Pig Destroyer’s sixth studio album Head Cage (Relapse Records) finds the Virginia band adding plenty of found sounds to the mix, even though their songs of alienation have been distilled into a single short LP. Guitarist Scott Hull has embraced inspiration from improvisational noise without allowing it to dominate the music. Complex riffs and relentless drumming culminate in the final two tracks, “The Last Song” and “House of Snakes.”
Toronto’s Fucked Up, meanwhile, is no stranger to rock-opera concepts, having pulled out all the stops for 2011’s David Comes to Life. But the new double-disc Dose Your Dreams (Merge Records) goes further, expanding from Damian Abraham’s hoarse, snarling vocals to add such guests as Mary Margaret O’Hara and Jennifer Castle. Solo piano, tenor sax and orchestral snippets intersperse with punk riffs, while lyrics bounce from the modern hopelessness of “I Don’t Wanna Live in This World Anymore” to the Zen-like closer, “Joy Stops Time.” The only hazard for Fucked Up lies in the new album’s exhausting scope, and the danger that a song like “Normal People” can sound like Canadian cohorts Arcade Fire — not a good thing, in this instance.