Drake’s Take: New Releases 02.02.10

Drake inadvertently disses 2010 Grammy winners Phoenix in this post-awards show smackdown edition of “The Take”.

Drake’s Take: New Releases 02.02.10

New release post-Grammys week is always a crapshoot. Most labels avoid it like the plague, as it’s the week award winners see sales bumps, but there are enough music fans out there (namely, me) who don’t give a rat’s ass about who won a Grammy. For those of us, there are some scraps like the new release from (the band formerly known as The Muslims) The Soft Pack and the latest from Dead Moon offshoot Pierced Arrows. This week also sees new releases from The Album Leaf, Midlake, We Are Wolves, The Brunettes and the soundtrack to Shutter Island.

Playlist: New Releases 02.02.10

The Soft Pack – The Soft Pack
Stream / Purchase [mp3]

The Soft Pack - The Soft PackThe name ‘The Muslims’ was never really going to work for this San Diego surf-punk outfit, especially with this album they’ve released under their new name, The Soft Pack. Songs like “C’Mon,” “Answer to Yourself,” “Pull Out” and “Parasites” seem targeted for a larger audience than the grimier tracks they released under their former, less marketable name. Singer Mark Lamkin, who at times sounds an awful like Sam Roberts, delivers his lines as straight-forward as the reverb-soaked guitars, and if it’s welcoming that they sound a little like the Strokes at times, it’s because it’s been awhile since there was some straight ahead indie rock to root for.

Saw them open for Phoenix recently and dug their set, even if your ears had to squint to hear it through the nightmare acoustics of the Showbox SODO location. Look forward to them headlining on their own next time they come through.

Free AOL album stream
Download: “Answer to Yourself” [mp3]

Pierced Arrows – Descending Shadows
Stream / Purchase [mp3]

Pierced Arrows - Descending ShadowsWhen frontman Fred Cole broke-up Dead Moon after nearly 20 years together, most knew it wouldn’t be too long before he, and wife Toody, were back on the horse. Pierced Arrows was formed shortly after, and this, their sophomore release has moments that rank with the best that Cole has recorded in his 46 years performing. Cole is 61-years old now, though, and his voice sometimes sounds like a fragment of what it was. Between that and the often sloppy execution, it can feel too amateurish at times (even for Dead Moon), but highlights like “Buried Alive” and Tonight’s the Night ferocity of “Let it Rain” more than make up for it.

Album Streaming at Vice Records
Download: “Let It Rain” [mp3] / “Paranoia” [mp3]

More on the radar (and in the mp3 player) this week:
The Album Leaf – A Chorus of Storytellers / Free AOL album stream / “Falling from the Sun” [mp3]
Midlake – The Courage of Others / Free AOL album stream
We Are Wolves – Invisible Violence / Free AOL album stream
Shutter Island (Music From the Motion Picture)
The Brunettes – Paper Dolls
Priestess – Prior to the Fire
Glossary – Feral Fire
Husky Rescue – Ship of Light
Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba – I Speak Fula
Glossary – Feral Fire
Sourpatch – crushin
Toro Y Moi – Causers of This
Pepi Ginsberg – East is East
Wakey!Wakey! – Almost Everything I Wish I’d Said The Last Time I Saw You…
Pepi Ginsberg – East is East

The Units – History of the Units: The Early Years 1977-1983
Attitude Adjustment – The Collection