Netflix flick Metal Lords is a pleasant teenage tale, if not shatteringly original, but it could mark the beginning of a great career. Adrian Greensmith shines as his high school's resident metal maniac Hunter Sylvester. He ropes his mild-mannered buddy Kevin (Jaeden Martell) into picking up the drums and learning a lot of Black Sabbath, Metallica and Judas Priest tunes, and together they navigate romance, the lack of a bass player and potentially disastrous schism in their friendship to compete in the battle of the bands. Throughout, Greensmith portrays the passion of a diehard music fan and the dismay of a teenager with a rough relationship with his playboy divorced dad with style that keeps the viewer invested. Come to Metal Lords for the boss riffs and heavy metal-hero cameos, but stay to witness a potential star in the making. (DAN NAILEN)
MOVING AND MEANINGFUL
Jane frets over her looks, wants to be a model, and fights with her sisters. Like many of us, she wonders about the future, including if anyone will ever love her. Also like many of us, she's never far from her phone, which she uses to document life as a suburban New Jersey teenager. Jane also documents her transition from Jack to Jane, in Always Jane, directed by Jonathan C. Hyde, and available on Amazon Prime. If you are looking to expand your understanding of what it means to be transgender, this four-part series offers that and more. It's a touching and often humorous portrait of a family plus a coming-of-age story set against the emerging COVID-19 pandemic, a backdrop to which we can all relate. (CARRIE SCOZZARO)
THIS WEEK'S PLAYLIST
Noteworthy new music arriving in stores and online May 13:
FLORENCE + THE MACHINE, DANCE FEVER. Based on the stirring baroque dance-pop singles released early ("King," "Heaven Is Here," "My Love"), Florence Welch's soaring voice might carry Dance Fever to the top of many Best of 2022 lists come December.
DAVE KNUDSON, THE ONLY THING YOU HAVE TO CHANGE IS EVERYTHING. Minus the Bear's innovative lead guitarist takes his effects-laiden sonic experimentation to the next level on his solo debut (with some help from a host of alternative guest vocalists).
THE BLACK KEYS, DROPOUT BOOGIE. The kings of pop blues-rock that can easily be licensed for commercials return to kick out more riff-heavy jams. (SETH SOMMERFELD)