Review Round Up #39

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes Kerli's "Kerli," The New Frontiers' "Tour EP," Broadband Shortwave's "Lazy Atoms EP," Danger Radio's "Punch Your Lights Out," and Silversun Pickups' "Remixes."

Kerli

Kerli
“Kerli”
(Island Records 2007)

Dramatic and intense, Kerli's EP will hit you in waves. With her soaring vocals firmly enmeshed in the ceaseless layers of rich instrumentation -- this is pop alt rock Estonian style. Get to know the young singer with her well-produced EP and you might swear it was actually BjΓΆrk singing as she offers an often breathy delivery that steps up to the Plate when the time comes and always delivers. Kerli makes her EP curiously quirky as its momentum sends it spiraling but always remains close enough to be reeled back in.

Sounds Like: A well blended mix of Esthero meets BjΓΆrk

Key Tracks: "Love Is Dead"

B
buy it!
Tour EP

New Frontiers
“Tour EP”
(The Militia Group 2007)

The New Frontiers dominate their "Tour" EP with breathy, light music that flows effortlessly and manages to find that perfect combination of gentle and smooth without lulling you to sleep. Delicate melodies stretch themselves and become more than merely quiet moments as The New Frontiers carefully build up their songs with the likes of piano and echoing guitars. While "Tour EP" could easily be too shy, The New Frontiers come out of their shell right from the beginning and engage with their familiar sound.

Sounds Like: Ryan Adams on his especially mellow days

Key Tracks: "Man Down"

A-
Lazy Atoms EP

Broadband Shortwave
“Lazy Atoms EP”
(Self-Released 2007)

Having formed in the in 2001 and released some recordings since then, Montana's Broadband Shortwave need to get committed. The band's most recent release, entitled "Lazy Atoms EP," is a dreamy ride that shows off their potential. Barebones instrumentation lets the band flex their rhythmic muscles as an aloof melody weaves itself into a number of their songs. Broadband Shortwave manage to be both playful and serious on "Lazy Atoms EP" but by the end, the band have abandoned their artsy side for relatively more upbeat jams that, while lively, are hit or miss.

Sounds Like: Stripped down, honest and rhythmic indie rock

Key Tracks: "Lazy Atoms"

B-
buy it!
Punch Your Lights Out

Danger Radio
“Punch Your Lights Out”
(Photo Finish Records 2007)

Danger Radio are like a runaway train on their EP "Punch Your Lights Out." With a big and lively sound of disco, dance and electronics, the band's EP is full of glitz and glamour that meanders purposely as they speed along. Danger Radio are a clear product of today's music scene as "Punch Your Lights Out" throbs and bounces, occasionally throwing something unexpected into the mix, with their specific sound that never changes. The lack of variation works on the short EP but offers a note of skepticism -- or a challenge, if you prefer -- for a full-length.

Sounds Like: Upbeat indie dance

Key Tracks: "Party Foul"

C+
buy it!
Remixes

Silversun Pickups
“Remixes”
(Dangerbird Records 2007)

While somewhat disappointingly limited to only two songs - "Lazy Eye" and "Little Lover's So Polite" - remixed multiple times (four and two, respectively), "Remixes" breathes some new life into the lush tunes of Silversun Pickups. Jimmy Tamborello and The One AM Radio offer heavier takes on the two songs with their remixes as the renderings by Jason Bentley and Brian Lebarton both maintain the light mood of "Lazy Eye." Although "Remixes" is certainly not groundbreaking, it is fun and undoubtedly a must have for any Silversun Pickups fans.

Sounds Like: Pulsing remixes of favorite Silversun Pickups tunes

Key Tracks: "Lazy Eye" - Jason Bentley Remix, "Little Lover's So Polite" - The One AM Radio Remix

B