Lana Del Rey - 'Ultraviolence' (Polydor/Interscope)
If 'Born to Die' was Lana Del Rey's Nabokovian wink, then 'Ultraviolence' is her Burgessian hat tip. Swapping one book ('Lolita') for another ('A Clockwork Orange') -- or perhaps simply half-referencing Stanley Kubrick, who made film adaptations of both -- Lana is unleashing her third full-length statement, 'Ultraviolence.' The 11-track album was produced and recorded by The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach and is described by Del Ray thusly: "The record is... beautiful -- it's so wrong and exquisite. It is absolutely gorgeous -- darker than the first." Time to hold hands and enter the void together.
Linkin Park - 'The Hunting Party' (Warner Bros.)
If you too have been disenchanted by the direction of rock music over the past several years, then you're in company with a band that has sold over 60 million records. After having dabbled in an electronica-influenced rock sound for their past two albums ('A Thousand Suns,' 'Living Things'), Linkin Park return with a full-on rock album called 'The Hunting Party,' the kind of rock album you might hear dominating radio stations and MTV in the 90s, the kind of rock album that, as the band suggests, could even serve as a prequel to an album released 14 years ago (2000's 'Hybrid Theory'). Featuring songs written entirely in the studio and then self-produced by the band (who apparently told Rick Rubin to sit this one out), 'The Hunting Party' has the potential to reinvigorate rock music for the masses, one guitar solo at a time.
White Lung - 'Deep Fantasy' (Domino)
Since the release of 2012's 'Sorry,' White Lung have trimmed down to a trio. But on their third album, 'Deep Fantasy,' the Vancouver punk rock exports of vocalist Mish Way, drummer Anne-Marie Vassiliou, and guitarist Kenneth William certainly haven't scaled back any of the energy from which they've made their name. With William assuming bass duties and Jesse Gander producing the record, the band doesn't miss a step, tearing viciously through 10 tracks that are as provocatively reprehensible and relentlessly confrontational as ever. And, as an added surprise for vinyl fetishists, 50 random copies of the 1,000 LPs will come with a free zine designed by White Lung.
deadmau5 - 'while(1<2)' (Astralwerks/Capitol)
Break your makeshift mau5heads out! Canada's premiere electronic producer deadmau5 is back in the building and behind his gear. This week sees the release of the Ultra Music Festival headliner's seventh studio album, 'while(1<2)' (a title that computer programmers would recognize to mean "to loop indefinitely"). It's a double album, featuring a continuous mix for each disc and consisting of a total of 25 tracks -- including a remix of Nine Inch Nails' 'Survivalism' and a track called 'Seeya' featuring Colleen D'Agostino -- many of which had been previously posted on his SoundCloud page. But unless you can mix like deadmau5, that's besides the point, isn't it?
The Soft Pink Truth - 'Why Do The Heathen Rage?' (Thrill Jockey)
After a 10-year break, The Soft Pink Truth has been resurrected by Matmos' Drew Daniel and is releasing what is sure to be among the more controversial albums released this year. 'Why Do The Heathen Rage?' takes songs by black metal artists like Venom, Beherit, Darkthrone, Mayhem, and more, and repurposes them as house and techno tracks. Blasphemy, right? Exactly (note its subtitle, "Electronic Profanations of Black Metal Classics"). With help from members of Locrian, Wye Oak, Antony and the Johnsons, and Horse Lords, The Soft Pink Truth has created a repudiation as much as an album -- both a political stand against black metal's ubiqutious homophobia, racism, and fascism and a celebration of its alluring aesthetic qualities.
The Antlers - 'Familiars' (ANTI-)
Brooklyn's critically acclaimed rockers The Antlers are releasing their new album 'Familiars' this week. The nine-track record -- self-recorded and self-produced by the band -- follows 'Burst Apart,' which had unexpectedly thrust the trio into mainstream media attention back in 2011. But it's 2014 now; do they still have what it takes? Well, if the buzz around their two pre-release singles 'Hotel' and 'Palace' are indications, The Antlers are probably already clearing headspace for more praise.
Black Pus / Oozing Wound - 'Split' (Thrill Jockey)
We got more vinyl goodies this week, this time from Thrill Jockey. Black Pus (the solo project of Lightning Bolt's Brian Chippendale) and Red Bull Sound Select artist Oozing Wound have teamed for a double A-side, vinyl-only split. Born out of a reportedly epic bill at Chicago's The Empty Bottle, the split features two tracks from Black Pus -- one featuring uncharacteristically crisp, unaffected vocals by Chippendale, and the other being a 14-minutes noise epic -- and three from Oozing Wound, all of which were derived from a four-hour blast in the studio. Volume's the name of the game here, so do this release justice when you throw it on. In the meantime, check out photos from Oozing Wound's recent show with Ryley Walker and Nazoranai in Chicago.
Lone - 'Reality Testing' (R&S)
Matt Cutler returns this week with 'Reality Testing,' his fifth album as Lone. On this outing, Cutler creates an amalgamation of Detroit techno, Chicago house, and hip-hop, but it comes across unified, seamless. As Culter put it, "I love the idea of two things sat side by side, but instead of it seeming like they're complete opposites, [it's more that] those two things could almost be the same thing." As such, 'Reality Testing' feels particularly refined and focused, a gracious record whose emotional peaks hit with more impact and its grooves with more insistence, without foregoing the woozy, exquisite qualities that have always marked Lone's music.