Pretty on the Inside
[Plain, July 19]
Plain has made a business of rescuing '90s albums from out-of-print (or CD-only) hell. Now it's time for a resurrection of Hole's debut, written a year before Courtney Love married Kurt Cobain, and originally released only on tape and CD here in America. Less pop-influenced than Hole's second and arguably more well-known record, Live Through This, Pretty is home of minor Courtney classics “Teenaged Whore” and “Good Sister/Bad Sister.” A generation later, it's definitely … of its era. Then again, a generation later, you'd still have a hard time finding a woman like this fronting a band.
dos y dos
[clenchedwrench rec-ords, available now]
Two guitar players? Dime a dozen. Two drummers? Not that unusual. Two bass players? Now you're talking. And if the two (aka dos) bass players are Mike Watt and Kira (late of Black Flag), who've been jamming their own low end theory since back when the Low End Theory kids were in diapers, well, then you're really talking. Their fourth album finds the duo augmented by Watt's mate, Yuka Honda, as mixer. Bonus treat: Kira also does (yes) a Selena cover.
[Volcom Entertainment, available now digitally and on CD/LP July 26]
Scott “Wino” Weinrich has helped define heavy music over the last 35 years in the Obsessed, St. Vitus, the Hidden Hand and more, and 13 is everything you'd expect — and hope for! This album colors its relentless riffing with melody and even dreamy GSYBE-style guitar work, but there's a welcome Sabbath vibe all the way till “Deranged Rock N' Roller,” which switches from halftime headbanging to the full-on, whiskey-fueled rock & roll of the title. In a scene full of bands that are attempting to do what Wino has done for decades, 13 is here to show people what's what. Premonition 13 proves that sometimes it's better to let the experts do their thing.
Symptome und Beschwerden
[Tapete Records, available now]
The album title, which translates as Symptoms and Ailments, is not an affectation: Herpes are German and they even sing in German. But while most of their compatriots who make it our way are beat monkeys or pseudoclassical musicians, these cats rock out with the verve of Plastic Bertrand or Gang of Four. Forget that words like “angular” and “post-punk” have a serious, Joy Division-y tinge to them. This is that rare oxymoron: very German and very fun.