Or, the Whale preps new album for September

Or, the Whale is preparing to release a new album on the heels of 2007's Light Poles and Pines (which featured the band's debut single "Call and Response" and helped earn them a 2008 Hollywood Music Award for Best Americana/Roots Artist as well as a coveted spot on Radio & Records Top 100 Americana Artists of 2008).

Tracks like "Black Rabbit," which features a gale-force chorus above electric feedback and pounding drums, play out as if in an effort to prove just how hard the band can rock. At other times, as on "Never Coming Out" -- a paranoid and agoraphobic rail ride that explodes into a final a capella starburst -- Or, the Whale showcases their ability to present a reflective, stripped-down arrangement (no small feat for a band with seven members). Likewise, the creeping "Keep Me Up" shows how Led Zeppelin's "No Quarter" might sound if re-imagined through the mournful wail of pedal steel.

The San Francisco group's new self-titled album is filled with more complexity and shape, not to mention diversity and emotional impact. It lands on September 22 on Seany.