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by Justin Farrar

August 23, 2011

Rock Roundup, August 2011

by Justin Farrar  |  August 23, 2011

This month's Rock Roundup a top 10, mind you mixes current hits with a few classic reissues. The No. 1 slot belongs to an expanded edition of one of my all-time faves, The London Suede's Dog Man Star. When this art-rock epic came out in 1994, it instantly blew away my teenage mind. I had never heard anything quite like it. Over a decadent bed of strings and twisted guitars put together by guitarist Bernard Butler, singer Brett Anderson (who sounds like the perfect mix of David Bowie, Scott Walker and David Sylvian) filled my ears with tales of sex, lust, love and drugs. In other words, topics I obsessed over on a daily basis. The track " Heroine" says it all: "I'm 18, and I need my heroines/ I'm aching, been dying for hours, and nobody knows." Nowadays, I place Dog Man Star in the same lofty category as Talk Talk's Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock, and Catherine Wheel's Chrome.

As for the rest of the roundup, if you're into rock with an old-school feel, then check out 2 from Black Country Communion. They're a supergroup featuring bluesman Joe Bonamassa and Glenn Hughes, who served time in both Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. Similarly, the latest full-lengths from Rival Sons and Buffalo Killers are mandatory listening for anybody who worships the '70s.

Oh, and let's not forget Sky Full of Holes, the new album from Fountains of Wayne, whom I have always thought were far better at crafting killer power pop than the mighty Weezer.

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