This Week in Alt-Rock

Fall Out Boy, “Young and Menace” – If you didn’t like ‘Save Rock and Roll’ and ‘American Beauty / American Psycho’ because they didn’t sound like old Fall Out Boy, stay faaaaaaar away from this song and (probably) their entire upcoming album. It’s both different and just……bad. It’s kind of pop, kind of techno-ish, and gave me a similar feeling to the Bears trading the farm to move one spot up to draft Mitch Trubisky (I’m not bitter).

Imagine Dragons, “Thunder” – So the first Imagine Dragons album was great, the second was strangely dark and resulted in radio stations going back and playing ‘Night Visions’ songs so you could forget about ‘Smoke and Mirrors.’ I’ve been holding my breath feeling that their third album is make/break for their long-term success. I was still optimistic after “Believer” was released as a first single and had high hopes when I saw another single was out. “Thunder” has a chorus where the title is repeated with the typical Imagine Dragons oversized bass drum mixed in, while the verses are pretty superficial and (I guess?) about some of the difficult experiences of growing up, somehow tying in to the theme of ‘feeling the thunder.’ As the full album release approaches, to quote Han Solo, “I have a bad feeling about this.”

Foster the People, “III” – By far the release I was most excited about this weekend. Yes, it’s not a full album but it’s like a ¼ of what will be the forthcoming album (assuming all 3 songs are on it). All 3 songs have an upbeat almost dancy vibe to them, which is a continuing trend both for this band and alt-rock in general. That said, both of their previous records have had a few very mellow tracks on them so I’d expect to see some of that on the album. After listing through the EP a couple times I like all of the songs, with “Pay the Man” just edging out the other two as my favorite.

Phoenix, “J-Boy” – The song is decent, but the reason it’s exciting is more that this means there’s another Phoenix record on the way than because of the song itself. I’m a big fan of ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix,’ but less so ‘Entertainment.’ This song sounds closer to the latter, but that doesn’t mean I can’t hold out hope for the new album to sound like the former.

Rostam, “Gwan” – After producing a few songs with Hamilton Leithauser, Vampire Weekend’s former producer/keyboardist/guitarist offers his first fully-solo material since splitting with his former band. It’s pretty good, and if you’re a VW fan his style/influence is immediately recognizable from their music. I’m definitely looking forward to hearing more Rostam solo stuff, which should help bridge the gap to whenever the new VW album that’s supposedly been in the works for a while comes out.

 

Extra Notes: The HAIM sisters released the video for a new song called “Right Now.” The song isn’t officially available to buy/download yet, but safe to say a new album is coming. Also, The Killers posted some photos this week of them in the studio, but no word yet on when we might hear new material.

 

– ASC, 4/29/2017

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