Thursday, February 26, 2009

Under Your Bed

Under Your Bed is one of the best produced albums I've heard from an independent band in a while. Its deliciously driving, with raw guitars playing off one another, bass lines syncing up perfectly with the drums and intense wailing vocals to drive home each song.

Leave the Lights On hits hard from the get-go; a perfect song to get the adrenaline pumping. While tracks like No Compromise give off a real No Doubt (on steroids) feel, the kick drum pulses against Sapp's vocals. The song quickly explodes and you'll agree its a great piece of work.

Quite possibly the tightest sound and most cohesive throughout the album, is American Idle. I haven't been able to shake it from my head in over a day. I'd say they're onto something here.

Overall, Under Your Bed knows how to write. They know how to translate pure rock emotion via song. Under Your Bed is a ride - take advantage of it and spread the word when you do.

Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Lost & Found - Noush Skaugen

Noush Skaugen is a pure pop talent we'll all be hearing from in the near future (at least that's my best guess). She's already getting ample regional acclaim, but the national scene is sure to catch on soon. Her most recent album, Lost & Found is a pop-rock score!

With catchy and singable tracks like Beautifulize and Not Gonna Give You the Satisfaction, her thick, pop-perfected melodies will remain in your head for days. The production of these songs doesn't hurt either. They're sonically accute, placing each instrument exactly where it belongs.

Other tracks such as See Clearly, give the pop-rocker a more atmospheric and spacious quality, while tracks like Let You Go, features her ability to write soft, mellow, sorrowful tunes, all the while remaining intensely simple.

All in all, her album is win. Catch a show and pick up Lost & Found in the very near future!
RATING: 4 of 5 stars

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Werdegang E.P. - Sleepers Awake

Imagine Eddie Vedder wailing to a trippier, more progressive backing band, and you have an accurate taste of Sleepers Awake's, Werdegang E.P. Boatman Blues really showcases great drumming by Eric Gray which is accompanied by fighting guitars.

In Time is a swingy rock song with blaring bass and guitar riffs that backs a falsetto vocal forcing the thought, "don't you wish you could turn back time?" Its more reserved and thought provoking.

Screamers unleashes non-congruent guitar lines with hard panned movement. Its a ride for your ears. Thompson's vocals are an intense whisper and work very convincingly.

If you are a fan of Pearl Jam, you'll enjoy this e.p. If not, you might want to keep your distance. If Vedder ever finds himself unable to perform, Thompson could step in and 99% of the audience wouldn't know the difference.

RATING: 3 of 5 stars

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Evan Spade

Evan Spade's self-titled E.P. is a pop-rock, easy listen. With pop-writing success like Butch Walker, I'd imagine Spade in the same formulaic school. His songs are extremely polished, and come across like a mastered musical equation. Each instrument seems well placed and finished with a sonic gloss.

Spade's tenor vocals are clear and understood as he moves from strong rock choruses, to floating falsetto. Everything he sings seems to stick in your head. Especially in NYC and Joyride, Spade sculpts his 3.5 minute pop-rock songs most carefully.

It's a true LA sound coming from a Texan. Whether as a solo artist, or writing for other artists, i'm sure we'll be hearing more from Evan Spade.

RATING: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Wildcat

As I sit and listen to their disc for the 3rd or 4th time, it still feels like I'm sitting in a small rehearsal space, riding the rawness and intensity of the "live" vibe. The Wildcat is riff-bluesy-rock in the vein of The Black Keys (plus a bassist).

Clearly students of Zepplin, the Stones, and the like, The Wildcat is the self-titled, 3rd album from these California rockers. In 16 tracks, The Wildcat takes you from melody to honky tonk, to blues to rock. Their music heavily focuses on the instrumental side of the song, but the lyrics and melody work most perfectly with the riff-rock on standout tracks; such as Overdrive, Where the Wind Blows, The Wildcat, and Still Shimmyin', Chained.

Overall its a solid listen you'll enjoy, if you're a fan of the genre.

RATING: 3.5 of 5 stars