Review Round Up #55

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes Stebmo's "Stebmo," Baskervilles' "Twilight," kHz's "Disconnected," Eivind Opsvik's "Overseas III" and The Feelings Mutual's "The Feelings Mutual."

Stebmo

Stebmo
“Stebmo”
(Self-Released 2008)

In between projects with the likes of drone bands Earth and SunnO))), Steve Moore has found time to write and record his debut album, entitled and released under the pseudonym Stebmo. You will be out of luck if you are expecting the album to be slow, low and heavy. Instead, Moore creates a slightly funky, slightly noisy jazz sound where horns flare and rich piano melodies mingle with spacey and mellow keyboard sounds.

Sounds Like: Modern jazz

Key Tracks: "Blind Ross"

B
buy it!
Twilight

Baskervilles
“Twilight”
(Secret Crush Records 2008)

Indie pop rockers Baskervilles have some notable help with "Twilight." For the band's latest album, they have enlisted producer Mitch Easter, known for his work with R.E.M., Pavement and others. Baskervilles are sugary, upbeat pop that never stops as it bounces with seemingly boundless energy throughout "Twilight," as clearly showcased by the band's inclusion of a nicely done cover of Steve Harley's "Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)."

Sounds Like: Upbeat indie pop

Key Tracks: "Where Did My Summer Go?," "Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)"

B
buy it!
Disconnected

kHz
“Disconnected”
(Cutting Records 2008)

With pounding hard rock instrumentation that dabbles in metal for a sound not unlike Tool, Deftones or A Perfect Circle, kHz's "Disconnected" is a glossy and heavy album. With a pseudo-industrial sound that recalls Nine Inch Nails, electronics scramble frontwoman Raiana's vocals as she whispers, booms and screeches over the music that features Dave Navarro as a guest guitarist for two tracks. By the end of "Disconnected," it's clear kHz's strength lies in their instrumentation.

Sounds Like: Alt metal

Key Tracks: "Fake Fool"

C+
buy it!
Overseas III

Eivind Opsvik
“Overseas III”
(Loyal Label 2008)

The songs on Norwegian expatriate Eivind Opsvik's "Overseas III" are each like a seed. What starts small and as what outwardly appears as little will slowly and persistently grow into something much more. For Opsvik, much more means dynamic, often somber instrumentation that is rich in dynamics. Smooth, easy melodies spring from underlying bass riffs while saxophone and keyboards take a more forward approach. While not exactly straight, by the book jazz, the instrumentals of "Overseas III" thrive on feeling.

Sounds Like: Jazz instrumentals

Key Tracks: "Lull of Lumber"

B
buy it!
The Feelings Mutual

Feelings Mutual
“The Feelings Mutual”
(Ares Records 2008)

San Diego's The Feelings Mutual walk that very fine line between indie and hard rock as they combine memorable melodies with soaring vocals and guitar riffs that are not afraid to show some teeth and push you around a bit. The band's self-titled debut EP is high energy and not about to hold anything back when it comes to getting your attention without the gimics.

Sounds Like: Indie rock that moonlights as hard rock

Key Tracks: "Monolith"

B
buy it!