EW reviews four hot new albums -- We take a closer look at new releases by The Fleshtones, Mobius Band, Holopaw, and Minotaur Shock


THE FLESHTONES Beachhead (Yep Roc) Man, what fortitude: These guys started out in ’76 as a proudly retro, party-hearty garage band and have yet to alter their philosophy or approach one whit. Their single-mindedness pays off once again on this stompingly satisfying set. B+Tom Sinclair

MOBIUS BAND The Loving Sounds of Static (Ghostly International) Just like the Postal Service, this trio of sensitive-fellas-toting-synths-and-guitars has mastered the ratio of icy six-string shimmer to digital doodles. The flat vocals, however, are about as engaging as a line of computer code. B-Michael Endelman

HOLOPAW Quit +/or Fight (Sub Pop) Like their label- and state-mates Iron & Wine, Gainesville’s Holopaw gently evoke the shady back porches and dreamy stillness of the South. Though not as intimate, the latter’s plaintive, country-tinged tunes (especially ”Curious” and ”Holiday”) are quietly lovely. B+Leah Greenblatt

MINOTAUR SHOCK Maritime (4AD/Beggars) Wielding intricate arrangements and a tunefulness that’s unusual for the world of laptop electronica it inhabits, this U.K. knob-twiddler draws impressively from the far-flung fields of folk, classical, and new wave. Not really a shock, as the name suggests, but a pleasant surprise. BMichael Endelman

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