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What’s New In Music: Jack White, Death Grips, The Dandy Warhols

The first solo release from former White Stripe, Raconteur and Dead Weatherman is unsurprisingly consistent, and loaded with the characteristics we’ve gotten to know pretty well over the last decade. It’s Jack White; that means throwback blues riffs, off-kilter piano, a trademark shrill, and whatever stylistic touch he so brilliantly decides to explore. This time around, without a brand of a band to stay within, he makes the distinction in lyrics, which hit upon failed romance from a multitude of angles, becoming the most personal statement of his career.


A favorite here in the Heavy HQ, Death Grips thrive in a potent hybrid of rap, rock and electro—arguably the first time that crossing hasn’t come off lame. Those components aside, it’s impossible to really commit them to any category. This is just massive music, the result of a maxed-out sonic triad: riot-inciting frontman MC Ride, trigger-happy beat-man Andy Morin, and near-mythical drum-kit killer Zach Hill. The Money Store, the first of two LPs scheduled this year on big-time label Epic (Sony), follows through on the momentum of last year’s highly-blogged mixtape Exmilitary and, well, it rules. Aggressively.


Since their fashionable run in the mid to late 1990s, The Dandy Warhols have stayed active, if a bit self-aware (see infamous 2004 documentary DIG!) and streaky (see: a discography that has traveled from garage rock to power-pop and back). Here they are hitting an all-time somber note, opting for nuanced mood over straightforward hooks, which is admirable for the once “Bohemian Like You” stars, but maybe worrisome too, as they risk losing that aloof charm that once made them exciting and/or relevant.


Surely this one can do no wrong: two pysch rock juggernauts coming together under what appears to be a mutual love of 60s psychedelia and the almighty jam sesh. Hair is the product of its ingredients in the most basic and probably ideal way, playing to the strengths of each act—loose yet well-crafted guitar-based excursions—while not really taking any odd turns or attempts at reinvention. If you already like these guys (or the aforementioned genre), you’ll probably like this record.


The Raveonettes went a little dark on their last outing, and it wasn’t the Danish noise pop duo’s best look (speaking of looks, check out singer Sharin Foo in our recent Hottest Women of Indie list). Within the first few pulses of lead single “Into The Night“, it’s clear this EP has restored blood sugar levels back to normal. The four track release should hold fans over while they prep a full length due out later this year, which will mark their ten year anniversary as a band.


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