The Fratellis Here We Stand (Island)
The Fratellis takes guitar rock that’s better after a few pints and makes you drink ’til you puke. The glammy, peach-fuzz guitars and loudmouth vocals set the table for a good time. But the mid-tempo never speeds up or puts on the brakes, and it begins to sound as though The Fratellis gave itself 11 chances to make a radio single. Each attempt sounds eerily similar to the last. On second thought, you can probably find a better record to get drunk to. (SM)
Judas Priest Nostradamus (Sony)
Judas Priest has been “breaking the law” since the ’70s, but the year is 2008; and thanks to comedic acts like Jack Black, Nostradamus sounds like an unoriginal soundtrack full of epic chants and “face-melting” riffs. Judas Priest fans, fret not, for this album does not disappoint if you take it for what it is. Especially if what you take is the deluxe edition of Nostradamus, packing 23 tracks on two disks. (JH)
Wolf Parade At Mount Zoomer (Sub Pop)
Mon-reh-all's Wolf Parade is the pinnacle of the wolf-band club, and At Mount Zoomer has magically materialized just as the world's people are getting in the mood for some old-fashioned orchestral indie rock. This, its second full-length and first release in nearly three years, is more prog-y, more psychedelic and more crisply produced than 2005's stellar Apologies to the Queen Mary. Yet it maintains Wolf Parade's morosely upbeat and entirely endearing pop element. It's too soon to say if this latest volume doesn't quite equal the former, so let's bank on the fact that Wolf Parade is a band that can grow on you like an implausible freaking beanstalk. (JCC)
(SM) Simon McCormack, (JH) Justin Hood, (JCC) Jessica Cassyle Carr
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