Review Round Up #52

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes Stephen Durrant's "Demos," Rationales' "The Going And The Gone," Priscilla Ahn's "A Good Day," Val Emmich's "Little Daggers," and G.G. Elvis And The TCP Band's "Back From The Dead."

Demos

Stephen Durrant
“Demos”
(Self-Released 2007)

The soft and light songs from Stephen Durrant reach right out and grab you by the collar. Durrant performs his songs in such a way that each of his demo's three tracks come across as extremely intimate and personal. With a touch of '60s British rock and pop, Durrant's "Demos" are refreshingly void of attitude or ego.

Sounds Like: Soft rock

Key Tracks: "Mallory, Leave"

B
The Going And The Gone

Rationales
“The Going And The Gone”
(Self-Released 2008)

Whether it is a full melody that soars out of the haze or the echoing of twangy country-style guitar riffs, The Rationales from Boston put together a sound that is complete and finished. On their debut release, "The Going And The Gone," The Rationales let themselves do some rocking and rolling with reserved pop rock while still keeping things classy and smart.

Sounds Like: Americana indie rock

Key Tracks: "Ruby Colored Halo"

B+
buy it!
A Good Day

Priscilla Ahn
“A Good Day”
(Blue Note Records 2008)

On the strongest tracks of her debut album, "A Good Day," Priscilla Ahn starts softly, gently with a sound that is next to nothing and patiently builds things up, making the warm melodies rise from seemingly nothing. The singer-songwriter keeps things simple throughout, never overdoing the melodies or her own vocals as she dabbles in more upbeat poppier songs and others that lean more towards calm country waltzes or airy, dreamy ballads.

Sounds Like: Singer-songwriter

Key Tracks: "Dream"

A-
buy it!
Little Daggers

Val Emmich
“Little Daggers”
(Bluhammock Music 2008)

Singer-songwriter Val Emmich has obviously heard the old saying that you will catch more flies with honey. He might be wielding little daggers behind his back but he is showing off generally soft pop rock. While Emmich does hint at a darker side from time to time, such as offering an unintentional Billy Idol impression early on in the album, "Little Daggers" seems like all smiles. Or is that just what Emmich wants you to think?

Sounds Like: Lightly poppy rock

Key Tracks: "Get On With It"

B
buy it!
Back From The Dead

G.G. Elvis And The TCP Band
“Back From The Dead”
(Mental Records 2008)

G.G. Elvis' Elvis Presley impersonation is gruff, tough and it sounds like he is missing a few teeth (and I don't mean wisdom). But then "Back From The Dead" is not your typical Elvis tribute of glitz and glamour. Featuring members of NOFX, Aggression, Ill Repute and Bad Samaritans, G.G. Elvis And The TCP Band pound through thirteen covers that, aside from the lyrics and a few riffs here and there, are barely recognizable but highly enjoyable.

Sounds Like: Punk rock Elvis covers

Key Tracks: "Little Sister"

B-