Neil Young – Hitchhiker

Hitchhiker is the rare archival release that can appeal to both rabid superfans and casual listeners. Recorded over the course of a single night in 1976, it captures Neil Young in a stony mood-just a man and his guitar, a piano (and a few mind altering substances) live in the studio. All but two of the songs have appeared on other recordings, but many of the previously released tunes shine brighter here in their earlier incarnations than they do on mid-period records where they’ve appeared before. Young’s acoustic renditions of favorites like “Powderfinger” and others that later appeared on Rust Never Sleeps also fare especially well. Of the two “new” songs, “Hawaii” could have stayed in the scrap heap, but “Give Me Strength” is a pure gift from classic-era Young.(Under The Radar)

Silverstein – Dead Reflection

Seventeen years and eight full-length releases into their career, some would assume that Silverstein might start losing steam by now, but judging by their newest release, they’re pressing forward stronger and more focused than ever. Dead Reflection is spearheaded by vocalist Shane Told’s documentation of a difficult year and ironically finds the band at their best lyrically and emotionally. Like their fan-favorite early releases When Broken Is Easily Fixed and Discovering The Waterfront, Dead Reflection packs an emotional punch and sonic journey that’ll certainly make old fans happy and keep new ones interested.(The Prelude Press)

The Dears – Times Infinity Volume Two

They have never been a particularly upbeat band, so when Montreal’s The Dears proclaim their seventh album to be among their darkest to date, you have some idea of what’s in store.(The Irish Times)