The Love Dimension, Forget the Remember
For a band so top-heavy with personnel, this band traffics in remarkably simple pop. Forget the Remember contains eleven nostalgia-based surf-rock tracks, the best of which, "Uma Coisa Linda," has the lonesome lilt of a prairie ballad. The upbeat numbers combine bubbly chord changes with anxious or introspective lyrics. (Warrior Monk Records)
The B-Stars, West Coast Special
A gift for innuendo and an indefatigable work ethic may give The B-Stars real staying power. This alt-country quintet last graced the pages of the Express in May, and is already back with a new album. This one opens straight away with a cheeky come-on. "Chicken Fried" reappears midway through, and it's still the band's best track. (Rust Belt Recordings)At Verdi Club (2424 Mariposa St., San Francisco) on Friday, Sept. 28. 8 p.m., $10
Los Cenzontles, Regeneration
Traditional Mexican music will probably always be a niche form, but the members of Los Cenzontles do their best to contemporize it, combining the most obvious signifiers of norteño (polka bass lines, accordion, zapateado) with rock guitar riffs, fast drum breaks, and even a saxophone. Singer Fabiola Trujillo has a lovely, warbling voice. (self-released)At Yoshi's (510 The Embarcadero, Oakland), on Saturday, Oct. 27. 8 & 10 p.m.
Elektrik Sunset, Fish Dinner Party
Sometimes good bands make bad decisions. Case in point: surf-rock trio Elektrik Sunset, which opened its new album with a two-minute instrumental. That suggests the band would rather let its guitars speak for themselves — unlike most rock outfits, it doesn't believe in the primacy of a human singing lyrics. Yet the songcraft isn't strong enough to compensate; many listeners won't move on to track two. (Last Stop Records)At 50 Mason Social House (50 Mason St., San Francisco) on Thursday, Nov. 1. 7 p.m.