New albums from pop-rock bands Goldfinger and Catatonia, along with the debut album from electronic rockers MDFMK, highlight this week's slate of new releases.
Also due this week are the soundtracks for two movies: "The Crow: Salvation" and "High Fidelity."
On Goldfinger's new album, Stomping Ground, the California band moves away from its punk and ska roots toward more straight-ahead rock.
"We really wanted to make a record that all four of us were going to be part of musically," frontman John Feldmann said. "They're still my songs, but I really wanted to give those guys a little more creative freedom. We're a pop-rock band, ultimately, and throughout our career, we were pigeonholed."
The album includes a tongue-in-cheek cover of the '80s hit "99 Red Balloons," as well as the single "Counting the Days." Goldfinger are best known for their ska-tinged hit "Here in Your Bedroom," from their self-titled 1996 debut album.
Catatonia's new album, Equally Cursed and Blessed, which was released last year in the UK, showcases the Welsh band's diverse guitar-pop on such tracks as "Karaoke Queen" and "Dead From the Waist Down."
The band's frontwoman, Cerys Matthews, said in a statement that she hoped the album the band's third would help Catatonia break through to U.S. fans. "I know it's quite hard for us to find a niche on the radio ... we're a bit of a mixture," she said. "We can rock heavy with the Metallica people one moment and be as soft as Petula Clark the next."
In its U.S. edition, Equally Cursed and Blessed was expanded to include two hits, "Mulder and Scully" (RealAudio excerpt) and "Road Rage," which originally appeared on the band's previous album, International Velvet (1998).
MDFMK is the self-titled debut from former KMFDM members Sascha Konietzko and Tim Skold, who teamed up with former Drill singer Lucia Cifarelli to create the new band shortly after the release of KMFDM's Adios in March 1999.
KMFDM created distinctive electronic hardcore albums for 15 years, and MDFMK picks up where the popular industrial group left off. The new album is loaded with guitar layers and howling vocal tracks on songs such as "Now."
The "High Fidelity" soundtrack features such critical favorites as Stereolab, the Beta Band, Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello, along with the Stevie Wonder song "I Believe (When I Fall in Love)." The movie, which stars John Cusack, is a faithful adaptation of Nick Hornby's novel about the romantic life of a record store owner whose taste in music is passionately elitist.
The soundtrack to "The Crow: Salvation" contains previously unreleased songs and remixes by rock acts Kid Rock, Hole, Stabbing Westward and Days of the New.
Staff Writer Teri vanHorn contributed to this report