Review Round Up #41

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes The Noise Revival's "The Noise Revival Orchestra Experience," Lovedrug's "Everything Starts Where It Ends," Republic Tigers' "Republic Tigers," A Third Wish Granted's "The Lost Art of Conversation: Vol. 1," and Andy Juhl's "A Simple Life on Land."

The Noise Revival Orchestra Experience

Noise Revival
“The Noise Revival Orchestra Experience”
(Self-Released 2007)

Things are not always what they first appear. What at first looks like a small white eraser is actually a USB drive containing Austin band The Noise Revival's new EP, "The Noise Revival Orchestra Experience." The thirteen member band chants, sings, trumpets and generally cavorts their way through the seven tracks of the EP, which includes two remixes, with a vision and a dream.

Sounds Like: Experimental indie rock with a classic side

Key Tracks: "Piece 1 - le cri d'ouvre le coeur"¦ les recherches"

B
Everything Starts Where It Ends

Lovedrug
“Everything Starts Where It Ends”
(The Militia Group 2007)

There is something dreamy and evocative about Lovedrug's sound which pulls the bass straight to the front of the mix. It is not just the bass. Lovedrug make their sophomore full-length "Everything Starts Where It Ends" into a focused but diverse sounding album that keeps an even stride with each track. Neither hit nor miss, frontman Michael Shepard's distinct vocals always seem to, just like the bass lines, float effortlessly to the top of the edgy alt rock instrumentation and still stand out with their semi-nasal, semi-shrill character.

Sounds Like: Edgy alt-rock

Key Tracks: "Pushing the Shine," "Doomsday and the Echo"

B
buy it!
Republic Tigers

Republic Tigers
“Republic Tigers”
(Chop Shop Records 2008)

The Republic Tigers fly all over the place on their self-titled EP and yet"¦it all makes sense. The careful but powerful instrumentation that commands the EP is accented with electronics which range from a droning background peppered with a whirling melody to a dull reverberation. The Republic Tigers sound like Paul McCartney's indie love child one moment and before creating serious music landscapes the next.

Sounds Like: Bright and inviting indie rock

Key Tracks: "Buildings & Mountains," "Rollercoaster"

B+
buy it!
Lost Art of Conversation: Vol. 1

A Third Wish Granted
“Lost Art of Conversation: Vol. 1”
(Self-Released 2007)

You can clearly hear the influences of the Middle East in LA-based A Third Wish Granted, a fact easily attributed to frontman Emo Alaeddin's heritage. That influence is roughly blended, or rather forced, into a heavy metal sound that is gritty and grinding as power vocals soar above the storm. Whether it be too many elements in the mix or just momentary lack of focus here and there, A Third Wish Granted get the idea across on "The Lost Art Of Conversation, Vol. 1" but still have some tweaking and balancing to do.

Sounds Like: Soaring heavy/hard rock

Key Tracks: "Save the Angels"

C
buy it!
A Simple Life on Land

Andy Juhl
“A Simple Life on Land”
(Self-Released 2007)

Shy but careful melodies slowly unravel themselves to you on "A Simple Life on Land," the debut solo album from Andy Juhl, the guitarist from Minneapolis' Trimmed Hedges. But with vocals that occasionally waiver, the focus is best placed on the guitar work that ranges from those quiet melodies to buzzing electric guitar. Only on "One More Song For Pine Island" does Juhl test patience with a seemingly endless string of lyrics ending with ""¦on Pine Island." It is a great place; we get it.

Sounds Like: Singer-songwriter that blends Bob Dylan, Billy Joel and Neil Young

Key Tracks: "Voices On The Wind"

C+
buy it!