Review Round Up #6

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes Lost Ocean's "Lost Ocean," Lacona's "President’s Day"/"35/Half of 70," Bookstore Robbery's "Mild Mannered Son," Speaker Speaker's "We Won't March," and Denelian's "False/Positive."

Lost Ocean

Lost Ocean
“Lost Ocean”
(Credential Recordings 2006)

The debut release from this Bakersfield, California-based band is a blend of sounds, tones and melodies. As bright piano tinkles, pop melodies float over spacey instrumentation that hints at a dark side. Sometimes fluid and emotional, the album is at other times robotic and a bit too practiced. Lost Ocean play from their hearts and seem happy to leave most of the focus on the music, keeping lyrics to a relative minimum.

Sounds Like: Soaring atmospheric indie pop

Key Tracks: "Dreams"

B
buy it!
President's Day/35/Half of 70

Lacona
“President's Day/35/Half of 70”
(Self-Released 2007)

With the release of two singles - "President's Day" and "35/Half of 70" - Lacona are showing off two different sides of themselves. On the "President's Day" single, the Chicago band use understated instrumentation that has a rich sound with a hint of indie and folk. But Lacona offer a poppier sound on "35/Half of 70" with pumping rhythms and melodies that border on the upbeat.

Sounds Like: Indie rock that keeps you guessing

Key Tracks: "President's Day"

B+
buy it!
Mild Mannered Son

Bookstore Robbery
“Mild Mannered Son”
(Self-Released 2006)

Bookstore Robbery's debut release hints at what this band could be: a rock band that is heavy on pop melodies and soaring choruses. But currently, the band's potential is somewhat untapped. While Bookstore Robbery wants desperately to be that memorable and poppy rock band, the songs on their EP "Mild Mannered Son" are well put together but never get the listener hooked like they should.

Sounds Like: Serious rock with pop aspirations

Key Tracks: "Mistake No. 1"

B-
buy it!
We Won't March

Speaker Speaker
“We Won't March”
(Burning Building Recordings 2007)

Not quite punk and not quite pop, Seattle's Speaker Speaker walk that fine line with their upbeat melodies that deliver just a bit of attitude in their own way. The band's EP "We Won't March" offers five bouncy, riff-driven tunes. Included are two live tracks that show an edgier but less polished version of the band and a cover of Jawbreaker's "Do You Still Hate Me?"

Sounds Like: Pop punk influenced by Green Day instead of Good Charlotte

Key Tracks: "We Won't March"

B
False/Positive

Denelian
“False/Positive”
(Self-Released 2006)

Denelian offer accessible dark rock on their EP "False/Positive." The almost-goth rock sound, with its monotone delivery of vocals and soaring melodies that swirl around you, balances the light and the dark while continually maintaining a somewhat sinister stance. "False/Positive" transports you on a trip back to 80s new wave era without ruining your current hairstyle. It is best to listen to the pleas from Denelian frontman Kelly Dale when he sings "don't resist."

Sounds Like: Synth pop with a view of the dark side (think of She Wants Revenge)

Key Tracks: "Lost #2 (in a room)"

A-