Sonic Reducer

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Fleet Foxes’ debut evokes wide-open spaces and adventures in the wilderness. When you’re finished cutting through vines of choral singing and sloshing through rivers of reverberating guitars, you realize the reward is in the journey. Sometimes ’70s Southern rock is the backdrop, while on other occasions, the band goes with a luscious soundscape of multipart harmonies. While it’s never disorienting, the record is completely devoid of a standard verse-chorus-verse structure, instead wafting from part to part like a feather falling to the ground. Fleet Foxes moves at an unhurried pace, but for a band that digs on atmosphere, things move along relatively quickly. (SM)

Melvins Nude With Boots (Ipecac)

It’s admirable that, after almost 25 years, the Melvins is still squeezing out hard rock with percussive power that makes teeth chatter and guitar work that rumbles from the depths of hell. Nude With Boots is no exception. If you like the band’s punk-rock attitude, metal fury and grunge tempo, this album, like their two dozen others, is for you. If not, wait another quarter of a century and maybe the Melvins will have changed its tune. (SM)

Gavin Rossdale Wanderlust (Interscope)

Oh Gavin, what happened? There are few lead singers that go solo and manage to be resoundingly successful. Chris Cornell, for example, dropped two solo albums after Soundgarden that delighted and disgusted listeners. It’s not that Wanderlust is a complete and utter failure. But every track "wanders" to a similar beat and romantically trite musings. “This Place Is On Fire” is super synthy, but it stands as the most original and shortest track on the album. The lyrics in the opening track ("Can’t Stop The World") state "I’ve been gone too long.” Maybe so; enough that Wanderlust won’t justify a comeback. Bush reunion? (JH)

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