Hailing from Festus, Missouri, the Langaleers may make music in the shadow of fellow Festusians the Bottle Rockets, but their frenetic garage-rock sound, while echoing with a bit of Midwestern twang here and there, has an often crunchy, sometimes mathy drive that complements singer and songwriter Kory Meyer's raspy snarl.
The Blank Tapes have released their latest album "Geodesic Dome Piece" on both vinyl and cassette. They should really consider an 8-track version, as the sound of "Way Too Stoned" seems to come straight out of an endlessly looping cartridge dubbed with classic, late '60s psychedelic rock.
If the crushing wash of guitars and tense rhythmic drive didn't make it clear, then the personal story Lilly Hiatt unfolds on "Get This Right" really should. The new music Hiatt is making draws on her love for post-punk and alternative rock, while still remaining true to her honest, daring way with complex themes of love and understanding. "Are we ever gonna get this right?" she asks. Musically, the answer is yes.
Swedish band Blind Lake is Lotta Wenglén (guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, vocals) and Måns Wieslander (guitar, drums, bass, vocals), a duo who, on the new track "Walk Beside Me," seems less interested in making synth-pop singles than in making psychedelic, ambient and, yes, synth-pop soundtracks for contemporay film noirs that exist only in their and their listeners minds.
The brash and funky rock of "Miracle" by Los Angeles band Island Apollo seems tailor-made for the festival circuit -- but the dynamic production and arrangement -- shuffling between horn charts and lo-fi acoustic interludes -- also sounds great on headphones.
What makes for a classic rock lyric? Effortlessly revealing multiple meanings at once. Take the opening of "Out of the Gray" by Austin, Texas band Moonlight Towers: "Like a house on fire / I can't watch you burn / There's no justice served / And no lesson learned." And what makes for a classic rock recording? Just about everything heard in this catchy, melodic, guitar-and-harmony-driven tune.
There's nothing reclusive about the elegant sound of Hermit's Victory. The new track "Night Owl" serves as a warm invitation to saunter and sway with the Charleston, South Carolina group through a jazzy, post-lounge nightscape.
Best Girl Athlete features the voice and songwriting of Katie Buchan, a Scottish teenager who displays an uncanny gift for lush, classically-infused folk pop (not to mention a knowing Burt Bacharach and Hal David reference), as beautifully displayed on the new track "He's Calling Me Over."
We confess to being powerless before a band that combines Southern rock and garage rock -- and also uses three of our call letters in its name. KDH's "Beloved Devotion" just might inspire a little bit of that in you as well.