Cass McCombs
Big Wheel and Others

In his first release since 2011’s two releases Wit’s End and Humor Risk, Cass McCombs has released a sprawling double LP filled with clever lyrics and delicate tributes to psychedelia, country and folk. The LP’s massive length makes this a dense journey but a close listen reveals the layers that McCombs employs to keep the listener engaged over a long period of time. While the instrumentation remains fairly in the realm of a normal indie rock band, McCombs effectively uses odd guitar sounds and the occasional gentle steel guitar to create a welcoming atmosphere that remains listenable across the album’s 85 minutes. Lyrically, McCombs is as witty and clever as ever and Big Wheel and Others yet again displays his storytelling ability as well as his wonderful sense of humor. The patient find themselves rewarded with a large collection of meticulously crafted, clever rock tunes.  – Andy Tabeling

Glow & Behold
Fat Possum

With the departure of Yuck’s former frontman Daniel Blumberg many speculated that the London group’s dissolution was imminent. However, for Yuck’s sophomore effort, guitarist Max Bloom has taken over songwriting and vocal duties. The group’s sound has changed along with its lineup but they’re still clinging to their 90’s inspired roots.  Yuck originally garnered comparisons to nineties indie rock groups like Pavement and Yo La Tengo, channeling a fuzzed out lo-fi sound. Glow & Behold finds the trio leaning towards their more melodic work from their first album, polishing its edges for a lush, quieter sound.  The few remnants of the band’s raw debut are “Middle Sea” and “Glow & Behold” while the other tracks are softer and more refined to suit Bloom’s vocals. Glow & Behold still walks in the footsteps of its predecessor while working with a gentler, more lyrically abstract tracklist. – Thomas Jurgens

Parquet Courts
Tally All The Things That You Broke
What’s Your Rupture

Slacker rock takes on many forms. There’s the melodic, feel good vibes of Mac Demarco on one end but across the spectrum lies Parquet Courts, a garage punk group who’s lyrics conjure both a smile and a roll of the eyes. Apparently, not much has changed since the foursome’s breakout hit Light Up Gold was (re)released earlier this year to critical acclaim. The drums are as dampened as ever, the guitars are constantly strumming and Andrew Savage continues to fit as much “social commentary” as he can possibly mumble into his two minute (on average) songs. If anything, the group has expanded on the wacky atmosphere their lyrics can often create. Instrumentally, things get really silly. Album opener “You’ve Got Me Wondrin’ Now’s” use of sporadic flute and the closing track’s inclusion of a digital cowbell that sounds like it came from a child’s keyboard. The album’s cover is an especial indication of the elevated silliness with an obvious misspelling of their own name.  In essence, Tally All The Things That You Broke is nothing surprising, but it is a pleasant extension of a sound that garnered the quartet so much attention in the first place. – Jonathan Williams

Edited by: Nathan Kerce