Artist: Daughtry
Album: Leave This Town
Label: Sony BMG/19 Recordings/RCA
Daughtry’s Leave This Town is the much-anticipated sophomore album following the band’s success with their self-titled debut. While “No Surprise,” the first pop single, continues to climb the charts, the album surprisingly contains not only remnants of pop but also heavy doses of rock and country. The songs are uplifting and energy-filled, designed for fist pumping and power jams, and Chris Daughtry’s rough and passionate voice heightens each song’s outpouring. Leave This Town’s appeal can also be attributed to collaborations with Chad Kroeger (of Nickelback), Vince Gill and Richard Marx. Though stemming initially from the ashes of American Idol, this band does a great job of shedding the bubble gum pop pretences. — Vivianna Sapien
Artist: Andrew Jackson Jihad
Album: Can’t Maintain
Label: Asian Man Records
Arizona duo Andrew Jackson Jihad not only maintain but rise above and beyond expectations with their forthcoming full-length, Can’t Maintain. Though the latest from the folk-punkers isn’t slated for official release until September, the album is available for purchase at live shows and is worth the immediate gratification (and reasonable cost). Despite a range of difficult and downtrodden subject matters, the always up-beat AJJ tackle each track with wit and fire, highlighted by the pointed accusations of “We Didn’t Come Here to Rock” and “Love Will Fuck Us Apart.” Andrew Jackson Jihad is a band that is hard to compare from recorded work to live show, but Can’t Maintain is as close to the “real thing” as one can get. Don’t miss out. — Amanda Shively

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