Initial Reactions (2011): Atlas Sound, Primus, Fruit Bats

Atlas Sound – Parallax – (++): This guy Cox comes up with some pretty melodies, and I like the Zombies-vibe that his music puts off. "Te Amo" is a neato moment and a standout cut. As is common with Deerhunter, he often launches with a killer melody but lands with a disappointing follow-through in terms of arc and/or narrative. Promises the stars, but fails to really engage at a gut level. Still, pretty. ("Angel Is Broken", "Te Amo", "Mona Lisa")

Primus – Green Naugahyde – (+++): This is a strong record. There were a few moments that reminded me of Modest Mouse’s recent work. If I was a diehard Primus fan, I’d be really happy with Les Claypool for giving me an album that is essentially as good as the band’s early work. Think of Dinosaur Jr.’s 2 reunion albums rather than reunion albums by pretty much any other band. Strangely and surprisingly enjoyable. ("Hennepin Crawler", "Tragedy’s a’ Comin’")

Fruit Bats – Tripper – (++): I suspect this one is a grower. At first glance, it sounds like pretty typical indie-pop, but there is at least one undeniably great track here (“Wild Honey”), and I suspect a few more shall slowly reveal themselves. I’m not crazy about the vocals (in general), but I don’t hate them either. All in all I find myself liking this more and more on repeated listens. ("Wild Honey", "Shivering Fawn")

REACTION KEY

[!!!!!]: Enthusiastic. Frequent rotation. A buyer. Contender for year’s best.
[++]: Positive. Good stuff. Possible grower?
[ind]: Indifferent.. Underwhelmed. I don’t expect to come back to this one.
[—]: Negative. A real screw-up. Don’t even bother.

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