Review Round Up #56

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes Pharaohs of Rhythm's "Signs of Life," Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers' "Turbo Ocho," The Great Bloomers' "Great Bloomers," Neverdie's "No Rock Un Rolled," and End The Century's "Hammer & The Anvil."

Signs of Life

Pharaohs Of Rhythm
“Signs of Life”
(Self-Released 2008)

The Pharaohs of Rhythm have their electric guitars tuned up and they are ready to rip. With riffs that range from loose, bluesy jams to edgier licks, "Signs of Life" remain on their toes for each song on their debut release. To their credit, the Pharaohs of Rhythm do take some chances, such as the inexplicable flute solo on "You Know The Number," as the song jumps between a quiet creep and a full rage.

Sounds Like: Rock with grooves and focused jams

Key Tracks: "North Wind"

C+
buy it!
Turbo Ocho

Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers
“Turbo Ocho”
(Emmajava Recordings 2008)

On Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers' fifth album, "Turbo Ocho," they make no apologies and do just what they do - and that is rock. Big, upbeat rock that vaguely brings to mind the sounds of the '90s, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello and the Southwest, "Turbo Ocho" brings thick guitar riffs and soaring, shouted vocals with straight-forward lyrics out to play. Clyne and his crew are here to have fun and they are not done until they are done.

Sounds Like: Alternative rock with a nod to country and Americana

Key Tracks: "I Know You Know"

B+
buy it!
Great Bloomers

Great Bloomers
“Great Bloomers”
(Reel Cool Records 2008)

Canadian indie rockers The Great Bloomers make their debut self-titled EP as much about dynamics that twist and turn as it is about careful instrumental work, like smooth piano melodies and loosely jangling guitar chords. While it might seem that Great Bloomers can not seem to make up their mind as they offer sprinting rockers one moment and slower, more poppy ballads the next, they maintain cohesion with their distinct sound and keep your ear.

Sounds Like: A grab bag as much indie as they are roots

Key Tracks: "Catching Up"

B
No Rock Un Rolled

Neverdie
“No Rock Un Rolled”
(Club Neverdie Records 2008)

Neverdie lays it on thick. "It" being a heavy mix of electronic rock where throbbing synthesizer beats duel with wild electric guitars. With some help from producer Paul Inder and his wife/vocalist Cheri London, Neverdie, the pseudonym of musician John Jacobs, makes his debut album "No Rock Un Rolled" a sleazy, fast paced and high energy trip that is a rollercoaster ride with moments that are undeniably infectious.

Sounds Like: Thumping dance tunes with some good old rock 'n' roll thrown in

Key Tracks: "Elvis Porno Song"

B+
buy it!
Hammer & The Anvil

End the Century
“Hammer & The Anvil”
(Self-Released 2008)

Remember when California's Orange County meant sunny bubblegum alt rock? The times they are a'changin' - but somehow I don't think this is what Dylan meant. On their debut EP "Hammer & The Anvil" metal band End The Century send deep throated, gruffly shouted vocals flying over slowly machine gunned guitar riffs and steady drum rolls. Just to keep things fresh, End The Century throw some cleaner vocals into the mix on a couple tracks.

Sounds Like: A screaming, swirling cyclone of metal for the younger set

Key Tracks: "City Lights"

C+
buy it!