The Clydesdale, The Trail of the Painted Pony EP (Self-released)
Has this spur-jangling, tumbleweed-kissed Vegas quartet really been around for eight years? Time flies when you’re writing shit-kickin’ love songs, and the Clydesdale succeeds every time on this five-track EP, a succinct display of why this band remains a local fave. From the deliciously jilted cannibal-murder strum of “Barbraque” to the long-distance, pedal-steel Californication of “Orange,” singer Paige Overton’s voice is a ghost driving the loneliest, loveliest highway. ★★★☆☆
Coastwest Unrest, High Times on Lowly Streets (Self-released)
Here’s a band tipping its railroad hat to rock critic Greil Marcus’ notion of “the old, weird America.” These guys sound like a tougher, more literate, less deadpan Crash Test Dummies. The best tunes are the ones to which fans sing along when the band plays live, such as “The Wire Birds on Charleston Blvd.” But the song that hangs me up is “Lost & Damned,” a beautiful loser’s manifesto. ★★★☆☆
Same Sex Mary, Sex Cells (Self-released)
I always considered this Boulder City quartet a backup band for songwriters Ryan Pardey (Halloween Town) and Jack Johnson (Dude City), since, well, that’s what they do. But with their first full-length, Mary proves themselves a first-rate ensemble. Paranoid narrative “Long-Haired Creep” creeps along nicely thanks to Tsvetelina Stefanova’s moody keys and singer/guitarist James Adams’ ’60s-rock delivery. The elegantly haunted saloon-piano waltz “Forbidden Love” is ideal road music for a Reno trip. ★★★☆☆
Upcoming on Jarret’s radar …
APRIL 9: The Breakfast Club actress Molly Ringwald tries her voice at jazz standards with Except Sometimes, on the Concord label. The album includes—you know it—a jazzy rendition of Simple Minds’ “Don’t You (Forget About Me).”
APRIL 16: Portland indie-punk trio The Thermals heat up with Desperate Ground, the band’s first release for Saddle Creek. Single “Born to Kill” kills.
APRIL 23: Shock-rocker Rob Zombie wins the Best Album Title of the Year award for Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor, which early reviews describe as a “party record.”
APRIL 30: I only have three words (and an ampersand) to say to you: Iggy & the Stooges. The group’s first full-length studio effort since 2007’s The Weirdness is called Ready to Die, and I’m so ready to blast this MF-er.