – Twelfth
The Old 97’s, the Americana version of The Replacements, are back and with leading man Rhett Miller singing as good as he ever, the band’s playing is better than ever. While the group has fine-wine mellowed (sort of) with age, their core values of singing songs about women, whiskey and life on the road are still intact. And face it, Rhet Miller’s voice alone could melt butter. Highlights here are many, but “Absence (What We’ve Got)” and the mournfully beautiful “Belmont Hotel” are definite standouts.
The Waterboys – Good Luck Seeker
After a couple of semi-uneven affairs the classic Waterboys with Mike Scott at the helm are back to what brought them here with their latest release, Good Luck Seeker. Pieced together by trading files between the various home studios of the band members may tend to make the overall record seem a bit disjointed, and maybe it is, but since each song stands alone as its own excellent entity this minor flaw is easily overlooked. The opener, “The Soul Singer” is a horn-infested stunner and any song that rhymes Dennis Hopper and Steve Cropper has got to be cool, and the song “Dennis Hopper” definitely is. You will need to look past the electronic forward texture of this record to enjoy it fully if you are an old-school Waterboys fan but the Emerald Isle travelogue worthy “Postcard From the Celtic Dreamland” will take you back home.
L.A. Witch – Play With Fire
If the Addams Family had a house band, it most probably would have been L.A. Witch. And, if Erik Vonzipper had a Halloween party, L.A. Witch would have been his house band. With frontwoman Sade Sanchez at the helm her Surf-Goth (if there is such a genre) guitar playing almost literally transcends space and time. Never before have our ears been pleasured with this blend of Goth, Punk, and Surf music all at the same time. This band is as tight as any three piece you will find in the game today. Sultry Rock songs, aggressive garage anthems, and crisp in-your face songwriting is the order of the day, and weighing in at just under 30 minutes the entire mind escape can be savored in one sitting.