Quick Spins

Magneta Lane
The Constant Lover
(Paper Bag)
Nihilistic art-school rock that mixes Chrissie Hynde-style grunting with
Karen O-style grunting to nice effect.

Home Video
Citizen EP
Not everything from the ’80s was worth reinventing. Here’s some bland proof

Mission of Burma
A Gun to the Head: A Selection From the Ace of Hearts Era
Not everything from the ’80s was chauncy, puffed-up keyboard pussy rock.
Here’s some grand proof thereof.

Various Artists
Maybe This Christmas Tree
Let me preface this by saying that normally I would rather be teabagged by 12
reindeer and one jolly fat man than listen to Christmas music. But this
compilation exceeds all expectations by avoiding most of the tired old
standards and putting fun spins on fresh material. The Polyphonic Spree’s
cover of “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” is bang-on, and the God-botherers in Jars
of Clay do a fine job of “Christmas for Cowboys.” My only beef here is the
inclusion of the most annoying Christmas song ever written, Paul McCartney’s
“Wonderful Christmastime.”

Dead to Fall
Villainy and Virtue
Stunningly beautiful artwork butts heads with amazingly bad metal. Actually,
it’s not that bad when the dude shuts up, but those golden moments aren’t
enough to excuse this.

The Ludes
The Ludes
Ahh, good old understated Canadian indie rock. It rocks, but, y’know, in a
comforting, non-obtrusive way. Like a little cup of rock ‘n’ roll

A. Graham and the Moment Band
This Tyrant Is Free
(Sonic Unyon)
Loosey-goosey southern-fried country-folk hyphen-inducing weirdness.

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