Friday, May 28, 2010

New Tunes: Hitchcock, Roky, the National...

From Pure Pop today or recently:

The National, High Violet

Hailed as their 'masterpiece ', the latest from brooding not-really Americana indie rockers is certainly atmospheric, but we all know we need more than air to survive. Well-recorded and mastered (on vinyl anyway, save for the clipped opener "Terrible Love"), the record ebbs and flows, and in a weird way reminds me of Spiritualized a tad. Great drum sound, by the way, but they don't do much with it. The problem with here is that the songs are almost devoid of hooks, even the subversive ones found in earlier releases. Three, maybe three and a half peanuts.

Roky Erickson and Okkervil River, True Love Cast Out All Evil

Everyone's favorite psychedelic basketcase cum horror-pop pariah culminates his return to music with his best album yet. Bare, barren, and touching, Roky puts out an almost autobiographical set with terrifically sympathetic backing by alt country kids Okkervil River. This is the real masterpiece people ought to be talking about.

Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus Three, Propellor Time

Another great of the psych-pop canon, Propellor Time is a relaxed affair recorded over several years with, yes, three quarters of the live R.E.M. (and three fifths of the Minus Five). But make no mistake, this is Robyn's record. Great songwriting, as always, backed by complementary contemporary acoustica-pop that reflects the comfort these guys have when sitting around the mike. File alongside I Often Dream of Trains and Eye, of course, but one slot away from Fegmania and Queen Elvis.

The Cure - Show

Three bucks from that box on the counter, this is a great live set from the golden era of the Cure.

The Forty Fives, Get it Together

Raunchy Stonesy garagey rock, worth the buck I have invested and likely a tad more. Can't call it original but these guys sure have fun.