New Music Reviews: April 2016

New Releases from Primal Scream, Moderat, St. Lucia, and more!
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New Releases from Primal Scream, Moderat, St. Lucia, and more!
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VARIOUS ARTISTS
VINYL: MUSIC FROM THE HBO ORIGINAL SERIES, VOL. 1
ATLANTIC

From the production team that created the groundbreaking but period-perfect soundtrack to Boardwalk Empire comes this batch of new and vintage recordings from the first episode of HBO’s Vinyl. The producers of this new series—set NYC’s 1970s record industry—plan to release a soundtrack a week to accompany each new episode. If every volume rocks as hard as Vol. 1—with 18 songs from Kaleo, Sturgill Simpson, Mott the Hoople, Otis Redding, The Meters, and more—this could become the welcome soundtrack of your every week.
BARBARA SCHULTZ

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PARKER MILLSAP
THE VERY LAST DAY
THIRTY TIGERS/OKRA HOMA

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It didn’t take hipster Americana fans long to discover Parker Millsap. His eponymous debut earned him much-deserved fans, high-profile gigs, and the opening spot on the Devil Makes Three’s current tour, where he’s promoting this sophomore release. Millsap’s unique singing approach, with an aggressive rasp often rising to falsetto is even more developed and arresting on Last Day. Must hear: “Hades Please” and the moving story song “Heaven Sent.”
BARBARA SCHULTZ

ST. LUCIA
MATTER
COLUMBIA

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The one-time jingle writer hiding inside St. Lucia’s Jean Philip-Grobler is always trying to get out, and the band's second album, Matter, is at its mercy. The ’80s synth-dance of St. Lucia’s debut, When The Night, is at the core of its creations, the search for the perfect hook lost in a jungle of choking tracks. Philip-Grobler definitely has pop chops which he almost manages on the lighthearted “Home” and the lilting “Winds Of Change.”
LILY MOAYERI

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MODERAT
III
MUTE

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Enriched over almost 15 years, the sound design of Moderat is a viscous continuum cycling with turbulence and vitality. Comprising Berlin producers Gernot Bronsert, Sebastian Szary (aka Modeselektor), and Sascha Ring (aka Apparat), Moderat challenges a balance between the astral and seismic resonances of post-club saturation, and III is the trio’s most solvent collection of formed elements to date. Forty-two oxygenated minutes throb with bass; bit-crushed harmonics; pivoting, slurred samples; and reflective melodies.
TONY WARE

THE RECORD COMPANY
GIVE IT BACK TO YOU
CONCORD

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This L.A.-based trio of Chris Vos (guitar, vocals), Alex Stiff (bass, vocals), and Marc Cazorla (drums, piano, vocals) likens themselves to Sticky Fingers by way of Mississippi John Hurt, but their acoustic pulse is pure Midwestern, corn-fed rock riffage. And that’s a good thing. What TRC lacks in hardluck living, they make up for in streamlined songcraft. When they bust their fuzzbox in “Rita Mae Young” or shake their tail feathers in “Feels So Good,” you’ll turn up a bottle and forget your blues.
KEN MICALLEF

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PRIMAL SCREAM
CHAOSMOSIS
FIRST INTERNATIONAL/IGNITION

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Bobby Gillespie follows a polarizing blueprint, drafting fiercely churning triumphs between bloozy bar rock or gaunt stylistic shambles. Following 2013’s aggro, empowered More Light, this 11th full-length is in the idea-dump slot, but avoids being the jumble that its title would imply. Collaborating with Andrew Innes, Björn Yttling, Haim, Rachel Zeffira, and Sky Ferreira, Gillespie equalizes cavernous post-punk, shamanistic arena stompers, chiming Beatlesesque psychedelia, and percolating “hallelujah”-peppered Madchester into sweeping physicality.
TONY WARE

MM STUDIO
GOOD STAR DUBS
ALBUMLABEL

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Written and recorded by Tadd Mullinix and Daniel Meteo in Berlin, MM Studio envisioned a modern take on old-school Jamaican dub. But this ain’t your granddad’s dub: Sure, MM Studio combined guitars, organs, keyboards, and drum machines with delay and echo plug-ins, but given their Berlin recording location, Good Star Dubs has a nocturnal, synthetic, Pong-like feeling. Think playtime with stoned tots, the songs bouncing like a lunar walk one minute, a robo house dance the next.
KEN MICALLEF