Sound Advice 

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Spring Tides

Monotreme Records / Release: April 14

Sounds like: A perfect Rx for Cure, Sigur Rs and Chameleons devotees

Short take: Nordic rock for now people

If you're interested in ethereal post-rock la Sigur Ros — but with less annoying vocals and absolutely no made-up language — Sweden's Jeniferever may well be your cup of glgg. While not exactly through-composed, their songs have a way of taking unexpected turns and, on occasion, reinventing themselves entirely. "Concrete and Glass," one of Spring Tides' shortest songs at 5:19, is a good example: Slowly building upon a stately drone of electric guitars and synthesized strings, Kristofer Jnson etches out a vocal with traces of a less-affected Robert Smith. An instrumental interlude kicks in mid-song, which in turn yields to a harmony-drenched pop finish. This is the band's second full-length album and an excellent place to start. Pretty smart stuff, but definitely accessible enough on the first listen to invite repeated doses — after which addiction is pretty much guaranteed. — Bill Forman

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Yeah Yeah Yeahs

It's Blitz!


Sounds like: Yeahs dance to their own beat

Short take: Listen to 2009's best album now!

The last time we heard from Karen O and Co., it was on the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' highly anticipated and highly confusing 2006 sophomore effort Show Your Bones. Apparently, the time away from the spotlight did the New York City band a world of good. It's Blitz! is both more focused and more confident. Just as the Killers' debut album made it OK for the alternative scene to explore dance rock again, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' 11 new tracks do much the same, without tarnishing the band's credibility in the least. When Karen O declares "Off with your head / Dance, dance until you're dead" on the upbeat, synth-friendly "Heads Will Roll," you get the idea that she's entirely serious about the catharsis to be found on the dance floor. Add in the ethereal ballad "Hysteric" and the Siouxsie and the Banshees-sounding "Dull Life," and It's Blitz! is clearly the comeback album many of us have been waiting to hear. — John Benson

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Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles

The Stars Are Out

Sugar Hill Records

Sounds like: Spirited originals and righteous recreations

Short take: Boston's best bar band raises the bar

The swagger in the Broken Singles' playing comes from tough hometown Boston bars, far from the thrift-shop crowd they sometimes endured in the past. On the ferocious The Stars Are Out, they sound all jacked up with plenty of places to go. Album opener "Do it for Free" finds Sarah Borges' voice cutting like diamonds, with the experience of a broken heart and optimism of a born believer. Guitarist Lyle Brewer also delivers a close shave with his razor-edged leads, while the rhythm section roars like thunder. Smokey Robinson's "Being with You" becomes a brand-new song, and Evan Dando's "Ride with Me" takes on a different glow. The Stars Are Out is a thrilling mix of sassy covers and originals, woven together so naturally that brains and brawn merge into one massive whole. There's nothing demure about the Broken Singles anymore. — Bill Bentley


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