Arcwelder Everest

As the (unwitting) heirs apparent to the Minneapolis post-punk, agit pop throne vacated in the late ‘80s by Hüsker Dü, the Arcwelder guys continue to do an admirable job of keeping the sound alive and kicking. On Everest, their sixth album and first in almost four years, brothers Bill and Rob Graber (guitar and bass respectively) and drummer Scott MacDonald return to form with a record that is, at least on the surface, reminiscent of the Hüsker's diverse Zen Arcade record. That is, it's equal parts '70s rock hooks, melodies and grooves and contemporary fuzzed out dissonant guitar squonk. Think Crazy Horse, Sonic Youth and Sugar — complete with MacDonald's Bob Mould-like throaty howl — all rolled into one. In the years since their previous Entropy record, the band seems to have rediscovered itself. While the last record had it's moments, it was wildly uneven and, from a production perspective, almost unlistenable at times. Everest, however, offers not only a more musically satisfying product, but one that does their complex sound more sonic justice as well. Here's hoping we don't have to wait another three years for a new record. (Touch and Go)