By Jacob Katel
By Laurie Charles
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
Spam Allstars, Electrodomésticos (self-released): What Miami music list could leave off these live warriors? Unless you live under a rock, you've partied to their juicy, slightly retro Latin funk — they're one of the few groups working that seem to unite almost everyone with a pulse. They're really all about their real-time descargas, but Electrodomésticos does a fine job of harnessing that energy into studio compositions.
Torche, In Return (Robotic Empire/Rock Action Records): All right, this is an EP, not a full-length. But anyone who reads this column knows I will sing the praises of this band to the high heavens. A little snack after their 2005 self-titled debut, this disc is a collection of more face-peeling, down-tuned, but melodic mayhem. A dare: Listen to the title track without snapping your neck and immediately hitting "repeat." See? You lose. Torche has already recorded its next full-length, to be released on the legendary Hydra Head Records next year, and it's going to be so good. So good.
Jason Tyler, Model Tested, Rockstar Approved (Snapshot Recordings): Chicago transplant Tyler wrote most of this record on a laptop he kept in a backpack while he was temporarily homeless in New York. And yet it still sounds magically pristine. A former straight-up Chicago house DJ, he has infused some of that style's swing and funk into his new compositions of shredding, dirty electro. The album's most bangin' tracks are driven by piercing treble and filthy low-end bass, while at other times, things take on a shiny, New Wavey, almost pop feel. It's like the soundtrack to someone's particularly glamorous life.