Review Roundup: Singles (Rancid, Incubus, 311, Dave Matthews Band) and Sky Larkin Album Stream

I can’t help but think of the RER when bouncing that rhyme off my head. Here’s a rundown of some iTunes highlights this week, with brief impressions. The track title is iTunes.

Ida MariaI Love You So Much Better When You’re Naked (Discovery Download)
If you haven’t heard Fortress ‘Round My Heart, you’re missing something in your life. This Stockholm-based girl has the fiery nature of UK’s recent wave of female singers, but holding the tight musicality of Sweden’s top talent. The chorus (also the song title) itself is a riot.
8.9

IncubusBlack Heart Inertia
It’s no Dig, but drifts more than a typical Incubus track. It’ll take more time to enjoy than normal, however there’s little special about it. Brandon Boyd’s voice holds the song together entirely while the supporting guitars are basic with insufficient buildups that really grab you.
6.3

RancidLast One To Die
So Rancid 2000 has continued to make me afraid of new albums from the group, despite the solid Indestructible in 2003. Last One To Die, thankfully, keeps to the core. The strength’s in the chorused shouts, and you can distinguish Tim Armstrong’s lyrics. It’s short, it’s sweet, it’s Rancid, like you always remembered ’em. (Well, sans Matt Freeman’s unbelievably intertwined bass lines.)
6.7

311Hey You
It’s been over 3 years since we’ve heard from 311 in the singles department. Thankfully, it’s a good reintroduction into the band. You’ve got the formulaic dual vocals, easy-going flow, but with the watery interlude building into a strong ending 311’s come up with something exciting once again. Music, you’re my constant companion.
8.1

Wichita America’s first release will be The Golden Spike from Leeds, UK’s Sky Larkin. Katie Harkin fronts the three-piece, donning a voice between Jenny Lewis and Rainer Maria, with more indie pop sprinkled over. They released a full album stream via Last.FM. (I wrote a review of their Paris gig here.

Update:

Dave Matthews BandFunny How It Is FREE
Debuting for free (via email address), Dave Matthews Band returns with the first single off their upcoming Big Whiskey & The Groogrux King, which you can also preorder. Unfortunately only 128kpbs MP3, the track makes up for the lack of fidelity. Spaced violin interludes, same classy Dave Matthews whispering lyrics before a tempered ruckus guitar comes in. It’s paced with surprises, more old Dave than American Baby.
8.4

Thoughts?