In what I hope to make a consistent feature on the site, I've compiled a list of some recommended full-length albums released during the first three months of the year. Plan to do the same in June/July and in Sept/Oct and will have the year end "Best of" list in Dec/Jan.
Lucero - Woman & Work: You can read my brief thoughts from earlier this month, but W & W continues on the road paved by Overton Park, maybe a bit less successfully in my opinion, but still has some standout tracks.
The Menzingers - On the Impossible Past: Another set of lyrically strong melodic rock/punk songs from these guys. Kinda invokes older Alkaline Trio, American Steel and even Gaslight Anthem to me.
Todd Snider - Agnostic Hymns & Stoner Fables: Snider is back with more perfectly sloppy guitars and witty/biting lyrics.
The Shins - Port of Morrow: Some tracks are more reminiscent of Shins of old while others seem to cover a wide spectrum of influences. Big nod to alot of psych-pop stuff.
Damien Jurado - Maraqopa: As with 'Saint Bartlett' Richard Swift's touches are all over this record. A continued departure from the sparseness of his earliest albums, it's again full of classic rock influence with bursts of psychedelic guitar, organ, etc. that put you back several decades. I'd of course endorse everything he's done over the past 15-ish years from earlier stripped down folk through his continued evolution.
First Aid Kit - The Lion's Roar: These swedish sisters put out fantastic songs inspired by classic american folk and country. Unafraid to wear their influences on their sleeves, they pull it off nicely.
Cheap Girls - Giant Orange: Another solid album from Cheap Girls featuring hook-laden songs with loud guitars. I guess you'd call it power pop. These songs would be right at home in the 90's, along side acts from Superchunk to Superdrag. Vocals actually really remind me of Damien Jurado's on his more raucous, "I Break Chairs."
The White Buffalo - Once Upon a Time in the West: Think country rock springsteen meets eddie vedder. Sorry, that's the best i've got.
Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball: Speaking of . . .
Craig Finn - Clear Heart Full Eyes: While i'm not totally enamored with this thing, it's certainly good and a nice hold over til the next Hold Steady Album.
To listen to a couple of tracks from each album, follow the link below
DPDC 1Q2012 Quarterly Report
and if there have been other highly worthwhile releases this year that i'm neglecting, let me know.