On the Record

Drake Bell's Ready Steady Go!

The Kinks’ “Sunny Afternoon,” with its grousing about the taxman taking “all my dough,” might refer on the sly to Drake Bell’s ongoing bankruptcy, just as sardonic observations elsewhere on the glitter life sound like ...

Lost in the Dream with War on Drugs

The third album from Philadelphia band War On Drugs finds main man Andy Granduciel filling his hazy, melodic sound with scattered layers, long tones, and phantom drum machines, delivering a record that could soundtrack any ...

Mess by Liars

Like most Liars’ music, Mess is anxiety-ridden, dissonant, frantic. The seventh album is their third to be made in Los Angeles since leaving Brooklyn. With the change in location comes a change in sound: the ...

Atlas by Real Estate

The instant “Had to Hear” begins, you welcome back the awaited jangle of Real Estate. The indie-pop band of the moment knows exactly what you expect of them and their third LP delivers. So much ...

Jon Pardi's Write You a Song

It’s refreshing to see a young country artist write his own songs and wear a Stetson straw cowboy hat. With modern country singers opting for trucker hats and V-necks, sometimes a tight pair of Wranglers ...

William Shatner's Ponder the Mystery

Let’s assume he’s serious. Simplifies matters. And unlike his previous, Seeking Major Tom, this one has no well-known originals to brain-sprain yourself over. He’s by turns polemic, stumbling, provocative, gravely. You need his grit, too, ...

Mogwai's Rave Tapes

What happens when a notable ’90s post-rock band gets in a head-on collision with a pile of synthesizers, you ask? The album Rave Tapes, by Scottish mainstays Mogwai. The first release by the group since ...

Sun Kil Moon's Benji

Recording as Sun Kil Moon, Mark Kozelek’s new album, Benji, walks a fine line between tear-jerk confessionals and R. Kelly–style stream-of-consciousness stories. The everyday recollections of “Ben’s My Friend” feel kind of like Kozelek’s own ...

Tacocat's NVM

Never heard Tacocat before. First impressions of “Bridge to Hawaii”: (1) I’m getting impatient with the song’s two resounding opening guitar chords, cringing at the prospect of overdramatized, underwritten music...is there going to be a ...

Carla Bley's Trios

Pianist/composer Carla Bley, 77 years old now, knows outrage and energy; her early masterwork Escalator Over the Hill ends with repetition infinite — or at least, until the needle punches through the lock groove at ...