Too much metal for F4 to contain? Hotel Vegas is happy to house the excess. Savannah’s Black Tusk puts the power back in trio on latest EP Tend No Wounds, while Virginia psychedelic black metal troop Inter Arma proved the Top-10 worthiness of Relapse LP Sky Burial at Mohawk in July. Chicago’s jazz/grind/thrash outfit Yakuza rages along with Austin instru-metal powerhouse Eagle Claw.– Michael Toland
Austin becomes hardcore heaven with the muscled, metallic melee of NYC legends the Cro-Mags. Local heroes Iron Age, whose hardcore-loving thrash metal remains internationally renowned, provide support along with frontman Jason Tarpey’s D-beat upstarts, the Impalers. NorCal madmen Ceremony slot into a roaring lineup that will make you feel like Chaos in Tejas has come twice this year.– Kevin Curtin
Perfect pairing of veteran North Carolina soul man Lee Fields, who cut his first record in 1969 and helped spearhead the ongoing soul revival, and ATX Chicano brass warriors Brownout, plus local newcomers Latasha Lee & the Blackties. The Expressions borrow members from Budos Band, El Michels Affair, and Menahan Street Band, but the home team measures up.– Thomas Fawcett
Brooklyn’s closest thing to grunge threw listeners for a loop this year when their acoustic guitars, harmonicas, and a Wurlitzer organ ushered in New Moon, the Men’s fourth LP, an album that’d make Neil Young blush. Hasty follow-up EP Campfire Songs reinforces the progression, but live, Nick Chiericozzi and the boys still chug. Female-fronted garage howlers Bleached and Hunters play, too.– Chase Hoffberger
Free Nuevo Wavo for rug rats.
German industrial since 1984.