Listening to Battles is to hear the sound of three guys—John Stanier, Ian Williams and Dave Konopka—who are beyond excited to create music together. “The Yabba” is proof; a seven-minute rollercoaster ride of infectious grooves and constantly changing textures that draws the listener into a world of liberated electronic sounds. This cut is the first off of the group’s latest album, an entirely instrumental release entitled “La Di Da Di,” available Sept. 18 on Warp Records.
Continuing their ascent to indie arena-rock glory, Metric are back with their synth-heavy sixth album, “Pagans In Vegas,” released on Crystal Math Music on Sept. 18. “The Shade” is the album’s first single; it’s an anthem with a sticky vocal melody, huge chorus and bizarre keyboard sound effects that will stick in your head for days. This song is a definite highlight for fans of female-fronted rock.
“What You Want”—Toro y Moi
The sound of a race car speeding down a track ushers in “What You Want,” the first track off the lushly textured new album, “What For?” by Toro y Moi. Marrying the shimmering tones of synth and guitar with classic pop melodies, this song is one of the year’s slickest mixtures of ‘70s rock ‘n’ roll sounds with chill R&B attitude. Toro y Moi will be at the Beachland Ballroom on Sept. 28 to promote “What For?” Tickets are $18-$20; doors open at 7 p.m.
“Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart”—Chris Cornell
Returning with his first solo album in six years, Chris Cornell is back with “Higher Truth,” released Sept. 18 on Polydor Records. After the weird fusion of Timbaland-infused electro-pop that was 2009’s “Scream,” “Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart” is a return to Cornell’s grungy strengths that showcases the singer’s powerful voice over mandolin and sultry strings. Chris Cornell will be in Cleveland on Oct. 8 to promote his new album with an acoustic show at Lakewood Civic Auditorium.
“Dream Date”—Salad Boys
Hailing from New Zealand, Salad Boys display the oddball brilliance of the country’s music scene and its most famous label, Flying Nun Records. “Dream Date” is a song of fuzzed-out, power pop perfection that capitalizes on the group’s ability to write succinct songs with punchy melodies. Look for this track and many more on the group’s debut, “Metalmania,” out Sept. 18.
Retro Pick of the Week:
“Take Me To The River”—Talking Heads
The Talking Heads, fronted by vocalist David Byrne’s distinctive set of pipes, are one of the finest new wave groups to emerge from the late-70s. “Take Me To The River,” from the group’s second album, “More Songs About Buildings and Food,” is a transfixing blend of all the group’s strengths, featuring a bubblegum-pop melody backed by a deliciously funky bass line and organ combination. For fans of alternative music, this song is a must listen.
Teddy Eisenberg is a fourth-year programmer at WRUW-FM 91.1 Cleveland. He hosts The ’59 Sound, an exploration of rock music, every Thursday morning from 8-10 a.m. and co-hosts the variety talk show Max and Teddy in the Morning at Night (Sometimes) on Mondays from 5-6 p.m. The crackle of vinyl warms him on cold Cleveland nights.