By Bryan Menegus, Staff Writer
Broken Social Scene- forgiveness rock record
Canadian indie-rock collective Broken Social Scene's fourth studio album, Forgiveness Rock Record, is exactly what fan's have come to expect: slow, atmospheric and deeply layered with midnight potsmoker chillness. While there are some more outward leanings across Forgiveness Rock Record towards a greater incorporation of dance rhythms and electronic instrumentation, it all folds into the batter without changing the recipe. That's not to say Brendan Canning and friends have lost their touch; they are seemingly incapable of poor songwriting. Forgiveness Rock Record will stand up well against the BSS back catalogue, but chances are this won't be the album to convince non-listeners of their folly.
Highlight: "Forced to Love"
The Hold Steady- heaven is whenever
The Hold Steady, for four albums, were the definition of cool. They were those jaded existentialist dudes who knew all the best music, but showed up to your house party because "when can we live but now, man?" But on Heaven is Whenever, their most recent full-length via Rough Trade, they're older, and their enthusiasm for the druggy wonderland they used to come fashionably late to has become irritating and soulless. Craig Finn and Co. always had a passion for the bar-band/Americana aesthetic, but the clever indie underpinnings that held previous albums like Boys and Girls in America together are absent. Suddenly, the claims of Springsteen-sycophantism hold water.
Highlight: "Soft in the Center"
Deftones- diamond eyes
Diamond Eyes not only marks Deftones' sixth studio album, but also their first since a tragic carcrash left longtime bass player Chi Cheng in a coma. To fill in, the remaining Deftones drafted ex-Quicksand bassist Sergio Vega, and it might be that touch of post-hardcore via Vega, but Diamond Eyes comes hard and takes no prisoners. The sludgy gut-punch this record delivers is second to none, and will find allies in fans of Helmet, Queens of the Stone Age and the aforementioned Quicksand. Aside from the B-side slump of "Sextape", Diamond Eyes is a low-register love-in that will leave your subwoofer begging for mercy.
Highlight: "Diamond Eyes"
The Flaming Lips- dark side of the moon
Full title: The Flaming Lips and Stardeath and White Dwarfs with Henry Rollins and Peaches Doing The Dark Side of the Moon. How could anyone possible process anything so irreverently groovy? Bad news neo-hippies, this record is a major let-down. To start, Stardeath and the White Dwarves are a quartet, mainly known for having their frontman, Dennis Coyne, being the nephew of Flaming Lips singer Wayne Coyne. Nepotism aside, this bizarre track-for-track rerecording is neither immediately recognizable as the same record which keeps Pink Floyd t-shirts in Hot Topic to this day, nor does it necessarily sound like anything the Flaming Lips have release ever across their sordid history. This bad trip is enough to make even die-hard fans want to turn on, tune in and dropkick Coyne personally.