Heat Index: The 10 Summer Album Releases We're Sweatin' the Most
7. The Dirty Heads, Cabin By the Sea
Release Date: June 19 (out now)
The Dirty Heads showed themselves to be a terrific sunshine-and-spliffs band this spring with an energetic set on the second stage at Buzzfest. Now that the sun is poised to turn against us for three and a half months, the group's new album could prove a necessity in the delicate battle to keep vibes good.
The Heads manage to cram in a bit of every stoney, summery genre that you hate to admit you love into the album, from reggae to rap to acoustic alt-rock. It's a record that takes your ears on a mini-vacation to Huntington Beach, which is frankly pretty radical. Be sure to have the lyrics memorized by the time they roll into the Woodlands in August with Sublime with Rome and Matisyahu.
6. Cypress Hill & Rusko, Cypress Hill x Rusko
Release Date: July 17
Despite their love for the skunk, the Dirty Heads have a few bales of weed yet to burn before they can credibly challenge the Swisher Sweet supremacy of the hip-hoppers in Cypress Hill. And judging by his addled outbursts recently at Stereo Live, dubstep delinquent Rusko may actually lap them in the race to rehab. We don't want to claim that the new collaborative EP between Rusko and B-Real's boys is the product of altered states, but that's kind of the only connection between the two camps we could come up with.
Cypress Hill aren't the first established stars to hop on to the dubstep bandwagon, but tracks like "Roll It, Light It" are a damn sight more successfully executed than the songs Korn put together with Skrillex. The group has never been shy about mixing up genres (Remember "Rock Superstar?"), and their pairing with Rusko is inspired enough to pique our interest. When it drops next month, we'll be holdin'.
5. Rush, Clockwork Angels
Release Date: June 12 (out now)
After releasing about a billion albums and touring the world countless times over the past 40 years or so, Rush could probably be forgiven for coasting. The band's legion of loyal fans would almost certainly accept a middling 2012 album release in exchange for the opportunity to hear "By-Tor and the Snow Dog" live one more time. In keeping with its own tradition of melting expectations with lasers, however, Rush put out its most ambitious record in decades this month.
Clockwork Angels is an original concept album set in some kind of steampunk dystopian future--we're talking classic Neil Peart narration here, with a modern twist. The group's trademark virtuosity is backed by surprising muscle for a trio that's rocketing toward their 60s. If you're into Rush (or were), this isn't one to skip. The engaging new material figures to feature heavily in the band's set list on their upcoming tour, which wraps up at Toyota Center on December 2.