The Pulse is the Uproxx Music guide to the best new albums, mixtapes, and other music releases that matter this week.
If you’re looking towards this week’s slate of new music releases as an indication of how 2018 is going to play out, then you’ll be delighted to learn that it’s going to rock. Rock is what it’s been all about over the past few days, whether it’s fresh indie, new albums from alternative rock mainstays, or the return of a guitar legend. Although hip-hop got largely muscled out of the list this week, let’s not forget that Dave East came to play too.
The Shins — The Worm’s Heart
The Shins took an interesting approach to their latest album: It features all the songs from their previous record, last year’s Heartworms, but reworked (or “flipped,” as they put it) into an entirely different sound. The results show that there’s more life to a song than its initial studio recording, like how “Dead Alive” was transformed from a midtempo indie rocker into a piano and string ballad.
Porches — The House
Porches (real name Aaron Maine) teased his latest with two very different songs: The swelling “Country” and the dance-ready “Find Me.” He’s also called the album “a diary,” which might explain the disparate vibes that run throughout:
“The songwriting became an exercise in documenting my immediate experiences, which writing has always been for me to a certain extent, but something particular was compelling me to try to portray these moments in a more linear way. Writing this record was a form of meditation, an escape, a routine –- selfish at times, as it became an excuse to avoid my immediate surroundings.”
Dave East — Paranoia 2
The first Paranoia got the hallowed stamp of approval from LeBron James, which is promising for East’s new Paranoia 2. This 56-minute EP (which features T.I., Tory Lanez, Lloyd Banks, and others) is a lead-up to East’s debut studio album, and if his EP teasers are an hour long and go this hard, I can’t imagine what a legit full-length is going to be like.
Belle And Sebastian — How To Solve Our Human Problems — Part 2
“Slow ticketing” worked for Jay-Z’s 4:44 tour, and now, Belle And Sebastian are trying a similar approach to their new album How To Solve Our Humans Problems. The first part came out last year, and now the second part has arrived, with a third on the way. With all the format experimentation, the good news is that the Scottish group is still pumping out the gentle and serene indie their fans have come to love over the years.
Joe Perry — Sweetzerland Manifesto
The legendary Aerosmith guitarist is back his first non-Christmas solo album since 2009’s Have Guitar, Will Travel. For it, he recruited some classic rock power players to help out, including members of groups like Cheap Trick, The Who, and The New York Dolls. For those who think the guitar is dead: Maybe you’re just not looking for it in the right places.
They Might Be Giants — I Like Fun
Getting just one album released as a band is something that most groups don’t get to do, but with I Like Fun, alternative rock veterans They Might Be Giants are on their 20th. As the title track and its animated video show, the group hasn’t forgotten how to have fun after all these years, as they continue their trend of busting out odd tunes that are as catchy as they are quirky.
Fall Out Boy — Mania
This one has been a long time coming, considering that the lead single, “Young And Menace,” came out all the way back in April. What a single it was, though, an adventurous and epic track from a group that could have easily rested on its emo laurels but instead decided to create an unexpectedly frenetic tune like this one.