Late summer dance parties, beware. !!! (bka Chk Chk Chk) is unleashing a new album just before Labor Day. “AM/FM” is the first taste of the Brooklyn partystarters’ so-called Berlin club record, but to us, it feels more like rocking out, falling down, and scraping both knees on a diamond-encrusted dance floor. Equal parts blood and sparkle.
Violens: “Acid Reign”
Violens’ (pronounced “vy-lenz”) agile savant-rock is a tough beast to tame. They make a lot of noise for three guys–things appear and disappear in new single “Acid Reign” relatively quickly; effected piano here, metallic guitar there; chorus explosion here, whippersnapper verse there. It’s all very busy, but also very memorable. Confused? Understandable. It’s just good, prickly rock music.
Stars: “We Don’t Want Your Body
Since we recently reviewed Stars, why not share Stars. O, Canada. Your weepy alterna-musings are so killer, we suppose, because you arguably started this whole “indie” thing. Quebecois troupe STARS are pillars in a scene fraught with flippant trends and half-bands, having dominating our musical lexicon for the past several years. From their fifth LP release, The Five Ghosts is “We Don’t Want Your Body,” a finger-snapping tune made for smiling on a warm day.
Nada Surf: “Electrocution”
To many, Nada Surf will forever be the poster boys of the alternative anthem “Popular.” But, today they are enjoying a resurgence that few ‘90s bands do, and touting their mellower, less angst-ridden rock with a covers album and a giveaway of their lead track. Bill Fox’s “Electrocution” was already a sunny strummer/AM radio classic, and with Nada Surf, it thankfully stays that way.
J Cole: “Who Dat”
Raised on a rabid diet of Canibus couplets, Nas narratives, and Jay-Z melodies, 25-year-old Jermaine Cole is grown enough to wonder whether you’re familiar with this name but young enough to not care and just do his own thing. If he’s news to you, rest assured your favorite rapper’s rapper has been keeping tabs for some time. “Who Dat” is four minutes of good reasons to remember the kid.