Ted Leo And The Pharmacists

Ted Leo may be the hardest-working man in punk. Although his sixth full-length with the Pharmacists may not have any songs as infectious as “Me and Mia,” from his incendiary 2004 effort Shake the Sheets, it is probably his most consistent effort to date. While the album is teeming with plenty of politically motivated rock songs, The Brutalist Bricks also has sonic surprises, such as the half-time acoustic breakdown on “Bottled in Cork” and the dissonant introduction to the Elvis Costello–worthy anthem “Gimme the Wire.” “We all got a job to do, we’re gonna do it together,” Leo sings over a bed of pounding piano and tribal drums on “Woke Up Near Chelsea.” Leo’s doing his part—what about you?

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