Music Roundup 4/24/18

We’re here to tell you what’s hot and what’s not in this week’s music roundup

music roundup Hinds

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Hinds – I DON’T RUN

Genre: Lo-Fi Indie

Favorite Tracks: “Soberland,” “New For You,” “Tester”

Hinds, the ultimate girl gang and all-female quartet from Madrid, released their sophomore full-length, I DON’T RUN, with as much attitude and assertiveness as their debut. It’s clear that they don’t do music for anyone but themselves, and over the course of 11 songs, they sing of love, defiance, and change. What’s particularly refreshing is how they paint romantic relationships: messy and not straightforward. Sometimes it’s all in, “I fit you more than anyone / We want to fall in love / If you’re doing it wrong/at least do it strong” (“Rookie”), and other times it’s more complicated, “Cause when you hold me tight / it doesn’t mean we’re fine” (“To The Morning Light”). Other times still, it’s scary: “I lost my knack to get out and get in as I please / Should I knock the door / We both know what we saw / Something potentially close to love / I don’t know what I saw in you.” (“Tester”). But regardless of the conclusion, they tend to focus their writing on relationships with others way more than introspective musings. Their characteristically grungy lo-fi sound is complemented by the clean guitar and youthful vocals. When singing, they often trade lines with each other or all join in together, infusing each track with energy and fun. I DON’T RUN fits in seamlessly with their first studio album. Hinds has delivered another great batch of empowering rock tunes. [Stephanie Caress]

Verdict: Recommend

music roundup King Tuff

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King Tuff – THE OTHER

Genre: Neo-Psychedelia, Indie Rock

Favorite Tracks: “The Other,” “Neverending Sunshine”

When King Tuff broke onto the scene in 2012, his self-titled debut fit all too comfortably into a niche dominated by Burger Records groups like The Growlers and The Aquadolls. As the neo-garage fad faded, it became increasingly clear that nostalgic punk snarl is not a sound meant to be pioneered by artists in their early 30s. For that reason, I must admit that I am a little surprised that I am currently listening to King Tuff’s fourth record in 2018. THE OTHER is a Sub Pop release, laden with downtrodden mid-tempo jams that blur the lines between neo-glam and garage rock. Although the album never becomes offensive or dull, it is nonetheless a pretty half-baked listen. Opening track “The Other” is a rare King Tuff slow jam, akin to Ty Segall’s “Goodbye Bread” sans analogue warmth and authentic California melancholia. “Psycho Star” infuses Marc Bolan psychedelia with Earth Day-friendly nature-centrism. “Circuits in the Sand” kind of sounds like a Jack Black SCHOOL OF ROCK original, if it was also a song your one friend who wears almost exclusively all-over print Grateful Dead shirts unabashedly swore by until another decent Burger Records band dropped an almost identical track. On a more positive note, if you’ve been looking for a beer-soaked white dude’s take on Roy Ayer’s “Everybody Loves the Sunshine,” Tuff’s “Neverending Sunshine” is just that. With hard hitting soulful pianos and piercing Moog leads over halftime drums, “Neverending Sunshine” is comedically indebted to Ayers enough to be one of the album’s standouts. Ultimately, however, King Tuff is starting to sound like the Los Angeles DIY scene equivalent of dad rock. It’s not bad, but if you’re looking for a listen that pushes your boundaries you might want to pass on THE OTHER. [Ted Davis]

Verdict: Do Not Recommend

music roundup Melvins

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Genre: Alternative Rock

Favorite Tracks: “Embrace The Rub,” “Flamboyant Duck,” “Break Bread”

(the) Melvins are back at it, with another album less than nine months off the heels of last year’s A WALK WITH LOVE & DEATH—and like their last album, PINKUS ABORTION TECHNICIAN is another first-ever for the band that has done damn near everything. This time around sees Buzz and Dale joined by two bassists, “ongoing” member Steven McDonald, and Butthole Surfers alum Jeff Pinkus, who has previously collaborated with (the) Melvins on 2014’s HOLD IT IN and 2016’s aptly-titled BASSES LOADED, to mixed results. “Stop Moving To Florida” is an odd (odd and Melvins: there’s a tautology if there ever was one) mash-up of The James Gang’s classic “Stop” and Butthole Surfers’ classic(?) “Moving To Florida,” which sees the band fully embrace their KISS sensibilities and turn out some legitimately great pop rock before devolving it into an alternately sludgy-poppy rumbler that sounds like it could have been an outtake from PORK SODA-era Primus. Next, with sardonic, almost grating vocals playing off of its frenetic, buzzsaw riffing, is “Embrace The Rub,” a quick and dirty throwback to the late ‘80s/early ‘90s noise rock scene in which Butthole Surfers held court. Similarly, “Break Bread” (nonsense lyrics aside) is a solid ‘90s alt-rock tune likely to resonate with anyone who still yearns for the early days of grunge. Adding a bit more flair to the mix is “Flamboyant Duck,” a breezy, almost psychedelic little number that meanders along before taking off (like a flamboyant duck, I guess) into a soaring stoner-esque guitar outro. There’s also a nifty take on The Beatles’ “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” but it certainly isn’t as unexpected as many seem to think it is (anyone who follows the band would know they have been pulling that song out in the middle of sets for quite some time now). All that said, (the) Melvins have always been some of the most creative and hardest workers in the music world (and they have been pretty gracious to Crossfader, too), but this just isn’t their best work. PINKUS ABORTION TECHNICIAN does see the band at some of their most laid-back, having set out to do little more than have a good time recording an album with an old friend, but it’s still a bit phoned-in, a loose conglomeration of ideas consisting mostly of covers that aren’t quite as unique or original as advertised. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great moments on this record, but, overall, it isn’t all that memorable in the grand scheme of all things Melvins. [Joseph Simpson]

Verdict: Do Not Recommend

music roundup Tinashe

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Tinashe – JOYRIDE

Genre: Alternative R&B

Favorite Tracks: “Joyride,” “Stuck With Me (featuring Little Dragon),” “No Content”

True Tinashe fans have been waiting patiently for JOYRIDE since a visual teaser for the album was released in 2015. In the boisterous years since that first glimpse at the “2 ON” singer’s sophomore album, she has seen several incarnations of JOYRIDE and released another knock-off mixtape just to keep fans at bay. Her first album, AQUARIUS, showed us all that she has the vocal chops to stand out in the pop R&B world when she was able to step up her bedroom produced songs to professional caliber. Now, fans can expect to leave a first go-around at the album yearning for the adventurous Tinashe of the past. What JOYRIDE lacks is an awareness of the current R&B landscape that is full of artists such as SZA, Khalid, and even Childish Gambino, who are all taking the genre to new heights by operating outside of convention. While features from trap rappers Offset and Future certainly remind us that we are in 2018, there is not much to make this stand out as a pivotal moment for Tinashe.

On the opening track “Keep Your Eyes On The Road,” we are teased by an intense swell of automobile sounds zooming in and out of focus underneath rogue affirmations from Tinashe, ending in the repetition of “Prepare for Joyride.” In this moment, it easy to fall into the illusion that we are in for a visceral treat that will unveil some sort of secret about the illusive Tinashe and her inactivity in recent years. Instead we are given JOYRIDE, with a title track that is a combo of blown out of 808s & HEARTBREAK-style drums and Rihanna-esque “La La La’s.” Which eventually bleeds into “Ooh La La,” an attempt to build a song off of a sample of squeaking bed springs that becomes comical 20 seconds into the track. The strong suits of the album come from the bubbly, tropical-inspired rhythms strewn across songs such as “Me So Bad” and “Stuck with Me.” Overall, those hoping to find love-making jams to groove to throughout Summer 2018 will need to look further than JOYRIDE. Luckily, we are still early enough in Spring for someone to really bring the heat. [Michael Stanziale]

Verdict: Do Not Recommend

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