Foster The People- Supermodel
After releasing 2011's critical and commercial success Torches, Marc Foster and company are back with Supermodel. Are they trying to up the ante with the new record? Not so much. That's not really Foster's style. Instead, they're out to make something completely different; that's exactly what this new record is. It would have been easy for Foster to make a record filled with five album tracks and five versions of "Pumped Up Kicks", but they didn't do it. They made some completely different, there's nothing that sounds like Kicks and it's a true album experience.
The Strypes- Snapshot
There have been loads of great Irish bands over the years, but it's still surprising when something new and awesome pops out of the country. The latest group out of Ireland - The Strypes - are pure rock 'n' roll. They don't do a lot of tricks, they just play badass music. They're a bit of a throwback bar band. Check out Snapshot, it will kick your teeth in and you'll love every minute of it.
Taking Back Sunday- Happiness Is
Happiness is truly Taking Back Sunday. After a long tenure with Warner the group is back to being an indie and according to them, that's where they belong. They operate at the pace they like to operate and they make the music the way they want to make it. I don't think Taking Back Sunday ever lost their way because they made some great records with Warner, but I think they're happy about what they're doing this time around and that counts for something.
The Pretty Reckless- Going To Hell
There are a lot of people out there who think that The Pretty Reckless is all style and no substance, but Taylor Momsen has put everything she has into rock music. She could focus all of her energy into acting, but instead she's focused on music. There are still plenty of annoyances with the group and the people surrounding it; canceled tours and fake paparazzi videos that go viral to name a couple, but maybe we should cast aside all preconceived notions with Taylor Momsen and The Pretty Reckless and give it a shot.
Black Lips- Underneath The Rainbow
Atlanta's Black Lips is the dirty, grimy rock. Like The Strypes, they don't do a lot of tricks, they just play great music. It's the U.S. version of the Britrock genre. Black Lips have been around since 1999 and they've made a lot of great music. They've never been that popular but they've managed to stay afloat. Underneath The Rainbow isn't going to magically attract the attention of all the people they've missed over the years, but the people who need to find this music can still find it.