"The Monkees are like the mafia. You're in for life. Nobody gets out."
Davy Jones, sadly did get out in a way, as he passed away in 2012. However, his words ring true, as the remaining members of The Monkees have released Good Times, their twelfth studio. This record comes 50 years after their 1966 debut and 20 years since their last release. If you're like me you probably just think of The Monkees as a knock off of The Beatles or the writers of the song that plays in the end of Shrek. On Good Times the band keeps their classic sound alive, so fans will still enjoy it, and for the skeptics like me it's good to know that Death Cab For Cutie's Ben Gibbard and Weezer's Rivers Cuomo contributed songs, which are some of the best songs on the record. However, the band seems to have stepped up their writing and playing as well. This album is, as the title implies, a good time.
Brooklyn quartet Big Thief released their debut album Masterpiece. This record is raw and rockin', yet tender and emotional. Sing Adrianne Lenker beautifully tells stories, with her voice cracking into falsetto at just the right moments. On the bands site it states that Sharon Van Etten is a fan, and they share a certain aesthetic with her, lovely female vocals over fuzzy guitars. This album was a late addition to the list, I missed it and then when I listened to it I fell in love.
Toronto electronic quartet Holy Fuck have returned with Congrats. This album is the perfect amount of exploratory ambience and engage electronics. NPR's Robin Hilton used this band as an example of how music is moving towards being distorted and fractured. With crunchy synths and twisted percussion, this album is extremely inventive and interestingly catchy.
A good week for Toronto, my favorite album of the week comes form Toronto punks PUP who released their sophomore album The Dream Is Over. This record rocks so hard I'm surprised it doesn't destroy every speaker it comes out of. As the title implies there is an air of growing up and accepting harsh realities combined with some fun youthful debauchery. This is well crafted, high energy punk album bursting with brilliant melodies.
Other highlights include new songs from Flume, Of Montreal, Gold Panda, and the first single from The Avalanches in 16 years. That's it for now. Fly on Voltures! Ca-CAWWW.