Review Round Up #59

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes Tickle Me Pink's "Madeline," Tripping Horse's "Tripping Horse," David Bowie's "Live Santa Monica '72," The Wedding's "The Sound, The Steel," and Scream Hello's "Smart & Stupid."

Madeline

Tickle Me Pink
“Madeline”
(Wind-up Records 2008)

Sometimes it is easiest and far more advantageous just not to try quite so hard. While Colorado quartet Tickle Me Pink spend the majority of "Madeline," their debut album, trying to sound edgy and current with touches of screamo and indie and a nod to Sparta, they sound best when they stop trying. The album closes with poppy rock tunes with that snotty twist that sound far more effortless for the band.

Sounds Like: Pop rock/emo

Key Tracks: "Go Die"

C+
buy it!
Tripping Horse

Tripping Horse
“Tripping Horse”
(Poison Tree Records 2008)

They brought us the Von Trapp family and now they are bringing the rock - and I don't mean the Alps. Austrian hard rockers Tripping Horse sure do like their gruffly shouted vocals and their hard and heavy guitar riffs. The band's ear pounding instrumentation and angst-filled lyrics are balanced and counteracted by light melodies and vocals that appear from time to time throughout their self-titled debut album.

Sounds Like: The hard rock lovechild of Him and Godsmack

Key Tracks: "Warchild"

B-
buy it!
Live Santa Monica '72

David Bowie
“Live Santa Monica '72”
(Virgin Records 2008)

These days when you go to a concert, you can walk out with a fresh out of the burner CD of the concert you just heard - at least at Einstrzende Neubauten shows. Of course, technology wasn't quite that advanced thirty-some years ago. That's why the new CD release of David Bowie live is such a gem. With Bowie performing some of his most popular early '70s tunes, the recording has clean and enjoyable audio quality. Perhaps the only disappointment is Bowie's lack of verbal interaction with the audience or his band aside from some goofy voices.

Sounds Like: A must for bootleg and/or Bowie fans

Key Tracks: "Ziggy Stardust"

A-
buy it!
The Sound, The Steel

Wedding
“The Sound, The Steel”
(Brave New World Records 2008)

Vibrant, energetic and full-bodied, The Wedding's "The Sound, The Steel" EP rides the post-hardcore wave with chanted cheers, a choir of voices and edgy, driving instrumentation. In between their chugging metal-influenced chords and pounding bass lines, there is plenty of drama bleeding from The Wedding's performance. What's more, they actually manage to pull it off without it seeming too silly or overly rehearsed.

Sounds Like: Post-hardcore

Key Tracks: "Renew"

B-
buy it!
Smart & Stupid

Scream Hello
“Smart & Stupid”
(Red Leader Records 2008)

Scream Hello want to whet appetites with their new "Smart & Stupid" EP. As a lead up to their yet to be released sophomore album, the EP delivers driving instrumentation with interesting and insistent guitar riffs. Upbeat melodies never seem to blend completely into the instrumental action, opting instead to float by in parallel and offer a poppy bit you can take with you and hum along to.

Sounds Like: Indie

Key Tracks: "A Few Minutes"

B-
buy it!