Drake’s Take: New Releases 06.01.10

The Drake has been a little behind schedule with the new releases, but then again, so have I. Just playing catch up now from the beginning of June. -ed.

Drake’s Take: New Releases 06.01.10

This week sees two great Brit acts returning to the ‘spunk & spirit’ of their glory days, with the latest from The Futureheads and Paul Weller. Besides those releases, there are new ones from Melvins, Gemma Ray, Sleepy Sun and Elk City.

Playlist: New Releases 06.01.10

The Futureheads – The Chaos
Stream / Purchase [mp3]

The Futureheads - The ChaosThe Futureheads were almost too good to be true when they debuted in 2004 with their self-titled burner. The next two releases lent credence to that, as they perhaps tried to build too much on a good thing, ending up with releases that sacrificed spunk and spirit for brainy endeavors, like they were just going to skip a sophomore album and move on with their fifth. The Chaos, then, is the sophomore release we never got as it’s a much better follow-up to that successful first stab. They’ve ingested and spit out a bit of Queen this time to go with their XTC love, and it’s two great tastes that taste great together. If there’s one complaint, it’s that lead single “Heartbeat Song” sounds a bit too much like a brass ring grab for the Sunderland quartet. All is forgiven, though, by the time we get through the epic (Queen-like!) closer “Jupiter.” More of that, please.

Free AOL album stream
Download: “Struck Dumb” [mp3]

Paul Weller – Wake Up The Nation
Stream / Purchase [mp3]

Paul Weller - Wake Up The NationSpeaking of returning to spunk and spirit, Paul Weller’s latest is a real barn burner that blends the spunk of youth (ie, Weller’s days in The Jam) with the art of a man of experience. Wake Up the Nation builds upon the experimental 22 Days (2008) — an album that returned Weller to relevance — and boils it down to a more palatable shot in the arm. Wake Up the Nation opens at an unbelievable pace, with the rockers “Moonshine” and the title track, and Weller somehow maintains the spirit and spunk, even with slowed down next song, “No Tears to Cry.” It’s easily the best thing Weller has done since The Jam.

Free AOL album stream

More on the radar (and in the mp3 player) this week:
Melvins – The Bride Screamed Murder / Free AOL album stream
Gemma Ray – It’s a Shame About Gemma Ray
Sleepy Sun – Fever / “Open Eyes” [mp3]
Peggy Sue – Fossils and Other Phantoms / Free AOL album stream
Television Personalities – A Memory is Better Than Nothing
Elk City – House of Tongues / Free AOL album stream / “Jerks on Ice” [mp3]
Outrageous Cherry – Seemingly Solid Reality
Wintersleep – New Inheritors / “Hallowed Ways” [mp3]
Woodsman – Mystery Tape (EP) / “When the Morning Comes” [mp3]
Bow Wow Wow – Love, Peace & Harmony the Best of Bow Wow Wow / “If It Feels Alright” [mp3]