Best Albums: Rodrigo y Gabriela, Pixies, Eyvind Kang / John Zorn, Damon Albarn, Floor, Wovenhand

This week’s best albums

– On its first LP of new material in five years, Rodrigo y Gabriela channel more of their thrash-metal past than ever—while also branching out in new ways.

– With its first studio LP in 13 years, Pixies proves that it is more than capable of carrying on without its beloved former bassist—and of writing genuinely strong songs.

Eyvind Kang interprets a chapter of John Zorn’s Book of Angels songbook with elements of Indian, Persian, electronic, exotica, jazz, minimalism, and more.

Damon Albarn continues his successful solo and post-Blur career by adapting with the times.

Floor, Steve Brooks’ progenitor to Torche, is back with its first album since 2002—a lung-crushing collection that’s drop-tuned and dark, melodically poppy, and heavy as all hell.

– On its seventh album, alt-country/goth-folk band Wovenhand fuses its characteristic progressions with an amplified sense of urgency.

Honorable mentions

Monuments: Brigadune

Nels Cline Singers: Macroscope (Mack Avenue)

Pattern Is Movement: s/t (Hometapes)

Paul Cary & The Small Scarys: Coyote