Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Frequent Spins (2010.2)

So far, I'd have to say that this year is clearly better than last at this stage of the game, although not much has really piqued my interest since the first round of Frequent Spins 2010. That should change come the month of May, with new albums due from four bands who can boast seven top ten albums among them: The Hold Steady, New Pornographers, The National and Band of Horses.

Clem Snide
- The Meat of Life
After a four-year hiatus during which it seemed the band was no more, Clem Snide made an impressive return with Hungry Bird last year. The Meat of Life builds on that momentum, as it's simply another collection of clever, sometimes melancholy, and always quirky indie pop from this trio named after a character from several William S. Burroughs works.

Magnetic Fields - Realism
This release is a nice little comeback for Stephen Merritt and Co. after the somewhat disappointing Distortion. The jury's still out as to whether or not it's as good as 2004's i, but it's definitely in the ballpark.

Rogue Wave - Permalight
To me, this album represents the maturation of Rogue Wave. Their first release, Out of the Shadow, was catchy, but it wore out its welcome after a little while. They followed that up with the very unremarkable Descended Like Vultures and the disappointing Asleep at Heaven's Gate. On Permalight, this west coast band appears to have finally lived up to the potential they showed on their debut.

Shearwater - The Golden Archipelago
I used to think that Okkervil River was a Shearwater side project. Of course, that was before I heard Black Sheep Boy and it became my album of the year in 2005. As it turns out, Shearwater has never been able to match their sister band's output, but this is probably the closest they've come.

Shout Out Louds - Work
These Swedish indie-popsters caught my ear with their first two albums, 2005's Howl Howl Gaff Gaff and 2007's Our Ill Wills, but they've really come into their own with this one. Incidentally, a web stream of the entire album is nowhere to be found, so the link here is to the Lala stream of the single "Fall Hard."

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