The best new albums of the month, June 2014

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Parquet Courts 'Sunbathing Animal'
Parquet Courts haven't messed with the nineties-slacker vibe they perfected on their breakthrough second album 'Light Up Gold'. This carries on where that left off, and if anything shows further development in their songwriting. Still weighted down with obvious influences, but this time Jonathan Richman casts a heavier shadow than the likes of Pavement.

Eaux 'Plastics'
my review (the 405)
"Eaux's music uses the machinery of pop and is, at its heart, a female vocal over a synth backing. There is much more to it though, and the further you dig in, the more puzzling and intriguing it can become. On this debut album Plastics they bend and mould electronic pop into something delightfully strange."

Fucked Up 'Glass Boys'
It was always going to be a challenge to follow up the excellent and ambitious David Comes To Life, and the first few listens to Glass Boys suggest that it hasn't quite got there. Their layers of guitars sound as glorious as ever and the lyrics reveal more on each play, so your patience may be rewarded.

The Soft Pink Truth 'Why Do The Heathen Rage?'
A fascinatingly odd album wherein Matmos's Drew Daniel reversions some of his favourite songs by black metal bands (Venom, Sarcofago, etc) into house/techno friendly slices of electronica. The results are occasionally amusing and at times brilliant. 'Ready to Fuck' sees guest vocalist Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak) soulfully intoning "stand up to see my penetrating hammer". You shouldn't need any further prompting to check this out.

Smallgang 'San'
Perhaps a more ambitious album than their debut 'Trespasses', Smallgang are still working within the realm of classic indie-rock and post-hardcore. They flirt with the relationship between noise and melody throughout, and the presence of occasional female guest vocals add another layer to their sound.

Bob Mould 'Beauty and Ruin'
The intriguing cover image features Mould now and also in his Husker Du heyday, as if his past is haunting him. Musically, this album belies the passage of time and whilst it wouldn't quite fit with the Husker's output, it would sit nicely between, say, 'Workbook' and Sugar. It's a pretty take on melodic indie-rock, in other words.

Happyness 'Weird Little Birthday'
I expect this one to grow on me even more as the months pass. This London three piece have made a lovely debut album that is warm, woozy and at times weird. Like Parquet Courts above, this is in debt to 90's American indie, but it has an originality that makes it worth investigating.

Clipping 'CLPPNG'
A refreshingly original take on hip-hop. Producers William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes explore some edgy and unique backgrounds (including the superbly grating 'Get Up' where the music is just an alarm clock beep) whilst rapper Daveed Diggs creates a third person narrative to accompany these. As someone perceptive spotted, there is a reason why the "I" is removed from the title.

OOIOO 'Gamel'
For this OOIOO release, Yoshimi creates a series of psychedelic pieces - sometimes proggy and sometimes pretty - based around the gamelan. This has the same relentless trance-like rhythms and sparse, haunted vocals of her other band Boredoms, but here their legendary overload has been replaced by something more delicate.

Guided by Voices 'Cool Planet'
Yet another album from the non-stop reformed GBV. This one is more psychedelic and sketchy than recent releases, and all the better for it. Tobin Sprout comes to the fore on quite a few tracks as well.

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