The Dodos- Carrier (Dine Alone Records; 2013)
Carrier is The Dodo’s fifth studio album, and the band’s first since 2011. The California-based duo have traded their warm acoustic melodies for heavier melancholic electric guitar infused riffs. Although The Dodos have steered away from their signature sound, the change is not unprecedented; the band experimented with their sound on their 2009 release Time to Die. The first single “Confidence” starts off as a tame track but quickly evolves into a heavy hitter.
On Carrier, the duo created a tracklist of eerily beautiful songs prompted by the untimely death of their former touring guitarist, Christopher Reimer. Reimer transformed the duo into a trio for a brief period in 2011.The first track “Transformer” sets up the rest of the album with its honest lyrics and sorrowful sound. A powerful melancholy can be heard in “Relief” and all throughout Carrier. The album was released on Aug.27.
Trial Track: “Confidence”
Franz Ferdinand – Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action (Domino Records; 2013)
Four years later and Franz Ferdinand is back in action. It seems that after their last album, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, received mixed reviews, the lads from Glasgow needed to take some time to reflect on the future of the band. Luckily for us, they decided to recharge and return to the scene with 10 brand-spanking new tracks.
Although their infectious first single “Right Action” sounds like it was plucked from their debut self-titled album, the Scottish alt-rockers prove their musical hiatus has allowed them time to evolve as musicians and lyricists. “Fresh Strawberries” showcases the band’s existential fears and struggles, juxtaposed by a light, sweet, sound with subtle disco vibes. The entire album has the signature guitar-fueled sound fans have come to love but with a fresh and funky feel that does not disappoint. The album dropped Aug.27.
Trial Track:”Evil Eye”
Bastille – Bad Blood (Virgin; 2013)
Relying heavily on upbeat tempos and a sprinkling of falsetto kicks, Bastille creates an album that’s both incredibly original and versatile. Instant hit “Pompeii” amassed tens of millions of views since its release in February, and it’s no wonder this U.K. collective has catapulted right into the music industry spotlight. Bastille manages to avoid limiting itself to songs riddled with repetitive tempos and instead unifies the tracks with a consistent aura of pure optimism. Bad Blood, set to release Sept. 3, comes across first and foremost as a feel-good album, displayed clearly in the track “Flaws,” a sunshiny tune bursting at the seams with smile-inducing catchiness and raw motivation.
While the album isn’t likely to fit your every mood or pull at your heartstrings, one thing’s for sure, Bad Blood guarantees some pretty good vibes.
Trial Track: “Flaws”
Nine Inch Nails- Hesitation Marks (Columbia Records; 2013)
Hesitation Marks is Nine Inch Nails’ first release since the band went on a hiatus in 2008. The band has always catered to its own specific niche market and this album is no different. The first single, “Came Back Haunted,” has the potential to be quite interesting, but with the chorus providing the only intriguing aspect, the song ends up being simply lackluster.
The album contains the usual angst-filled, industrial rock sound that has become synonymous with the band. However, this time around, the band has opted for a slightly more experimental direction with songs like “Copy of A”. One of the album’s most understated numbers, it is a song that grows on you and is definitely worth more than a couple of listens. The album comes out on Sept. 3.
Trial Track: “Everything”