The Avett Brothers
The Carpenter (2012)
It might be their fault and it might be mine, but this falls over like shapeless mush, a pretty bald (if understandable) nod to the adult contemporary crowds they've attracted.
Bubbly electro-goth synthery has less to set it apart than Crystal Castles or even Grimes, but it's probably a more agreeable party album than either could give us; the concentration on songwriting seems futile since the songs aren't very memorable.
Old Crow Medicine Show
Carry Me Back (2012)
!! CAUTION !! - Not only is band discoverer Doc Watson gone but so is its singer, lead guitarist, and shining light Willie Watson and the band's rootsiness just doesn't seem as purely interesting, nor the songs so impassioned, as they once did, but again, is it me?
The Seer (2012)
!!!!! AVOID !!!!! - Given the kind of stuff I listen to, I feel like this should make me swoon, but it comes from a corner of yelpy metallic repetitive post-punk so proggy I find it almost unbearable -- it'd be too much for me at a quarter the length.