franz ferdinand
franz ferdinand

Now Hear This: FFS, Muse, Of Monsters and Men, and More!

It’s Tuesday, and that means it’s time for Ol’ Uncle Unicorn Booty to let you know what’s in the record racks…. or, at least, what would be if you still bought physical records. Which you probably don’t. Anyway, here’s what you should be listening to this week…

Our Winner This Week: FFS – FFS

The winner this week is one I’ve been personally waiting for for months. The debut album from FFS — the new collaboration between Franz Ferdinand and Sparks — was announced late last year and songs have been dribbling out ever since, but we’ll soon have the complete thing. As confusing as a collaboration by the two bands might sound, FFS does make a perfect blend; the piano and operatic vocals from Sparks combined with the angular guitars and jittery energy of Franz Ferdinand. For those who are particularly excited, iTunes also has a deluxe version with a few extra cuts.

And, just because, here’s a medley of the two acts’ greatest hits from Later… with Jools Holland.

Runner Up: Muse – Drones

The neo-prog band is back with their seventh album. As indicated by the title, Drones features an expressly political bent to the lyrics. Interestingly, Muse used the legendary producer Mutt Lange for this album, producer for bands as wide-ranging as AC/DC, The Cars, Carrie Underwood and Shania Twain. While Lange’s production adds a bit of a harder edge, it’s still pretty proggy and shouldn’t feel like a departure to fans.

Also Notable: Of Monsters And Men – Beneath The Skin

The popular Icelandic indie rock band’s second album is out, and while it remains to be seen if any of the singles will be as big as their hit “Little Talks” from 2011’s My Head Is An Animal, but if “Crystals” is any indication, they have a good shot with their well-produced, bombastic-yet-delicate sound.

Other New Releases: Country act Montgomery Gentry have a new album, Folks Like Us.

There’s a new live Melissa Etheridge album, A Little Bit Of Me: Live In LA, in both standard and deluxe editions, the latter coming with a DVD.

Jagjaguwar is releasing a new EP from Sharon Van Etten, I Don’t Want To Let You Down, recorded with the producer of her previous album, Are We There.

Cult art-rock legends The Fall have their thirty-first album out, Sub-Lingual Tablet.

Stoner comedian Doug Benson has a new live album, Promotional Tool, recorded live on April 20th, because of course it was.

Sonic Boom is putting out Coast To Coast, a collection of the radio performances from inventors of psychobilly, The Cramps.

Finally, Andy Human and the Reptoids are putting out their self-titled album. I have no idea who they are, but I like the name.

Other New Reissues: There’s an LP reissue of the new Major Lazer album Peace is the Mission. 

Priority is releasing digitally remastered versions of the N.W.A. albums  Straight Outta Compton and Efil4zaggin and the EP 100 Miles and Runnin’.

Rhino Records is releasing deluxe editions of Faith No More’s The Real Thing and Angel Dust, to tie in with their most recent Sol Invictus.

The Rolling Stones are doing a super-deluxe reissue of Sticky Fingers with bonus tracks and a DVD.

The 1998 solo album from Skinny Puppy’s cEvin Key, Music for Cats, has been issued on vinyl for the first time.

There’s a deluxe edition of the debut album from British Sea Power, The Decline Of British Sea Power that comes with a DVD.

Electro-pop group Air has a deluxe reissue of their soundtrack for Sofia Coppola’s debut film, The Virgin Suicides.