This week sees the return of Incubus with an original disc after a greatest-hits collection, Sublime's first round of music with new lead singer Rome, a set of re-imagined hits from Alkaline Trio, and and R.E.M. reissuing 1986's Life's Rich Pageant. Today also holds the debut LP of Washed Out, Ernest Greene's one-man chillwave wonder. No doubt Within And Without will rest firmly in someone's Best of 2011 list before midnight.
By now you should already own local boy Robert Ellis' Photographs, which came out last week. Snag a vinyl copy soon, as they are only limited to the initial run of 250. There are no immediate plans for another pressing on wax, so get one while you still can.
Incubus, If Not Now, When?: Somewhere along the line, Incubus turned into a lite-rock, atmospheric pop band with little to no bite. Fair-weather fans of their earlier stuff won't be thrilled with this new, mellow sound, but for those of us who caught on with 2001's Morning View, it scratches an itch, so to speak. Brandon Boyd's voice is still silky, and the band is growing into peaceful ambient noise. Music for night-driving.
Alkaline Trio, Damnesia: The Trio went and re-recorded some older fan favorites and hits in a sort-of unplugged setting for Damnesia. We like lead singer Matt Skiba's solo sketches, and the band acoustic isn't awful, but this one did make us click over to their older, plugged-in stuff. Sorry, guys. Not ready to settle down just yet.
Washed Out, Within And Without: We have always been into Washed Out, in defiance of the chillwave tag, and this is a worthy debut. You will be hearing about this one for the rest of the year, especially third track "Amor Fati."
R.E.M., Life's Rich Pageant (Deluxe Edition): The legendary alt-rockers continue to re-release some of their earliest works, and 1986's Pageant gets the deluxe treatment this time around. A second disc features demo versions of most of the finished album tracks, plus a first stab at "Bad Day," which, fleshed out, debuted on hits collection In Time: The Best of R.E.M., 1988-2003 two decades after it was written.
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MellowHype, BlackenedWhite: OFWGKTA members Hodgy Beats and Left Brain release their first album since Odd Future blew up this spring. It's at turns offensive, off-kilter, and maddening, but never boring.