The Drop: Chronicle’s guide for the music store

Shipwreck A.D.AbyssDeathwish RecordsFour out of five stars

Shipwreck A.D. has crafted a hardcore record of Odyssean proportions. Gloomy, metal-influenced hardcore in the vein of Cleveland legends Integrity and Ringworm underscores a journey from stormy seas to deserted islands to erupting volcanoes to triumphant mountain peaks. While epics of this nature have defined the power metal genre and given rise to a wealth of fantasy-obssessed, metal nerddom, Shipwreck A.D. manages to tell its tale without the schmaltz of dragons, wizards or fated romances — simply the bare bones despair of the human condition. Frontman J.D. growls, “What’s the point? All I’ll still find is nothing. Please say this journey has all been for something,” as final track “Zenith” segues from hardcore stomp to psychedelic moans, and it becomes clear that the journey leads to one clear destination: the future sound of the static hardcore genre.

OneRepublicDreaming Out LoudInterscope RecordsOne out of five stars

If you’re into lyrics so universal they could apply to high-school heartbreaks and al-Qaida suicide bombings alike, the sort of traditional pop songwriting that yields 10 of 12 songs on an album between 3:30 and 4:30 minutes in length running the requisite verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus course, those mind numbing singles they send over the stereo system to drown out cavity drills in dentist offices, soundtracks to shows such as “The Hills” and “One Life to Live,” overproduced symphony backing and s*** like Maroon 5, you’re gonna love OneRepublic.

If you’re in search of artistic integrity, you won’t find it on Dreaming Out Loud.

Will HogeDraw the CurtainsRykodiscThree out of five stars

Draw the Curtains rings with a traditional blend of Nashville rock ‘n’ roll and Motown soul, but unlike the mass of scruffy, southern boys attempting to do the same thing right now, Will Hoge actually sounds like he means it. While studying to become a high school history teacher, Hoge picked up a guitar. Numerous independent tours, live albums and a couple of major record deals to boot, Hoge has made a name for himself as the kind of artist who creates art for art’s sake and not for the royalties expected. “I’m Sorry Now” stands out as an especially honest folk ballad in league with a polished Dylan or Young while rockers like “Sex, Lies and Money” and “These Were the Days” come close to doing justice to Tom Petty’s rock-ballad legacy.

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