Ben: Yuck could have gone the way of plenty of bands that lose their lead singers, which is to say that the group could have quietly imploded or shattered amid tabloid drama. Instead, the group, which released one of the best albums of 2011, returns with Glow & Behold, a late contender shaping up to be a highlight of 2013. The sound is different, less fuzzed out and more jangle pop, but it’s probably for the best that the reinvention backstory seems like a footnote easily eclipsed by the work at hand. It’s a far better second act than plenty of groups that preserve their original lineups, and while nothing on the LP tops “The Wall” in terms of grungy immediacy, that wasn’t the point now, was it?
Jason: I’m headed to New York this weekend for a reunion of sorts, and I was tasked with finding a show for one of the nights we’re in town. After striking out on tickets to see Fuzz and CCR Headcleaner at the Mercury Lounge (hey, it ain’t easy getting 11 guys to agree on something, and the tickets were sold out by the time we had a consensus), I turned my sights toward Bay Area expat Hanni El Khatib and Oxford, Mississippi garage rock duo Bass Drum of Death‘s gig on Friday night at the Bowery Ballroom. Thankfully, by the time we reached an agreement, there were still tickets available. So, in the run-up to our trip, I’ve been listening to these two acts on repeat, reminding myself how great each of their respective 2013 albums are. Listen to “Family” off El Khatib’s Dan Auerbach-produced Head In The Dirt and “Crawling After You” off Bass Drum of Death’s eponymous sophomore effort, below.
Anna: I don’t know if this counts as “this week” since I only just started listening last night and this morning, but whatever. Fine Steps put on a fun and energetic set last night at our Treasure Island Music Festival pop-up show at San Franpsycho, so I promptly starting giving the band’s All Day Long 7″ a hearty listen. Next up, the band’s previous release of Boy’s Co, but for now, more “Stereo.”