This really might be one of the biggest release weeks of the entire year. I highlight 14 below, Bill hits another seven in Bill's Indie Basement, and this week's releases include some of the most widely anticipated albums of the year.

Bill's picks include Pixies, Lambchop, The Intelligence, Melody's Echo Chamber, Mamalarky, 2nd Grade, and Fujiya & Miyagi, and other honorable mentions we've got are: Titus Andronicus, Rome Streetz, Disheveled Cuss, YG, Escuela Grind, Foreseen, Kid Cudi, Buddy Guy, Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire, Labyrinth of Stars, The Big Pink, Upchuck, Autopsy, Prodigy, Bronze Nazareth, Baby Tate, DDG, Bladee, Julia, Julia (The Coathangers), Sam Prekop, Sammy Hagar and The Circle, Shannen Moser, Mamaleek, Stop The Presses, Ashley McBryde, The Bad Plus, Oren Ambarchi, Office Culture, EKKSTACY, Alivenique, No Sun, David Beck, Basher, Keith Jarrett, Julie Odell, Brooke Annibale, Blancmage, Kolb, L.A. Salami, Free Time, Pretty Sick, Perera Elsewhere, Beverly Kills, Cole Pulice, Deepchord, Snarky Puppy, the surprise Glitterer (Title Fight) EP, the surprise Origami Angel EP, the Nisa EP, the Candy Apple EP, the Bodysync (Ryan Hemsworth + Giraffage) EP, the RL EP, Spain's album of reworked early recordings, the acoustic Dropkick Murphys album with Woody Guthrie lyrics, Blue Note: Re-imagined II, the Clark rarities comp, the Suis La Lune comp, the Psychic Ills live album, the Brandi Carlile album of reworked material, the deluxe edition of Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, the deluxe edition of The War On Drugs' I Don't Live Here Anymore, the expanded edition of Denzel Curry's Melt My Eyez See Your Future, and the Karate box.

Read on for my 14 picks below. What's your favorite release of the week?

eah Yeah Yeah - Cool It Down _ Album Art
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Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Cool It Down
Secretly Canadian

It's been almost 20 years since Yeah Yeah Yeahs had a fever to tell, but now it's time for them to cool it down. Their fifth album -- and first in nearly a decade -- is overall the calmest, slowest album of their career. "After a time of being apart so much, I wanted a kind of radical closeness, like feeling someone’s breath on my face," Karen O said of the spoken word-infused album closer "Mars," and it's a quote that kind of applies to the entire album. Cool It Down is also perhaps the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' most drastic departure from their instant-classic debut yet, but the band decided a long time ago that they'd never make the same album twice, and they've stuck to that for going on two decades. So even if Yeah Yeah Yeahs' anticipated comeback album -- and first for an independent label since their early EPs on Touch and Go -- doesn't sound like any previous Yeah Yeah Yeahs album, it's still quintessentially a Yeah Yeah Yeahs album. Following 2013's uneven Mosquito, Cool It Down is focused and cohesive the way the first three YYYs album were. And with just eight songs, each one feels carefully chosen; there isn't a single dud or skippable filler track on here. The album title, in addition to fitting the mood of the songs and being a Velvet Underground reference, also ties in to the climate crisis themes that populate this album. On both a lyrical and musical level, this feels like the album that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs wanted and needed to make at this point in their lives as people and musicians, not anything to do with nostalgia for their early days or the indie sleaze revival. Songs like the sweeping, Perfume Genius-featuring lead single "Spitting Off the Edge of the World," the lurching "Lovebomb," the creeping "Blacktop," and the especially great, Frankie Valli-interpolating anthem "Burning" feel like a fresh start for the band. This is unmistakably the work of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but they're not back from hiatus to reclaim any thrones they used to sit on, they're back with a clean slate. And though Cool It Down does veer in a calmer direction, it's not without its upbeat moments. The danceable "Wolf" could've fit on It's Blitz! and it already feels like a hit, and the ESG-referencing "Fleez" sounds like something that DFA Records might've released the same year Fever To Tell came out. Mid-tempo songs like "Different Today" and the aforementioned "Wolf" occupy an appealing middle ground, and bridge the gap between the intimate moments and the danceable ones. When Yeah Yeah Yeahs first reunited, it was to reissue Fever To Tell and play shows that leaned heavily on that album, but with Cool It Down, it officially feels like the start of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' new era.

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bjork-fossora
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Björk - Fossora
One Little Independent

Björk is an artist to whom the visuals are often just as important as the music itself, and that's very true of her new album Fossora. From the album artwork to the music videos, there's a strong fungus theme, and Björk describes the sound of her album as fungal too. The album is fueled by six bass clarinets that provide a fat, deep bottom-end that feels like the dark, damp forest floors where mushrooms like to grow. (The album title itself is a word Björk made up that means "she who digs into the ground.") Björk also refers to the album as "biological techno," and says it was inspired by home dance parties she had during the pandemic. That description suits these songs too; Fossora is dance music, but not the kind you'd expect to find in a dance club or at an EDM festival. It's too dark and weird and intimate for that, the kind of thing you might even rather experience by yourself than with a large group of people. It also has two especially impactful songs that pay tribute to Björk's mother Hildur Rúna Hauksdóttir, who passed away in 2018, "Sorrowful Soil" and "Ancestress." ("‘Sorrowful Soil’ was written as she started to get seriously ill, so it’s more sad. ‘Ancestress’ was written after she passed away so it’s more like a celebration of her life, Björk told NME.) The production feels as inventive and futuristic as Björk's '90s classics still do, and her voice is as stunning as ever. It's a reminder that Björk continues to push herself forward, and that the rest of the world is still trying to catch up with her.

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Slipknot The End, So Far
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Slipknot - The End, So Far
Roadrunner

Just like making a good album or putting on a good live show, aging gracefully and achieving longevity is an art form of its own, and lately, Slipknot have been reminding the world that they've done all of the above. The timing of their initial popularity got Slipknot lumped in with nu metal, though nu metal never really had a true defining sound and Slipknot didn't sound much like any other nu metal band anyway, and as the nu metal craze died down, Slipknot didn't. They made great, increasingly adventurous albums throughout the late 2000s and into the 2010s, continuing to carve out a lane of their own as onetime peers faded away. The sometimes-ironic re-evaluation of nu metal has little to do with the current interest in Slipknot; they remain at the forefront of heavy music because they've been at the top of their game for over two decades. They've become the millennial generation's answer to Iron Maiden; a spectacular, bombastic, over-the-top, and genuinely sick band that just won't quit and rarely makes missteps. It doesn't hurt that they're now namedropped as an influence by a slew of beloved newer heavy bands, or that the current generation of tastemakers and critics seem to be less gatekeepy towards Slipknot and their ilk than the previous generation, but the real reason Slipknot still seem so relevant is because of their own hard work. Their current live show is truly remarkable, and they're fresh off releasing one of the best albums of their career, 2019's We Are Not Your Kind. This all brings us to their newest album, The End, So Far. Compared to We Are Not Your Kind's clear step forward, The End, So Far feels a little like Slipknot treading water. It's not as expansive as other albums, and mostly finds Slipknot sticking to a familiar sound. It also finds them sticking to a very accessible sound; if you like their radio-friendly songs like "Wait and Bleed," "Before I Forget," and "Duality," this album is full of them. It's easy to hear this album and be swayed by guitarist Jim Root's recent comments that the band felt unprepared and a little rushed during the making of this album, due in large part to COVID, so maybe this album is just a small step before Slipknot take their next big leap, but taken for what it is, The End, So Far is still a collection of great Slipknot songs. Achieving the kind of longevity that Slipknot have is a marathon, not a race, and sometimes along the way you'll drop an album that's merely good and not life-changing. There's nothing wrong with that; The End, So Far is full of moments that feel built to please old and new fans alike, and I have a feeling these songs are gonna sound great at Slipknot's live shows (lead single "The Chapeltown Rag" already did sound great when I saw them play it in Brooklyn earlier this year). In that same recent Jim Root interview, he also said "we are still trying to evolve as a band" and "I don’t think there are any limits to what Slipknot can do," so it already seems like the band does have their sights set on their next big leap. Until then, enjoy this new collection of bangers.

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City of Caterpillar
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City of Caterpillar - Mystic Sisters
Relapse

The screamo revival has been building for a while, and it's been reaching new peaks in 2022. On top of all the great newer bands carrying the torch for the genre, we recently got the first Gospel album in 17 years, the long-awaited (yet rocky) Saetia reunion is on the way, and today we get the first City of Caterpillar album in 20 years. "Screamo" (or "skramz") can sometimes seem like a very niche thing, but anyone who's heard City of Caterpillar's classic 2002 self-titled debut knows that this is a band who always thought outside the typical screamo box in the first place. Their expansive, often-lengthy songs owe just as much to experimental post-rock acts as they do to Level Plane/Ebullition Records-style screamo, and not just in the way that atmospheric screamo bands tend to get a little post-rocky. City of Caterpillar were a band that constantly pushed boundaries and challenged the confines of genre, and on their first album in 20 years, they pick up right where they left off. The songs are as adventurous as ever, and they go off in all kinds of chaotic-yet-controlled directions. It's neither a drastic reinvention nor a retread of anything they've done before. In the band's new bio, guitarist/vocalist Brendan Evans said "the idea is to make it show that 20 years have passed, but also make it seem like this record could’ve come out right after the other one." And I'd say they very much achieved that.

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billy woods
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billy woods - Church
Backwoodz Studioz

New York rapper (and Armand Hammer member) billy woods already released one of 2022's best albums so far with Aethiopes back in April, and now he returns with his second album of the year, Church. While Aethiopes was entirely produced by Preservation, Church was entirely produced by Armand Hammer collaborator Messiah Musik, and Messiah provides him with a backdrop that's a little warmer and brighter than Aethiopes was. woods follows suit, with bars that feel louder than more direct than the ones on his last album, and the result is an album that feels more accessible and immediate on first listen. Just as woods' two 2019 albums Hiding Places and Terror Management did, Aethiopes and Church make for a good double feature. Each shows off a different side of woods' sound, and each is impactful in its own way. In a statement, woods said the album is an exploration of memory, faith, marijuana, fate, and "the price of love and the cost of doing business." His Armand Hammer partner ELUCID appears on two songs and other guests include AKAI SOLO, Fielded, and Fat Ray.

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Tyler Childers
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Tyler Childers and The Food Stamps - Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven?
Hickman Holler/RCA

Tyler Childers and his band The Food Stamps are back with a very different kind of triple album, Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven?. It's split up into three acts, each featuring different versions of the same songs: the Jubilee portion fleshes the songs out with strings, horns, backing vocals, dulcimer, mbira, sitar, and more; the Hallelujah version is just the core band recording live in studio; and the Joyful Noise version is an avant-garde reworking of the songs that renders them nearly unrecognizable from the Jubilee and Hallelujah versions. If you're thinking "do I really need to hear three different versions of the same songs?" I don't blame you, but Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven? is much less redundant than it seems on paper. Jubilee is the kind of big, fleshed-out, immaculately-produced album you could see coming out of the early '70s album-oriented rock era. It pulls from a variety of styles of American music (country, rock, blues, gospel-soul, etc), and the massive arrangements make it sound like something that would fit in on The Last Waltz. Meanwhile, the live-in-studio Jubilee version finds The Food Stamps busting out the kinds of jams that the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers gravitated towards in that same era. The songs are the same, but the interpretations are so different that it never feels like listening to the same album twice in a row. And again, the Joyful Noise version feels like a different album entirely. And as you might expect given the album title and the titles of the three sections, there's a sacred element to this music too, and clips of church sermons and other bits of spiritual spoken word pop up throughout the record. Speaking about that aspect, he says, "Message wise, I hope that people take that it doesn't matter race, creed, religion and all of that like — the most important part is to protect your heart, cultivate that and make that something useful for the world." When you listen, that rings true; you didn't have to have the same religious upbringing as Tyler for this album to resonate. He conveys the emotion in these songs in a way that feels universal.

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High Vis
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High Vis - Blending
Dais Records

UK band High Vis' members previously played in hardcore bands like Tremors and Dirty Money, and their 2019 debut LP No Sense No Feeling went in a post-punk direction, but now they've settled on a more unique sound for their sophomore LP Blending, which pulls from Britpop and baggy and mixes that music with High Vis' punk roots in a way that never feels retro. And Blending offers more than just an appealing "X subgenre meets Y subgenre" combo; they've got a really strong sense of songwriting powering these songs, adding substance to the instantly-likable style. High Vis are hard-hitting musicians, they've got sticky melodies, and there's a lot of emotional depth in these songs, which deal with topics like confronting past traumas and reckoning with a friend's suicide. Similar to bands like Fiddlehead and Militarie Gun (both of whom they recently shared a bill in London with), Blending is modern post-hardcore in the most literal sense; you can still feel the hardcore energy and ethos informing this band, but they wanted to take their songcraft to more expansive, melodic places that go beyond the limits of hardcore and even punk. And whether you're coming to High Vis from a punk background or because you're an Oasis fan, you're bound to find something you like.

Pick it up on peach marble vinyl.

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Freddie Gibbs
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Freddie Gibbs - $oul $old $eparately
Warner

Freddie Gibbs returns with his cheekily-titled Warner debut, $oul $old $eparately, and it's been a long and hard-earned path to his major label debut. He actually got signed to Interscope in 2004, but he was dropped just two years later, before he ever got a chance to release an album on the label. With the short-lived stint behind him, he went back underground with a series of self-released mixtapes and eventually indie-label albums, some of which are among the most widely-loved underground rap albums of the past decade, including his two Madlib-produced albums and his Alchemist-produced Alfredo. Compared to those albums, $oul $old $eparately definitely sounds like a major label debut -- it sounds like Freddie's bigger budget resulted in shinier production -- but it's true that Freddie hasn't sold his soul. Alchemist and Madlib did handle a track each on this album, and Freddie's also got innovative electronic musicians like Kaytranada and James Blake involved, alongside some bigger modern rap staples like DJ Dahi, Boi-1da, and Sevn Thomas. Freddie still raps his ass off the way he has his entire career, he's still got an ear for good beats and well-matched guests (including Pusha T, Rick Ross, Anderson .Paak, Raekwon, DJ Paul, and Scarface), and he's still cranking out good songs.

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Shygirl Nymph
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Shygirl - Nymph
Because Music

The term "post-genre" is becoming a bit of a cliché, but I can't currently think of a better way to describe the remarkable debut album by UK artist Shygirl. It follows EPs and singles dating back to 2016, and it uses her early material as a launching point but goes off into all kinds of unpredictable directions. She constantly blurs the lines between hip hop, art pop, hyperpop, dance music, R&B, avant-garde electronics and more. It has as much in common with the new Beyoncé album as it does with the new Björk album, but it also sounds nothing like either of them. And this might all sound a little all-over-the-place on paper, but Shygirl makes it seamless in execution. For as eccentric as these songs are, they're also catchy pop songs with hooks that are easy take no effort to latch onto. When the line between pop and experimentation is toed this subtly and effectively, it's hard not to get sucked in.

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Regulate
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Regulate - Regulate
Flatspot Records

For their first album since their 2018 debut LP In the Promise of Another Tomorrow (and Flatspot Records debut), New York hardcore band Regulate are taking the leap and pushing their sound in all kinds of new directions. They've still got no lack of chunky, tough-as-nails hardcore, but they also channel furious Latin rhythms on "Ugata" and they've got super catchy alternative rock-infused songs like "In The Moment," "In This Life And The Next (H.H.C.)," and the catchiest of them all, "Hair." Given the way Regulate bridge the gap between hardcore and alt-rock, it's hard not to compare them to Turnstile (and I think Glow On fans would definitely like this album), but they don't seem like copycats or bandwagon jumpers. Their musical interests are expanding, and this new LP feels like a natural jump for them.

Regulate also match their musical growth with some of vocalist Sebastian Paba's hardest-hitting lyrics yet. The aforementioned "Hair" addresses the implicit racism in Eurocentric beauty standards, and Sebastian also addresses the oppressed working class ("Work"), police brutality and abuse of power ("C.O.P."), race-based killings ("The Crime"), gentrification ("New York Hates You"), and much more. It's loud, aggressive, cathartic music with a purpose.

To give us a better feel for the music that inspired the direction of Regulate's new LP, the band made us a list of music that inspired it, which ranges from James Brown to Bloc Party to Crown of Thornz to Bad Brains to Santana. Check out their list here.

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Boldy James
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Nicholas Craven & Boldy James - Fair Exchange No Robbery
self-released

Detroit rapper Boldy James has been on a tear lately. He's released seven full-length projects in the past two years (among other short releases, deluxe editions, and tons of guest verses), and it's not easy to keep up with him. But his new project Fair Exchange No Robbery -- made entirely with Montreal producer Nicholas Craven -- immediately feels like one of his strongest. Craven provides a soulful, sample-based backdrop, and Boldy's calm, measured, yet deadly storytelling is at its finest. Aside from trading lines with fellow Detroit rapper Gue Wop on the thrilling duet "0 Tre Nine," there's not a single guest on the album and there are barely any parts that count as choruses; just Boldy dishing out detailed lyricism and keeping you at the edge of your seat the whole time.

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OFF! Free LSD
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OFF! - Free LSD
Fat Possum

It's been a big year for Keith Morris, who finally took the reunited Circle Jerks on a 40th anniversary tour after multiple COVID-related delays, and in addition to celebrating his old material, he also just released the first album in eight years by his much newer band OFF!. It's OFF!'s first album with their new lineup, which includes Keith, co-founding guitarist Dimitri Coats (ex-Burning Brides), new bassist Autry Fulbright II (of ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead), and new drummer Justin Brown. Justin's primarily a jazz drummer (he's played with Thundercat, Flying Lotus, Herbie Hancock, and more, and he's also a jazz bandleader), and that background very much came in handy because Free LSD marks this hardcore punk supergroup's first foray into jazz. Keith said he wanted to channel "Miles Davis with Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters as opposed to Milo Goes to College," and there are four interlude-y tracks on the album (titled "F," "L," "S," and "D") that are full-on free jazz freakouts. That might not be what you'd expect from a band whose early releases seemed to be directly modeled after Keith's 1979 Nervous Breakdown EP with Black Flag, but OFF! pull it off. That said, they don't otherwise drift too far from their roots; the other 16 songs on this album offer up the kinds of fast, snotty hardcore rippers that have been Keith Morris' calling card for over four decades. All these years later, he still knows how to churn 'em out like nobody else.

Pick up our exclusive translucent orange vinyl variant of the new OFF! album.

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Acephalix
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Acephalix - Theothanatology
20 Buck Spin

We're currently in the midst of an exciting wave of death metal bands who owe just as much to hardcore as they do to old school death metal, and a band that's been around for a minute that I think would fit very nicely alongside this new wave is San Francisco's Acephalix. Their formula is basically one part death metal, one part crust punk, and it results in a thrilling fusion that really does land right in the middle of both genres. Theothanatology is their first album in five years, and it's just as uniquely brutal as their last LP, 2017's Decreation. The riffs are monstrous, and vocalist Daniel Butler (who also sings in Vastum) sounds like a beast. It's perfect timing for them to return, and they sound as fresh and uniquely brutal as ever.

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Kabaka Pyramid The Kalling
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Kabaka Pyramid - The Kalling
Ghetto Youths International/Bebble Rock

We've been in the midst of a serious reggae renaissance for about a decade now, and this month has birthed anticipated albums from at least two of the genre's heaviest hitters. Last week brought the new Protoje album, and this week brings the sophomore album from Kabaka Pyramid (which actually features Protoje on a track, along with Damian Marley, Stephen Marley, Buju Banton, Jesse Royal, Jemere Morgan, and more). And like Protoje, Kabaka Pyramid pulls off a masterful fusion of '70s-style reggae revival and modern sounds. He's not only a great reggae singer, he's also a great rapper, and more often than not he blurs the lines between the two. The instrumentation follows suit, finding time for both classic reggae rhythms and modern trap beats. And in classic reggae fashion, Kabaka's lyricism tackles both personal introspection and sociopolitical protest anthems. His messages hit as hard as his grooves.

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Read Bill's Indie Basement for more new album reviews, including Pixies, Lambchop, The Intelligence, Melody's Echo Chamber, Mamalarky, 2nd Grade, and Fujiya & Miyagi.

Looking for more recent releases? Browse the Notable Releases archive or scroll down for previous weeks.

For even more metal, browse the 'Upcoming Releases' each week on Invisible Oranges.

And check out what's new in our shop.

Get Up Kids
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Teen Suicide
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