7. Oxbow, 'Thin Black Duke'
On their first album in nearly 10 years, dissonant avant-metal crew Oxbow tighten up their interplay and loosen the distortion, creating a broken indie-pummel not unlike Shudder to Think, Chavez or early Rollins Band. The loose cannon amidst this mix of swinging grooves and odd-angled strings is, of course, singer Eugene Robison, who rasps, yowls, falsettos, whispers and laughs through the storm. C.W.