The best new rock albums you can buy this week
John Mellencamp, Mark Lanegan Band and Thurston Moore are among the best new rock album releases you can pick up this week
John Mellencamp featuring Carlene Carter - Sad Clowns & Hillbillies
"John Mellencamp’s 23rd studio album takes a while to hit pay dirt. Openers Mobile Blues and Battle Of Angels, then Grandview (a by-the-numbers paean to trailers featuring country-pop star Martina McBride) sound curiously lowkey... but when the album delivers on its artwork credit and starts “featuring Carlene Carter”, the magic really happens."
Mark Lanegan Band - Gargoyle
"Blessed with a tar-thick and nicotine-stained baritone growl that oozes experience and a life fully lived, there’s a convincing argument to be made that Mark Lanegan could make even a kebab shop menu sound compelling. But what’s really fascinating about him is his continual search for new avenues to explore in what is essentially a gothic blues idiom."
Thurston Moore - Rock N Roll Consciousness
"With Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore sharing joint custody of drummer Steve Shelley in the wake of Sonic Youth’s possibly permanent but definitely ongoing hiatus, fans of the New York art rockers have certainly been getting more bang for their buck. Having relocated to London and continuing with the direction started on his previous album, The Best Day, Moore, along with My Bloody Valentine’s Deb Goodge (bass) and guitarist James Sedwards (Chrome Hoof) and the aforementioned Shelley, is displaying a fine linear growth with Rock N Roll Consciousness."
Duel - Witchbanger
"If you think you already know what an album called Witchbanger sounds like, well, you most definitely do. Also, if you’ve ever sorta hoped that Electric Wizard would just speed the fuck up and get on with it, then you are in for a real treat."
Life Of Agony - A Place Where There's No More Pain
"It’s 12 years since LOA’s last album, Broken Valley, and in the intervening time even the band thought that would be a full stop on their story. They’d been in a dark place – singer Mina Caputo has since talked about considering suicide as she struggled with her identity. But after she came out as transgender, the band reconvened, stronger for it, and have returned with a belter."
Lonely Robot - The Big Dream
"The second in a trilogy of albums from Lonely Robot, the solo project that John Mitchell revives whenever any of his other bands – It Bites, Arena, Frost*, Gandalf’s Fist – pause for breath, The Big Dream is of course a concept album."
Doctors Of Madness - Perfect Past: The Complete Doctors Of Madness
"If the angry urgency of Waiting, the third track on Late Night Moves, All Night Brainstorms – the 1976 debut album by Doctors Of Madness – rings bells, that might be because it presaged a lot of the sounds you will have heard six months or so down the line. Only this was a violin-enriched, artful, studied take on life in the UK dole-drums. The liner notes for this triple-CD anthology argue persuasively that DOM were the missing link between David Bowie and The Sex Pistols (the latter actually supported them early on), all attitude and theatricality over virtuosity. No wonder they loved the glitter brigade and loathed prog."
Patto - Patto/Hold Your Fire
"In the annals of 70s rock there are hard-luck stories and then there’s Patto’s. Formed in 1970 from the ashes of a more conventional beat group, Timebox, the quartet were blessed with an overabundance of talent. Singer Mike Patto had a voice hewn from the same soul-grit seam as Stevie Winwood, Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart and Paul Rodgers."