Octoberman — Run From Safety (White Whale) :: This dire disc’ll make you feel like leaping off a tall building in a single bound.
Architecture in Helsinki — Places Like These (Polyvinyl) :: Prince meets 808 State? Talking Heads meets B-52s? No matter how you slice it, this one’s a real hoot.
Wintersleep — Welcome to the Night Sky (Labwork) :: Thoughtful ethereal pop music that ends with an ambitious eight-minute art rock epic called "Miasmal Smoke & the Yellow Bellied Freaks" that’s well worth the price of admission.
Scorpions — Humanity Hour 1 (New Door) :: If you only buy one classic heavy guitar crunge rock album this week, this be the one. Of course, I could do without all the treacly power ballads. But, then again, I always have.
Kent McAlister & the Iron Choir — The Way It Rolls (self released) :: Capable country pickin’ that’s chock-a-block with tasty twang and a fine fiddle finesse.
Midtown Dickens — Oh Yell! (307 Knox) :: These here wacky wimmins pack a perky pedigree and strum smart ’n’ sassy minimal folk rock with a wicked wit quotient that’s half Sparks, half Dictators, and all theirs.
Two Hours Traffic — Little Jabs (Bumstead) :: "Nighthawks" is one charming little pop song, but it’s the rest of the record that’ll give you Dagwood!
Boys Noize — Oi Oi Oi (Last Gang) :: These relentlessly aggressive Enovative electronic soundscapes go far beyond anything Krautwerk ever envisioned.
SIZZLING PLATTER OF THE WEEK: Rockfour — Memories of the Never Happened (Anova) :: Israel’s newest hitmakers have come up with an album that blends the best of Tangerine Dream’s ambient drones ("Glued Half & Half") with the Beatles’ psychedelic rock ’n’ roll ("Because of Damaging Words"). And that’s just the first two tracks. Stay tuned and you’ll hear the marathon Harrisonic "Dear Truth" living side by side with the exhilarating Badfinger-steeped "It Ain’t Easy (When You’re Gone)." Inspirational lyric: "First thing that I thought of when I saw you walk away was, ‘How could someone run so fast on high heels?’"
You never spike a