Review Round Up #46

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes JPNDRDS' "Lullaby Death Jams," Of The First Born Son's "Of The First Born Son," Bronze Radio Return's "Bronze Radio Return," Porcupine Tree's "Nil Recurring," and "My Blueberry Nights" Original Soundtrack.

Lullaby Death Jams

JPNDRDS
“Lullaby Death Jams”
(Self-Released 2008)

JPNDRDS (read "Japandroids") come sailing into view with "Lullaby Death Jams" amidst a sea of guitars roughly strummed with a syncopated thrash and vocals that offer a casual command which could spring into action, shrieking, when you least expect it. And they stay on that ocean for the entirety of their EP, alternately refining and deconstructing their sound. But it sometimes sounds like fine-tuning an old car -- the result is always a little noisy and rough; it's just the nature of the beast and part of its character.

Sounds Like: Shrieking, pounding post-hardcore

Key Tracks: "Darkness on the Edge of Gastown"

B
Of The First Born Son

Of The First Born Son
“Of The First Born Son”
(Year Of The Sun Records 2007)

Canadian metal band Of The First Born Son had better watch out: the band's two guitar players, Rob Falconer and Mike Rideout, are quietly aiming at a take over. Their driving riffs dig deep, grinding ruts and their quick metal melodics make a play for attention with a subtle domination. It is those guitar parts and equally active drumming on the band's self-titled EP that helps to balance out and occasionally overtake the throaty vocals.

Sounds Like: Gritty and gruff throated metal

Key Tracks: "Paper Caskets"

B-
Bronze Radio Return

Bronze Radio Return
“Bronze Radio Return”
(Self-Released 2008)

There is a steady confidence and an undeniable groove in Bronze Radio Return's step. On the band's self-titled debut EP they mix that fluidity with a loose bluesy rock feel for sound that comes across as a fun, feel good time. Bronze Radio Return may seem like a poppy band at first but a careful listen to their EP reveals something beyond that initial impression as they make each song likable and effortlessly laidback.

Sounds Like: Good time rock grooves

Key Tracks: "If The Roof Is Leaking"

B-
buy it!
Nil Recurring

Porcupine Tree
“Nil Recurring”
(Peaceville Records 2008)

While Porcupine Tree's "Nil Recurring" may not be completely instrumental, it is unquestionably an instrumentally focused EP that can go from quietly classic prog-rock to pounding industrial with the blink of an eye. The EP's guitar riffs are thick and muddy, not to mention larger than life, as they bleed over the music, bringing both the commanding melodies and the energy to complement the thoroughly active rhythm section. Not bad for an EP of "leftovers" from the band's sessions for "Fear of a Blank Planet," their ninth studio album.

Sounds Like: Alt prog-rock

Key Tracks: "Nil Recurring," "Normal"

A
buy it!
My Blueberry Nights Original Soundtrack

Various Artists
“My Blueberry Nights Original Soundtrack”
(Blue Note Records 2008)

Fats Domino found his thrill on Blueberry Hill and now acclaimed musicians Norah Jones and Cat Power are each making their acting debuts in "My Blueberry Nights." And while the film remains yet to be seen Stateside, its soundtrack is a low key mix of the sounds of soulful jazz, twangy blues and classic R&B. While the collection may fly just under the radar with its tone, it is a tight soundtrack that, at least from a musical perspective, makes sense.

Sounds Like: Blues, jazz, R&B

Key Tracks: Cat Power - "Living Proof," Ry Cooder - "Long Ride"

B+
buy it!