The Roxy Gunn Project, On With the Show (Self-released)
One of the few Vegas bands to know the ’90s are back is led by too-young-to-remember-Nirvana Roxy Gunn. Her band’s first album rekindles grunge’s good-ol’ days, when female-fronted bands such as Garbage piled up. Show shows off her seductive, fiery voice, which suits the retro songwriting. In punk-pop “Goodbye Kiss,” Gunn even cites a Clinton-era anti-depressant: I don’t care about you anymore/So I’ll pop another Prozac and mop the floor. Barenaked Ladies-like “Other Side,” meanwhile, strips down to acoustic guitars and a lingering melody. ★★★☆☆
Trevor and the Joneses, There Was Lightning (Self-released)
Most bands working in the psychedelic tradition sound alike, as if cribbing the same records. However, this Vegas group sonically acknowledges owning a Flaming Lips disc. In opener “Dig This,” frontman Trevor Jones boasts about being odd rocker out: If that’s what passes for music/Well, then dig this. Recorded at Brian Garth’s now-defunct Chrome Werewolf studio, Lightning strikes hard, fast, delivering 10 loose, melodic tracks. “Grooving at the Speed of Light” will reaffirm your love of music. ★★★★☆
Avenger of Blood, Spawn of Evil EP (Self-released)
Five years ago these thrashers released the superb Death Brigade on Heavy Artillery before going on to … implode. Drummer Shannon Frye was left with the pieces, reuniting with guitarist Marc Flores and recruiting shredder Brandon Gulling, bassist Jeremy Hamilton and vocalist R.A. Carnage. Recorded at Constantine Studios in Vegas, these three tracks are pure death-thrash—razored guitars, skull-splitting drum tones. “Centuries of Hell” will take years off your ears. ★★★★☆ Avenger of Blood plays LVCS at 10 p.m. Feb. 3.
Upcoming albums on Jarret’s radar …
FEB. 5: Still basking in the acclaim of a 2010 Grammy nomination for his previous disc, English folksinger, songwriter and guitar-shredder Richard Thompson’s Electric was recorded in Nashville and comes with 16 new tracks, including the excellent “Good Things Happen to Bad People.” FEB. 12: In celebration of his 40th year as a performer and songwriter, the Bryan Ferry Orchestra enables the Roxy Music singer to cover and rearrange his songbook in the style of Roaring ’20s jazz with The Jazz Age. Yes, “Do the Strand” is included. FEB. 19: Nick Cave grounds his noise-rock combo Grinderman to reunite with his backing band the Bad Seeds for the comparatively subtler Push the Sky Away.