The glow of last season

New albums for a fall spin

By Alan Sculley and L. Kent Wolgamott

 Photo: Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star returns after a 17-year hiatus with Seasons of Your Day


The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting long. Seems like a perfect time to huddle up next to the playback device of your choice and find the perfect soundtrack to autumn. Here are four candidates for your consideration….

Mazzy Star//Seasons of Your Day (Rhymes
of an Hour Records) 

 It’s been 17 years since Mazzy Star released an album, but Seasons of Your Day sounds like singer Hope Sandoval and guitarist David Roback have never gone away. A drifting, hazy record (nothing new there), Seasons of Your Day blends acoustic drive on songs like “California” with country (“I’ve Gotta Stop,” “Lay Myself Down”) and bluesy guitar (“Common Burn”) to create haunting, floating backing for Sandoval’s hushed, oft aching vocals. The effect, achieved with little percussion and bass, is, as always with Mazzy Star, captivating. – L. Kent Wolgamott  File next to: The Church, Galaxie 500

(Columbia Records) 

 MGMT go synthesized psychedelic on MGMT, their third album – a disc of scraping, buzzing sounds that never connects strongly enough to fully engage and is a sure turnoff to its more mainstream fans. Working with Flaming Lips Producer David Fridmann, the determinedly oddball duo of Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser has dialed up the vintage synths and plenty of repetitive rhythms. But, save for the funny “Plenty of Girls in the Sea” and the kinda-catchy single “Your Life is a Lie,” there’s a dearth of hook and melody across the record. In other words, no songs. That makes MGMT a disappointing bore.  – L. Kent Wolgamott File next to: Of Montreal, Capital Cities


Yuck//Glow & Behold (Fat Possum Records) 

 This band’s 2011 debut album was an impressive effort, if a bit one-dimensional, as Yuck frequently sounded like a slightly more melodic version of Dinosaur Jr. That comparison isn’t so valid on the band’s follow-up, Glow & Behold. Yes, the band still employs the occasional Dinosaur-esque gauzy guitar riff, but Yuck has taken a major step in diversifying its music and finding more of its own sound this time out. For instance, “Lose My Breath” goes in more of a winsome pop direction, but with some post-punk Pavement-esque edge thrown in. “Rebirth” brings some chiming guitar into its otherwise grainy rock sound. There’s even a soft touch applied to the title song that works well with its Brit-pop feel. The band also makes horns a significant addition to its guitar-based sound. They provide a nice touch on the surprisingly sweet pop tune “Nothing New” and accent what is already a strong R.E.M./Wilco-esque melody on “How Does It Feel.” Far from falling victim of the dreaded sophomore slump on Glow & Behold, Yuck sounds like it is just beginning to tap into a whole new range of exciting musical possibilities. – Alan Sculley File next to: Dinosaur Jr., Crocodiles

Lee Ranaldo and The Dust// Last Night on Earth (Matador Records) 

 Last Night on Earth is more “band-like” than Lee Ranaldo’s last solo effort Between the Time and the Tides and every bit as warm and bracing as his contributions to Sonic Youth. Joined by SY drummer/now Dust member Steve Shelley, Ranaldo shifts from country to fuzzed out rock on the opener “Lecce, Leaving,” then moves to the gentle, melodic “Key-Hole” where the guitars buzz in the background. “Home Chds” which starts out quiet and wanders off into Grateful Dead territory while “By The Window” spins a little R.E.M. into the spacey mix. So goes the rest of the album, filled with weirdly tuned guitars (what else would you expect?), shape shifting songs (the title cut repeatedly moves from country to echoing rock) and long, captivating grooves, capped by the 12-minute “Blackt Out.” – L. Kent Wolgamott  File next to: The Fall, Beck


Reach DCP freelance writer L. Kent Wolgamott at L. Kent

 Reach DCP freelance writer Alan Sculley at




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