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David Lynch, Fuck Buttons, Robert Pollard 

Sound Advice

click to enlarge The Big Dream

David Lynch

The Big Dream

Sunday Best/Sacred Bones

File next to: Brian Eno, Chris Isaak

David Lynch's film soundtracks have always been nearly as arresting as the images, so it's not too surprising that he's turned his attention to making music. The atmosphere of Lynch's first album, 2011's Crazy Clown Time, was similar to his last film, Inland Empire, a sometimes-brilliant but scattershot and confusing affair for the casual observer. While still undeniably strange, The Big Dream has the nocturnal mood of Lynch's more renowned efforts, such as Twin Peaks and Mulholland Drive. It also has a fitting title. You could call it a blues album, though the typical, shuffling 1-4-5 progressions are filtered through skittering electronic beats and gauzy keyboards. Lynch's adenoidal voice whispers and croons obtuse ruminations awash in reverb, while Duane Eddy-esque guitars twang away in the background. Familiar individual ingredients, to be sure, but they feel suspended in a shadowy, parallel universe. Recommended for the adventurous. — Collin Estes

click to enlarge Slow Focus

Fuck Buttons

Slow Focus

ATP Recordings

File next to: Do Make Say Think, Eno

Is instrumental electronic dance music the beneficiary of grade inflation? The genre surely suffers from enough repetitious drone-riffing to make artists with a broader reach worth applauding. By that measure, the Bristol duo Fuck Buttons has carried out a coup with Slow Focus, set by the eight-minute percussion festival that opens the album, "Brainfreeze." Not only are the seven long tracks of the album vastly distinct from each other, they provide a sound that is at once liberating and terrifying. Some fans might say that Slow Focus represents the kind of electronic-music revolution Eno showed us with Another Green World 40 years ago. That may be overstatement, but Fuck Buttons certainly shows more ambition than, say, an overhyped duo like Daft Punk. And the band gets extra credit by offering at least a couple tunes devoid of any dance rhythm whatsoever. — Loring Wirbel

click to enlarge Honey Locust Honky Tonk

Robert Pollard

Honey Locust Honky Tonk

Teenage Guitar: Force Fields at Home

Rockathon Records

File next to: The Who, Stephen Malkmus

Robert "Never Enough" Pollard takes prolific songwriting to absurd levels. As Guided by Voices leader, he offers two or three GbV albums a year, plus several more under his own name or with band names like Boston Spaceships and Nightwalker. Now Rockathon has simultaneously issued two new Pollard works: the "radio-friendly" Honey Locust and the experimental Teenage Guitar. Despite some claims that Honey Locust is Pollard's country album, it actually leans more toward his signature power-pop sound, with its final 12 minutes ranking among rock's great closers. Teenage Guitar strangely holds more appeal, though. It is a suite of rough-cut piano and guitar solos with odd stories and passion-plays of the type often found on GbV bootlegs. And that's where Pollard excels: if you don't like one musical side trip, wait six weeks. — Loring Wirbel

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