(Hope Street)4 Stars
Taking on vintage Bollywood the same way that Dengue Fever takes on Cambodian pop, the Bombay Royale manage to evoke the bold glamour and easy swagger of R.D. Burman's '60s and '70s soundtracks while adding just the right amount of cheeky, surf-rockin' groove to get modern Western audiences to pay attention. The 11-piece band hails from Melbourne, Australia, but their covers of filmi classics like “Jaan Pehechan Ho” and the danceable, hard-swinging originals like “Dacoit's Choice” that make up most of the record are Bombay-legit and essential party music. – Jason Ferguson
Frontpeople Susie Ulrey of the Maccabees and Zillionaire's Michael Waksman are the beneficiaries of Rec Center's alchemical romance on this debut. Tin Year opens with a pair of confessionals: Ulrey's benediction, “Monster in Your Heart,” written shortly after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, followed by Waksman's somber strummer “Stolen.” It's a funereal one-two punch that the other material struggles to live up to, but when the leads find their groove (“Growing by the Hour,” “Sister”), the results are a balm for the brokenhearted. – Justin Strout
Ever wanted to appreciate heavy metal, but just couldn't tolerate those disconcerting declarations of damnation? Atlanta trio Royal Thunder presents an alternative to the grating misanthropy; carefully deep-fried in Mason-Dixon mysticism, their newest LP maintains the polarizing vocal intensity expected from blues-inspired metal, or doom metal, but without the hypermasculine monster angle. Vocalist-bassist Mlny Parsonz's iconic refrains cultivate an arcane atmosphere among the metric tons of groovy, head-bobbing riffs and unforgettably addictive Southern-rock-style solos. – Jared Oates
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