The Bad Plus: For All I Care (Heads Up International)
With a penchant for reworked rock songs, this hard-hitting jazz trio issues a new album full of covers. Three of the disc’s tunes are classical pieces; the rest are rock/pop and include vocals, a first for the group.
Powersolo: Bloodskinbones (Crunchy Frog)
A pair of oddball Danish brothers, dubbing themselves “the Railthin Brothers,” create eclectic, off-the-wall rock creations as Powersolo. This full-length follows their recent X-mas single Beam Mig Op, Jesus.
Zu: Carboniferous (Ipecac)
This experimental Italian trio combines sludgy alt-metal with complex rhythms and free-jazz freakouts. If it’s possible, Carboniferous presents the group’s accessible side for one of the winter’s better albums.
Jerseyband: untitled (self-released)
It’s a downright travesty that this East Coast septet is unsigned. Horns + math metal = 100% awesome.
Coalesce: untitled (Relapse? Hydra Head?)
This previously defunct hardcore outfit doles out crushing grooves, mathy rhythms, and the trademark tracheal attack of vocalist Sean Ingram. Following the outstanding Salt and Passage 7″ from late 2007, the group unveils a proper follow-up to 0:12 Revolution in Just Listening from 1999.
Converge and Supermachiner: untitled (Epitaph / Deathwish Inc.)
This isn’t a joint release, but they’re worth mentioning together as Supermachiner is a semi-ambient side project from Converge vocalist Jacob Bannon and guitarist Kurt Ballou.
Fantômas: untitled (Ipecac)
The brainchild of Mike Patton, Fantômas resurfaces after a four-year hiatus with another unpredictable release. The music could be anywhere between incongruous genre spasms and ambient dirges, but Rock-a-Rolla magazine says that it might be an electronic record.
Isis: untitled (Ipecac)
These purveyors of epic, accessible heaviness have gotten progressively more melodic. Whatever this new album sounds like, it should take another step forward while remaining heavy as hell.
Medeski, Martin & Wood: Radiolarians 2 & 3 (Indirecto)
The famed jazz/jam trio continues its experiment of meeting for brief writing sessions, testing out that new material (and only the new material) on the road, recording the material, and then repeating the process.