Two sentence reviews of reasonably new albums I listened to in April. Short this month, because I had a ton of shows and very little new music input, plus I wrote a bunch of longer reviews, but you get what you pay for, so:
Hammer No More The Fingers — Black Shark: among the best, the very best, of my locals; this is a much more polished, both in songwriting and production, effort than their last full-length, and it’s a tour de force of hooky, driving power pop. One of my favorites to see and shoot live, too (although, Lord, I haven’t in ages, gotta fix that), so pick this up from Churchkey here and if they tour near you, GO SEE THEM.
Ezra Furman & the Harpoons — Mysterious Power: built around Ezra’s strangely plaintive voice, this is an album of heartbreak and, like Ha Ha Tonka’s Death of a Decade, growing up; it’s a mix of stripped down acoustic tracks and the jangly power pop that dominated their previous album, Inside the Human Body, which feels like it shouldn’t work but somehow comes together in a lovely way. The opening track, “Wild Rosemarie”, is particularly gorgeous and sad.
Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs — No Help Coming: a start-to-finish strong album of Holly’s goose-bump raising, creepily orchestrated, slightly gothic Americana; nothing stands out but every track is a little different and a little catchy and a little shivery. If you like your Americana on the late nights in dark ghost towns side, this album is for you. At the Local 506 on 4/30.
The Huguenots — self-titled: sunshiney, feedbacky sixties guitar pop with distorted vocals and catchy choruses; this is a perfect April driving album, and I know because I listened to it three times in a row last Thursday driving on I-95 from the Thrill to Charleston. Also, it has handclaps. At Motorco on 4/28 with Wylie Hunter & the Cazadores and the Stars Explode for free, locals.
Also reviewed in April: Hayes Carll and Jason Isbell; Cameron McGill & What Army; Ha Ha Tonka.