Album: Boxer


Label: Beggars Banquet


Released: May 22

***1/2 (out of five)

An Interpol vibe is present throughout Boxer, unsurprising as Interpol producer Peter Katis had a hand in producing and mixing the album. Boxer’s natural flow makes the album engaging and pleasantly consistent. However, the band packs a few surprise punches. Catchy, well-compiled numbers Mistaken For Strangers and Guest Room shine, maintaining interest with melodic variation. The National pulls out required jabs, making Boxer a winner and giving the crowd a reason to be in their corner for the next title match.

Satellite Party

Album: Ultra Payloaded

Label: Sony BMG

Released: May 29

Perry Farrell, the man who gave us Jane’s Addiction and helped popularize the “palooza” suffix, has returned to give us this year’s guilty pleasure. To Farrell’s credit, he knows how to craft an inane, catchy single. Songs like Kinky and Insanity Rains are absurdly stylishly, deliberately hedonistic and easy for drunks to sing. Ultra Payloaded delivers its share of duds, but it’s mostly vacuous, visceral fun for the Goth that loves to dance.

The High Strung

Album: Get The Guests

Label: Park The Van/Fontana North

Released: May 22

Detroit’s The High Strung is anything but on their new album, Get The Guests. Easy-going melodies are clean cut and concise, providing effortless listening for a generally enjoyable album. Supported by thin, peppy musical accompaniment are the leading vocals of Josh Malerman, part nervous-sounding Placebo, part not-quite-as-exuberant Of Montreal. While nothing defining juts out of the music, playful lyrics satisfy the geeky awkwardness seemingly portrayed in the album artwork and by the band’s three members.