Drake’s Take: New Releases 05.06.08

This week Drake fawns over the latest from No Age and takes a closer look at the new EP from his perennial favorites, Animal Collective. -ed.

Drake’s Take: New Releases 05.06.08

This week is all about the latest Sub Pop starlets No Age, as the punk-meets-90’s shoe gaze sonics release what might just be the album of the year (it’s still too early to coronate). Elsewhere this week also sees the latest from Elvis Costello, The Last Shadow Puppets, Matmos, The Morning Benders, Neil Diamond, an EP from Animal Collective, and the return of Old 97’s (in Rhapsody a week early).

Playlist: New Releases 05.06.08

Album: No Age – Nouns

No Age - NounsMerging the styles of Loveless, New Day Rising, and Slanted and Enchanted, No Age‘s (proper) debut on Sub Pop is taking the critical world by storm, and with good reason. Even though the LA punk duo is by all estimations still getting it’s bearings, Nouns seems to hit a sweet spot that’s been missing… sloppy DIY punk delivered via My Bloody Valentine guitar swirls, all encased with a tape-loop hiss that all together sounds far more accessible than you’d think it would. Songs like “Teen Creeps,” “Sleeper Hold” and “Brain Burner” create their own genre of punk-shoegaze-noise-rock anthems that sound familiar, like a hazy rememberance of what 1991 sounded (like before Nevermind came and squashed it). To that end, the vocals are buried, putting the sound at arms length, like those hard to reach memories (one of those hard to reach memories is Overwhelming Colorfast… another is early Don Fleming productions).

Of course, any discussion of the band No Age seems to be predicated on the recognition of the setting in which the band was born, namely the community surrounding the all ages venue The Smell. Much like Seattle’s The Vera Project, NYC’s ABC No Rio and Berkley’s 924 Gilman, The Smell is more than just a place to see shows, it’s a resource (and a vegan cafe). It seems it’s the politics and DIY ethics that propel Nouns beyond just a fine debut and push it into the realm of SCENE. Considering it’s only the duo’s debut, I hope their backs can withstand the weight of “NEXT”. It’s interesting, in that regard, that they opted for “Eraser” as the single instead of the obvious “Teen Creeps,” possibly not wanting to follow too closely down that pre-paved ‘Teen’ road.

Free album stream from AOL
Download: “Eraser” [mp3]

Album: Animal Collective – Water Curses EP

Animal Collective - Water Curses EPIt seems with every Animal Collective album, there’s an EP to follow, collecting odds and ends from the previous albums’ sessions, and containing at least one nugget worth it’s purchase. Water Curses contains perhaps the best ‘nugget’ to date, with the bubbly title track, already one of my favorite AC songs. “Water Curses” takes on a watery sound, floating with dense electro flourishes, a technicolor wonder that probably felt too light to fit in with some of the harsher sounds that inhabited Strawberry Jam. For all the accessibility of the title track, the rest of the EP stretches out in all directions away from that starting point. For an album, it would approach annoying quickly, but in the safe setting of an EP, it makes for a nice ride around AC’s crazy block.

More on the radar this week:
Elvis Costello – Momofuku
Old 97’s – Blame it on Gravity
The Lost Shadow Puppets – The Age of the Understatement / Free album stream from AOL
Matmos – Supreme Balloon / Free album stream from AOL
The Morning Benders – Talking Through Tin Cans / “Crosseyed” [mp3]
Pattern is Movement – All Together
Sasha The EmFire Collection: Mixed, Unmixed & Remixed (Free AOL album stream)
mr. Gnome Deliver This Creature (Free album stream via Fanatic)
Neil Diamond – Home Before Dark / Free album stream from AOL
Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra – Miles of Styles
The Republic Tigers – Keep Color / Free album stream from AOL / “Buildings and Mountains” [mp3]
Meho Plaza – Meho Plaza / Free album stream / “I Sold My Organs” [mp3]
Sinkane – Color Voice / “Autobahn” [mp3]
Armin Van Burin – Imagine
Sierra Hull – Secrets
Gentleman Auction House – The Book of Matches / “The Book of Matches” [mp3]
The Brakes – Tale of Two Cities / Free Album stream
Awesome Color – Electric Aborigines / Free album stream from AOL
Kayo Dot – Blue Lambency Downward
Lykke Li – Little Bit / “Dance Dance Dance” [mp3]
Spark is a Diamond – Try This on for Size
Shy Child – Noise Won’t Stop / “Astronaut” [mp3]
Wildbirds & Peacedrums- Roll With You
Scott Kelly – The Wake / “The Ladder in my Blood” [mp3]
Everest – Ghost Notes
Hammock – Maybe They Will Sing For Us Tomorrow
The Birthday Massacre – Looking Glass
Russian Circles – Station / Free album stream from AOL
Barenaked Ladies – Snack Time / Free album stream from AOL