Alibi V.24 No.46 • Nov 12-18, 2015 

Sonic Reducer

Timmy's Organism Heartless Heathen (Third Man Records)

Heaviest grade psychedelic rock and roll with wah-wah, fuzz pedal and an emphasis on the humbucker pickup closest to the guitar neck, Timmy's Organism is a trio of strange-looking dudes from Detroit who pick up where Blue Cheer left off. Channeling The Dictator's Dick Manitoba at times, band leader Timmy Vulgar has vocal swagger and confidence in equal measure to his shredding abilities. This relatively lo-fi riff goldmine, the band's third LP, demands to be played deafeningly loud, just the way it must have been recorded. There's no way this band does anything quiet. Bonus: The cover looks like a punk rock version of an old John Cage or Mothers of Invention collage-art album cover. (Geoffrey Plant)
“Back in the Dungeon” from the album Heartless Heathen

Christine and the Queens Christine and the Queens (Neon Gold Records)

Héloïse Letissier has been a figure in French pop music for a while, but it wasn’t until this October that she got a proper debut to American audiences. Under the name Christine and the Queens, she released an eponymous version of her 2014 album Chaleur Humaine last month, with some lyrics newly in English and a few added tracks written specifically for an Anglophone audience. Christine is a stunning mix of hip-hop beats and simple synth textures, all overlaid with Letissier’s bold voice. This album is clearly a sort of coming-out for her, with lyrics that swing between bravura and timidity. In the opening track “iT,” Letissier declares “I’m a man now,” while on “Jonathan,” the track about queer love that features Perfume Genius, she asks "Can you walk with me in the daylight?" If her stomping beats and frankness don’t capture your heart, her dance moves will. (Robin Babb)
“Jonathan” performed by Christine and the Queens

YACHT I Thought the Future Would Be Cooler (Downtown Records)

I Thought the Future Would Be Cooler could be a rallying cry for alienated millennials—both the title and the album itself. It’s a celebration and a denunciation of modern life, filled with iPhone ringtones and effervescent digital beats. “Infinitely scroll/Through a SWAT team on the sidewalk/Serving death by remote control” chants singer Claire L. Evans on the title track, lamenting that the brave new world has brought with it a host of brave new problems. “L.A. Plays Itself” is a catchy love/hate letter to the ultimately modern city: “Yeah it’s expensive baby/But all the simple things are free,” while “War on Women” paints a picture of what the future ought to be: “Nobody’s following me in the street/My concerns are obsolete.” YACHT’s signature candy-coated laptop pop has grown up, and realized that being grown-up isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But it still wants to dance. (Robin Babb)

“LA Plays Itself” by YACHT