Picks: Night Club, Alkaline Trio, Leeched

This week’s Picks bring forth perhaps the most varied trio we’ve ever recommended in the same post. We’ve also got the longest ever list of other stuff to throw at you by way of a bonus: the new albums from Mantar, Black Tusk and Jesus Piece are well worth your time.

Night Club
Scary World
Gato Blanco
[Spotify]

Step aside, goth pop pretenders, for Night Club have risen to the top of the pile. Los Angeles duo Emily Kavanaugh and Mark Brooks have returned with Scary World, a firecracker of electronic beats ignited by Kavanaugh’s irresistible vocal. These are songs for a pop world that doesn’t want them, a world whose increasing lack of diversity is robbing it of the dark side that would make it so much richer and more authentic. But that matters not, because these nine synthpop songs are just so perfectly crafted that they don’t need justification from the likes of us.

Alkaline Trio
Is This Thing Cursed?
Epitaph
[Spotify]

Is This Thing Cursed? is the ninth studio album by Illinois punks Alkaline Trio and it’s bloody terrific. The chorus of single ‘Blackbird’ is as good as anything they’ve written inside or outside of Alkaline Trio for years – and that’s a high bar – and the songwriting chops of this wonderful band is in evidence through the rest of the album. There are a couple of tracks that aren’t up to the rest, but when you’ve got ‘Demon And Division’, ‘Goodbye Fire Island’, ‘Heart Attacks’ and ‘Krystalline’ on your album it’s kinda not an issue.

Leeched
You Took The Sun When You Left
Prosthetic Records
[Spotify]

We’ve heard and read mixed reviews of the new album by crusty Manchester hardcore newcomers Leeched but we’re very much leaning towards the positive. Whatever it lacks in originality – and, for various reasons, that isn’t always a valid criticism anyway – it makes up for in leanness and quality. You Took The Sun When You Left is a heavy, chunky, no-nonsense record with nothing left spare and a whole bunch of songs that promise plenty in the future. The short version? We don’t care what you think. We like it.

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