Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys Soft Time Traveler (self-released)
Absinthe Junk Death in the Afternoon (self-released) entered format on 4/7/13
Sharp tekno rock that would have fit in nicely with the digicore scene in the 90s. Gothic hard rock with plenty of synth and anthemic melodies. Nothing revolutionary, but done with flair.
Elements of Life The Eclipse (Fania) entered format on 4/7/13
Louie Vega and friends kick out a wide-ranging array of hippie jazz, latin funk and plenty more. There's a heavy flower child influence hanging over this, but the Caribbean rhythms and layered sound bring these songs into a decidedly modern context. There's a lot to digest here (24 songs and remixes over 2 discs), but if you can wrap your mind around it, then pleasure awaits.
Emperors Stay Frosty (self-released) entered format on 4/7/13
More "back to the 90s" fare. Emperors have that post-grunge sheen down quite nicely, and they temper the anthemic tendencies of their hooks just enough. A pleasant bath for those who miss the days of flannel and PBR.
Fathom Lane Down by Half (self-released) entered format on 4/7/13
Easy-rollin' roots rock that eases its way. The sound is often gorgeous, in an understated way. These songs come along slowly and deliver a solid payoff.
Kye Alfred Hillig Together Through It All (self-released) entered format on 4/7/13
While I'm generally dismayed by artists giving their music away for free, there are gems to had out there. Kye Alfred Hillig has one. This idiosyncratic trip through a variety of rootsy sounds is bracingly original. In a very crowded field, Hillig has created a sound all his own.
Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys Soft Time Traveler (self-released) entered format on 4/7/13
Meandering in whatever territory lies between Nick Cave, Tom Waits and the Mekons, Walter Sickert and a cast of thousands (well, more than a dozen) blast out one raggedy anthem after another. The tension seems to rise inexorably as the album progresses, and the final release hardly resets the mood. Intensely arresting.