Label: Metal Blade
Amon Amarth crafted their own visceral take on melodic death metal that was less anchored in the melody of Gothenburg—more maritime in the savagery of longship raids. Fifteen years since their debut LP, frontman Johan Hegg is the modern-day Viking next door—growling tales of Nordic mythos from one (subsequently more successful) release to the next. Deceiver of the Gods is resilient as the exact, harmonic blaze of battle born riffing and barbarous shouting that fans have come to love. “Coming of the Tide” and the title track both jackhammer a pincer of melodeath and thrash; “Father of the Wolf” unleashes Hegg’s most barbaric roars to date: double-tracked in a godlike echo for thunderous effect. Sonically diverging (at most) in the slow and sinister grind of “Hel,” Amon Amarth aren’t reinventing the death metal wheel—but giving it a new inflection that’s faithful to their legacy. @MattCrane
Deceiver of the Gods is available for pre-order today.
Label: Warner Bros.
If you stopped paying attention to this Buffalo, New York trio when they started writing light-hearted jitters: remain on present course. You’ll find no “Iris” gloom here. Ten LPs in, Goo have completely traded black balloons for baby blue sparklers: rocking somewhere in between Boys Like Girls on a soft day (“When The World Breaks Your Heart”), Train at their most radio-friendly (“Slow It Down”) and vibrant, Disney synth-rock (“More Of You”). “Cover me with kisses dear/Lighting up the atmosphere,” John Rzeznik sings on “Come To Me”—Magnetic’s most insufferable, sunny love-gush, which suddenly isn’t so insufferable; once hit with the next track “Bringing On the Light” (one of the band’s worst Takac shots)—where the Dolls explain “This little place we used to go, took the place of what we didn’t know/It’s like a magic show,” before unexpectedly bursting into an out-of-place, hell-bent solo (of sorts). @MattCrane
Magnetic is available fore pre-order on iTunes today.
Label: Merrifield Records
Don’t let the “the” missing from their name fool you: on their second LP, these garage rockers from NYC play the exact, sort of retro punk jam you’d expect to hear out of a vintage Fender valve—stylistically native to the ‘70s—still infecting the streets of Queens today. The Time Has Come is on fire when the band sticks to the melody-swept, raspy vocal ‘tude likes of “Cowboys and Slutz,” and “The Right.” The latter being a scrappy (yet jolly) number, boasting an ebullient post-solo buildup that Jet probably wish they wrote. But it’s not so hot on their southern rock stepchild “Out On The Run”—a mediocre, punk-barbeque clap along at best. And not to forget, “Trash” is sure to be a summer 2013 breakup anthem, at least for the jilted punkers of Tar Beach (“She’s just trash/And she’s another man’s treasure now”). @MattCrane
The Time Has Come To Rock & Roll is available for purchase on Bandcamp today.
Ivy Levan’s sass-and-swing debut EP spins with sultry, vocal classicism and a Roaring ‘20s decadence: one that suggests evening gloves and black-stick cigarettes; whether it be the slap-bass, piano-jam grandiosity of her lead single “Hot Damn,” or the jazzy glitz of “Money”—likely just missing the cut for the Gatsby soundtrack—where Levan mischievously sings: “Daddy ain’t got no green/Daddy gotta go asleep,” making it easy to imagine the dame, getting herself entangled in Tommy guns and pinstriped suits. @MattCrane
Introducing The Dame is available for purchase on iTunes today.
As frontman Jim Adkins goes down in flames—on The Hindenburg of forsaken romance—Jimmy Eat World’s eighth LP spins a track-by-track catharsis of lovelorn rue and infidelity. The vulnerable, heartbreak-eye-opener “Appreciation,” leaves weak knees long before its gritty rhythm churns to a close—and that’s just the start of a gut-wrenching, ten-track (somewhat intrusive) journey through each intimate phase of Adkins’ breakup anguish. “Either you’re just bad at cheating/Or there’s something in your heart you wished I knew,” the singer unstably croons (almost short of breath) on “You Were Good” before a defeated, voice-cracking admission of “I believed you all along.” When backed with urgent riffing, the damaged frontman plays on some familiar self-deception (“I Will Steal You Back”)—where his lines of “We’ll take on so much pain to feel secure/Not feel anything,” are about as hopelessly assuring as why he’s not crazy, cause’ he “takes the right pills, every day.” There’s no soul-searching or Invented grandiosity, as Damage remains grounded—inwardly focused on the end of one relationship: a fate for Adkins that’ll leave you feeling Jack Dawson got off easy. @MattCrane
Damage can be streamed below and is available for pre-order on iTunes today.