Review Round Up #37

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes Mountain Home's "Mountain Home," Mike Glendinning's "Random Acts of Grunge Jazz," Wil Deynes' "Stay," Moros Eros' "Jealous Me Was Killed by Curiosity," and The Midway State's "Met a Man on Top of the Hill."

Mountain Home

Mountain Home
“Mountain Home”
(Language of Stone 2007)

The self-titled debut CD from San Francisco's Mountain Home is a fragile but ghostly one. Rich instrumentation creates cavernous melodies that are melded with softer twinkles as guest vocals from Fern Knight's Margie Weink float effortlessly. Mountain Home exercise extreme patience as they offer not one song out of their five that is under five minutes long while also tackling two traditional songs. The band acknowledges an influence of the Appalachians and the comparison seems dead on as folk would be an understatement that does not convey the ethereal spirit of Mountain Home's wilds.

Sounds Like: Delicate folk from the mountains by way of San Fran

Key Tracks: "Battle, We Were"

B+
buy it!
Random Acts of Grunge Jazz

Mike Glendinning
“Random Acts of Grunge Jazz”
(Self-Released 2007)

If the title of Mike Glendinning's album, "Random Acts of Grunge Jazz," does not get your attention, perhaps his rhythmic tunes laced with vibrant electric guitar will. Living up to the title's promise, Glendinning delivers fluid tunes which have both a rough edge, mostly by way of his somewhat unpolished vocals, and a freeform jazz/easy listening attitude. But Glendinning really shines when he just lets it all go and offers up elegant instrumental covers on acoustic guitar.

Sounds Like: Guitar-driven tunes that blend rock and jazz

Key Tracks: "I Left My Heart in San Francisco"

C+
buy it!
Stay

Wil Deynes
“Stay”
(Self-Released 2007)

Wil Deynes is sure to make the ladies swoon with his sweet and super smooth pop melodies on his EP "Stay." But when he is not assuring a special lady that she is "superwonderful," his moods can quickly change -- he ends the EP bitterly demanding for her to "pack up your shit and go." Regardless of Deynes moods, however, are the consistency of his upbeat sound that has that undeniable pop quality.

Sounds Like: Standard but sweet pop

Key Tracks: "Superwonderful"

C+
buy it!
Jealous Me Was Killed by Curiosity

Moros Eros
“Jealous Me Was Killed by Curiosity”
(Victory Records 2007)

Moros Eros fit enough references to God and Jesus onto "Jealous Me Was Killed By Curiosity" to make the bible banging Nick Cave proud. Moros Eros is lively and engaging as they thrash away at their instruments as they half sing, half shout and half chant their lyrics. You have heard this Gang of Four style punk before but Moros Eros manage to pull it off remarkably well while still making it sound fresh and vibrant with crunchy guitars.

Sounds Like: Thrashing indie/punk rock

Key Tracks: "On My Side," "Safety Net"

B+
buy it!
Met a Man on Top of the Hill

Midway State
“Met a Man on Top of the Hill”
(Remedy Music/Interscope Records 2007)

The Midway State seems to want anything but to be considered smooth pop on "Met a Man on Top of the Hill." The band adds quick rhythms which churn up their otherwise slow, soft melodies and vocals that occasionally get stuck in frontman Nathan Ferraro's throat. The latest in a trilogy of EP releases from the Ottawa, Canada band, "Top of the Hill" shows glimmers of something. But Midway State never capture the moment of each song like they really could and should.

Sounds Like: Soft rock

Key Tracks: "A Million Fireflies"

C
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