Review Round Up #1

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews. In the first edition, In Fervor's "Onward Downward", Obsessive Compulsive's "The Corpses of Thought", Malassis' "Birds Like Bricks", Chrisopher Blue's "Room Tones", and Emergency's "Doo-Lang Doo-Lang".

Onward Downward

In Fervor
“Onward Downward”
(DCXXV Recordings 2007)

In Fervor were a broody but still melodic band with memorable riffs and tunes on their "Anatomy Of A Memory" EP. The band's new album "Onward Downward" is dominated with their low-key brand of hard rock but they are missing that energy and enthusiasm of the EP. But as always, In Fervor's rich and fluid instrumentation is the band's secret weapon - even if they do remain reserved by sticking to a similar sound throughout the album and by limiting guitar solos or memorable riffs.

Sounds Like: Brooding hard rock

Key Tracks: "To No Avail", "Another's Maze"

B-
buy it!
The Corpses of Thought

Obsessive Compulsive
“The Corpses of Thought”
(Self-Released 2006)

Amy Lee and Evanesence had better watch out; Obsessive Compulsive are the new female-fronted goth meets hard rock band on the scene - and they have more than just vocally driven choruses to get them noticed. The hard-hitting rock band use insistent, driving instrumentation to get their churning and grinding sound while singer Kelii provides the attitude on their EP, "The Corpses of Thought."

Sounds Like: Aggressive hard rock with metal influences that offers a take no prisoners attitude

Key Tracks: "Dying Dying Dead"

B-
Birds Like Bricks

Malassis
“Birds Like Bricks”
(Spaff Records 2006)

From the very first notes of their debut album, "Birds Like Bricks," Malassis engage listeners and draw them in with catchy rhythms. The side project of Itai Asseo, of the New York City based band Emok, Malassis are full of ever changing textures and sounds that merge indie rock with a free-form punk feel. The result is a tight-sounding album that is fun and inviting as it offers a new surprise around every corner.

Sounds Like: Vibrant and dynamic indie rock

Key Tracks: "I Thought I'd Miss You", "She Came With The Wind"

A-
buy it!
Room Tones

Chrisopher Blue
“Room Tones”
(Sarathan Records 2007)

Far from being a newcomer to the music scene, singer-songwriter Chrisopher Blue just may be getting the attention he deserves with his understated newest album "Room Tones." Blue's soft and smooth voice melts into the gentle instrumentation and light melodies as it delivers his thoughtful lyrics with ease and versatility. With a hint of jazz fused into the mix, "Room Tones" is quiet and unassuming as it calmly wins you over without even trying.

Sounds Like: A thoughtful and gentle take on your favorite rock singer-songwriter (a tempting cocktail of Jeff Buckley, Tom Waits and Mark Lanegan)

Key Tracks: "Ghost in the night," "These thoughts," "Scarecrow"

A-
Doo-Lang Doo-Lang

Emergency
“Doo-Lang Doo-Lang”
(Self-Released 2006)

West Virginia's The Emergency are a ball of energy that just cannot seem to make up their minds as they hop, skip and jump throughout their musical influences, borrowing quite heavily and noticeably. The band's "Doo-Lang Doo-Lang" eagerly tries to do it all, offering poppy guitar hooks and memorable vocal harmonies. But in actuality, the album is unbalanced in tone and production. While The Emergency offers some possibilities, "Doo-Lang Doo-Lang" forces the listener to dig too much to find the musical gems.

Sounds Like: Upbeat pop and alternative rock with sing-along melodies and smooth vocal harmonies

Key Tracks: "Lie Detector," "Eggs And Bacon"

C+
buy it!