Hatestick, "Appleseed LP" (Darthill Records) -- Lo-fi rock in the style of Pavement, alternating between fuzzed-out guitars and subtle jangling. Singer/frontman/mastermind Adam G. tops off the tunes with delicate, fractured melodies. "Molly" is a particular gem, though the whole album is a worthy addition to the DIY indie-rock tradition.
Karmic Brick, "The Unnatural World" (Nor'easter Productions) -- Driving rhythm and furious guitars propel these 11 songs, which fall somewhere between early '90s alternative rock and power pop as envisioned by, say, Heart. Singer Vicki Garino's clear voice and assured vocals keep the going from getting too heavy.
Veretski Pass, "Veretski Pass" (Golden Horn) -- No one else on the local scene -- or any other scene -- is doing what Veretski Pass is. This self-titled record is a collection of Jewish folk music from Eastern Europe, as interpreted by Cookie Segelstein on violin and viola, Joshua Horowitz on button accordion and tsimbl and Stuart Brotman on bass, basy and baraban. The tunes are mysterious, enthralling and beautifully annotated with personal anecdotes in the liner notes, which also include recipes that sound delicious.