- Sebadoh, Act Surprised
Sebadoh, Act Surprised (4AD) – Lou Barlow has spent 30 years bouncing between solo work and side projects: Sebadoh and The Folk Implosion. The new album, six years after a Sebadoh “reunion,” is a consistent high-energy rocker, suggesting a Foo Fighters approach at times, but with finer harmonies and more acerbic lyrics.
- Olden Yolk, Living Theatre
Olden Yolk, Living Theatre (Trouble In Mind) – Fans of the Massachusetts psych-rock ensemble Quilt may be sad to learn that Shane Butler has put the band on a back burner while he polishes his duo work with Caity Shaffer, but two albums in, the frank, direct lyrics and smooth psychedelia of Olden Yolk would seem to warrant as much praise as Quilt, though Anna Fox Rochinski’s vocals are missed.
- Tyler the Creator, IGOR
Tyler the Creator, IGOR (Columbia) – Recently, former Odd Future hip-hop artist Tyler the Creator dished out a Gil Scott-Heron sound and insisted he was through with rap. Between synthesizer experiments and R&B ballads, the new album opts for off-the-wall sonic flourishes suggestive of Solange’s latest work. It may unnerve some hip-hop traditionalists, but give Tyler credit for venturing outside his comfort zone.