THE ORIGINAL 7VEN, “Condensate” (Saguaro Road) ✰✰✰✰ — The Time managed to step out from underneath godfather

MWAHAHA, self-titled (selfPrince’s formidable (purple) shadow a quarter century ago on the strength released) ✰✰✰1⁄2 — Considering of frontman Morris Day’s charismatic they hail from the Bay Area, it’s not personality and the band’s underappresurprising that indie rock newcomers ciated musicianship. Sure, Prince had a hand in everything Mwahaha incorporate some serious they did, but the post-Time successes of Jimmy Jam & psychedelia into their music. And if Terry Lewis, Jesse Johnson and Jellybean Johnson can’t you dig that kind of spacey sound, I’m be dismissed. It’s been 21 years since we ran out of Time, guessing you’ll get a kick out of the but the fellas are back — this time as the Original 7ven, Oakland band’s self-titled debut CD. It took me a few because Prince owns the other bandname — and it’s as if spins to warm to Mwahaha and though I’m not comthey haven’t missed a beat. pletely sold on the foursome, there’s enough interesting Day & Co. still bring the funk as they go in search material here to merit your attention. of girls and good times. Songs like “Strawberry Lake,” The opening salvo of “Swimmer” and “Rainbow the title track, “#Trendin,” “Lifestyle,” “Cadillac” and Diamond” are straight-up psych rock tunes and should “Hey Yo” can stand next to Time classics “Jungle Love,” have stoners everywhere firing up their, uh, lava lamps. “Cool,” “Jerk Out,” “The Walk” and “The Bird.” Day, Additional keepers include “Love” (featuring Merrill who turns 54 next week, is as engaging and smooth as Garbus of tUnE-yArDs), “We Build” and “Rivers of ever. Welcome back, fellas. (JS) ( Teeth.” Mwahaha lose their way at the end with 11-minute closer “Bathynomus Gigantes!”, a tune that sounds YUKON BLONDE, “Fire// fine for awhile but overstays its welcome by a good six Water” (Dine Alone) ✰✰✰1⁄2 minutes. (JS) ( — Canadian quartet Yukon Blonder THE HOWLING HEX, “Wilson (a marked improvement over previous moniker Alphababy) have been road Semiconductors” (Drag City) ✰✰1⁄2 dogs in recent years as they try to raise — Indie rock outfit the Howling their profile with American audiences. Hex, the brainchild of Neil Michael They stopped by Club Cafe on the Hagerty, have been churning out South Side a couple weeks back and performed material albums at a breakneck pace — “Wilson from new EP “Fire//Water.” These four songs serve as an Semiconductors” is their seventh since appetizer for their sophomore full-length, which is sched2004 — yet I knew next to nothing uled to drop in February. about Hegarty’s music until this maddeningly inconsistent Three of the songs — “Fire,” “School Kids,” “Choices” slab found its way to me. — are fantastic, with the good-but-not-great “Water” There are some nice moments on the four-track, 33rounding out the set. It’s always difficult for a band to minute platter, but an inability to self-edit prevent the elbow its way into the mainstream, but Yukon Blonde Howling Hex from having something truly special on have as good a shot as any. (JS) ( their hands. Six-minute opener “Reception” is my favorHOT CHELLE RAE, “Whatever” (RCA) ite tune, even though it’s not without its flaws. Most of JOHN DOYLE, “Shadow and “Brunette Roulette” is pretty good and same goes for “A ✰✰✰1⁄2 — With the possible exception of Light” (Compass) ✰✰✰✰ — There’s Game of Dice,” leaving “Plays This When You Feel Low” LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem,” pop newcombeen renewed interest in traditional as the one misfire. An acquired taste to be certain. (JS) Irish music in recent years, and John ers Hot Chelle Rae scored the summer’s most VARIOUS ARTISTS, “Punk Goes infectious hit in “Tonight Tonight.” With the Doyle has been at the forefront of the renaissance as both as a solo performer Pop 4” (Fearless) ✰✰✰1⁄2 — It’s no tune’s “la-la-la whatever” refrain having wormed and via collaborations with Liz Carroll secret that I have a soft spot for covits way into my head, I found myself cranking and Karan Casey. Sophomore fullers albums and I’ve enjoyed just about up the radio each time it came on. Follow-up length “Shadow and Light” is an excellent follow-up to every entry in the “Punk Goes ...” series. “Punk Goes Pop 4” isn’t the single “I Like It Like That” is every bit as good 2005’s “Wayward Son” solo debut, and showcases Doyle’s best entry in the franchise, but it’s an and made me eager to hear what the band could captivating voice and simple, effective guitar playing. Doyle sweeps us back to the Emerald Isle on standouts enjoyable gathering of tunes by emo/ do over the course of an entire album. “Little Sparrow,” “Liberty’s Sweet Shore,” “The Arabic,” screamo outfits giving their take on megahits from the I’m happy to report that Hot Chelle Rae “Farewell to All That,” “Tribute to Donal Ward/The likes of Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Adele, Mumford & Sons, Currachman” and “Behind the Botany Bay.” With 11 deliver the goods on their 11-track major-label Ke$ha, Taylor Swift, Cee-Lo Green and Nicki Minaj. songs clocking in at close to an hour, some may grow Among the highlights are Pierce the Veil’s driving read- debut “Whatever,” a dance-pop platter that’s ing of Mars’ “Just the Way You Are,” Tonight Alive’s stel- sure to generate a couple more hit singles before weary of the Celtic melodies on “Shadow and Light.” I, most certainly, am not one of them. (JS) ( lar rendition of Mumford’s “Little Lion Man,” the Ready all is said and done. “Tonight Tonight” and “I Set’s handling of Wiz Khalifa’s “Roll Up,” Go Radio’s LIFE IN A BLENDER, Like It Like That” are the highlights, but the rollicking version of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” Woe, “Homewrecker Spoon” (Fang) Is Me’s screamo spin on Perry’s “Last Friday Night,” guys also hit it out of the park on “Radio,” ✰✰✰✰ — I knew nothing about Allstar Weekend’s take on Chris Brown’s “Yeah 3x” and “Beautiful Freaks,” “Downtown Girl” and “Why chamber-pop outfit Life in a Blender the Downtown Fiction’s inspired reading of Minaj’s until landing a copy of “Homewrecker Don’t You Love Me” with gal pal Demi Lovato. “Super Bass.” Good stuff. (JS) ( Spoon.” The Don Ralph-fronted colA couple middling entries (“Honestly,” the TEGAN & SARA, “Get Along” lective have been around since the late title track) keep “Whatever” from being an 1980s, but this 12-track delight is just (Warner Bros.) ✰✰✰✰ — You may unqualified success, but it’s easy to see why Hot their seventh full-length release since 1988. Maybe that’s think you know Canadian pop/rock why they stayed outside my radar. Whatever the reason, siblings Tegan and Sara Quin, but until Chelle Rae walked away with the Best New I’m now squarely aboard the Life in Blender bandwagon. you’ve absorbed the exhaustive “Get Artist trophy at last month’s American Music The horns (and Ralph’s gravelly vocals) lure you in Along” set, there’s still plenty to learn Awards. (Jeffrey Sisk) ( on “Go to Man,” and LIAB continue to impress with about this talented twosome. The CD/ the title track, “Kill the Bottle,” “Sean Connery,” “The DVD set includes a stellar live album ing, I couldn’t wait to hear what Juiciest Plum,” “The Rain Makes Me Thirsty,” “Summer and a trio of documentaries about the sisters Quin that’s a Holmes would do with an album of Goes Too Fast” and “Does the Lady.” Perhaps a bit too must for longtime fans. cover songs. His eclectic collection of The CD includes 15 acoustic tracks that span Tegan & source material was a brilliant move and quirky for everyone’s tastes, Life in a Blender is an ideal listen for those who like their music a little different. (JS) ( Sara’s entire back catalog, and they shine on keepers “I Holmes is right at home on the aptly Know I Know I Know,” “I Hear Noises,” “Back in Your THE ENERGY, “Streets of Intitled “Covers.” Head,” “Divided,” “The Ocean,” “Nineteen,” “Knife Between” (self-released) ✰✰✰1⁄2 — Is Whether putting his stamp on Ice Going In” and I Won’t Be Left. The DVD contains three there room in the crowded music marCube’s “It Was a Good Day,” the Gap films, two of which are flat-out fantastic. “States” docuket for a band that plays straight-forBand’s “You Dropped a Bomb on Me,” Elvis Presley’s ments the early stages of their career and the unique conward guitar rock? Brooklyn-based quar“Don’t Be Cruel,” General Public’s “Tenderness,” INXS’s nection the sisters have with their fans, while “For the tet the Energy sure hope so. “Streets of “Need You Tonight,” Michael Jackson’s “Working Day Most Part” is an expanded version of the live concert. In-Between” is their fourth full-length Those gems bookend the so-so “India,” which chronicles and Night” or ELO’s “Mr. Blue Sky,” Holmes always and while they’ve managed to build a manages to impress. This is a talented guy whether he’s Tegan & Sara’s first-ever tour of that country. (JS) ( regional following, the guys are still looking to break into singing his own stuff or somebody else’s. (JS) ( PERT NEAR SANDSTONE, the mainstream. Maybe this is the album that will do it. PLOW UNITED, “Sleepwalk: “Paradise Hop” (self-released) The 10-track release is filled with radio-ready rockA Retrospective” (Paper+Plastick) ers that showcase frontman Adam Wolfsdorf’s earnest ✰✰✰✰ — You’ll probably find ✰✰✰1⁄2 — Prior to reuniting for a vocals and plenty of blistering guitar riffs courtesy off Ian stringbands with higher profiles performance at September’s Riot VanderMeulen. Among the keepers are “The Constant,” than Minnesota collective Pert Near Fest East, it had been 13 years since “Devil on Horseback,” “Jericho,” “Dancing in the Sandstone, but I’ll wager you won’t pop/punk trio Plow United last perGroove,” “Wild Dove” and set closer “Say Goodbye.” find many more talented than this firstformed together and even longer The Energy aren’t especially original, but give them credit rate five-piece. The superb “Paradise since they’d been in the studio. For for doing their thing better than most of their peers. (JS) ( Hop” is the band’s fifth full-length and ranks among their best with its banjo and mandolin-fueled melodies and rich those unfamiliar with the Philly outfit’s back catalog, the folks at Paper+Plastick serve up the tasty “Sleepwalk: A harmonies. Retrospective.” The album brings together songs from The 14-track release opens with a PNS spin on the traPlow’s three full-lengths and assorted other goodies. ditional “Ruben’s Train” and they later serve up a tasty With the 34 tracks speeding by in just 51 minutes, NEW YORK (AP) — may be best known for rendition of “All Night Long,” but the bulk of the slab is there are plenty of tasty morsels to sink your teeth into. Many people were surprised “Scary Monsters and Nice comprised of stellar originals. Pert Near Sandstone hit all when the name Skrillex was Sprites” (he’s also a producthe right notes on “Appalachian Girl,” “Okanagan Valley,” Songs like “Tour Guide at the Alamo,” “Plow,” “World announced in the best new er on Korn’s new album, “20 Cups of Coffee,” “Sad When the Great Bridge Came According to Me,” “You Can’t Kill Me,” “Lighters,” “Header,” “West Chester Nuclear Winter,” “Collapse,” Down” and the title track, though you won’t find a bad artist category, along with “The Path of Totality,” out “Hands Off” and “Dance” still sound great, and while song in the bunch. Enjoy, y’all. (JS) ( the likes of Nicki Minaj and next week). Plow United aren’t the best pop/punk outfit of their The Band Perry, during this Skrillex hasn’t had much THE DEAR & DEPARTED, time, they were pretty darn good. (JS) ( week’s televised Grammy success on the Billboard “Every Waking Moment” (Equal nominations special. charts — he’s more of an Vision) ✰✰✰1⁄2 — Having found their THE DEAD MILKMEN, “The Count Skrillex as one of underground artist. He’ll 2007 “Something Quite Peculiar” King in Yellow” (self-released) them. have some tough competidebut to be more than a little self✰✰✰✰ — The Dead Milkmen were After earning a whopping tion in the best new artist important, I didn’t know what to at the forefront of the American punk five nominations in total, category: Besides facing The expect from this long-gestating sophorock scene in the 1980s with their the 23-year-old dance and Band Perry and Minaj, who more full-length. To my surprise, often juvenile — but always entertaindub-step producer is still were both nominated for “Every Waking Moment” represents a step forward for ing — take on the genre. Things start the quintet, who have toned down the emo on this rockGrammys earlier this year, to fizzle out for the Philadelphia-based taking it all in. ing 11-track release. “It just hasn’t really hit me he’ll compete with Bon Iver band in the 1990s and they called it quits after 1995’s Things get off to a so-so start with “One in a Million,” subpar “Stoney’s Extra Stout.” Sixteen years later, the yet,” he said. “I wouldn’t and J. Cole, who had a but the Dan Smith-fronted outfit soon hit their stride with fellas are back with one of the more enjoyable records in have thought I would come No.1 album and is the pro“It’s Not What You Think,” “Better Late Than Never,” this far in so many ways.” tege of Jay-Z. their discography. “Landslide” “Depth or Desperation.” The Dear & Skrillex scored the thirdSkrillex is nominated for “The King in Yellow” is a 17-track delight from beginDeparted don’t have the most original sound, but they’ve ning to end, and finds the Milkmen at the top of their most nominations, match- best dance recording for grown up since their first record and the result if a thoring Lil Wayne. Kanye West “Scary Monsters and Nice game. Songs like “She’s Affected,” “Hangman,” “Some oughly enjoyable album. Kudos. (JS) ( Young Guy,” “Passport to Depravity,” “Commodify Your leads with seven nods; Adele, Sprites,” and also nominatthe Foo Fighters and Bruno ed for best dance/electronHOLMES, “Covers” (Groove Geravy) ✰✰✰✰ Dissent” and “Solvents (For Home and Industry)” are Mars scored six each. ica album for his EP, which — Having been suitably impressed with his 2009 selffuriously paced, with most clocking in between two and The Los Angeles-based shares the same name. he titled full-length that found him giving up the world of three minutes. Glad to see the guys still have something loops and sampling in favor more traditional songwritto say. (JS) ( Skrillex, born Sonny Moore, said.


In Tune
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Page 18

Hot stuff


Hot Chelle Rae live up to summer promise on infectious full-length debut

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★ — Run for your life ★★ — Not awesome ★★★ — Not too shabby ★★★★ — Pretty sweet ★★★★★ — Awesome