Review Round Up #45

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes Wallpaper's "T Rex," The Puppini Sisters' "The Rise & Fall Of Ruby Woo," The Lions Rampant's "Play Rock n Roll!," Lords of the North's "Lords of the North," and Last November's "The Bumper Sticker Song."

T Rex

Wallpaper
“T Rex”
(Eenie Meenie 2008)

Wallpaper's "T Rex" EP is full of love songs that could only have been written in this era of personal and mobile technology. The processing on the vocals, however, is a much different story. The duo's disco/electronic tunes are light and poppy, keeping your hips wiggling to the fluid and fun melodies. But once the novelty of the cute lyrics wear off, you are left with little more than catchy beats.

Sounds Like: Upbeat, feel good electronic rock

Key Tracks: "Evrytm We Do It"

C+
The Rise & Fall Of Ruby Woo

Puppini Sisters
“The Rise & Fall Of Ruby Woo”
(Verve Records 2007)

Get your war bonds and pencil skirts, the 1940s are back. British trio The Puppini Sisters marries modern pop with swing and '40s pop for an album of tight covers and unique originals. The ladies get the harmonies just right on each track while still making it sound enjoyable. But while covers of tracks like Beyonce's "Crazy" are sure to grab attention, it raises the question of when it is art and when a sampling of covers just becomes a novelty.

Sounds Like: 1940s jazz and swing with a modern twist

Key Tracks: "I Can't Believe I'm Not A Millionaire"

B
buy it!
Play Rock n Roll!

Lions Rampant
“Play Rock n Roll!”
(Self-Released 2008)

The Lions Rampant wants to be compared to Mudhoney and The Black Keys. But they lack the edginess of the former and the tight bluesy feel of the latter. Instead The Lions Rampant focuses on a distinctly old school garage rock sound that is more upbeat with quick guitar riffs and vocal harmonies. While the band's "Play Rock n Roll!" EP is certainly rough around the edges it shows off their loose sound that is ready and raring to go.

Sounds Like: Retro garage rock

Key Tracks: "Cryin' All The Time!"

B
Lords of the North

Lords of the North
“Lords of the North”
(Radio Optik Records 2008)

Remember guitar solos and when instrumentation was more than merely a background for vocals? Lords of the North certainly do. The band delivers booming, slow driving instrumentation with gruff, tense vocals and chugging guitar riffs matched to a cleaner voice on their self-titled album. With a stoner metal vibe that does not get too caught up in lengthy solos, the Lords of the North are polished but so much as to tame that killer fuzz that accompanies each sludgy note.

Sounds Like: Stoner rock akin to Sleep, The Sword

Key Tracks: "Souls Come Rising"

B+

Last November
“The Bumper Sticker Song”
(Southern Tracks Records 2008)

To hype up their upcoming album "Over the Top or Under the Weather," Last November have released a four song sampler. The band go big on the first half with upbeat melodies and driving guitar riffs while the CD's latter half is a softer, more romantic, smooth pop rock sound. Somewhat surprisingly, Last November strikes both poses believably but never pushes the boundaries.

Sounds Like: Pop rock that hints at alternative

Key Tracks: "Jesus had Breakfast in Bed"

B-