At The Drive-In | “Hostage Stamps”
Third single from in·ter a·li·a is less arena-ready and radio-friendly than previous ones, and is also the strongest by keeping the nervous, itchy guitar and tense rhythm section. Meanwhile, Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s lyrics continue to be so dense, they’re practically word salad: “Slid down the bank, choking on sherm/ A new tactile cremation attested/ To opaque spurs, contemplative Mayhem keeps us together”. You get used to ignoring what he’s saying after a while anyway when the music is this good.
Mutoid Man | “Melt Your Mind”
Mutoid Man is a lotta fuckin’ fun and just as on their debut LP, “Melt Your Mind” is heavy, psychedelic, spastic, and catchy. Actually, it’s the catcheist thing Stephen Brodsky has written since Cave In’s “Anchor”. Add oddball lyrics about not letting stress get to you (I think), and you’ve got a real winner here.
Gorillaz feat. Pusha T and Mavis Staples | “Let Me Out”
Fatalism envelops the paranoid production here, including a typically great Pusha T where he sounds like a cornered animal (“Tell me there’s a heaven in the sky where there is peace/ But until then, I keep my piece in arm’s reach”). It’s been a long wait for Gorillaz’s return, and Humanz is shaping up to be their (his?) best record yet.
Kevin Gates | “What If”
I guess prison makes every rapper a naval-gazer; naturally, then, Kevin Gates uses a a hazy trap beat that interpolates Joan Osbourne’s “One of Us” in an attempt to explain his lifestyle with his ear candy, sing-songy flow. But this is KG we’re talking about, so he imagines that if God were one of us, he’d be “making calls to the plug like one of us”. The song is a tad cartoon-y, yes, but any KG is better than no KG.
DREAMCAR | “Born To Lie”
“Born” is the second single from a supergroup comprised of the members of No Doubt not named Gwen with Davey Havok in her place. Much like “Kill for Candy,” this is so ’80s, the 7” comes with coke residue. Havok’s goth-drenched kabuki theater posturing (“I watch you tearing the place apart/ Tell me if you see my heart”) is perfect for the dark crevices of new wave. Talk about playing to your strengths. Think The Cure if they decided to rip off Erasure and you’re close.