Out of the many new LP’s that came out on 11th August, the Districts‘ third record ‘Popular Manipulations’ is by far the most interesting. The Pennsylvania natives are only in their early 20s, but their sound is more mature than most of today’s indie rock bands’.
When the Districts formed, the band members were still in high school. They self-released their first album ‘Telephone’ in 2012 and subsequently signed with Fat Possum Records. ‘Telephone’ had such an uncanny old school feel that it could have been recorded a very long time ago and by much more experienced musicians. It was heavily influenced by 60s garage bands and even had some bluesy and experimental elements. As it usually happens, however, the group abandoned this sound and embraced a more contemporary indie rock style on their second full-length release, ‘A Flourish and a Spoil’. This change paid off commercially, as the album reached 7th place on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart and 28th on the Top Independent Albums Chart.
‘Popular Manipulations’ is a collection of catchy tunes, following in the direction set by its predecessor and adding even more electronic beats. Essentially, it’s a pop record, but that of the highest quality. Compared to ‘Telephone’, it has a much mellower sound overall, but it still features some memorable riffs and powerful vocals.
Another new release is ’24-7 Rock Star Shit’ by the Cribs. The English band delivers more of its signature melodic tracks filled with intense and, at times, aggressive singing. It’s obvious that they aimed at creating their rawest material yet, and they certainly succeeded, but did so at the expense of Gary Jarman’s vocals coming across rather as senseless screaming much of the time. This is likely not to be the brothers’ most successful album yet, and certainly not the most popular among long-time fans.
Hinder‘s new, sixth LP is also worth a mention. There are no surprises here: ‘The Reign’ is in keeping with the group’s very accessible California hard rock sound and lacks a sense of adventure. But followers are guaranteed to enjoy the eleven new songs, with highlights like the title track, ‘King of The Letdown’ and ‘Remember Me’, which are all very inviting to sing along to. Although the cover art might suggest otherwise, ‘The Reign’ is probably too light-hearted for most metal fans, but it can be a great listen for those who like melodic modern rock with an old-fashioned twist.