Drake’s Take: New Releases 04.01.08

Drake digs the new releases from After The Jump alums Foals, and new metal warriors The Sword, while he gives REM‘s “Accelerate” a best thing you’ve done for me lately award. -ed.

Drake’s Take: New Releases 04.01.08

Last week, we were spoiled by getting The Black Keys new one last week, so this week we poach from next week’s bin, as the debut album from much hyped UK dance-punk act Foals hits Rhapsody a week early. Beyond that, there’s plenty here, including a new release from the (sort of) revitalized R.E.M., along with new ones from Sun Kill Moon, Colour Revolt, Los Campesinos! and my fave metal band The Sword. Add to that some great compilations like a Willie Nelson box set and a collection of rarities from Apples in Stereo, and you’d think that would be enough — but we’re also blessed with live albums from The Rolling Stones (soundtrack to the Scorcese film Shine a Light,) Muse and The Decemberists’ Colin Meloy. Listing all this even has me wondering whether I’m pulling some April fools day prank, but it’s all here, enit.

Playlist: New Releases 04.01.08

Album: Foals – Antidotes

Foals - AntidotesSub Pop scores once again, landing the debut from this young Oxford band, in Rhapsody a week early. It’s a debut that many across the pond are calling the best you’ll hear all year, and there’s a lot of merit to that hubris. Comparisons to the dance punk of Rapture and (early) Bloc Party are bound to come, but there’s both more dance and math-rock than both those bands, and less pop to be sure. The first singles, “Cassius” and “Balloons,” get the feet moving, but they also hit on a more visceral sense. There’s also some mood-shifting here as well, and the beauty of “Electric Boom” sort of serves as the heart of the album, an album that will be talked a lot of about, I’m sure. For the UK release, Foals left off their previous hit singles (“Hummer” and “Mathletics,”) as neither fit the sound that producer Dave Sitek (TV on the Radio, Liars, Yeah Yeah Yeahs) achieve for them here, but both make it on the Sub Pop release as bonus tracks.

Download: “Balloons”
Video: “Cassius”

Album: The Sword – Gods Of The Earth

The Sword - Gods Of The EarthWhen this Austin band’s debut Age of Winters came out in 2006, it pushed me to do a piece on the New Heavy, recent metal that even indie rockers can get down with. Their seemingly sincere D&D-inspired lyrics (think Neil Peart) delve deep into geek territory, and with Gods of the Earth, they go even deeper. “Mother Maiden and Crone” references the Triple Goddess, “To Take The Black” is about George R.R. Martin’s fantasy epic “A Game of Thrones”, and “The Frost-Giant’s Daughter” is the title of a Conan the Barbarian story. I say just roll your ten-sided dice and play the track that corresponds… your HP may dwindle from neck damage, but you’ll make up for it with serious HMXP (Heavy Metal Experience Points).

Full Album Stream at MySpace
Download: “Fire Lances of the Ancient Hyperzephyrians” [mp3]

Album: R.E.M. – Accelerate

R.E.M. - AccelerateI wrote about this one yesterday for Ear on TV, only leaving out the criticism. I still believe it’s their bast album since Automatic For the People, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s as good as it or any album prior to that. The trio has drifted since Bill Berry’s exit, and this is as close as they’ve come to sounding relevant again, and they’re trying hard at the ‘relevant’ part, that’s for sure. The album was previewed a couple weeks ago on Facebook (using iLike,) streamed on imeem last week, and the band even snuck in La blogotheque‘s Take Away performance (#89 – sample below,) which has to this point featured smaller, up and coming acts, the biggest thus far being Arcade Fire. Songs like “Living Well Is The Best Revenge” and “Houston,” show they still have some gas in the tank, even if the lead single (“Supernatural Superserious”) and “Until The Day Is Done” are color by number tracks. The album ends strong starting with “Mr Richards,” with it’s textbook John Strohm (Blake Babies, Antenna, Velo-Deluxe) riff, and continues strong all the way to the final two bursts of energy (“Horse to Water” and “I’m Gonna DJ.”)

Albums of interest not in Rhapsody yet:
Murdocks – Roar!: “Playhouse Down” / “Die Together” [mp3]
The Quarter After – Changes Near: “See How Good it Feels” / “Turning Away”

More on the radar this week
The Black Keys – Attack and Release (Reviewed last week)
The Wombats – The Wombats EP (in Rhapsody a week early)
Sun Kill Moon – April
Colour Revolt – Plunder, Beg And Curse / Full Album Stream / “A Siren” [mp3]
Annuals/Sunfold – Wet Zoo EP / “Sore” [mp3]
Los Campesinos! – Hold On Now, Youngster / Free album stream from AOL
Apples in Stereo – Electronic Projects for Musicians / Free album stream / “Stephen Stephen” [mp3]
Willie Nelson – One Hell Of A Ride (4-CD Box Set) / Free album stream from AOL
Camphor – Drawn to Dust / “The Sweetest Tooth” , “Confidences Shattered” [mp3]
Yelle – Pop Up
The Wood Brothers – Loaded
Kylie Minogue – X / Free album stream from AOL
Canadians – A Sky With No Stars
Paddy Casey – Addicted To Company (Part 1)
Unwed Sailor – Little Wars / “Little Wars” [mp3]
The Billionaires – Really Real for Forever / “The End of Summer Song” [mp3]
Bryan Scary – Flight of the Knife / “Imitation of the Sky” [mp3]
Moby – Last Night / Free album stream from AOL
Van Morrisson – Keep It Simple
Lili Haydn – Place Between Places
Kathy Mattea – Coal
Poi Dog Pondering – 7
Anti-Flag – The Bright Lights Of America
Ministry – Cover Up
My Blueberry Nights – Music From The Motion Picture
The Rolling Stones – Shine A Light
Muse – HAARP
Colin Meloy – Colin Meloy Sings Live!
Diamanda Galas – Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!
Apollo Sunshine – Katona
The Proclaimers – Life With You [Expanded]