Dr. Octagon The Return of Dr. Octagon (OCD International)
Here’s another awesomely warped album from former Bellevue psych patient Dr. Octagon, aka Kool Keith, aka Dr. Dooom, aka Rhythm X ... etc. This new installment of hip-hop insanity features the totally bitchin’ Princess Superstar, DJ Dexter Fabay, plus all of the anatomical filth, nonsensical raps and deranged tempo changes you’ve come to expect, just in time for summer. Catch the fever!
The Watson Twins Southern Manners (self-release)
Reportedly, record labels are ready to pounce on these 6-foot identical twins from Louisville, Ky., who were most notably on an album with the overexposed Rilo Kiley member, Jenny Lewis. I am, however, not too excited about them or this album. It includes notable contributors like Russ Pollard from Sebadoh and Folk Implosion, and starts off on the right foot with a dark, country western song. Southern Manners also includes a track titled “HighSchool,” which is pleasantly reminiscent of the Spinanes. After that, though, it peters out into a muddy lull. However, if you like Jenny Lewis, this is probably the album for you.
The Stills Without Feathers (Vice)
I have to confess, I really prefer The Stills’ first album to this, their second, which is less post-punk and more rock opera. Nonetheless, the Montreal quartet have managed not to simply write an album: They’ve composed an enormous tapestry of sound, which really should be accompanied by a motion picture. The only real gripe I have is the big endings, which in general, for all bands, can sound self-congratulatory. Otherwise, I’ve listened to this album pretty much every day since it arrived in the mail a week ago.