The Zincs recall The National with a touch of Jens Lekman on Black Pompadour (Thrill Jockey) (buy it), full of subtle pop songwriting that sneaks up on you.
MP3: The Zincs - Head East, Kaspar
Also out is a 2-track single in advance of Bill Callahan's post-Smog coming-out, Woke on a Whalehart, featuring Diamond Dancer (Drag City) (buy it).
Elsewhere, the top tier of late-90s indie rock cannot be stopped. Low plugs on with Drums and Guns (Sub Pop) (buy it), still making me wonder if I need to add to my current Low collection of The Curtain Hits the Cast and Christmas. Meanwhile, Modest Mouse plugs in Johnny Marr like a bizarro Cousin Oliver to keep you guessing. Will We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank (Epic) (buy it) keep them on the commercial Alternative charts next to the likes of Three Days Grace and Breaking Benjamin? Is there anything here to match my favorite woozy MM of "Custom Concern" and "Baby Blue Sedan"? The song's all right, I guess, but the production on "People" is a bit too nu.
MP3: Low - Breaker
MP3: Modest Mouse - People as Places as People