Review Round Up #34

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes Trolleyvox's "Your Secret Safe/Luzerne," Mystechs' "Hot Tub O' Blood," Great Northern's "Sleepy Eepee," Amateur Radio Operator's "Sirens of Titan," and The Houstons' "Still."

Your SecretSafe/Luzerne

Trolleyvox
“Your SecretSafe/Luzerne”
(Transit Of Venus 2007)

At first appearances Trolleyvox's "Your Secret Safe/Luzerne" double album may appear like a concept album. But it is far simpler than that as the music speaks for itself. "Your Secret Safe" is full of bright power pop melodies that have the warm buzz of psychedelica while "Luzerne" focuses on acoustic ballads and instrumentals that are both rambling and honest with their stream of consciousness flow. Similar but separate, Trolleyvox keep their thoughts divided on "Your Secret Safe/Luzerne."

Sounds Like: Psych pop and reflective acoustic

Key Tracks: "Jean Jacket," "Intermission"

A-
buy it!
Hot Tub O' Blood

Mystechs
“Hot Tub O' Blood”
(Death By Karaoke 2007)

They're baaaaaack and this time Chicago electro-chameleons The Mystechs are taking on metal. With all the familiar melodies (and lack there of) you would find on any proper death metal/nu metal album, the band nails the high energy of grinding, chugging guitars which blast their riffs like a machine gun while dripping lyrics full of sinister goriness delivered with a gruff, growling voice. The irony is almost too much on the war epic "Groundpounder" even as the band commands you to "kill your grandma" on "Out Of Your Misery."

Sounds Like: Tongue in cheek metal

Key Tracks: "Groundpounder"

B-
buy it!
Sleepy Eepee

Great Northern
“Sleepy Eepee”
(Eenie Meenie Records 2007)

Not often in the music world is a release referred to as a prequel. But Great Northern's "Sleepy Eepee" EP is just that as it prefaces the band's "Trading Twilight For Daylight" debut full-length. A collection of warm and light indie pop gems, Great Northern are wholly intriguing and inviting on this EP which seems to reach out and embrace listeners. "Sleepy Eepee" is anything but a rude awakening as it wraps you in lush, dreamy melodies and transports you away.

Sounds Like: Guilt-free indie pop

Key Tracks: "This is A Problem," "Shakey"

A-
Sirens of Titan

Amateur Radio Operator
“Sirens of Titan”
(Self-Released 2007)

There is no Morse code, special licenses or oversized antennas to be found here. "Sirens of Titan," the debut from Amateur Radio Operator, is a hazy and haunting mix of melodies that are an echoing and alternative blend of country and even some blues. While "Sirens of Titan" tends to stay low key and the murmuring vocals rarely change, much of the album drifts gently by without a challenge.

Sounds Like: Enticing and haunting melodies

Key Tracks: "Watershed"

B-
Still

Houstons
“Still”
(MoRisen Records 2007)

There is nothing extraordinary about The Houstons' "Still." But before you write the album off consider the fact that perhaps the greatest asset that The Houstons possess on "Still" is their ordinary attitude. It is that understated quality and natural air that helps the album to stand out with its genuine manner. Add to that hushed vocals, some light pop and a willingness to take chances. The Houstons' "Still" unexpectedly will win you over.

Sounds Like: Melodic indie pop that avoids being too polished

Key Tracks: "Thinking it Over," "Carry On"

B