If there's one thing Yeah Yeah Yeahs are good at, it's ambience. They create time-warped intervals of sound that mesmerize and hypnotize. And, if there's one thing to be said about Mosquito, it's that the ambience is there, but it's become a cramped, convoluted sonic mess; it leaves a lot to be desired from the New York art-rock trio that made its mark by conjuring well-written songs with notable intensity. But their latest effort is a dazed jumble of synths and pop-rock sentiment with very little direction. There are some good tracks, though. “Subway” is a slow, sinister ballad the band says was its second song to New York, and, despite its name, “Despair” is an uplifting song about triumphing over sadness. (Mark Lopez)
The Black Angels Indigo Meadow (Blue Horizon)
Things are spooky in The Black Angels' Indigo Meadow. The Austin band's infinitely sing-along-able fourth album is full of grimy psychedelic surf menacing that slaps you in the face so hard, it leaves a hand print on your cheek. A nervous sweat collects at the collar of “Don't Play with Guns,” the catchiest cautionary tale you ever did snap your fingers to. “The Day” skips through a day of Doors-tinged snark, while “Black Isn't Black” is haunted by a creeping fog that comes rolling in off the ocean. Still nutso for Nuggets? Crazy for the Cramps? Indigo Meadow ain't nothin' you ain't heard before, but that ain't bad. (M. Brianna Stallings)
The Alibi profiled Low on High last year. The band, composed of Santa Fe-based art-rock couple Amy Davis and Jon Moritsugu, is known for its high-energy, blood kiss-peppered shows, unabashedly displaying the passion borne of an 18-year marriage (in an era that prefers its rock stars swingin’ single) and their catchy, slightly spooky post-punk rock. Ice Cream Sex drops as the mercury rises and its nine tracks are an appropriately crunchy, hard-riffing soundtrack for any summer party, provided your beach blanket bingo features gelatin blood capsules, purple lipstick and a DIY-glam ethos. (Samantha Anne Carrillo)
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Delphia Giovanna • singer-