Review Round Up #22

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes Sea Dragons' "Sea Dragons," Noush Skaugen's "Palomino," Frail's "Count On This," Redhooker's "The Future According To Yesterday," and Sam Sparro's "Black & Gold."

Sea Dragons

Sea Dragons
“Sea Dragons”
(Self-Released 2007)

Thick, buzzing instrumentation sets the classic rock tone on Sea Dragons' self-titled EP. Their upbeat pop rock hints at edgy but Sea Dragons, led by singer/songwriter Darryl Thurston, never really cross into that realm, opting to keep things light, energetic and even with a hint of the psychedelic. The band's five songs have a consistent sound that pay real tribute to their influences while still making their sound their own.

Sounds Like: Classic rock inspired music

Key Tracks: "Stop Draggin' Me Down"

B-
buy it!
Palomino

Noush Skaugen
“Palomino”
(Self-Released 2007)

Noush Skaugen may find herself often singing falsetto vocals on her debut EP, "Palomino," but do not let that bring PJ Harvey to mind. Instead of any edgy rock sound, Skaugen offers pop driven rock. While the instrumentation is sometimes flat, the vocals, aside from some nice harmonies, do nothing to show off Skaugen's range or abilities. Neither too dainty nor too strong, Skaugen's "Palomino" walks the line.

Sounds Like: Female singer/songwriter pop rock

Key Tracks: "Skid"

C+
buy it!
Count On This

Frail
“Count On This”
(Tricycle Records 2007)

The Frail's debut EP is just like the band's name suggests. Minimalist melodies are backed by Kevin Durr's thumping, pulsing electronic beats for a thicker sound while vocals from Daniel Lannon add the delicate melodies that the songs need. The result is an EP that is multifaceted while still remaining balanced with the touches of nasally falsetto vocals, monotone melodies, and edgy beats.

Sounds Like: Electro-rock

Key Tracks: "Addicted"

B
The Future According To Yesterday

Redhooker
“The Future According To Yesterday”
(Soft Landing Records 2007)

Next time Grandma wants to take control of the stereo, slip in Redhooker's "The Future According To Yesterday." The band's debut release lets smooth violin, clarinet, Rhodes piano and some guitar lead the soft, understated charge that gently finds its way with thoughtful instrumentation and always restrained melodies. While it does not have quite the intricacy of Beethoven or the dramatics of Wagner, Redhooker have the experience of modern day.

Sounds Like: Classical inspired instrumental

Key Tracks: "Sunday Silence"

B+
buy it!
Black & Gold

Sam Sparro
“Black & Gold”
(Modus Vivendi Music 2007)

It is pure pop dance music on Sam Sparro's "Black & Gold." The Australian Sparro melds R&B, disco and electronic into his EP for a result that reels listeners in from the first moments of "S.A.M.S.P.A.R.R.O." and keeps them hooked for the Gnarls Barkley reminiscent title track. With hot electric guitar solos mingling with processed vocals and low thumping beats blend with smooth pop vocals, Sparro throws a little of everything into the mix.

Sounds Like: Pulsing electronic dance music

Key Tracks: "Black & Gold"

B-
buy it!