Berkeley punk rock lifers Rancid, my favorite band of all time, haven’t released an album since the slept-on Let The Dominoes Fall in 2008. That changes next Tuesday. The band has a new one called Honor Is All We Know loaded up and ready to go, and we’ve posted its songs “Face Up” and “Already Dead,” as well as a video of them playing three of the album’s tracks. On first listen, the new LP isn’t quite as frenzied and anthemic as the stuff they were making two decades ago, but that only seems biologically sensible. And they’re still doing an amazing job packing giddy, beyond-catchy hooks into fast, assaultive punk rock pummels. They still sound happy to be alive, and they are incapable of making a bad album. Right now, you can stream the whole thing at iTunes Radio.
Honor Is All We Know is out 10/17 on Epitaph.
Jessie Ware is through being cool. “Say You Love Me,” the best song on her sophomore album Tough Love, has a gospel choir and an Ed Sheeran co-writing credit and a bridge that sounds like the song from Once that won the Oscar. It is a song that fully exists in Sam Smith territory. It’s grand and hammy and sweeping. It’s also an incredible song, a warm and instinctive plea to keep a relationship from falling into inertia death. Ware sings the fucking hell out of it. That part on the second verse where she goes from coo to sob to accusation to sigh in the space of a single line — “Want to feel buuuurn-iiiing flaaaame when you say my name” — absolutely reduces me to rubble. It takes every move from the big, gooey, sweeping pop-ballad playbook and executes it perfectly, hitting all your feeling-buttons with masterly ease. And if a song like “Say You Love Me” can break through to the greater pop-cultural consciousness — don’t rule it out — I could see it becoming something like Adele’s “Someone Like You,” a song that can play over supermarket speakers and ambush you, leaving you misty-eyed in the cereal aisle.
Detroit rapper Dej Loaf has had a breakout year, and this week she reiterated her status as an MC on the rise with updates to two of her biggest hits. Breakthrough “Try Me” blends chirpy, poppy sing-song that verges on cartoonish with the cold-hearted pulse and dead-eyed threats of Chicago drill music. On the new remix, Ty Dolla $ign and the recently released Remy Ma show up to lend their own melodic verses over a DDS beat that sounds like an ice palace with subwoofers installed. Meanwhile “Bird Call,” a DJ Whoo Kid production on which Dej outright raps (and raps well!), gets an official video shot by Dan The Man at Eminem’s Shade45 Studios in New York. It’s pretty barebones as music videos go, but the song is well worth your time. Check out both below.
Jessica Pratt’s follow-up to 2012′s marvelous self-titled LP will finally see release this winter. It’s called On Your Own Love Again, and it features a new version of “Game That I Play,” a song Pratt shared back in January of this year, plus eight more tracks. Pratt’s music is both gently powerful and inviting; she can disarm and mesmerize with just her eerie voice and a delicately plucked guitar. Thus, this is very exciting news.
Even if their annual Hanukkah shows won’t be happening now that Hoboken haven Maxwell’s is closed, Yo La Tengo will still be doing a series of special concerts this December. 12/2 marks the band’s 30th anniversary, and to celebrate they’re playing a run of four shows — two in New York and one each in Washington and Philadelphia. So says Matablog, which also announced a one-year-late 20th anniversary reissue of Painful, generally considered YLT’s first classic record. Dubbed Extra Painful, it will be sold in deluxe double LP and double CD editions. The double vinyl also comes with a bonus 7″ that’s available as a digital download for those who purchase the CD. Here’s the breakdown:
Gwen Stefani’s “Baby Don’t Lie” video is here. Directors Sophie Muller and Weirdcore set Stefani and her dancers against a colorful smattering of green-screened backgrounds not too far removed from the single artwork. When they rewind it back, some of that color seeps into the black-and-white imagery that kicks off the clip. There’s also some Beats Music product placement; Stefani did attend the Apple product launch with Dr. Dre, after all. Watch below.
Meow The Jewels started as a goof, and now it’s gonna be an album. It’s still a goof, obviously — you can’t watch this trailer and expect otherwise. Same goes for the new video of El-P “auditioning” cats at Brooklyn’s BARC Animal Shelter: “No? Nothing? Do you like rap?” El asks one cat who seems unimpressed with the beats he’s hearing. Ultimately, El decides, “I don’t feel like the project’s completely come together yet.” However, even though these particular animals might not be right for this particular project, El suggests that anyone with “the wherewithal and the love” come to BARC and adopt. That’s not a goof. Watch.
Primitive Parts is a new trio that features Kevin Hendrick and Robin Christian, two of the three members of the London bash-punk trio Male Bonding, as well as Sauna Youth’s Lindsay Corstorphine. Earlier this year, they released their “Open Heads” b/w “Signal” 7″, and it was really good. The band has another new 7″, “TV Wheels” b/w “The Bench,” coming out next month, and it’s B-side is a charged-up fuzz-bomb that doesn’t stint on melody. Give it a listen below.