Face the Funk, Here at Last (Self-released)
By day, video-game composer Frank Klepacki writes synth-slick themes for titles such as Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3. By night, he’s a groove-beast as evidenced by his new side project’s debut. Klepacki’s voice is bawdy, his drumming rollicking and his songwriting down-home dirty. With a lineup that includes a Family Stone guitarist, a former bassist for Gladys Knight, and Celine Dion’s horn section, party-rockers such as “Cold Cash” cook like a spicier KC & the Sunshine Band. Prepare to get funked. ★★★★☆
Caravels, Lacuna (Topshelf Records)
Local punk fans have long hailed this quintet as Vegas’ best band. Caravels’ debut for Top Shelf (a Massachusetts indie) doesn’t undermine that boast. This is tense stuff—from the shattering, interwoven guitar chords in “Hanging Off” to the stuttering rhythm and atmospheric distortion of “Sleep Talk.” Vocalist Mike Roeslein doesn’t sing so much as yell over the band, and the effect is unnerving. In musical terms, “lacuna” signifies total silence. Caravels capture the desperate moments before The End. ★★★★☆
Guttural Secrete, Nourishing the Spoil (Brutal Bands)
“Deadened Prior to Coitus”? If it sounds like a song by Sin City snuffcore merchants Guttural Secrete, you’re right. Seven years in the making, Spoil will ruin almost everything—your faith in humanity and dinner, for starters. Ignore the Dahmer fantasies in the undecipherable lyrics (hog-barfed by frontman Blue Jensen) and CD packaging, and there’s brilliant, savagely technical musicianship displayed in every death-metal riff. But don’t inhale when blasting, say, “Inhaling Corpulency.” ★★★☆☆
Upcoming albums on Jarret’s radar …
APRIL 30: Singer Shannon McNally teams up with pianist Dr. John for Small Town Talk, a covers tribute to songwriter Bobby Charles, who died in 2010. MAY 7: Six-string shredder Joe Satriani sets aside supergroup Chickenfoot and serves up Unstoppable Momentum, a stripped-down return to instrumental guitar-rock glory featuring former Frank Zappa drummer Vinnie Colaiuta. MAY 14: Mark Kozelek (Sun Kil Moon) and Jimmy LaValle (The Album Leaf) join forces for Perils From the Sea, in which Kozelek constructs stories of heartbreak over LaValle’s minimalist synth textures. May 21: Texas indie-folkers Baptist Generals marshal their sonic forces for Jackleg Devotional to the Heart on Sup Pop.