…and we are not referring to “Saved By The Bell”‘s Zack Morris or hunky “High School Musical” actor Zac Efron, or even our own esteemed Zack “Dr. Gonzo” Stiegler. In this case, we are referring to beardy country superstar Zac Brown. He and his band have released two major label albums of good-time, easygoing country-pop, and in the process have been awarded two platinum albums and a Grammy for Best New Artist. Zac stretches out on the band’s latest album, Uncaged, indulging in some experimentation of the slow jam kind (at least according to my buddy Matt from Roughstock.com) in addition to the typical summery jams.
“Summery” is not a word one would normally use to describe Serj Tankian, unless someone has decided to screw around with the dictionary and make “summery” a synonym for “really fucking intense.” The on again/off again System Of A Down frontman is back on the solo tip, with an album entitled Harakiri. Even his album titles are really fucking intense.
Zac and Serj are the two biggest names on a fairly compact list of new releases. I don’t know much about Mission Of Burma, except for the facts that a) several of our writers REALLY like ‘em (as evidenced by the placement of Vs. on the list of our best albums of the Eighties) and b) “That’s When I Reach For My Revolver” is one of the best song titles OF ALL TIME (in Kanye voice.) They’re still kicking around, as evidenced by Unsound, which hits stores today.
On the comeback trail, there’s P.O.D. Remember in the late Nineties, when these guys were a thing. They sort of split the difference between Christian rock and the rap/metal hybrid that made Korn and Limp Bizkit so popular at the time. Actually, “Alive” and “Youth Of The Nation” were two of the better songs to come from that subgenre. At any rate, the earnest rockers are back with Murdered Love.
If you like indie-rock, you’ll dig on the new one from Dirty Projectors. If you like indie rock but dig on a little righteous hip-hop, you might wanna check out the latest from Aesop Rock. Skelethon (great album title) features a guest appearance from Kimya Dawson. Finally, if you’re a hell-raisin’ backwoods yokel (or like to pretend you are on the weekends) there’s a Hank Williams Jr. album. Fuck that guy.
Reissues: English Beat fans, rejoice! Not only is the seminal new wave/reggae band releasing a new compilation containing hits like “Save It For Later,” but for hardcore fans, there’s The Complete Beat, featuring all three of the band’s studio albums, plus two live discs. Listen until you’re all Ranking Rogered out!! Other reissues of note include vinyl editions of Guns ‘n Roses’ Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II, and a reissue of the Fat Boys‘ self-titled 1984 debut album.
WTFF Release Of The Week: Remember Robbie Dupree? He had a couple of hits in the early Eighties with “Hot Rod Hearts” and “Steal Away,” which sounded close enough to The Doobie Brothers’ “What A Fool Believes” that Michael McDonald must have considered a lawsuit at some point. Dupree and McD even had similar beardy action happening. At any rate, Robbie is still around, and he’s releasing a 4-song EP called Arc Of A Romance. May have to give it a listen just to see if he’s still waving the Yacht Rock flag high.
As usual, make sure you’re heading over to Pause and Play to get a comprehensive list of new and upcoming releases.