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Top 10 MP3s of the Week (5/10)

on May 10, 2013, 12:00am
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cassettes Top 10 MP3s of the Week (5/10)

The top mp3s have gone through many incarnations since the beginning of Consequence of Sound in 2007. What used to be an exhaustive roundup of all the singles, remixes, covers, and undiscovered gems emailed to us any given week evolved into a compilation whittled down to our 10 favorite new songs. For 2013, we’re again changing up the format with the hope of giving our selections some added weight. We’re still posting about our 10 favorite songs, but they’ll be ordered in quality from 10-1. Who takes home #1 this week? You’ll have to click ‘Next’ to find out.

10. Man Or Astro-Man? – “Communication Breakdown Pt. II”

manastromancover Top 10 MP3s of the Week (5/10)

If they’ve proven anything in their intermittently active 30-plus years, it’s that Man or Astro-Man? are not afraid of embracing a theme (or punctuated band names), thriving in the outer space motif. The sci-fi fascination continues on “Communication Breakdown Pt. II”, wobbly guitars playing in the reverb-drenched space, heavy bass and pounding drums acting as the warp drive. While Major Tom and ground control had their communication issues, but frontman Star Crush (aka Brian Causey) doesn’t seem to be getting any assistance: “I radiate, you disintegrate / Keeps breaking up, do you respond?” Like surfing through a blackhole, the track will bend your mind but in a totally tubular way. This is the second cut from  Defcon…5…4…3…2…1, the Alabamans’ first new album in 12 years. -Adam Kivel


9. ASG – “Blood Drive”

griglia

In its never-ending search for top-shelf sludge metal, Relapse Records traveled east to North Carolina, to unearth ASG. The latest member of the Relapse roster, this quartet fits nicely alongside labelmates Baroness and Royal Thunder. All three unleash floods of downtuned riffage, but ASG puts the spotlight on its frontman, Jason Shi. With a voice born for metal, Shi curls his high-pitched melodies around chugging chords and guitar lines. All this is showcased on “Blood Drive”, the title track from the band’s debut album (out May 28th), which sounds like Rob Halford fronting The Sword. -Jon Hadusek

8. Sic Alps – “Biz Bag”

sic alps ONTOP

While the deep, diverse San Fran scene has been getting major buzz the last two years thanks to breakout performances from the likes of Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin, Sic Alps have been holding down their garage since 2006, garnering an appropriately large following in both their native city and from fuzz psych aficionados at large. Continuing on the path of their scrubbed yet no less wild self-titled album from last year, new tune “Biz Bag” locks into step and gives frontman Mike Donovan room to strut. Though a rabid guitar solo threatens to rip free of its surroundings, the Alps manage to keep the groove going. This and two other tracks will be released as the She’s On Top 12″ through Drag City on May 21st. Stream it over at Pitchfork–Adam Kivel

7. Sharon Jones – “Retreat”

sharonjones

“I’ll chew you up and spit you out,” threatens Sharon Jones on her new single, “Retreat”. She’s played this role before — the sassy woman who doesn’t take any shit — but never has she sounded so bitter. Betrayed, deceived, and fucked-over for the last time, Jones’ disenchantment gives way to anger; she’s telling men to just stay away (unless they can treat her with the proper respect). The Dap-Kings, Jones’ backing band, provide a steady groove of vintage Motown tones, trebly guitars, and crackling rhythms. “Retreat” is the lead single from Jones’ forthcoming LP, Give the People What They Want (out August 6th via Daptone Records). -Jon Hadusek


6. Adventures – “Promise”

adventures Top 10 MP3s of the Week (5/10)

We were pretty high on last year’s Love Is Love//Return to Dust from the teenaged Code Orange Kids, its adolescent hardcore fury a real shot in the arm. Three fourths of that outfit feature in Adventures, an outfit that filters that rough edged angst through some decidedly more fragile influences. Vocalist Reba Meyers alternates between that familiar wail and a decidedly less steely quaver, moments of huge, Fucked Up indie rock grandiosity punctuated by brief respites of gritty, chugging low-end. “Sleep in the company of strangers, it’s just enough to breathe,” Meyers dolefully speaks, the depressed counterpart to her other band’s righteous anger. “Promise” is the first taste of the Pittsburgh five-piece’s upcoming EP, Clear My Head With You, due June 18th through No Sleep. -Adam Kivel


5. Speedy Ortiz – “Tiger Tank”

speedyortiz Top 10 MP3s of the Week (5/10)

Nineties rock influences (Liz Phair, Pavement, Polvo) inform the songwriting of Sadie Dupuis, who took her solo moniker Speedy Ortiz and turned it into a full-fledged band. The bouts of guitar feedback are borrowed aesthetics from another time, but songs such as “Tiger Tank” see Dupuis channeling her idiosyncrasies through her lyrics and nonchalant vocal delivery. “My mouth is a factory for every toxic part of speech I spew,” she moans during the first verse. The song is filled with these brilliant one-liners — which are even more impressive when you hear how she connects each syllable to the melody. Speed Ortiz’s debut album, Major Arcana (out July 9 via Carpark Records), is shaping up to be one of the summer’s strongest indie-rock releases. -Jon Hadusek

Speedy Ortiz – “Tiger Tank”

4. Vampire Weekend – “Ya Hey”

Vampire Weekend Modern Vampires Of The City

Even though the man once made commas entirely catchy, agnosticism would still seem a difficult target for Ezra Koenig to take down with his hook gun. But on the latest track from Vampire Weekend’s third LP, Modern Vampires of the Cityhe does just that, dropping lines questioning why he should love Yahweh in the midst of pitch-shifted earworm choruses. There are classical piano arpeggios and chanted backing vocals, but this one acts mostly as a platform from which Koenig can stretch his vocals through the wringer, lobbing questions and uncertainties at someone who won’t respond. “You won’t even say your name / Only I am that I am / But who could ever live that way?” he calls before returning to the speaking-in-tongues chorus. Modern Vampires of the City is due May 14th via XL. -Adam Kivel

3. Chance the Rapper – “Paranoia”

chance pusha man

What a week for Chance the Rapper. He dropped his new mixtape, Acid Rap — which has been met with unanimous acclaim — and his fanbase likely quintupled overnight. A “secret” track buried after a thirty second at silence at the end of “Pusha Man”, “Paranoia” wobbles claustrophobically, Chance looking at the violence that surrounds him. Produced by L.A. electro mastermind Nosaj Thing, the track faithfully adheres to its title, quivering nervously as Chance scopes out the scene: “Ridin’ around with a blunt on my lips / With the sun in my eyes and my gun on my hip / Paranoia on my mind, got my mind on the fritz.” -Jon Hadusek


2. Owen – “Blues to Black”

Owen - L' ami du Peuple

Mike Kinsella and his brother Tim have a special place in the hearts of many a Chicagoan, dating back to those formative (for the Kinsellas and plenty of teens) Cap’n Jazz tunes. Since then, Mike’s solo work as Owen has tended towards the hyper-literary and acoustic-tinged, but the new “Blues to Black” cascades on lush drums, electronics and xylophone, and washes away on female harmonies. Even though he’s working different sonic variables into the formula, the constant remains his heart-on-the-sleeve bookishness. “It’s you I see with my eyes closed / Unfinished fiction that my mind wrote,” he lilts, just the most recent line in which Kinsella makes talking about feelings and reading cool. “Blues to Black” is the first preview of L’Ami du Peuple, due July 2nd via Polyvinyl Records. Stream over at Rolling Stone-Adam Kivel

1. Mariah Carey feat. Miguel – “#Beautiful”

mariah-carey-miguel-beautiful-400x400 (1)

Mariah and Miguel, but with an emphasis on Miguel. The hashtag title sends a jolt of annoyance, but ignore it and listen. Mariah Carey nabbing Miguel for a collab is one of the wisest pop star moves in a while. He was made for Carey’s brand of sappy R&B, and here, he gets all Smokey Robinson over jingling percussion. No disrespect to Carey (OK, maybe a little), but Miguel steals this song just like he stole the Grammy’s…with silky vocal chords and the upmost showmanship. His stock just keeps on rising. -Jon Hadusek

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