MAY 30 RELEASES
Peeping Tom, Peeping Tom (Ipecac)
Is there anything Mike Patton can't do? The former frontman of Faith No More and Fantomas takes this round with guests like Norah Jones, Massive Attack, and Kool Keith.
Sophie Barker, Earthbound (Emperor)
Barker, late of Zero 7, those heroes of sexy elevator-Muzak atmospherics, strikes out on her own with this British debut.
Legendary Pink Dots, Your Children Placate You From Premature Graves (ROIR)
Legendary perhaps only in their own small circle, but memorable nonetheless. The band's post-punk psychedelia sound goes back 25 years, but stays largely current.
Les Claypool, Of Whales and Woe (Prawn Song)
He's the unchallenged Master of the Funky Bass a title that either makes you go ''Yessss! Turn it up!'' or makes you run screaming to a dark corner, where you pluck out your eyelashes one by one. Take your pick.
George Thorogood and the Destroyers, The Hard Stuff (Eagle Rock)
Lovers of bearded blues-rock unite: Mr. ''Bad to the Bone'' and his crew return with an album of originals, plus a few covers.
Dave Alvin, West of the West (Yep Roc)
A champion of California's Americana scene back in the '80s with his band the Blasters, Alvin returns solo with a tribute to the music of his native Golden State; canny cover subjects include Tom Fogerty, Jerry Garcia, Jackson Browne, and Merle Haggard.
Celtic Frost, Monotheist (Century Media)
Europe's rock monoliths return with their first release in 13 long years, and prove that Switzerland can indeed kick out the avant-garde black-metal jams.
Boy Kill Boy, Civilian (Vertigo/Mercury)
Driving, Killers-esque synth-rock from brash British outfit currently touring the States with the likes of Charlatans UK and Echo and the Bunnymen.
Chatham County Line, Speed of the Whippoorwill (Yep Roc)
Vintage country/bluegrass hybrid with all the mandolin and banjo pickings of an epic back-porch hootenanny.
Boards of Canada, Trans Canada Highway (Warp)
Not Canadian at all, but Scottish darlings of the electronic underground, returning with an EP of playful beats, pretty melodies, and tricky time signatures.
JUNE 6 RELEASES
AFI, Decemberunderground (Interscope)
Their eyes are lined, their hearts are dark, and their hair looks really complicated the beloved Bay Area cobweb-rockers already have a hit with the single ''Miss Murder''; see what else they've got up their bat-sleeves this week.
Be Your Own Pet, Be Your Own Pet (Ecstatic Peace/Universal)
Adorably energetic if artistically underwhelming pop punk from Nashville; female-fronted and with a combined group age of about 35.
The New Cars, The New Cars: It's Alive (Eleven Seven Music)
Is it alive, or merely a lumbering Frankenstein stiched together from the old parts of a once-great band? They've got Todd Rungren but no Ric Ocasek...you be the judge.
Cheap Trick, Rockford (Cheap Trick Unlimited)
Some quarter of a century removed from At Budokan but still at it, this time with Linda Perry producing.
Ice Cube, The Hard Stuff (Eagle Rock)
Can you still be considered hard if you've made a cross-country kids' movie called Are We There Yet? If your name is Ice Cube, the answer is yes. Hence, The Hard Stuff.