No, this isn’t my year-end list of favorite albums; this is me catching up on the third quarter album reviews (halfway through the fourth quarter). Due to the sheer number under consideration — and in this 140-character Twitter age — each gets only one sentence because isn’t something that someone’s poured their heart into for months (or years) worth only one sentence of criticism?

Well, it’s better than nothing.

Hospital Ships, Destruction In Yr Soul (Graveface) — Death Cab meets Arcade Fire, too often tries for epic, too often falls flat.

Destruction Unit, Deep Trip (Sacred Bones)  — Just plain burn-your-face-off garage rock for the damned (and damned good).

Lloyd Cole, Standards (Tapete) — Don’t call it a comeback, it’s the best thing he’s released since Music in a Foreign Language, and could be a hit if he ever tours the U.S.

Twinsmith, self titled — Blessed by the Creek, a sort of Vampire Weekend / Beach House mash-up, might be too cute for its own good.

Eli Mardock, Everything Happens for the First Time (Paper Garden) — Portrait of a man coming to grips with his past, eyes firmly set on his future, surrounded by his friends (and enemies).

Under Water Dream Machine, Can You See Behind the Moon? — Omaha’s hidden mad genius will finally be discovered long after he’s dead.

Speedy Ortiz, Major Arcana (Carpark) — Frontwoman Sadie Dupuis is cooler than Liz Phair because she’ll never sell out (right?). 

Eros and Eschaton, Home Address for Civil War (Bar/None) — As much as I like Adam Hawkins, it’s Katy Sleeveless’ grinding, noisy, shoe gaze that I truly love.

Crocodiles, Crimes of Passion (Zoo Music) — This hazy garage is always a pleasant surprise when it comes up on shuffle, but never enough to revisit in its entirety.

Jake Bellows, New Ocean (Saddle Creek) — The most realized record of his career, and that includes all those sleepy Neva albums.

Guilty Is the Bear, Pride Theater — As pure a pop album as you’ll find ’round here, surprised more people aren’t talking about it.

Tim Kasher, Adult Film (Saddle Creek) — Our hero struggles with love (again) and mortality (again) with a newfound sense of tune craft.   

No Blood Orphan, Top Shelf & Lost Tricks (Ant) — Frontman Mike Saklar’s voice has the lost quality of guy walking alone in an empty field, singing to himself.

Yuppies, self-titled (Dull Tools) — At times too weird for its own good, examine it too closely and it’ll blow up in your face (in a good way).

The Growlers, Gilded Pleasures (Everloving) — Midnight garage rock with a West Coast lilt = cool.

Lee Renaldo and the Dust, Last Night on Earth (Matador) — My favorite Sonic Youth spinoff (so far).

Quasi, Mole City (Kill Rock Stars) — Take out the quirky noise-track filler throw-aways and you’ve got the best Sam Coomes record since Featuring “Birds”.

Heaven’s Gate, Transmuting (Inflated) — Another shoe gaze garage record. Yawn.

Crystal Antlers, Nothing Is Real (Innovative Leasure) — Headed in a thousand directions, manages to go nowhere.

Mood Rings, VPI Harmony (Mexican Summer) — So hazy and dreamy it can’t see the songs in front of its nose, and neither can I.

David Dondero, This Guitar — Conor says he got his voice from him, now it sounds like he’s beginning to get his music from Conor.

Various Artists, Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound (Numero Group) — Not so much where Prince came from as where disco-funk went.

Arcade Fire, Reflektor (Merge) — Much ado about nothing, though I bet it’ll grow on me, just like The Suburbs did.

Matt Whipkey, Penny Park — Ambitious locally produced double album is more than just a walk in the park.

Paul McCartney, New (Hear Music) — Always a John guy, this is the last album I ever thought I’d recommend (but here I am).

London Grammar, If You Wait (Columbia) — Wispy, lonely, pretty, a personal fave I wish I could find on vinyl.

CHVRCHES, The Bones of What You Believe (Glassnote) — Synth-beat rock betrays an ‘80s vibe despite modern disguise, a little goes a long way.

Holy Ghost!, Dynamics (DFA) — If we can’t have LCD Soundsystem, at least we have this.

Neko Case, The Worst Things Get, The Harder I Fight (Anti-) — Gorgeous frontier harmonies forever, but listen too closely and it’ll depress the hell out of you.

Nine Inch Nails, Hesitation Marks (Columbia) — After this, I’m now convinced Reznor will never recapture what he had in ‘90s.

Belle and Sebastian, The Third Eye Centre (Matador) — Biggest disappointment of 2013.

FUZZ, self titled (In the Red) — Ty Segall strikes again, but if I had to choose I’d still take Slaughterhouse (or the latest by Thee Oh Sees).

Over The Edge is a weekly column by Reader senior contributing writer Tim McMahan focused on culture, society, the media and the arts. Email Tim at

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