Shock City Maverick

Beans is the Henry Miller of hiphop--for a brainy guy, he sure expends a lot of syllables on his genitalia and boudoir activities. But the guy gets away with such phallocentricity because he's endlessly clever on the subject. The former Antipop Consortium MC/producer has just dropped his third unique solo collection of minimal, electro-funk futurism with "no sample clearances or guest appearances" (as he spits on "I'll Melt You," which is perhaps the ultimate boast rap). Also boastworthy: Beans' ability to combine strange textures with accessible vocal hooks, bass lines that raise sperm count, and a vertiginously surreal flow down the stream of consciousness. Throbbing with sparse, alpha-male funk and next-level tones, Shock City Maverick is as serious as a budget deficit, but it still turns out parties. DAVE SEGAL

frog eyes

Folded Palm
(Absolutely Kosher)

All of the musicians of Frog Eyes do a fine job of creating the marching band anthems for coke-addled angels, but it's undeniably Carey Mercer's vocals that form the distinctive sonics of the new record, Folded Palm. Rapid-fire poetics couple Captain Beefheart and John Frusciante, traveling an uneasy range between mashing soulfulness and harmonic screams, in jarring tempo. Before the "what-the-fuck" look even strains your face, the songs are over--pounding, bleeding, or waltzing into another. As much as the sounds clash, they also unify, creating a matching emotional effect--it's refreshingly dissonant, and sweetly melodic. Kind of like drinking a glass of Kool-Aid and Everclear, the two mix well if you have enough of them. Folded Palm is bound to inspire a collective eye roll from the girlfriends of music geeks for months and months to come. God bless 'em. MANU BERELLI

Wolf Eyes
Burned Mind
Sub Pop

The songs on Wolf Eyes' Sub Pop debut are divided between hazy, muttered soundscapes and brutal, fist-pumping noise anthems. The former, more atmospheric tracks aren't intended to act as a calm-before-the-storm--they're just as terrifying as the rockers (it's kind of like choosing between death by poison or by stoning). Hot on the heels of a tour with Sonic Youth, this will of course be Wolf Eyes' most widely available record, perhaps marking the widest exposure the band will experience. As harsh and primordial as the record sounds, Wolf Eyes clearly understands this opportunity, and if Burned Mind is their most relentlessly violent record, it's also their most persuasive. Garbled vocals, ribcage-shaking rhythmic pummeling and wailing, and high-pitched squeals quickly become a language all their own--and anyone who makes it through the first fifteen minutes of this record will be speaking it for the last thirty. ETHAN SWAN

**** Marlon Wayans
*** Keenen Ivory Wayans
** Kim Wayans
* Damon Wayans