Piano Magic's Artist's Rifles
album is stunning, and will probably be my vote for "rock" album of the year. Of course, if you're a Carducci fan, you might protest at its placing in that category, despite the fact that it's more "natural" than what I'd heard by them previously - their "Bliss Out" album, some tracks from last year's Low Birth Weight.
The thing about Piano Magic is that, with some very fleeting exceptions, their music goes to great lengths not to "rock"; it's music as pristine as I can imagine being made with conventional rock instruments. Which doesn't necessarily make it any better
than hoary rock music (see vast amounts of tedious Chicago post-rock). Nor is it particularly new (on the male-sung tracks they sound like a vastly-improved Jack, on the female-sung ones they sound like Australia's recently defunct Paradise Motel) but Piano Magic plough this vein so damn well that it makes external justifications for this album's quality unnecessary and irrelevant. Nice.