The Everyothers The Everyothers (Hautlab)
New York City's The Everyothers are what Urge Overkill would have sounded like had they chosen not to jump the Touch and Go ship for (brief) major-label exposure; what Bowie would sound like today had he not killed Ziggy Stardust. Obvious contemporary comparisons include The Strokes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but dare I say there's more substance to The Everyothers' songs? Yes, yes I do. Lots of killer hooks, lots of swagger and lots of hyper-confident riffage. A near perfect melding of early '70s garage rock and '80s power pop.
Soul Divine Soul Divine (self-released)
There's a fair amount of Morris Day and the Time-ish schmaltz at work on Soul Divine's debut, but it's purposeful and, therefore, somewhat forgivable. Admittedly, this isn't the kind of music that generally kicks my ass, but as a fan of both Sade and George Benson, I find more here to like than not. For one thing, the instrumental performances are tight and groove-based. For another, the singing is dead on and well endowed with pristine harmonies. The album's tempo rarely exceeds 80bpm, but the intention here seems geared toward lazy, romantic, Cristal-sipping fireside evenings.
The Cooper Temple Clause Kick Up the Fire, and Let the Flames Break Loose (RCA)
Finally, a Radiohead album that doesn't manage to annoy me in some way! Like their Radiohead and Oasis brethren, the Cooper Temple Clause are Brits in various stages of introspection, malnutrition, anger and bedhead. But something about this band simply screams authenticity. Their experimentation is bold, combining elements of such disparate bands as The Who and Primal Scream in a cacophony of towering guitars, noise, incongruous psychedelic synth beds and haunting, Verve-like vocals. The sheer creative intensity here will floor you, Radiohead fan or not.