Review Round Up #50

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes Analogue I/O's "Boat Club," Electrocute's "On The Beat EP," Jimmie's Chicken Shack's "Fail On Cue," Blind Melon's "For My Friends," and Denelian's "Gossip With The Devil."

Boat Club

Analogue I/O
“Boat Club”
(SkyEyeSea 2008)

Analogue I/O's debut EP "Boat Club" sails by on a lonely sea. A very open and lonely sea that seems ideally suited for some crisply shot yet mysterious art film. Piano melodies gently find their way amongst rich ambient noise that twinkles one moment and rushes by like a gust of wind the next. Quietly dominated by such full instrumentation that makes itself known with an understated air, "Boat Club" is full of character.

Sounds Like: Ambient acoustic you can tell your friends is from a hip foreign film they've never heard of

Key Tracks: "Rough Loops"

B+
buy it!
On The Beat EP

Electrocute
“On The Beat EP”
(Sargent Records 2008)

Electrocute make good on their name's implied promise with sweet vocals and perky, sugary beats and sunny, upbeat melodies that makes The Go-Go's look square and dour. Electronic dance music thumps from Electrocute's release, "On The Beat EP," as the duo offer not so shy come ons and seductions. A word of warning to remember: they only look innocent.

Sounds Like: Sugar sweet electropop

Key Tracks: "On The Beat"

B
buy it!
Fail On Cue

Jimmie's Chicken Shack
“Fail On Cue”
(Fowl Records 2008)

Jimi Haha and his gang keep things so tame on "Fail On Cue," their latest release, that Grandma might even enjoy taking a listen. The band use the album to process their major label guilt and troubles, romantic rollercoaster rides and finally offer some words on politics. Jimmie's Chicken Shack put on a decent rock show but sometimes it seems like it is not us that needs convincing.

Sounds Like: Radio friendly modern rock

Key Tracks: "Good At It"

C+
buy it!
For My Friends

Blind Melon
“For My Friends”
(Adrenaline Records 2008)

The bee girl, immortalized in Blind Melon's video "No Rain," will not be making appearance and neither, for that matter, will the band's original singer Shannon Hoon, who died of an overdose in 1995. In Hoon's place is Travis Warren, a raspy voiced singer with a style somewhere between Chris Cornell and Perry Farrell who complements well, although occasionally over-singing, the band's new direction that sees them riding out mellow jams on "For My Friends."

Sounds Like: Alt rock with classic rock inspirations

Key Tracks: "With The Right Set Of Eyes"

C+
buy it!
Gossip With The Devil

Denelian
“Gossip With The Devil”
(Self-Released 2008)

The newest EP from Denelian is spinning indie dance rock and a touch of the darkside with squeaking guitar riffs, keyboards blaring short bursts of smooth melodies and up tempo rhythms accented with clinking high-hat cymbals. The Seattle rockers get so tied up in their own sheer enthusiasm and trying to imitate Nick Cave on "It's A Funeral, What Did You Expect?" that they focus too much on the specifics than on polishing the overall result, which is still a little rough around the edges.

Sounds Like: Indie rock

Key Tracks: "Insatiable"

C+