Best Albums: The Birds of Satan, Lilacs & Champagne, Fucked Up, Pharoahe Monch

This week’s best albums

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins unveils the latest in his prolific side projects, a prog/glam three-piece called The Birds of Satan that includes cameos by Dave Grohl and Pat Smear.

– Now featuring a full band, Lilacs & Champagne — formed by Grails members Alex Hall and Emil Amos — gives layer to an already nuanced soundscape of psychedelia, library music, and funky soundtracks.

– A sneak peek at its upcoming LP, Fucked Up’s sixth EP in its “Zodiac Series” features an 18-minute title track that’s a violent, fire-breathing hell-beast.

– The latest from MC Pharoahe Monch gets uncomfortable in spots — more so when he drops the braggadocio and points his sharpest barbs at deep-seeded social ills instead.

Honorable mentions

Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra: Live on Planet Earth (Alien Transistor)

Triptykon: Melana Chasmata (Century Media)