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    Brooklyn, NY's COUCH SLUT shook the underground in 2014 with the release of its debut, My Life as a Woman. Stereogum called that album "engagingly smart and terrifyingly blunt" and pegged the sound as "a little bit Oxbow and a little bit Today Is the Day during the AmRep years... It's catharsis through pain, both for the listener and the band. But it's also smart in the way it sets expectations and subverts them."

    New album Contempt carries on in this fashion – COUCH SLUT's savagery and intelligence are both in full effect, adding up to an album that thrills on two levels. Sporting brains and brawn, the four-piece makes music that punches the gut and stimulates the mind. Contempt's harrowing version of rock reflects its hometown – dirty, dangerous, dazzling – and secures the band's place in the line of great NYC documentarians, from Sonic Youth to Swans, from Unsane to Pyrrhon.

    (NPR Music)