This week’s best albums
– After a four-year layoff, Sage Francis returns with a more traditional hip-hop sound—a nose-flattening beat-down that also shows his softer side.
– Buzz “King Buzzo” Osborne of (the) Melvins releases a solo acoustic offering that doesn’t do the wimpy singer-songwriter thing—instead providing gnarly riffs and melodies alongside his potent vocals.
– Each a veteran of boundary-bending hardcore—from sludge to dissonant alt-rock to pop-metal perfection—Helms Alee and Young Widows were a natural fit to tour together and, having done so, release a split EP.
– Though they’re as raucous as ever, Toronto punks Fucked Up play up textures and rhythmic reach on their fourth LP.
Brian Reitzell: Auto Music (Smalltown Supersound)