CD Reviews

Inter-, Valtari, Heaven


The Sequence of Prime Inter- (Self-released)

It’s been two long years (a decade in headbanger years) since Kansas one-man metal militia Brandon Duncan delivered an ass-chapping slab of electro-grind. Inter-, a concept album about black holes and the hostile entities that lurk therein, is worth the interval. From the decimating fusillade of “Tachyon,” a dire warning on the scientific use of void-creating Hadron colliders, to the stop-and-go avalanching of “Schwarzschild Radius,” which imagines, according to the lyrics, “passing through the esophagus” of time, Inter- is intellectual, elite industrial-thrash. Free download at ★★★★☆

What They’re Buying

1. Sigur Ros, Valtari

2. Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Here

3. Jack White, Blunderbuss

4. Regina
What We Saw From the Cheap Seats

5. Slash,
Apocalyptic Love

6. Gotye,
Making Mirrors

7. Garbage,
Not Your Kind
of People

8. Tenacious D, Rize of The Fenix

9. Beach House, Bloom

10. John Mayer, Born and Raised

According to sales at Zia Record Exchange on 4225 S. Eastern Ave., May 27-June 3.


Sigur Rós Valtari (XL Recordings)

Iceland’s Sigur Rós was once everyone’s secret, a group to spin alongside fellow dark soundscapers Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Now that frontman Jónsi does pop projects, such as scoring the film We Bought a Zoo, Rós sounds less like a whaling expedition gone nightmarishly wrong and more like a celestial children’s music box left open in a rainstorm. “Ekki Múkk” is a naïve epic, but the aggression has drained away, with long stretches of boring, minimalist piano chords.. ★★☆☆☆

Indie Rock

The Walkmen Heaven (Fat-Possum)

This NYC/Philadelphia combo made a point of eschewing sentimentality and clinging to oblique lyrics and angular guitars. Wives and kids mellowed them; now they’re making the best music of their career. Heaven extends the sonic textures and romanticism of 2010 breakthrough Lisbon by placing Hamilton Leithauser’s tenor front and center and ditching, well, indie-rock. “Love Is Luck” is the loveliest ballad, and Heaven will haunt those who adore Frank Sinatra and Vampire Weekend. ★★★★☆

Disc Scan

Upcoming albums on Jarret’s radar…

JUNE 12: Metalcore quintet Miss May I plays Warped Tour on June 20 in Luxor’s festival lot; prepare by listening to At Heart. For the The Lion The Beast The Beat, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals get songwriting and co-producing help from Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach. Thanks to last year’s “classic-lineup” reunion tour, Class Clown Spots a UFO is the second of three albums to be released by Guided By Voices in 2012. Jimmy Fallon’s Blow Your Pants Off offers stand-up, funny songs and guests Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney and Justin Timberlake. JUNE 19: The Swell Season’s Glen Hansard unveils solo debut Rhythm and Repose. JUNE 26: Psyche-rocker Ty Segall’s Slaughterhouse shows off a new band and flirts heavily with the metal genre.

Suggested Next Read

Fading to Black


Fading to Black

By Roger Moore, Tribune Media Services

Josh Brolin impersonating the young Tommy Lee Jones is worth the price of admission to Men in Black 3. Dry, drawling, deadpan, he nails the flinty Texan in this sentimental sequel to the sci-fi comedies about secret agents in black suits that save the world from aliens. We have to meet the young Agent K because an alien serial killer who isn’t fond of his nickname, “Boris the Animal” (Jemaine Clement), has traveled back in time to save the arm that Agent K shot off in 1969, and avoid the 40-year prison sentence that followed.