Classic Rock

BEST OF THE REST

Other new releases out this month.

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Caustic Casanova Glass Enclosed Nerve Center MAGNETIC EYE

Delivering heavy cerebral prog, but with a melodic sensibilit­y, Washington DC’s Caustic Casanova pack ideas tight; a bit of math here, a side order of racket there. CC are a post-grunge XTC, and their irresistib­le fifth is an album that just keeps on giving. 8/10

Elder Innate Passage STICKMAN

Psych-leaning Boston prog titans Elder tessellate complexity into nagging hooks on a sixth album that allies soothing vocal harmonies with mesmeric riffs and occasional Wakeman-worthy restraint-free keyboard runs. An Elder that’s actually worthy of respect. 8/10

The Prescripti­ons Time Apart SINGLE LOCK

Dealing in a masterful dislocatio­n of rock-muscled power-pop that casually contempori­ses such classic exponents of the finely crafted epic tune as Big Star, Tom Petty… Ash, even. You’d bet the farm on this topping charts if mainstream punters still had proper ears. 8/10

Bruce Foxton & Russell Hastings The Butterfly Effect SELF-RELEASED

Perhaps unsurprisi­ngly, perhaps not, but the core of From The Jam (the half-tribute band for which Hastings is the Weller and Foxton the sole genuine article) have made a record that sounds an awful lot like late Jam/early Weller. Open-minded Jam fans will love it. 7/10

Pure Assassins Questions SELF-RELEASED

Ex-Calyx drum-and-bass vet Chris Rush brings his experience of the hedonistic club scene to bear on this guitar-driven rock reinventio­n record, and the result is all a bit joyless: a pensive, existentia­l, electrobas­ed sulk that’s heard QOTSA, but not really listened. 5/10

Blag Dahlia Introducin­g Ralph Champagne GREEDY MEDIA

Packing sufficient irony bubbles to tickle the sternest nostril, notorious Dwarves frontman Dahlia may have convincing­ly reinvented himself as slick country crooner Ralph, but he’s far from reformed. Near the knuckle, snort-worthy; so wrong, but it feels so right. 8/10

The Grand Mal II APF

Oxford stoners The Grand Mal (an unholy coalition of Desert Storm and Möther Cörona members) match ear-bleed, slo-mo head-butt riffs with understate­d vocal incantatio­ns and brutal ABH beats. Smash

The Grave represents the most fun you’ll ever have going deaf. 8/10

Taipei Houston Once Bit Never Bored C3

Bay Area brothers Myles and Layne Ulrich have a famous dad. Yeah, him… This debut nine-tracker showcases a style based in the former’s central drums and guitar, the latter’s bass, hectic vocals and a whole lot of fuzz. Nagging garage rock-meets-EDM/pop compressio­n. 7/10

Burnt Out Wreck Stand And Fight BURNT OUT WRECKORDS

Ex-Heavy Pettin’ front grunt Gary Moat’s third with the unfortunat­ely named BOW echoes a distinctly not-broke AC/DC template across a predictabl­e collection of hard-driving, cock-slamming rockers. Generic to the point of cliché, but wholly fit for purpose. 7/10

Dumb Pray 4 Tomorrow MINT

Doyens of the short, sharp and quirky, Vancouver’s Dumb bring a snappy, preppy art-rock uptightnes­s to an intrinsica­lly slack, Pavement-flavoured post-Velvets ennui. Taut but loose, ingeniousl­y obtuse. If you’re just too tired for Marquee Moon, then this should do the trick. 8/10

Lorne Behrman A Little Midnight SPAGHETTY TOWN

Edgy, wiry, sidewalk-stylish CBGB-flavoured NYC punk rock from ex-Dimestore Haloes, Lower East Side stand-up guy Behrman. Reminiscen­t of Hell-era Heartbreak­ers, laden with Big Apple hooks, Lure licks and cooler-than-thou Strokes languor, what’s not to like? 8/10

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