Singles round-up: Girls still rool, Rivers Cuomo still needs a damn bib

Not exactly singles this week — more like teasers for four upcoming albums. Two I can’t wait for, one I’m newly curious about, one I’m about as excited to hear as the next Advance Auto Parts ad on Spotify. Plus a novelty indie-rock cover of a rap hit that keeps on kicking after the novelty fades.

Sheer Mag
“Can’t Stop Fighting”

Last year these Philly punk brawlers released II, an EP that sounded like it was recorded straight to boombox on a TDK SA 90 left out of its case underneath the floor mat in someone’s car for a decade. Even so the songs punched right through the scuzz, but I’m glad they’re now fully audible. On the first verse Tina Halladay references the widespread gang violence against women working in Juarez factories; on the third she asserts “all my life I’ve felt the eye of the catcall,” a daring expression of global female solidarity that suggest how quickly relative privilege gives way to absolute vulnerability. But she sounds energized by the struggle for female self-preservation rather than weary, and Kyle Seely’s revamped classic rock riffs are there to say we may as well enjoy a struggle that’s not ending anytime soon.


PJ Harvey
“The Wheel”

The thunderous prophesies that Let England Shake carved in stone, pronounced in the voice of ecstatic indomitability that made Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea sound like a promise of deliverance from evil.

Dilly Dally
“Know Yourself”

Drake is Canada’s Trump, an improbably popular entertainer whose power feeds off your ridicule. But this Toronto band — have you heard their 2015 album, Sore, because you should probably hear their 2005 album, Sore —  don’t bother with irony or desecration on this Erykah-worthy endeavor but plunge straight into noise and leave us to sort through the wreckage. Ever wonder if a human voice could sound like the how the Death Star blowing up looks? Listen to Katie Monks shred “woes.”

Little Scream
“Love as a Weapon”

Jeez, Annie Clark really took some liberties with this Stones cover.


“L.A. Girlz”

The year is 2036. Paul Ryan is still Speaker of the House, Jenny McCarthy is still battling against science on daytime talk shows, and Rivers Cuomo’s songs are still scrounging for pity sex from college sophomores. The only reason I couldn’t have predicted Cuomo’s steady descent from enthusiastic opportunist to cynical careerist from the start is that I’d never have guessed he’d stick it out this long–thanks a lot, ‘90s teens. And the only reason I listened to the fourth advance track from the fourth album he’s too lazy to name was because I was driven by a need to lash out after enduring an extended workout mix of “Magic” at my circuit training class on Saturday–thanks a lot, Midtown YWCA.

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