Sounds Like: With Pat Smear officially back on board, plus a Bob Mould and Krist Novoselic cameo, the Fighters give us their best, loudest and most vibrant in 14 years.
Free Association: Loved ’em since they kicked the Chili Peppers’ ass in Albany in ’99.
For Fans Of: Queens of the Stone Age, Nirvana, sweet old dudes still kickin’.
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
Here We Rest
Sounds Like: A former Drive-By Trucker, the raspy Southerner has slowed it down on his third since leaving, making it prettier, more sentimental, and all neat ’n’ tidy.
Free Association: Maybe the Truckers kicked him out for not smoking enough weed.
For Fans Of: Little Feat, Old ‘97s, napkin bibs, beer koozies.
Sounds Like: The New Jersey-born underground jangle kings are back after a 20-year silence with a solid record of reverb-heavy soundscapes.
Free Association: Clearly disciples of the Velvet Underground—it’s in every song.
For Fans Of: Pavement x R.E.M. + Lou Reed, resting on your college radio laurels.
PW's Music Issue 2014