Kool Stuff Katie, Kool Stuff Katie, (Self-released)
It would be easy to look at the composition of Kool Stuff Katie—one dude on guitar, one chick on drums—and think, “Oh, White Stripes rip-off, right?” And although this Portland, Oregon-based duo does turn out raw garage rock not unlike Jack White’s former band on “Just a Thing” and “Hard Girl to Know,” Kool Stuff Katie proves on its debut that it’s a different beast. The vocal interplay between Shane Blem and Saren Oliver is delightful, and the New Wave-ish analog synths that buzz through songs such as “Show Me” and “Rewind” add a charming, retro-pop sparkle. ★★★✩✩
Pianos Become the Teeth, Keep You, (Epitaph)
On its third album (and first for Epitaph), Baltimore-based quintet Pianos Become the Teeth stretches its musical and emotional chops, deviating from its screamo beginnings to craft a set of moving, atmospheric music that toes the line between angular, melodic hardcore and feedback-laden post-rock. Frontman Kyle Durfey sings in a dulcet, earnest tone, revealing intimate feelings on songs such as “Late Lives,” “Traces” and “Lesions.” It’s a powerful record that somehow feels delicate enough to tear apart at any time. ★★★★✩
Sterile Jets, Liquor Store, (Yesca Rock)
It’s a Friday night, and you and a couple of your buddies are hanging out in your living room, finishing off a 24-pack of Schlitz while listening to old Black Flag and Melvins records. Feeling equal parts inspired and blitzed, the three of you stumble downstairs to the basement, plug instruments into amps and hit “record” on your four-track recorder. You bark out lyrics over sludgy proto-punk-metal for 47 minutes. When you wake up the next morning, you realize through the fog of a hangover that you’ve just recorded your second album. ★★★✩✩
Upcoming album’s on Pj’s radar…
OCT. 27: Punk rock stalwart Rancid returns for an eighth round with … Honor is All We Know.
NOV. 10: Life Is Beautiful headliner Foo Fighters releases its latest disc, Sonic Highways, and psychedelic pioneer Pink Floyd unveils its first new album since 1994, The Endless River.
NOV. 18: Brooklyn indie darling TV on the Radio drops Seeds, its first record since the 2011 death of bassist Gerard Smith.