Afraid of Heights
Mom + Pop/Warner Bros
The fourth LP from Nathan Williams does for Nineties punk pop what his girlfriend Bethany "Best Coast" Cosentino has done for Sixties girl-group pop: rewires it for a new generation of Spotify-surfing headphone junkies. Starting with heavenly bells and tight-wound guitar slashing, his stoner minimalism gets ambition – there's even a cello! Self-loathing and suicidal tendencies swarm; Iggy Pop is evoked on the semi-unplugged sorta love song "Dog," and Jeff Mangum- and Kurt Cobain-style angst haunt the title track. Frequent Nirvana echoes flirt with overkill. But no one has ever channeled that band's bubblegum nihilism better.