Recommended New Releases: Melvins, Stars, Olivia Jean

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Melvins – Hold It In
Hold It In finds the band in fairly playful mood and with a line-up that is positively mouthwatering. Alongside stalwarts Buzz Osbourne and Dale Crover are Butthole Surfers members Jeff Pinkus (bass) and Paul Leary (guitar). The result is one of the band’s most rewarding and varied albums to date. They lend the Melvins a slightly poppier sound in places and, although Leary’s swirls of psyche-guitar lunacy make an occasional appearance, this is most definitely a Melvins album and not some kind of bizarre hybrid. Read the full review on Music OHM

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Stars – No One Is Lost
Among the most dependable Canadian indie-rock institutions of the post-millennial era, Stars are just as easily to be taken for granted at this point as they are to be appreciated. What was most astonishing about the band when they landed their critical and popular smash with their third album, Set Yourself on Fire, a decade ago, is how fresh their sound was. Inverting the experimental-noise-to-pop-melody ratio of early collaborators Broken Social Scene, Stars made a record that bounded seamlessly from the blissed-out electronica of its title track and the gorgeous shoegaze-pop of “Ageless Beauty” all the way to the gnarled post-punk fury of “He Lied About Death.” Read the full review on Exclaim

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Olivia Jean – Bathtub Love Killings
Jean wrote all the songs on Bathtub Love Killings and plays most of the instruments, too, showing off the talent that made her stand out to Jack White when she handed out demos of her solo surf guitar music after a Dead Weather gig in her hometown of Detroit. Since then Jean has been a regular on a variety of Third Man projects and played on both of White’s solo albums. Preview the album at No Country for New Nashville