by Mike Evans



THE GOOD: Dee Dee Penny and her latest incarnation of Girls go retro on their third full-length.
THE BAD: 10 songs, in and out in 30 minutes, leave you craving more.
THE NITTY GRITTY: A reflective album written in her NYC apartment, Too True is Penny’s “new wave” record; a collection that’s equal parts 80’s indie pop and 90’s shoegaze. The guttural streetwise thud of “Lost Boys and Girls Club,” the skinny tie-clad bounce carrying “Little Minx,” the spacey low-key “Trouble is My Name” — all of these (and the rest) add up to a set that moves forward while looking back on past female-fronted heroes like the Primitives, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Curve.
Penny worked once again with the legendary Richard Gottehrer (the Angels, Blondie, the Go-Go’s) and the Raveonettes’ Sune Rose Wagner (so we must toss in the obligatory Jesus and Mary Chain comparison). That’s cool. It fits. And just about every cut is a keeper.
BUY IT?: Yep.

THE GOOD: Brooklyn indie trio Hospitality gets more daring on their sophomore effort.
THE BAD: Expect a challenge. Take your time. Trouble runs through many sub-genres and stylistic changes before its conclusion. Not “bad,” but also not as easy and breezy as their 2012 debut.
THE NITTY GRITTY: Now vocalist/guitarist Amber Papini and the boys aren’t content with just catchy quirky little observations about 20-something’s and city dwelling. They’re looking out into the ocean and beyond the horizon, expanding both lyrically and musically. Trouble is still an indie/twee meld at its core but there are more progressive elements afoot too.
“Nightingale” is soft but ambitious, carried by rhythmic shifts and feeling like vintage Throwing Muses. “Last Words” builds to a rumbling climax that crashes off in the distance. “Sunship” plays like a modern spin on dreamy medieval folk. But if you still crave a couple of infectious throwbacks to the band’s sunny debut, “Going Out” and “It’s Not Serious” should keep you smiling.
BUY IT?: Sure.

THE GOOD: California-based indie rockers Warpaint go ethereal on their second.
THE BAD: Just be prepared. “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” That saying applies here. All the cuts on Warpaint begin to bleed together after about 15 minutes, but in a good way. This is a spacey album; a dense hypnotic work. Don’t search for memorable hooks.
THE NITTY GRITTY: On 2010’s The Fool, these ladies proved themselves a worthy underground jam band; never stuck in traditional song structures and unafraid to let a wandering guitar solo dominate a track. Here, they’re more open to swirling keyboards, spooky harmonies and impenetrable rhythms. Is this trip-hop? Hardly. But there are different sounds at play here. The volume is turned down slightly while modern psychedelics are more front and center. You can tell Flood (U2, Nine Inch Nails, PJ Harvey) produced this thing.
So prepare to embrace a band that could have remained stagnant yet refused to do so.
BUY IT?: Yep.