What's new? What's worth a listen? Every week, a Daily Beacon writer reviews the world's newest albums, keeping you posted on brand-new hits and flops. This week: some American nostalgia and a British smash hit.
From the hypnotizing guitar riffs of psychedelic fuzz rock band Yak to the soothing-yet-powerful covers from Mercury Rev, here’s what you might have missed last week in the charts.
Varshons 2 – The Lemonheads
Starting off this week’s list is the newest album by The Lemonheads, “Varshons 2.” This album is all over the place. Switching between honky-tonk country, indie folk and 90’s alternative rock, this thirteen-track album is hard to pin down.
Songs like “Can’t Forget” and “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness” are slow and steady songs written around a basic country tune. However, many of the songs have modern sounds similar to late 80s and early 90s alternative rock.
Unfortunately, this album is not one to listen to from beginning to end. With all of its eclectic qualities, the album doesn’t quite seem like a united whole. The most redeeming quality of this album is a surprising cover of “Take it Easy” by the Eagles.Overall, this album is easy to forget.
Bobbie Gentry’s The Delta Sweete Revisited – Mercury Rev
The next album is another classic throwback: Mercury Rev’s interpretation of Bobbie Gentry’s 1968 album “The Delta Sweete.” The album is a sweet ode of reverence to a classic album, but it adds an ambient yet reverberating undertone. The harmonies work perfectly in this album, especially in tracks like “Okolona River Bottom Band” and “Tobacco Road.”
The album also sports an amazing featured artist list, including collaborations from musicians like Margo Price, Carice van Houten, Phoebe Bridgers, Lucinda Williams and Norah Jones. An impressive cover for an impressive classic, Mercury Rev’s ”Bobbie Gentry’s The Delta Sweete Revisited” is the perfect album to relax and enjoy some quality song writing.
Pursuit of Momentary Happiness – Yak
English alt-rock band Yak has just released its sophomore album “Pursuit of Momentary Happiness.” This album is unique and dynamic. Combining elements form surfer rock to alternative punk, Yak’s style is a mixed bag of influences like David Bowie, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, the Arctic Monkeys and together PANGEA. Their main genre, however, is “fuzz rock” — a tiny subset of alt-rock with a focus on indistinct, heavy guitar.
Besides the in-your-face vibe from the vocals, the majority of this album’s strength comes from the overlaying rhythmic guitar riffs. Songs like Bellyache, Fried, Blinded by Lies and White Male Carnivore keep the vibe upbeat as the artists barrel through the high-energy album.
Themes of bankruptcy and desperation rebound throughout the album — a distinctly un-glamorous take that might resonate with the band’s millennial and Generation Z audiences. The band might have nearly gone bankrupt from recording this album, but the payoff should be high.