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NEW YORK (Billboard) - Nobody would ever confuse R.E.M. for Metallica, but the guitars have definitely been turned up for the Georgia group's 14th studio album, "Accelerate."
The follow-up to 2004's "Around the Sun" is due in stores April 1 via Warner Bros.
Nearly all the material was tested out during a summer run in Dublin, although manager Bertis Downs said a few of those songs didn't make the cut, and a couple of album tunes were held back from live airings.
Mostly gone is the drowsy vibe of "Around the Sun," which was a commercial and critical disappointment. New tunes such as "Living Well Is the Best Revenge," "Horse to Water," "Aftermath" and "Until the Day Is Done" recapture the old R.E.M. energy. "It's not like we're going to pretend these are ballads. These are rockers," Downs told Billboard.com.
R.E.M. will tour this spring; for now, the lone confirmed date is an appearance at the Langerado Festival, which runs March 6-9 in Big Cypress, Fla.