Review Round Up #36

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes Eat Sugar's "Eat Sugar," Ice Nine Kills' "The Burning," PerkinsWood's "Roll," Streetlight Manifesto's "Somewhere in the Between," and A Wilhelm Scream's "Career Suicide."

Eat Sugar

Eat Sugar
“Eat Sugar”
(Self-Released 2007)

The first few seconds of Eat Sugar's self-titled EP are relatively quiet ones. Prepare yourself now because there will not be any more of that. The aptly titled band fly wildly all over the place with their electropunk sound that varies from thick, edgy beats which pound wildly to simple electronic melodies engulfed by clapping pulses. Eat Sugar work both ends of the spectrum from the rabid "Black Eye" to the relatively more restrained yet still throbbing "Brown Boots."

Sounds Like: Electropunk

Key Tracks: "I'm A Carrier"

B+
The Burning

Ice Nine Kills
“The Burning”
(Red Blue Records 2007)

By the end of Ice Nine Kills' "The Burning," it becomes clear that the band has a hard time focusing. The seven songs on "The Burning" are constantly changing, a heavy handed mash-up of screamo that alternates between roaring choruses and battering rhythms. That constant variation keeps things slightly interesting albeit unnecessarily muddy. By the end of the album the supposedly tough band has revealed their true colors with ballads of both the power and acoustic persuasions. Insert kohl-smeared teenagers swooning here.

Sounds Like: Hyperactive screamo

Key Tracks: "Build Your Own Disaster"

C-
buy it!
Roll

PerkinsWood
“Roll”
(Self-Released 2007)

Move over Link Wray and Dick Dale, there is a new guy in town and he is bringing a new sound that is not quite as surfer friendly. The guitar only instrumentals on PerkinsWood's "Roll" are fluid and soulful betraying classical leanings while still maintaining a ghostly edge of rock that pops up from time to time. "Roll" could be taken as one long piece, broken into seventeen movements, as the album has a determined musical focus that, while varied, never really changes during the collection's nearly hour-long runtime.

Sounds Like: Contemporary guitar instrumentals

Key Tracks: "Scissor Happy"

B-
buy it!
Somewhere in the Between

Streetlight Manifesto
“Somewhere in the Between”
(Victory Records 2007)

If there is one "must" for any ska band, it is energy and in that department Streetlight Manifesto are certainly not lacking. The band's rapid rhythms are complemented with bright, flaring horns for a full sound that dances through jazz, swing and punk sounds, among others. With all the momentum that Streetlight Manifesto builds from song to song, it is easy for them to fall into the comfort of repetition. But in the end it is the intricate and buoyant instrumentation of "Somewhere in the Between" that is the album and the band's real strength.

Sounds Like: Flashy and fun ska

Key Tracks: "Somewhere in the Between"

B
buy it!
Career Suicide

A Wilhelm Scream
“Career Suicide”
(Nitro Records 2007)

The deep, hoarse vocals of A Wilhelm Scream's Nuno Pereira are commanding and well matched with the band's thundering electric guitars which fire off metal style riffs and a hammering drum beat that never seems to change. But under that hardcore punk exterior there are melodies that, while not pop, are quite likable. Add to that the brooding but not conceited lyrics which cover topics like politics and selling out and A Wilhelm Scream can stand proud as an established band.

Sounds Like: Pounding hardcore/punk

Key Tracks: "I Wipe My Ass With Showbiz"

B
buy it!