The Sunshine Fix Green Imagination (spinART)
He's been called the Paul McCartney to Will Cullen Hart's John Lennon, but, as a Wings fan and unashamed McCartney-ite, I have to say that I'd much rather listen to Bill Doss' post-Olivia Tremor Control output (The Sunshine Fix) than Hart's (Circulatory System). But, frankly, I'm about as bored as I can get with the Elephant 6 collective and their overly saccharine pop of late. TSF's second release is more palatable than their previous, and significantly less campy, but it's got no teeth. Nice melodies, pretty arrangements and nothing else to keep me interested.
Broken Spindles Fulfilled/Complete (Saddle Creek)
Seems like everyone's got a side project these days, so why not The Faint's Joel Petersen. Swapping his bass for all breeds of electronic devices, Petersen-as-Broken Spindles weaves a collection of dark, classically-imbued constructions that recall the creepiest of electronic music over the past three decades, from Phillip Glass and Tangerine Dream to Nine Inch Nails and early Ministry with hints of krautrock tossed in for good measure. The music on Fulfilled/Complete doesn't even begin to approach happy driving music, but Petersen does an admirable job of making the bleak engaging in that rubbernecking-a-rollover-on-the-freeway sort of way.
Ozomatli Street Signs (Concord)
Ozomatli's politically-charged, 9-11 eulogizing first record in three years is pretty much exactly what I didn't expect—or want—from the L.A.-based, multiethnic groove collective. Their live shows can be magical, and their ability to shape shift mid-song from Afro-Latin party music into urban hip hop, then classic West Coast rock is legendary. But if I want to focus every moment of waking life on the absurdity of Bush's War on Terror, I'll turn to satellite TV. Christ, the last place I want 9-11 rehashed is in my CD player, the machine I use to escape.