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Album reviews: Imagine Dragons and Attack Ships on Fire

Imagine Dragons

Night Visions (Interscope)

The Vegas-gone-L.A. quartet employs a kitchen-sink strategy on its first-ever proper album: Use any and all current pop/rock trends to score a hit record. From dubstep wobbles to Autotune to Coldplay studio tricks, Night Visions reveals a band more concerned with getting on the radio than strengthening the aesthetic it developed over the past three years. Most of the blame should fall on producer Alex da Kid, the wrong man for the job. Luckily, he leaves well enough alone during anthems like “It’s Time” and “Heal Me,” which hit the red on the earnest meter but retain what’s left of the band’s identity. (Imagine Dragons CD release party, with Avalon Landing and American Cream: Wednesday, Sept. 5; Hard Rock Cafe, 3771 Las Vegas Blvd. South, sold out.)

Attack Ships on Fire

Vegas Soul (SquidHat Records)

Local imprint SquidHat gives us its third release in as many months, and while the creators of that album are from Portland, Oregon, Attack Ships on Fire takes inspiration from a distinctly Vegas personality, P Moss — specifically, his new (CityLife-published) book, Vegas Knockout. The punk act crafted 12 songs from the characters and scenarios to form a literary soundtrack of sorts. Complementary as they may be, the tunes stand on their own as narrative-rich and forceful. “City of Hope” in particular could be Las Vegas’ new anthem, nailing the “soul” of the city better than most neon-eyed musicians have. (Vegas Knockout book launch, with Attack Ships on Fire: Thursday, Sept. 6; Double Down Saloon, 4640 Paradise Road, free.) MIKE PREVATT