Review Round Up #28

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes Another Animal's "Another Animal," Alter Bridge's "Blackbird," Pacific Coast's "Pacific Coast," Movie Star Kiss' "Sunset Junction," and The Spoon Benders "Resurrecting the Giants."

Another Animal

Another Animal
“Another Animal”
(Universal Republic Records 2007)

From the first notes off Another Animal's self-titled debut album, there is something awfully familiar. Anyone who has heard any alternative rock radio over nearly the past decade is likely to have heard a Godsmack song. And by virtue of Godsmack, with three of its members, comes Another Animal. Using unused songs salvaged from Godsmack sessions, Another Animal's debut offers up heavy riffs matched with vocal melodies to bring out the Alice In Chains style grunge/hard rock sound you are accustomed on surprisingly well-rounded songs.

Sounds Like: A predictable yet hard rocking extension of Godsmack

Key Tracks: "Broken Again," "Interlude"

B
buy it!
Blackbird

Alter Bridge
“Blackbird”
(Universal Republic Records 2007)

Can you really blame the members of Creed for ditching Scott Stapp? Now Alter Bridge, or Creed Mache 2, if you prefer, are forging ahead with "Blackbird," their sophomore album. Thick guitar riffs reverberate while vocals attempt to be both edgy and melodic for a lackluster result. Rather underwhelming considering their past commercial success, Alter Bridge's "Blackbird" is just a regurgitation of things you have heard before.

Sounds Like: Desperately wanting to rock hard while still being radio friendly

Key Tracks: "Before Tomorrow Comes"

C+
buy it!
Pacific Coast

Pacific Coast
“Pacific Coast”
(Homegrown Media 2007)

Meet Pacific Coast. Pacific Coast's turn ons are romantic songs where they can share their feelings, harmonizing while singing about happy relationships and cuddling in the rain and other outdoor settings. Maybe it is Pacific Coast's light, upbeat songs or their uplifting lyrics but there is something almost religious about this pop oriented Los Angeles band. Mixing some essence of The Mamas and The Papas with The Polyphonic Spree, the band's self-title album is a smooth acoustic ride.

Sounds Like: Optimistic, heartfelt indie super pop

Key Tracks: "I Want You (You're Mine)"

B-
buy it!
Sunset Junction

Movie Star Kiss
“Sunset Junction”
(Self-Released 2007)

Picking up where their last release, "Starting Over," left off, "Sunset Junction," the new EP from Movie Star Kiss, is alternative rock with pop sensibilities. Thick, fuzzy guitar drives each song and offers just the right appeal to draw listeners in. Movie Star Kiss has all the right moves on "Sunset Junction" with upbeat, weightless tracks. The problem is that, much like a cute but shy guy at a party, they spend the whole time eyeing you from across the room but never make their move.

Sounds Like: Pop alt rock

Key Tracks: "Self Destructed"

B-
buy it!
Resurrecting the Giants

Spoon Benders
“Resurrecting the Giants”
(Self-Released 2007)

With a sound straight out of '90s radio, The Spoon Benders take the gritty groove style of The Dave Matthews Band and make it damn likable. Vibrant, lively and always with feeling, The Spoon Benders put a blues and rock spin on their sound that is constantly moving, shifting and changing. Whether offering heavy riffs or soaring Jeff Buckley style vocals, The Spoon Benders sell it like they mean it.

Sounds Like: Vibrant, grooving rock with feeling

Key Tracks: "Making My Name," "I Fell Out of the Van This Morning"

A-