By Proxy, Ill Cosby, Introcut
(Lo-Fi) See Data Breaker.
Times New Viking, Idle Times, Sister Wife
(Sunset) What separates Times New Viking from a lot of their lo-fi, garage-dwelling counterparts is perhaps their conceptual completeness. From the half-borrowed band name to the found, collaged, cut-and-paste album art to the title of their latest record, Rip It Off, they're dedicated pop-art auteurs. Their music, too, draws heavily from familiar sources, but never fails to sound concentrated and raw in a way that's entirely theirs. The band dropped their ear-shredding, purposely primitive production style when they headed into the studio to record Rip It Off. The results are a superb blend of sugary hooks and subtle psychedelic nods over churning, guitar-driven pop songs. DAN OBERBRUNER
Puro Instinct, John Maus, Geneva Jacuzzi
(Chop Suey) John Maus's music will likely remind you of his former collaborator Ariel Pink's, with its casual, hazily pretty melodies and quasi-tongue-in-cheek, melodramatic tone. His third album—We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves—sounds as if it's coated in slick gauze. Maus seems to be wearing his heart on his sleeve, waxing romantic in a deep croon, but, as a former philosophy professor, he may be putting us all on with a simulacrum of a throwback heartthrob retooled for our current hypnagogic-pop moment ("Pussy is not a matter of fact," he sings, poker-facedly). He creates the illusion that he's singing in a mausoleum, with slicked-back hair, using a chintzy drum machine, third-hand synths, and a four-track. But Maus's tunes quickly insinuate themselves into your memory, even as you wonder if dude's taking the piss. Panda Bear, Aziz Ansari, and Lil B are fans, if that sways you. DAVE SEGAL
Cibo Matto, Chain Gang of 1974
(Neumos) Oh, man, remember the awesome and goofy "Know Your Chicken"? Or the pretty, spooky "Sugar Water" ("la-la-la, LA-LA-LA-LAAAA")? Cibo Matto (which means "crazy food" in Italian) was such a sweet and lovable girl band in the late 1990s, known for collaborations with the Beastie Boys, Buffalo Daughter, and director Mike Mills. I haven't really thought much about Cibo Matto since the '90s. They reunited in March of this year in New York to perform at a benefit for Japanese tsunami victims, alongside Yoko Ono, Mike Patton, and Sonic Youth. Welcome back, ladies. May the '90s never die. KELLY O