Review Round Up #4

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes Dirty Novels' "Pack Your Pistols," Victor Bravo's "Shut Out The Sky," National Lights' "The Dead Will Walk, Dear," Future of Forestry's "Twilight," and Albert Hammond, Jr.'s "Yours To Keep."

Pack Your Pistols

Dirty Novels
“Pack Your Pistols”
(Self-Released 2007)

A throwback that mixes The Rolling Stones with Iggy & The Stooges, MC5 and the New York Dolls, The Dirty Novels seem to have adopted an appropriate moniker for their roughly produced "Pack Your Pistols." With bright, upbeat old school style rock tunes, the band blends thumbing bass riffs with straightforward guitar melodies which are delivered behind distinct vocals, full of attitude and with just a touch of Iggy's snarl.

Sounds Like: Old school rock ā€˜nā€™ roll from the 60s and 70s

Key Tracks: "Libertines In My Scene," "Stealing Kisses"

B+
buy it!
Shut Out The Sky

Victor Bravo
“Shut Out The Sky”
(Self-Released 2006)

Victor Bravo's "Shut Out The Sky" EP is barreling full steam ahead. And you will only get one warning: do not step in front of this train. The band's bouncy riff driven songs show some possible potential but Victor Bravo frontman Collin Frendz's over the top vocals do little to win over listeners. "Why do you have to go?" Frendz frantically questions on poses on opening track "Dallas." I've got one guess.

Sounds Like: That rock band that always plays the bar by your house

Key Tracks: "Dallas"

C
buy it!
The Dead Will Walk, Dear

National Lights
“The Dead Will Walk, Dear”
(Bloodshake Records 2007)

The National Lights seem afraid that they might say too much. They need not worry that they say the wrong thing on their beautifully understated debut "The Dead Will Walk, Dear." Full of carefully crafted songs, the National Lights maintain a balance with their delicate instrumentation, thoughtful lyrics and sweetly blended vocal harmonies (by way of background singer Sonya Cotton, who steals the spotlight each time she appears) for a winning result. With each song rarely lasting longer than a typical pop song, National Lights leave you wanting more.

Sounds Like: Carefully crafted indie rock driven by quiet melodies

Key Tracks: "Better For It, Kid," "Swimming In The Swamps"

A
buy it!
Twilight

Future of Forestry
“Twilight”
(Credential Recordings 2007)

Rich, full melodies pound, float and pour out of Future of Forestry's "Twilight." Ballads on the album waiver between hard and soft, with acoustic guitar led tracks that range from simple but strong to edgier hard rock. Elsewhere, the band makes up tempo hard rock soar, adding dark melodies here and there. Future of Forestry samples from both the dawn and the dusk on "Twilight" as they mold sleepy ballads into roaring melodies.

Sounds Like: Hard rock with a soft side

Key Tracks: "Open Wide," "If You Find Her"

B
buy it!
Yours To Keep

Albert Hammond, Jr.
“Yours To Keep”
(New Line Records 2007)

It is slightly disappointing that solo album from Albert Hammond, Jr., the guitar player for the riff-happy Strokes, is not brimming full of guitar rock. Instead, Hammond focuses on memorable melodies that are light, breezy and upbeat as they channel Brian Wilson. "Yours To Keep" is a collection of indie lullabies for adults that, with its nonstop rhythms, will not put listeners to sleep.

Sounds Like: Beach Boys inspired indie rock with a twist of The Strokes

Key Tracks: "101," "Postal Blowfish"

A-
buy it!