Minus the Bear Menos el Oso (Suicide Squeeze Records)
Minus the Bear's lead singer, Jake Snider, has taken some heat from critics over his somewhat emotionally deprived vocals. But Menos el Oso doesn't have to be about deep-rooted feelings and catharsis for me to get behind it. It's enough that, after the first listen, hearing it again was more appealing than a night of repeated fornication. That may, perhaps, be pushing it, but fornication aside, the ideal amount of programmed beats and synthesizer, together with tremolo-guitar and downright dreamy vocals, make Menos el Oso f—ing terrific!
The Onlys Limbic System (Detach Records)
Local label Detach Records artists The Onlys offer up their latest LP with 16 tracks; each one lovingly bestowed with a nearly imperceptible warm and inviting undertone. With a few exceptions (like the spunk-laden "Attica"), most of Limbic System is laid-back, without becoming lethargic. You almost feel like you're in a Wes Anderson film when Jason Chewoneth's vocals nibble through the distorted keyboard on "Walk Through Walls." An active listener will look forward to unraveling all the layers and latent complexities that Limbic System is furnished with.
Mobius Band The Loving Sounds of Static (Ghostly)
A math-enthusiast comrade of mine informed me that Mobius Band's name is a reference to a topological shape with only one surface and only one edge. It's difficult to express, but it suffices to say that MB's name goes a long way in explaining how these young intellectuals sound. The group's electronic pop-rock is an amalgamation of witty, unpretentious lyrics and melodies that, while they may catch you off guard, leave you feeling slightly more pleasant than when you pressed play. It takes a little getting used to, but if you put in the effort, this album will reward your patience.