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New LPs on the way from Foo Fighters, Weezer, Hagar

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It’s been a great week of listening here at The Maine Edge. I’m sure there are other things happening in the world that deserve my attention, but with so much fine new music materializing at the moment, it will have to wait. Here’s a sampling of titles just released or due next week.

Lee Rocker – Gather Round (Upright Records; out now)

This is the stuff. The great stand-up bassist of The Stray Cats has just issued his first all-original album in 13 years, and it’s a rockabilly lover’s dream. Rocker told the Oakland Press he hit the road with his wife after the pandemic hit, racking up 6,000 miles through 20 states as these songs materialized. Gather Round is a joyous celebration of rockabilly, a genre of which he’s been a careful steward for more than four decades.

The Burnt Pines (Jan 22)

This trio of tunesmiths have crafted a finely textured warm and melodic debut. If you’re drawn to strong folk-pop songwriting, this album may do it for you. I don’t know much about them yet other than the fact that the group first came together in Portugal after two of its members met at Berklee School of Music in Boston. This record gave me the same feeling I had after first hearing The Shins’ debut “Oh, Inverted World” in 2001. It’s all about the songs, and this album has got them going on.

Weezer – OK Human (Atlantic; Crush; Jan. 29)

A Weezer baroque-pop record? I’m totally in. Rivers Cuomo first teased this album nearly two years ago and judging by its mellotron- and orchestra-enhanced first single, “All My Favorite Songs,” I can’t wait. “OK Human was made at a time when humans playing instruments was a thing of the past,” the band said of its new all-analog LP via social media. The title is clearly a play on Radiohead’s “OK Computer,” reflecting its very mortal creation.

Foo Fighters – Medicine at Midnight (RCA; Roswell; Feb. 5)

The recording of the band’s 10th LP coincided with its 25th anniversary and plans for a huge tour that has yet to take place. Frontman Dave Grohl told the New Musical Express that “Medicine at Midnight” was designed to be a Saturday night party album, adding “It’s more energetic in a lot of ways than anything we’ve ever done.” “Waiting on a War” is classic Foo Fighters that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on their 1995 debut. Grohl’s vocals are front and center on the riff-heavy “No Son of Mine” while “Shame Shame” (premiered on SNL in November) features the Foos at their dark and funky best.

A.J. Croce – By Request (Compass; Feb. 5)

I’ve been a huge fan of the music of A.J.’s father, Jim, since childhood, and have admired his own uniquely original musical output since the 1990s. A.J. is a remarkable songwriter and vocalist in his own right but this is an album of songs by other writers frequently requested at Croce sing-alongs when he’s hanging with friends. The songs span decades while mostly staying faithful to the original arrangements, including Billy Preston’s “Nothing from Nothing,” The Five Stairsteps’ “Ohh Child,” Neil Young’s “Only Love Can Break Your Heart,” and The Beach Boys’ “Sail on Sailor.” It’s eclectic in selection and dreamy in execution.

Sammy Hagar & The Circle – Lockdown 2020 (Mailboat Records; BMG; out now)

Sammy’s supergroup, including Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony, drummer Jason Bonham (son of Led Zep’s John) and guitarist Vic Johnson have also recorded a covers album featuring songs from The Who, AC/DC, Bob Marley, Van Halen, Buffalo Springfield and Little Richard. The record’s sole original, “Funky Feng Shui” kicks off the jams and sets the tone for a truly rockin’ collection that includes David Bowie’s “Heroes,” released as the first single to benefit food banks around the U.S.

Last modified on Wednesday, 27 January 2021 08:34

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