Local Licks 

This week, we review We Is Shore Dedicated, Anna Laube, Death Sentence: Panda, and MC Lars & YTCracker.

We Is Shore Dedicated, RHINOCEroses/Rabbit Noose. The point is not to understand what any of it means — the band name, the album art, why exactly a Ukrainian jazz bassist is playing indie rock — but to appreciate the music for what it is. That itself is not always easy to grasp, but could well be the only post-modern art-rock with country, Balkan, and Dada influences you'll hear all year. (Huevos Imaginary Records)

Anna Laube, Pool All the Love * Pool All the Knowledge. Laube gave up a job at Google to tour the country with the Gibson acoustic guitar she lovingly named Angelina. Her second album is infused with tales and perspectives from the road, but it's the studio touches, like bright drums and warm harmonica solos, that make for a great listen. Modern arrangements spice up the classic blues-folk template. (Ginkgo Records)

Death Sentence: Panda, Insects Awaken. A flute, a clarinet, and a drum kit: that's all it takes for San Francisco trio Death Sentence: Panda to make serious noise. Black Dice-y chaos and shrill punk thrash are tempered by traditional post-punk — traditional, that is, except for the hyper Eastern melodies on flute and pitch-shifted clarinet and Kim West's punchy high-pitch hollering. (Upset the Rhythm)

MC Lars & YTCracker, The Digital Gangster LP. Gangsters of nerdcore, MC Lars and YTCracker trade rhymes about video games, serial ports, hacking Macs, and the like. "Oneonta" finds YTCracker declaring himself a "nerdy Coolio" and Lars asserting I put my headphones on and get lost in the web/I never liked reality, I'll stay in mine instead. (Horris Records)


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