Best Albums: Animals as Leaders, Liars, Glenn Kotche, Owls

This week’s best albums

Animals as Leaders’ third LP includes a Latin flair and a stronger focus on electronic flourishes — but its attention to songwriting (plus crushing riffs and rhythms) makes it another cathartic and engaging experience.

– The genre-less Liars has another musical mood swing on Mess.

– On percussionist Glenn Kotche’s fourth solo LP, the rhythmically minded composer pushes boundaries without being pushy.

– The original Cap’n Jazz lineup is back as Owls, releasing its sophomore LP a scant 13 years after its debut.

Honorable mentions

The Bad Plus: The Rite of Spring (Sony)

Grieves: Winter & The Wolves (Rhymesayers)

Chuck Ragan: Till Midnight (Side One Dummy)