Review Round Up #15

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes Heartbreak Club's "Lamecore," The Johnbenders' "The Johnbenders," Ferraby Lionheart's "Ferraby Lionheart," Arrica Rose & The ...'s "Last Night on Earth," and Juhu Beach's "Scenes of Abandoned Industry."

Lamecore

Heartbreak Club
“Lamecore”
(Reign Records 2007)

Australian band Heartbreak Club is a pop punk band that avoids the exaggerations and embellishments of some of their musical peers. The band's "Lamecore" EP has an ironic and snarky attitude, as evidenced by the airhead answering machine message which acts as the release's introduction, and bouncy riffs to complement vocal melodies. But "Lamecore" lacks a certain polish and comes off sounding incomplete and under-produced.

Sounds Like: Pop punk

Key Tracks: "Bethanie"

C+
The Johnbenders

Johnbenders
“The Johnbenders”
(Self-Released 2007)

The Johnbenders show off three distinct sides on their second release, a self-titled EP, and all of those sides are bright and energetic as they pull you in. With a new wave inspired sound, the band deliver bold, shrieking vocals in an unconventionally melodic way. Vaguely nostalgic, The Johnbenders can get the party started and keep it going with their fun and engaging self-titled EP.

Sounds Like: Modern spin on new wave

Key Tracks: "Nine Pound Hammer"

B-
Ferraby Lionheart

Ferraby Lionheart
“Ferraby Lionheart”
(Nettwerk Records 2007)

Rufus Wainwright needs to be warned; he had better watch out for Ferraby Lionheart. The singer/songwriters may compare with their piano and acoustic guitar driven music but Lionheart takes things in a different direction. His self-titled EP is a wonderful mix of simple ballads and fuller instrumentation with a bounce. Instantly likable, Ferraby Lionheart's EP is one that draws you in without even trying as he lays out his heartfelt lyrics with gentle melodies.

Sounds Like: Thoughtful and understated singer/songwriter like Rufus Wainwright

Key Tracks: "The Ballad of Gus and Sam"

A
Last Night on Earth

Arrica Rose And The ...'s
“Last Night on Earth”
(Poprock Records 2007)

There is just something about Arrice Rose & The "'s "Last Night on Earth" EP that does not work. Throughout the EP's five tracks, listeners get glimpses here and there of Rose's clear vocal abilities but "Last Night on Earth" just does not do her justice. Rose spends much of the album over-singing or being matched against instrumentation that just is not flattering to her voice's tone or style.

Sounds Like: Female singer/songwriter delivered with a hint of country

Key Tracks: "Silence (is all we need)"

C-
buy it!
Scenes of Abandoned Industry

Juhu Beach
“Scenes of Abandoned Industry”
(Self-Released 2007)

Juhu Beach, from Seattle, Washington, is an energetic band that is bounced all over the place by thick, jerky guitar riffs that squeak and resonate off of steady drumming on their "Scene of Abandoned Industry" EP. With vocals chanted throughout most of the songs on the EP, Juhu Beach's minimalist melodic noise instrumentation plays on influences like Fugazi.

Sounds Like: Barebones indie noise rock

Key Tracks: "Hibernating Mammals"

B-