Twin Shadow Confess (4AD)
Eighties-style music remains deathless, thanks to artists such as George Lewis Jr., who find new ways to say the same old thing. His second album takes a bleak turn compared to the ebullient Thompson Twins/Psychedelic Furs homage of his 2010 debut. Reportedly inspired by a years-ago motorcycle wreck, Confess is creepier and menacing, as on “Five Seconds,” a gloomy speedway of guitar strokes and synth streaks. “When the Movie’s Over,” meanwhile, takes cues from Duran Duran and horror director/composer John Carpenter. In sum, Shadow successfully crawls toward the dark. Twin Shadow plays the Cosmopolitan’s Book & Stage at 10:30 p.m. Aug. 31. ★★★☆☆
Richard Hawley Standing at the Sky’s Edge (Mute)
The Sheffield, Englander and former Pulp member risked becoming a balladeer with his previous Sinatra-esque album. Now, angered by the U.K. government’s plan to sell Britain’s ancient woodlands, Hawley cranks his amplifiers, returning to his loud Britpop roots. It’s a triumph of songcraft, from the shattering chords to the lyrics of spiritual humility. “Down in the Woods” is Jim Morrison aboard MC5’s dragster. But it’s the tender, psychedelic “Don’t Stare at the Sun” that’ll burn into your heart. ★★★★☆
The Dirty Panties I Am a Robot (SquidHat)
In our post-feminist era, is a self-described “all-girl punk band from Las Vegas” a gimmick or just four ladies who happen to love loud, fast rock ’n’ roll? Judging by the 11-year-old group’s second album, it’s the latter. “Get Off Your Ass,” with its gluteus-jolting bass line, is a shot of adrenaline, while the title track harkens back to post-punk thanks to singer Melanie Ash’s mechanical delivery and guitarist Barbara Lenox’s angular riffs. A nicely twisted wad for vintage punk fans. Order via TheDirtyPanties.com. The Panties play Bikini Bar 10 p.m. Sept. 8 ★★★☆☆
Upcoming albums on Jarret’s radar…
SEPT. 4: Silver-haired alt-rock legend Bob Mould (Hüsker Dü, Sugar) unveils his latest disc, Silver Age. It’s his first album for Merge and a return to power-pop glory. SEPT. 11: Drive-By Truckers front man Patterson Hood’s third solo offering, Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance, includes a touching elegy to his friend, the late songwriter Vic Chesnutt, called “Come Back Little Star.” SEPT. 18: The kings of lacerating yet melodic guitar, Dinosaur Jr., threaten humanity’s collective hearing with I Bet On Sky, the band’s third album since reuniting in 2005. SEPT. 25: Jazz singer/pianist Diana Krall crawls into the songs of the ’20s and ’30s with the T Bone Burnett-produced, completely analog-recorded Glad Rag Doll.