The Brokedowns, New Brains for Everyone (Thick Records). Angry, hurtling and relentlessly focused, this Chicago-area quartet attacks the usual targets — conservatives, hypocrites, meatheads and zealots — with abandon and aggression. The Brokedowns grumpily grind crayons and cigarette butts into the simple, loud and fast blueprint of bar-room punk, creating a glorious mess that's both fresh and familiar. — Eryc Eyl
Dälek, Deadverse Massive, Volume 1: Dälek Rarities 1999-2006 (Hydra Head). For its first official hip-hop release, Hydra Head pulls together some of the darkest, mostly richly textured remixes, instrumentals and previously unreleased tracks from MC Dälek and elite beat-meister Oktopus. On the heels of Abandoned Language, released by Ipecac earlier this year, this collection should cement the duo's reputation as one of hip-hop's most innovative, challenging and genre-busting acts. — Eyl
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Raccoo-oo-oon, Behold Secret Kingdom (Not Not Fun). This psychedelic batch of thunder and drone comes from Iowa City. Hard to tell if it's reflective of the rich literary history there, since the lyrics are moaned and screeched, but song titles like "Antler Mask" and "Fangs and Arrows" certainly match the tenuous mood — namely, going bonkers on peyote without a trip-sitter. — Josh Tyson
UNKLE, War Stories (Surrender All). Mo Wax founder James Lavelle's latest excursion into sonic auteurism boasts a theatrical streak a kilometer wide. The disc's as scattershot as it is ambitious, but there are memorable moments here, including "When Things Explode," a windswept Ian Astbury melodrama, and "Restless," a Josh Homme featurette more interesting than anything on the latest Queens of the Stone Age album. — Roberts
Frankie Valli & the 4 Seasons, Jersey Beat: The Music of Frankie Valli & the 4 Seasons (Rhino). The Tony-winning Jersey Boys tells one story of Valli's Newark harmony group. This sprawling three-CD/one-DVD boxed set tells another, tracing the boys' transition from piercingly nasal pop hitmakers through an awkward faux-Pet Sounds period to Valli's days as a purveyor of occasionally memorable Vegas-ready shlock — minus "Grease," which is mysteriously absent. Guess it's not the word anymore. — Roberts
Various Artists, Anchored in Love: A Tribute to June Carter Cash (Dualtone). For the better part of her life, Mrs. Cash lived in the shadow of her husband, despite hailing from the musical Carter family. But June, being the saucy little vixen she was, could always hold her own in song, and covers by heavyweights like Sheryl Crow and Willie Nelson demonstrate why. — Brandon Daviet