What’s the skinny?

Kaito UK
Band Red
Spin Art
Release date: May 20

What the label says: “Catchy in the best sense of ‘pop’ then busting the melodies to shreds with impeccable noise. Amidst the mayhem, however, they never lose the rare sense of tunefulness, beating down the noise for noise sake crowd.”

What this reviewer says: Kaito is awesome. While Band Red seems to be a bit noisier and less catchy than their previous albums, it is still an innovative album. Niki Colk’s lisp sounds great through distortion, and guitarist Dave Lake does amazing things with pedals when not busy hooting and hollering.

Similar artists: Huggy Bear, old Imperial Teen

Sample lyrics: “Am I too late/ For a friendly introduction/ I have friends who can beat-mix/ Wear shirts to show off their track marks”- “Think Twice”

Best song: “Driving Manual Auto”

Worst song: “A.S.A. to Accuracy”

Rating: 8/10

Martin L. Gore
Counterfeit 2
Release date: April 29 (out now)

What the label says: “The tracks on Counterfeit 2 range from sultry 21st Century blues to achingly lovely sci-fi lullabies, sublime alt-country crooners to engrossing electronic torch songs.”

What this reviewer says: Depeche Mode’s Martin L. Gore turns in an 11-song album of cover tunes. For you Mode heads out there, this sounds an awful lot like their last album, Exciter. Just imagine a less talented singer applying Mode-esque backdrops to songs from John Lennon, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and Nick Cave. Gore sounds bored throughout most of it. Second effort in a continuing series.

Similar artists: Depeche Mode

Sample lyrics: Cover songs

Best song: “Oh My Love”

Worst song: “Das Lied Vom Einsamen Madchen”

Rating: 5/10

American Made
Release date: May 6 (out now)

What the label says: “When they emerged from four intense weeks of recording, they had eleven songs that covered everything from revenge to fame to, of course, girls with buoyant sounds that made the kids jump up and down.”

What this reviewer says: Pop-punk by the numbers with plenty of pining over girls, whiny harmonies and cheesy ballads. Wakefield comes off as the Backstreet Boys of the pop-punk revival. JD’s the cute one. He’s the bad boy.

Similar artists: Sum 41, Ataris

Sample lyrics: “We suck, yeah we’re never gonna make it/ we’re too dumb to be rich and famous” – “Infamous”

Best song: “Sold Out”

Worst song: “Heaven’s Coming”

Rating: 2/10

Prefuse 73
One Word Extinguisher
Release date: May 6

What the label says: “73 times dope, the Prefuse project reflects Scott’s desire to rebuild rap from the roots.”

What this reviewer says: Prefuse 73 (aka Scott Herren) reinvents hip-hop to the point where he’s mostly forgotten the emcees. This is for the strictly scenester. These long-winded and confused instrumental backdrops will provide the perfect soundtrack for your next Vespa/porno/coke party.

Similar artists: Savath + Savalas, Kid 606

Sample lyrics: “You spit fragmented anecdotes we full spectral broad range radius/ no limit soldiers sabotage the camouflage … cats oblivious to what they’re fightin’ for” – “Plastic” featuring Diverse

Best song: “Uprock and Invigorate”

Worst song: “Perverted Undertone”

Rating: 6/10