Review Round Up #42

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes Armed Forces' "Modern Gospel for Modern Men & Women," Last Army's "Light"/"Dark" EPs, Andy Browne Trio's "Orangutans," Think Of One's "Camping Shabi," and The Wombats' "The Wombats."

Modern Gospel for Modern Men & Women

Armed Forces
“Modern Gospel for Modern Men & Women”
(Self-Released 2007)

Something tells me that I should never, ever trust any military organization that use the N-word or throw around phrases like "we got the atom bomb and we are not afraid to use it." But when Nashville's The Armed Forces bring out their bouncy, pseudo punk rock tunes, well, it reminds you that rules are made to be broken, especially in rock 'n' roll. On the debut release "Modern Gospel for Modern Men & Modern Women" the band shows off their influences of Cheap Trick and Elvis Costello, the latter of whom their name gives a nod.

Sounds Like: Upbeat pop punk that teases and pleases

Key Tracks: "In The Free World"

B-

Last Army
“"Light"/"Dark" EPs”
(Self-Released 2007)

The two singles from the delightfully British sounding Last Army are a mash up of old and new school influences that vary from punky to poppy while always feeling convincingly dramatic. One moment frontwoman Rebekah Delgado is seducing you in French before a quick '50s surf instrumental swagger comes crashing in. But regardless of the genre, the band paints a lush musical picture that is engaging and inspired.

Sounds Like: Indie rock that keeps you guessing and doesn’t disappoint

Key Tracks: "Submit To The Chemical," "Every Party Ends With You"

A-
buy it!
Orangutans

Andy Browne Trio
“Orangutans”
(WiaB Records 2007)

"Orangutans," the third release from The Andy Browne Trio, might start off with a gentle, floating sound but the tranquil state is short lived. The rest of the five song EP is spent with a harder, grungier sound that still manages to incorporate a clear vocal melody. The contrast proves to provide an even balance that helps to give the EP a focus while inconspicuously drawing your ear right where Browne wants it to be.

Sounds Like: Post grunge, post classic rock inspired rock

Key Tracks: "Her Favorite Sweater"

B
buy it!
Camping Shâabi

Think Of One
“Camping Shâabi”
(Crammed Discs/Ryko 2008)

It is the sheer exuberance of Go! Team, the hipster experimentation of Beck, and the exotic sounds of world music that come flowing out of Think Of One's "Camping Shâabi," each with their own distinct style, rhythm and feel. This band, from Belgium of all places, and their massive team of guest collaborators seamlessly fuse African rhythms with electronics, hip hop with dub, traditional with modern while jumping between languages (English, Flemish and French among others) - and that is just the tip of the iceberg that is "Camping Shâabi."

Sounds Like: The vibrant soundtrack to a jetsetter’s trip around the world

Key Tracks: "J'étais Jetée," "Oppressor"

A-
buy it!
Wombats

Wombats
“Wombats”
(KIDS in America 2008)

With broad British accents, smirk-inducing lyrics and a garage rock mixed sound that alternately thrashes and crashes, The Wombats' self-titled EP is a decisive jumble. The Wombats do not hold anything back nor do they offer any new takes on the loud mouthed hipster rock scene that, with their speedy guitars offering bouncy riffs, they are members of. Albeit derivative, The Wombats know how to have some fun.

Sounds Like: Another parade of British garage rock

Key Tracks: "Little Miss Pipedream"

B-