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Four brand new slabs o'wax from Chicago's Trouble in Mind

Trouble in Mind peacock logo
Trouble in Mind peacock logo
Trouble in Mind

Chicago's Trouble in Mind label -- the brainchild of CoCoComa's fabulous Bill and Lisa Roe -- kicks off summer 2010 with four cool new releases that work better than central air conditioning, at least in California. As usual, the first pressing of the records come in a random mix of colored vinyl within the distinctive Trouble in Mind peacock-themed sleeve and are accompanied by a digital download of the songs. Collect them all -- you won't be sorry!

Fans of Texas' Hex Dispensers, get ready to get happy: If you've been craving something new from the band since last year's behemoth LP "Winchester Mystery House," you're in for a treat. Trouble in Mind 13 has the band foraging into slightly mellower -- but no less rockin' --  territory with the A-side, "One Less Ghost," which starts with a strolling build-up punctuated by a jagged guitar riff, that soon explodes into a full-on rock 'n' roll ballad. The beautiful melding of power pop and punk is easily one of the band's best releases so far.

TIM14 features the dazzling psychedelic sounds of Seattle's Night Beats, who kick your ass on up into 13th Floor Elevator heaven with a 4-song EP that's distinguished by a rough cacophony of wailing vocals, crashing drums and needle-sharp guitar work that would sound great in front of an acid background. A highlight is the ominous, driving "They Came in Through the Windo," with its ragged, hair-raising guitar outro. P.S.: Night Beats will be hitting an as-yet-undetermined stage in L.A. in early Sept. Keep an eye on their MySpace page for details.

Sticks N Stones (TIM15) prove once again that real rock 'n' roll don't come from New York (or L.A. for that matter). The Milwaukee supergroup (comprised of ex-members of Catholic Boys and Tuff Bananas among others) treats listeners to a romping, chant-and-stomp mod/power pop assault, featuring two instant classics, "Is It You?" and "Telling the Truth," which feature righteous bass-work and cool female backing vox.

Tropical Sleep (TIM16) has a straight-forward, easy-going, good-natured pop sound that might remind some of Florida bands like the Eat and the Wind. Except Tropical Sleep is from Oakland and is the debut single from the Pets' Dan Wood's latest project. Good stuff.

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