Bounty Hunter Brothers Paid in Full (Self-released)
Here’s the bastard offspring of two Vegas bands—on-hiatus shoegazers Asterionella and kaput punk-rockers Robot Nixon. Bounty Hunter Brothers is comprised of Bobby Pesti (guitar/vocals), William Davenport (bass/vocals) and Roger Perez (drums). This trio draws from pre-grunge alt-rock à la Sonic Youth, flashbacking to an era of loud-guitar experimentation and raw singing. “Play the Field” would’ve run the bases on college radio 25 years ago. Compellingly retro. ★★★☆☆
Falling in Reverse Fashionably Late (Epitaph)
Man, I’ve been in rap since I was shitting in Pampers, elucidates emo bad boy Ronnie Radke in electronica-heavy “Alone,” a track from his band Falling in Reverse’s sophomore CD. Maybe it’s true, despite his previous album’s boast of being raised on Black Sabbath. Regardless, the title is apt, since crunkcore (blending hip-hop with post-hardcore) has been around since the mid-“aughts.” Still, Radke’s delivery is particularly fiery, even when dishing stale misogynist rants (“Bad Girls Club”). ★★☆☆☆
Escape the Fate Ungrateful (Eleven Seven)
While their former frontman (Radke, see above) goes hip-hop, Fate members ferociously dig their heels into metal. Despite all his throat-rending, singer Craig Mabbitt grafts fail-proof hooks into the chorus of every song on Ungrateful. But this is guitarist Monte Money’s moment to shine, as he unleashes riff after riff, solo after solo, proving himself a technical player par excellence. While hardly original, this disc will surely land the Fate into the UFC-fan demographic alongside Five Finger Death Punch. ★★☆☆☆
Upcoming albums on Jarret’s radar …
JUNE 11: Produced by Rick Rubin, 13 features a reunited original Black Sabbath lineup (well, minus drummer Bill Ward). First single “God Is Dead?” is already a classic slab of Ozzy-fronted Sab. JUNE 18: Flamboyantly fantastical Australian electronic duo Empire of the Sun unveils its second full-length, Ice on the Dune. Single “Alive” is pure sonic candy. June 25: Ohio emocore outfit Hawthorne Heights has constructed a dystopian concept album about a totalitarian future called Zero. The band headlines Vans Warped Tour, which touches down in Las Vegas at the Silverton on June 28.