Review Round Up #38

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes Dave Patten's "Fly Away," Eyes Set To Kill's "Reach," Speed of Life's "Catalyst," The Story Of's "The World's Affair," and Jesca Hoop's "Kismet."

Fly Away

Dave Patten
“Fly Away”
(Clark Records 2007)

On his sophomore album "Fly Away," Dave Patten performs a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde routine as his vocals bend from a gentleness that complements the instrumental melodies to a rough around the edges, throaty post-grunge scowl. Combined with that are guitar solos that are much too short-lived and you have the basis of Patten's singer/songwriter style. While "Fly Away" does take chances, adding some interesting rhythms here and there, Patten gets a star for effort but does not quite bridge the album's gap.

Sounds Like: Post-grunge influenced singer/songwriter

Key Tracks: "Everyday"

C+
buy it!
Reach

Eyes Set To Kill
“Reach”
(BreakSilence Records 2008)

Eyes Set To Kill are like Beauty and the Beast. Only problem with this fairytale is that the redeeming moments for the beast never surface. The dainty but enriched vocals of singer/guitarist Alexia Rodriguez are overshadowed by the thundering and chiming instrumental melodies of overly dramatic instrumentation and the growling of band mate Brandon Anderson. "Reach" buries poppy melodies under machine gunning rhythms and leads listeners round in dizzying circles.

Sounds Like: Screamo for the Alt Press set

Key Tracks: "Young Blood Spills Tonight"

C-
buy it!
Catalyst

Speed of Life
“Catalyst”
(Activesoundz 2007)

Speed of Life show off a progressive rock sound of dreamy, buzzing music and fluid electric guitar riffs on "Catalyst." Unable to stick to one thing, the band is constantly trying to evolve, tweaking their sounds, rhythms and melodies mid-song. Speed of Life put forward an eagerness that shines through on "Catalyst" but things just never seem to jive like they should despite some of the band's obvious strengths.

Sounds Like: Dreamy prog rock

Key Tracks: "Caught Inside"

C
buy it!
The World's Affair

Story Of
“The World's Affair”
(Leroy Godspeed Records 2007)

The Story Of, an Austin band by way of Ohio, more than proves that it is not the volume at which a band plays their music rather it is what a band does with its instruments. Full of engaging melodies that bounce and twitch with excitement and whimsy, The Story Of make "The World's Affair" a believably upbeat album that brings to mind The Beach Boys as an influence. Carefully layered together, The Story Of know where all the pieces in their musical puzzle go and "The World's Affair" shows off that strong fit.

Sounds Like: Intense indie rock

Key Tracks: "After Just a While," "Ransom For Rivercity"

A-
buy it!
Kismet

Jesca Hoop
“Kismet”
(3Entertainment/Red Ink/Columbia Records 2007)

Obviously influenced by the classics, Jesca Hoop makes "Kismet" a swirling, swooning album that always maintains an earthy, minimalist sound which she commands with a voice that varies from light and dainty to rich and sexy. Continually evolving and keeping things intriguing and interesting throughout the album, Hoop's voice resonates against the gentle rhythms that range from thumping dance to airy and barely there.

Sounds Like: A blend of jazz, rock and folk

Key Tracks: "Silverscreen," "Money"

A
buy it!