Five Albums You Should Be Listening Right Now
We travel from 1972 to 2011 for this Week’s Five Albums.
Each week, titans of the mediasphere give Nerve their music recommendations. This week: time-traveling picks by writers from the music blog Blah Blah Blah Science.
1. Slothbear, Canter On
Canter On is the perfect balance of post-rock and pop sensibilities. By all rights, it should be almost as polarizing for indie rock today as something like Pet Sounds was in the '60s. Canter's second track, the ten-minute long "Goodnight, Retrograde" is a worthy example of where this album can take you. The album explores ideas from some iconic pioneers of pop, post-rock, experimental, math, jazz… and why stop there? "Ex-Teen" alone could cause me to wear this out on my turntable. — Mike Clemenza
Listen: "Sleep Daze"
2. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Howl
Frequently, when a band heads in a new direction, it's met with accusations of superficial trend-chasing. But Howl successfully melds classic blues, gospel, and country with BRMC's trademark garage-noir, always keeping one eye on piercing melodies, taut rhythms, and dissonant harmonies. Howl offers up hints of other classic American artists like Bob Dylan ("Complicated Situation") and Bruce Springsteen ("Fault Line"), while maintaining the intensity and musicianship BRMC bring to their other albums. — Trevor Meyer
Listen: "Still Suspicion Holds You Tight"
3. The La's, The La's
In the wake of post-punk in the late ‘80s, The La's were hailed as the greatest band since The Beatles. "There She Goes" is the single everyone's heard, but "Timeless Melody" and "Way Out" are nearly as catchy. Then listen to "Feelin" and "IOU" — the effortlessness and simplicity of these songs are what make them so captivating. Every few years frontman Lee Mavers plays a chunk of shows in the U.K., and the rest of us wonder about what could've been, but we'll always have this sublime album. — Chris Gedos
Listen: "Timeless Melody"
4. The Raspberries, Fresh
You could say that power-pop started with three bands: Badfinger, Big Star, and Cleveland, Ohio natives The Raspberries. Their self-titled album and its follow up, Fresh, were released five months apart in 1972. Fresh is no sophomore slump — it's actually the stronger of the two LPs. "I Wanna Be With You" is arguably one of the 100 greatest songs of rock n'roll, the falsetto on "Let's Pretend" is divine, and "I Reach For The Light" is a master course in McCartney-esque songwriting. — Chris Gedos
Listen: "I Reach for the Light"
5. The Wrens,The Meadowlands
The byline on The Wrens' website reads, "Keeping folks waiting… since 1989." The Wrens' much-ballyhooed hiatuses between LPs can be infuriating, but the brilliance that is The Meadowlands will keep us waiting for years to come. "This Boy Is Exhausted" is the ultimate post-college anthem for the over-qualified, under-experienced dilettante, but my favorite moment is the instrumental kick on "Happy" at 4:26. To see The Wrens live borders on religious experience — one that goes a long way to making those long waits between albums bearable. — Chris Gedos
Listen: "This Boy Is Exhausted"