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NEWSOUNDS

10442 whyte ave 439.1273 10442 whyte ave 439.1273 CD/ LP

CIVIL WARS S/T

Leeroy Stagger Truth be Sold (Gold Lake)

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Death Valley Driver Graveyard Dead (Diminished Fifth) 

There's an interesting swing to the music of Death Valley Driver: it's a heavy metal band with allegiances to the early '90s, with Panterasized riffs and Zakk Wylde tones. But vocalist Dan Hodgson doesn't seem to take it too seriously, his gravelly wretch coming across as though he were the smart-ass in a class of demons. A breath of fresh sulphur in a genre that tends to take itself way too seriously and get so bogged down in hell that it

Needles To Vinyl The Silk Hat (Independent) 

Needles To Vinyl singer and lyricist Nick Martin admitted to aiming at making radio-friendly rock in a February 8, 2012 GigCity interview, and that desire shows on The Silk Hat. There's nothing wrong with making mass-market

forgets Satanism sits comfortably with hedonism. There are moments of thrash and grind, but none of it is heavy handed, and the elements come together in such a way as to avoid repetition despite clear influences. Most of the songs are based around a single riff, which again seems odd in today's world of speedy metal filled with as many changes as possible. Hunched-over stomper "Black Vein" hasn't done its job if you don't at least punch the air, and the already anvil-sized "Ice Serpent" seems to get even heavier after a smoky blues break down. The album's title track has so much low-end that you'd think Satan himself donated his dental floss to string the bass. This is by no means a classic album, but if you're looking to fuck shit up, Graveyard Dead might come in handy. LEE BOYES

// LEE@VUEWEEKLY.COM

music, but The Silk Hat only succeeds at being boring. Give Martin credit for heartfelt and genuine lyrics that are also extremely cheesy, like the chorus to "Couldn't Say" where Martin croons "I remember, most everything / Device to be used and abused once again / I consider, but I will not sing / Of past pain, love no more." The Silk Hat is full of songs perfect for mid-'90s alt-rock radio, with "Sight Unseen" and "Stumbling With Strangers" being emblematic of Needle To Vinyl's sound: overwrought choruses, bland instrumentation and uninspiring hooks that have been done to death by other bands like Pearl Jam and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. JORDYN MARCELLUS

// JORDYN@VUEWEEKLY.COM

FOUR IN 140

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Stagger seems like a perfect word to describe the music here, because Leeroy Stagger certainly has trouble walking a straight line. We go from calm, sweet, back-country jams to blacked-out rockers with the grace of a two-stepper who's had one too many. "Memo" is a rain-soaked eulogy, while the dirty bass of "Cities on Fire" will rattle bones and "Goodnight Berlin" sounds like Steve Earle with a ripping Neil Young solo. Truth be Sold, both in title and in presentation elicits a brooding sense of noir, as though it's full of good people doing bad things and vice versa, dotted with checkered pasts and second chances. When you hear the fuzzy chainsaw guitar on "Have a Heart" matched with Stagger's cured-tobacco voice, it's enough to give you razor burn. This record digs in and buries you in a depth of style and songcraft that no one should lament. LEE BOYES

// LEE@VUEWEEKLY.COM

VUECARES

DON’T LEAVE YOUR RECORDS IN THE SUN. @CURTISTWRIGHT

Explosions in the Sky & David Wingo, Prince Avalanche (Temporary Residence) @VueWeekly: A band built to score blockbusters, built something short, almost-sweet & quite fleeting. You very well could love this.

Pond, Hobo Rocket (Modular) @VueWeekly: Requires massive patience to get through this mind-warp, sound rainbow. Unsurprisingly from part of the Tame Impala team.

Crocodiles, Crimes of Passion (Frenchkiss) @VueWeekly: Gloomy summer pop, wrapped in echoes upon echoes. A pretty nice 4th release.

Jel, Late Pass (Anticon) @VueWeekly: Unique beats & an odd spectacle of samples. Years of production & odd rapping will alienate some, embrace others. 38 MUSIC

VUEWEEKLY AUG 15 – AUG 21, 2013

930: Fringe to Fringe  

Touring festival artists find camaraderie on the road