On When Machines Attack, the trio delivers a collection of eighteen sonic postcards from a probable future forecasting civilization’s approaching doom and the opportunities to cash in. The cast of improbable characters on display includes the “Controller” who introduces the album, along with Johnny Dart, Bad Earthman, Doberman Wasp, The Brain of the Iron Fist, and more. A satisfyingly unsettling listen from top to bottom (or perhaps unsettlingly satisfying?), it’s perfect for late-night car trips—driving alone, of course. Keep watching the skies!
Circus Devils continue to stretch their musical muscles on My Mind Has Seen the White Trick, a set of thematically unrelated pieces that at times ventures into jazzier territory. The terrain remains darkly mysterious, as always, with multiple layers to explore and reward the listener on repeated plays. Unlike the trio’s albums of the past, the music was written to match the vocal melodies, instead of the other way around. It may be the birth of a new Circus Devils.
• Long-running Robert Pollard sideproject sees him backed by GBV alumni Todd and Tim Tobias.
• Tenth and eleventh albums to date, and their first in two years.