Albums: New music from Iggy Pop, Weezer, Rare Americans and Mike
IGGY POP – EVERY LOSER
FOLLOWING 2016's career high Post Pop Depression, Iggy Pop retreated into jazzy dysfunction for Free. Four years on, the Godfather of Punk is back with a more radio friendly project featuring tall tales of excess and melodious hard rock.
Pop's expert backing band features Guns N' Roses' Duff McKagan on bass and Chad Smith from Red Hot Chili Peppers on drums and Every Loser is one his most diverse and creative records in recent years.
Opener Frenzy is an aural assault, Modern Day Rip Off has a bluesy groove and the back to basics Neo Punk offers an ode to the primordial sound of the Ramones. Comments borders on euphoric, The Morning Show delivers tuneful, soulful 80s yacht rock, while closing track The Regency has enough F-bombs to put Succession's Logan Roy to shame.
WEEZER – SZNZ: WINTER
WEEZER'S fourth mini-album to be released in 2022 is the fun conclusion to the band's SZNZ project. Inspired by Vivaldi's Four Seasons, the ditsy Californian quartet created each EP in tandem with each season.
This 21-minute offering sits somewhere between indie rock and grunge. There are interesting hooks and catchy melodies dotted throughout the seven tracks, along with a mish-mash of tunes borrowed from the classical world.
I Want A Dog borrows from Danny Boy, and Sheraton Commander draws heavily on Albinoni's Adagio in G Minor.
Fans can look forward to an orchestra of thrashing guitars punctuated by lead singer Rivers Cuomo's shrill vocals.
Closing track The Deep and Dreamless Sleep offers an impressively climactic ending to Weezer's clever series.
RARE AMERICANS – SONGS THAT DON'T BELONG
SONGS That Don't Belong brings together the tracks that failed to make it onto previous releases by Vancouver pop-punks Rare Americans. This is reflected in the diversity and varying quality of the songs.
Frontman James Priestner, guitarists Lubo Ivan and Jan Cajka, and drummer Duran Ritz have been prolific since forming in 2018. Their music draws on college rock and hip hop and the result will please fans of Twenty One Pilots.
Tremendous is a quirky hip hop cut that is good fun on first listen, but eventually grows tedious.
Little White Lies features a hooky chorus and playful storytelling, while Fool's Gold captures the melody of classic Red Hot Chili Peppers with light brush strokes.
Bruised, meanwhile, is a rollicking take on country and a total romp, capping off a mixed bag that will no doubt please fans.
MIKE – BEWARE OF THE MONKEY
New York rapper Mike may only be 24 but has already released numerous albums and mixtapes dealing with intensely personal questions, spanning depression, adulthood and the grief of losing his mother.
Beware Of The Monkey is different. It is both reflective and celebratory; downbeat and exalted.
The record takes its title from the Chinese zodiac, and follows on from Mike's tradition of dropping his albums on the different seasonal solstices.
Impressionistic funk, disco and broken beat provides the backtrack to his musings, with his hypnotic beat loops harking back to the work of the late MF Doom. His collaboration Stop Worry! features legendary dancehall singer Sister Nancy,
Monkey marks a new chapter for Mike, one that maintains the same sense of creative intensity while exploring new sounds.