Best New Music Releases, Week of April 30th – Iggy Pop and The Stooges, Guided By Voices, Akron/Family, Daughter, Wolf People
Leading of this week’s new releases are two blockbuster albums from veterans of rock and roll, two bands that no doubt have been, and continue to be, an inspiration to countless popular and obscure alternative and indie rock artists. First up, is the latest album from Iggy Pop and The Stooges, and it sounds excellent. As life-long fans of The Stooges, we’ve been impressed with their comeback since 2005. At first, like any die-hard fans of an aging rock band, we feared the band just could not possibly sound as great as they did during their hey days four decades ago – a time in which they were known as the crazy punk rock band with a skinny, shirtless Iggy Pop at the helm, belting out songs like, “I Wanna Be Your Dog” and “Lust For Life.” Nowadays, Iggy is not only an iconic figure in the world of rock, and in the culture as a whole, but he is often referred to as the “godfather of punk,” a title he definitely earned.
And yet all these years later, with most of the band members well into their 60′s (Iggy is 66), they’ve only gotten better as punk rock musicians. Iggy has always been in amazing shape and a ball of energy on stage, and still kicks it out on stage. The Stooges new single, “Burn,” sounds like a track that could have appeared on one of their three classic albums released between 1969 and 1973. The band never reached the level of success they deserved during that time span because the uptight music industry of those days thought they were too weird and dangerous to put serious money behind to promote. History now shows what a poor decision that was; Iggy Pop and The Stooges have been more popular and successful in the past 20 years than they were in their first 20 years, albeit they were not actively a band from 1973 to 2005.
Despite that, The Stooges were an underground punk-rock sensation whose music over time is as much a part of the story of punk rock in America as any other band; in a way, Iggy and his bandmates practically invented punk. Unfortunately for the band’s die-hard fans at the time, The Stooges called it quits in 1973, oddly enough following the release of their most critically-acclaimed album, Raw Power, and one of the most important albums in the history of punk music, if not rock music as a whole. Over the ensuing decades since their disbanding, their music became more popular as time moved on, which was in part why they decided to regroup and release a new album in 2005. The album cover for Ready To Die is bound to be problematic for some people, especially considering the timing of it.
In addition to Iggy Pop and The Stooges, there were two other big-name, highly anticipated new albums dropped this week – veteran post-punk band Guided By Voices‘ new album, English Little League, led by the single, “Noble Insect,” and Akron/Family‘s Sub Verses, featuring the spectacular track, “Until The Morning.”
Daughter’s Debut Plus Cayucas, El Khatib, Wolf People and Hands
With Iggy Pop and The Stooges proving once again their never-ending lust for punk rock, the pioneering GBV’s post-reunion wellspring of terrific songs resulting in another terrific album, and indie rock/experimental pop band, Akron/Family‘s latest collection of superbly crafted and executed songs, attention now turns to the exciting and impressive debut from buzz band Daughter, followed up by standout singles from new albums by Cayucas, Hanni El Khatib, Wolf People and Hands. A couple of days ago we asked all of you to name the best album for the month of April, and while Kurt Vile ultimately took the No. 1 prize for his amazing LP, Walkin’ On A Pretty Daze, right on his heels was Daughter’s If You Leave.
The trio actually began as the solo project of musician Elena Tonra, until guitarist Igor Haefeli and drummer Remi Aguilella jumped aboard in 2010. In 2010 and 2011, the trio dropped three well-regarded EPs before being signed by the top-notch record label 4AD, whose roster includes a stunning line-up of some of the best indie and alt. rock artists and bands of recent years, including Bon Iver, Ariel Pink, The National, St. Vincent, Purity Ring, Deerhunter, Camera Obscura, Iron & Wine, Grimes, Twin Shadow and Grimes, among others. Now 4AD can boast about the newest member of their musical family, Daughter. Here’s the lead single, “Smother,” from the band’s new debut. The album, easily one of the best debuts of 2013, is available as an MP3 download for only $6.99 or $7.99 for the CD version.
“Sun Medallion” – King Tuff from Was Dead (reissue) on Burger Records
“Trouble” - Hands from Synethesia on Kill Rock Stars
“Staying In” – Ola Podrida from Ghosts Go Blind on Western Vinyl
“Twin Peaks” – Alice Russell from To Dust on Tru Thoughts