After playing lead guitar in latter-day incarnations of the New York Dolls and Drivin’ N Cryin’, East Nashville singer-songwriter Aaron Lee Tasjan set off on his own, recorded in the same studio where Elliott Smith made his final album, and emerged with one hell of a record of his own. A boisterous blast of American roots rock, In the Blazes will be released 6 October (pre-order here) but in the meantime you can listen to the Stones-meets-Mellencamp jam “Made in America” below.
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Seattle band He Whose Ox is Gored - a mouthful I know, but at least it’s memorable - are set to release their new album The Camel, the Lion, the Child 9 October on Bleeding Light Records. If you’ve got a hankering for the kind of sprawling, epic post-metal that rolls ominously like dark clouds over big sky country, this foursome proves they do it extraordinarily well on the new track “Zelatype”, which you can hear below. With keyboards offsetting the almost gothic arrangement, it creates a strong dynamic between light and shade, a textbook example of how contrast can accentuate extreme music beautifully.
Dig into the second album by Last Good Tooth, and if you know you’re indie rock, you’ll hear an incredible similarity to the great Lambchop, not only in the use of horns but especially when it comes to the crooning of guitarist Penn Sultan. Only with this band, they take the music into the darker corners of Americana. Sure, there’s a sense of playfulness at times, but with the aching fiddle by Alex Spoto adding a strong, melancholic atmosphere.
California band Ted Z and the Wranglers pride themselves on developing their gritty Americana sound on every stage they can play on, and you can hear it on their debut album Ghost Train, which will be released on 16 October. The laid-back, shuffling country of “Go Find Your Heaven” is a fine example of what you can expect on the rest of the record.