Hop Along – Bark Your Head Off, Dog (Rock)
Rock is pasé. Bands in the current musical climate tend to shy away from the descriptor and aesthetic. Hop Along embraces the normalcy of the “rock” sound without fear and present their incredible songwriting in a warm and familiar environment. The production on the record is full and crisp, with attention to every small details from the acoustic guitar to the lush string arrangements. Bark Your Head Off, Dog is sonically familiar but their strong writing and Francis Quinlan’s unique artistic and actual voice carry it to special and specific places.
Favorite Tracks: How Simple, Somewhere a Judge, Not Abel
Dr. Octagon – Moosebumps (Rap)
Moosebumps is the first album in over a decade from Kool Keith’s horrorcore alien alter ego Dr. Octagon and the first since 1996 produced by Dan the Automator. The album harkens shamelessly back to the 90s underground rap sound and does so in a playful and genuine way. Dan’s beats bump and Kool Keith rattles off staccato sci-fi rhymes like nobody’s business. This is one of the few 90s rap revival records that captures the energy and sound of the period without sounding trapped by the past.
Favorite Tracks: Octagon Octagon, Black Hole Son, Area 54