NEW RELEASE OF THE WEEK: 1990s ALT-ROCK SURVIVORS TOADIES DELIVER THEIR BEST ALBUM SINCE REFORMING

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When it comes to twitchy, psychotic rock, Toadies remains the band to beat. “Possum Kingdom” was as much a blueprint as it was a ’90s alt-rock hit. On Play.Rock.Music., the best yet of the albums the band has made since reforming in 2006 after a five-year breakup, Toadies zigzag through fast, jumpy rock ’n’ roll (“Rattler’s Revival”), narcotic balladry (“Sunshine”), and fuzzed-out, psychedelic blues (“Animals”). On this outing, Toadies push off into some fresh directions. Holding it together is the band’s cinematic perspective, with singer Vaden Todd Lewis very good in acting and producing roles. In “Summer of the Strange,” Lewis directs the unraveling of a frightening tale of sanity slipping away. “Magic Bullet” and “Laments of a Good Man” mine familiar Toadies turf — dark impulses sparked by despair. But before anyone dismisses Toadies as misanthropic, Lewis signs off with the genuinely tender “The Appeal.”Boston Globe

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