Review Round Up #19

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes The Goodnight Fight's "Serpentine," Map's "San Francisco in the 90s," Jenn Franklin's "Errors & Admissions," Serena Ryder's "Told You In A Whispered Song," and Between The Trees' "The Story And The Song."

Serpentine EP

Goodnight Fight
“Serpentine EP”
(Brave New World Records 2007)

It is a stimulating instrumental mix led by guitar riffs that constantly assault listeners on metal band The Goodnight Fight's debut EP with Brave New World Records. Growling vocals blend with softer melodic ones for the band's alter egos while guitars offer rapid fire notes and grinding riffs. While The Goodnight Fight relies heavily on metal for their sound, they often add soaring choruses for a poppier feel. The Goodnight Fight is in charge and they want to make that clear.

Sounds Like: Metal meets screamo

Key Tracks: "Frontlines"

C+
San Francisco in the 90s

Map
“San Francisco in the 90s”
(Blue Velvet Music 2006)

It is drummer Trevor Monks' steady beats which keeps the songs on The Map's "San Francisco in the 90s" EP from being too smooth and too lifeless. Instead, the six tunes on the EP are light indie rock with some backbone for those delicate melodies. But the band really comes alive for the quick "Au Bord de la Mer" while the swooning instrumental track "Rachel Dreams" is a thumping come down to the release.

Sounds Like: Light indie rock driven by smooth vocals

Key Tracks: "Au Bord de la Mer"

C+
buy it!
Errors & Admissions

Jenn Franklin
“Errors & Admissions”
(Animus 7 Music 2007)

Nashville singer Jenn Franklin can sing. She makes that clear on the soft ballads, like "Innocence to Lose" and "Fade," on her reissued "Errors & Admissions" EP. But while Franklin had the vocal abilities, the songs do nothing for her. Tedious, over dramatic and with too much production, Franklin needs some tweaking with not only her songs but also her style and form.

Sounds Like: Female singer/songwriter more for adults than teeny boppers

Key Tracks: "Mercy"

C-
Told You In A Whispered Song

Serena Ryder
“Told You In A Whispered Song”
(Atlantic Records 2007)

One has to wonder if Serena Ryder's "Told You In A Whispered Song" EP was the proper release to be the Canadian singer/songwriter's debut for Atlantic Records and the United States. The five songs which make up the EP are mainly understated with just vocals and acoustic guitar leading the way. Her voice gently twittering, Ryder's sound is strong albeit it not completely dominating. "Told You In A Whispered Song" feels like merely an introduction to a much more important release -- let us hope her upcoming full-length proves that true.

Sounds Like: Female singer/songwriter with attitude, emotion and stripped down songs

Key Tracks: "Brand New Love," "Weak In The Knees"

B-
The Story and The Song

Between The Trees
“The Story and The Song”
(Bonded Records 2006)

The debut album from Orlando, FL's Between The Trees is one that offers a variety of sounds. Part indie rock and part emo, the band continually vary their sound throughout the "The Story and The Song," a move that keep each track interesting. While midway through the album they do seem to get stuck with overly sentimental power ballads, Between The Trees soar out of that rut with pounding up tempo tunes and then throw in a loose folksy indie number for good measure.

Sounds Like: Upbeat emo meets indie

Key Tracks: "You Cry A Tear To Start A River"

B-
buy it!