CD Reviews

I Predict a Graceful Expulsion, Endless Flowers, Third


Cold Specks I Predict a Graceful Expulsion (Mute/EMI)

“Born all in the dark wormy earth, cold specks of fire” is the line in Ulysses from which Canuck singer/songwriter Al Spx, who lives in London, takes her stage name. While not as challenging as Joyce’s novel, Expulsion is still a gothic-soul masterpiece, every track a lost Southern hymn inhabited by a ghost seeking God’s touch. Listen to the piano notes of “Winter Solstice” as they crescendo into a sumptuous chamber-rock arrangement and tell me you’ve heard anything like this. ★★★★☆

What They’re Buying

1. Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel…

2. Blood On The Dance Floor, Evolution

3. Smashing Pumpkins, Oceania

4. Rush, Clockwork Angels

5. Dirty Heads, Cabin by the Sea

6. Whitechapel, Whitechapel

7. Dying Fetus, Reign Supreme

8. Metric, Synthetica

9. Gotye, Making Mirrors

10. Jack White, Blunderbuss

According to sales at Zia Record Exchange on 4225 S. Eastern Ave., June 18-25


Crocodiles Endless Flowers (Frenchkiss)

The Jesus and Mary Chain remain a touchstone for this San Diego quintet on its third grittily melodic album. Sure, there are a few twists, like the girl-group vocals on “My Surfing Lucifer,” which humorously drags a Jan & Dean-like tune into a dirty beach sand pentagram, and the haunted pipe organ of “Bubblegum Trash,” in which frontman Brandon Welchez teases a lover: Oh my starving one, I could be your sugar. Sweet-and-sour guitar-pop rarely goes down this easily. ★★★☆☆


Aqua Nebula Oscillator Third (Tee Pee)

Here’s something different: dark and dirty Parisian rock for those who enjoy loud guitars cut with occult-themed lyrics (H.P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard). The band loves to brag to journalists about how they live and work in a cave. After hearing the primitive yet mind-blowing grandeur of thumping instrumental “Apocalytoads,” I think these guys might actually be onto something, even if punkier numbers such as “Black Sun” could benefit from better production values. Or maybe just better acid. ★★★☆☆

Disc Scan

Upcoming albums on Jarret’s radar …

JULY 3: Leave it to Faith No More honcho Mike Patton to record experimental Italian composer Luciano Berio’s avant-classical ode to the poet Dante, Laborintus II. JULY 5: Local weirdo-rockers Black Camaro finally turn the ignition key on their first full-length in seven years, Black Camaricans, with a free release party at the Royal, 10 p.m. JULY 10: Having parted with Matador Records, post-punk icons Mission of Burma release their third post-reunion album, Unsound, on their own label. JULY 17: Sludge-metal quartet Baroness from Savannah, Ga., returns with a more accessible and pop-oriented sound on the highly anticipated Yellow & Green, which includes catchy single “Take My Bones Away.”

Suggested Next Read

Rock of Stages


Rock of Stages

By Michael Phillips, Tribune Media Services

Onstage, the ABBA love letter Mamma Mia! made the jukebox-musical trick look easy and enjoyable. On screen, less enjoyment, more strain—but people love their ABBA, their Meryl Streep and their Greek islands. And the movie did the trick for those who never miss a Pierce Brosnan musical.