Blur – Go Out

“Failed In London, Try Hongkong,” the old saying goes, and Blur do seem to have rediscovered their sense of purpose over East. Albarn is still in Gorillaz mode here, but he must be enjoying the simplicity and familiarity of being in a rock band with mates.

METZ – Acetate

Driving, asymmetric shoegaze rawk, calling on the Melvins in a good mood and Swervedriver in a pissy one. A little repetitive, but listenable and rhythmically cool. Pancakes!

Crumplehorns – So You’re Mine

An early deadringer for Bettie Serveert’s Ray Ray Rain, this one becomes 40% twee pop (see Holiday), 20% new wave revival (see Pulsars) and 60% religiously earnest undertones, all wrapped up in the wavy pastry of a home recording.

Man With A Mission – Seven Deadly Sins

Anthemic pop-rocker from the Shibuya crew, more synthy than their semi-nu-metal rep suggests. They’re known for always wearing wolf masks, which says they’re older than they want you to know and that suggests they can craft a song.

Carl Barat And The Jackals – A Storm Is Coming

The latest from the former Libertines frontman opens up with sublime, dirty guitars and good, raw energy. Deftly manages to sound hooky but not predictable, historically-savvy but not retro or kitsch, and British while avoiding the bloody Beatles. Well worth your time.

Incubus – Absolution Calling

Incubus have been around for a very long time now, and, like other old hands, their brand of funk/rock has graduated from exploratory to polished. Well put-together and rhythmically interesting, but not exactly attention-grabbing or memorable.

Modest Mouse – The Best Room

Modest Mouse are still burning their own trail through the indie cosmos, sounding a bit more pugnacious and clear-eyed these days. This likeable track wastes no time getting to the point and maintains its intensity across some highly variable topography.