Review Round Up #26's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes The Weightlifters' "Last of the Sunday Drivers," Alberta Cross' "The Thief & The Heartbreaker," Strap-On Sweetie's "Ruthie Roadwhore," Man Rockwell's "Lava Proof Boats," and Sunday Drivers' "Archetypes EP."

Last of the Sunday Drivers

“Last of the Sunday Drivers”
(Self-Released 2007)

For fans of gentle '60s style melodic pop come Chicago's The Weightlifters. The band's debut release, "Last of the Sunday Drivers" EP, lets soft melodies shine as hushed vocals add the harmonies. While The Weightlifters aspire to be like Big Star and Teenage Fanclub, "Last of the Sunday Drivers" showcases a much less poppy and alternative sound that glides delicately by.

Sounds Like: Soft ‘60s influenced melodic rock

Key Tracks: "Undefined," "Weightless And Easy"

buy it!
The Thief & The Heartbreaker

Alberta Cross
“The Thief & The Heartbreaker”
(Geffen Records 2007)

It is easy to sit up and take notice of Alberta Cross when their debut EP, "The Thief & The Heartbreaker" is an echoing and raw record that puts an indie spin on rock with a soulful twist of the blues. Slightly twangy electric guitar melds with Petter Ericson Stakee's fluid and strong vocals while the band always manage to work an understated melody into the loose yet deliberate sound of their songs.

Sounds Like: Soulful and raw rock

Key Tracks: "The Thief & The Heartbreaker"

buy it!
Ruthie Roadwhore

Strap-On Sweetie
“Ruthie Roadwhore”
(Studio 11 Records 2007)

With a name like Strap-On Sweetie, a release called "Ruthie Roadwhore" and a pair of red satin and feather panties on their EP's cover, it is pretty easy to know that this band is trying to raise some eyebrows. The band's debut release uses swirling electronic beats that offer suggestions of an edgy industrial heaviness from time to time on their songs that present a dirty seduction.

Sounds Like: Electronic/dance

Key Tracks: "Ruthie Roadwhore"

Lava Proof Boats

Man Rockwell
“Lava Proof Boats”
(Ancient Vessel Records 2007)

Seattle's Man Rockwell blends tuneful rock with heavy riffs on "Lava Proof Boats," their debut EP. Trippy vocals harmonies float over churning electric guitar riffs, nearly hiding the fact that "Lava Proof Boats" is full of melodies. Never taking themselves too seriously, Man Rockwell even put some hip swinging rhythms into their music as they bounce around genres while still managing to tie it all together.

Sounds Like: Indie rock with heavier aspirations

Key Tracks: "The One Abled Wizard"

Archetypes EP

Sunday Drivers
“Archetypes EP”
(Permanent Records 2007)

Darkly pop and taking the electronically driven sound of the 1980s for a spin while maintaining nearly monotone vocals, Sunday Drivers' "Archetypes EP" is a recording that is equally thick and sweet. The band's debut, "Archetypes" introduces music listeners to a rock sound that slowly creeps up on you, sinking into claws in quietly without any overplayed hook or riff. Sunday Drivers focus more on strategy with "Archetypes."

Sounds Like: Another 1980s inspired rock band that dabbles in electronics

Key Tracks: "Endless Summer"