The Evening Rig-Is Doin' Stuff. This Minneapolis band lives up to their hometown sound with 11 tracks of rip-roarin' Replacements-style rock'n'roll with a twinge of Americana. Fans of bands I've featured here like High on Stress and The Daylight Titans will find a lot to like here, from the blistering opener "The Steve McQueens" to the Westerbergian "Half Asleep" to the pensive yet rocking "Right Where She Wants Me". You can't always judge an album by its song titles, but "Goddamn, I Could Use a Drink" will give you a pretty good idea of what you're getting here. Here's some stuff to do: listen to the Lala embed below.
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The Goodfight-Good & Evil. The Goodfight is Atlanta's Jonathan Rich, and this release is actually a double EP, broken up into "good" and "evil" sides. Whatever your moral inclinations, this is high-quality indie pop that will appeal to the hipsters as well as the power poppers. The first half (the Good EP?) is filled with tracks that have titles as convoluted as any this side of The Deathray Davies yet are musically straightfoward; the best of these are the propulsive "I Put You in a Box But I'm the One Who's Boxed In" and the Sloan-like "She's Too Pretty to be So Ugly". The second half (the Evil EP?) consists of songs with one-word titles of basics such as "Love", "Blind", and "Revolution" and is the more "indie" sounding of the two. "Revolution" is the tour de force here, a nearly six-minute track that builds to a lovely outro, and "Love" recalls The Eels. So in other words, there's something here for everyone.
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First in Space-This is Not Here. Never mind the bollocks. If you're just looking for a straight-ahead melodic, power-poppin' disc without any bells and whistles, grab this release from Ohio's First in Space, who just got done playing IPO Chicago last month. Their sound is a mix of R.E.M., Gin Blossoms and The Raspberries, with a Midwestern sensibility. Standout tracks: "Jenny" (a great driving opener), "What You Need" (Middle American Mersey), the jangly "Anything at All" and the effervescent "Lock it Away". So be first on your block to be First in Space!
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