Review Round Up #60

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes Dennis Wilson's "Pacific Ocean Blue - Legacy Edition," Montana Boys' "Montana Boys," Jimmy Reeves' "The Axe & the Tree," Nick Motil's "Everything's Alright," and Kessler's "I Know Your Voice."

Pacific Ocean Blue - Legacy Edition

Dennis Wilson
“Pacific Ocean Blue - Legacy Edition”
(Caribou/Epic/Legacy 2008)

Now hyped as the "eternal Beach Boy," Dennis Wilson's first solo album - the first for any Beach Boy - "Pacific Ocean Blue" is getting a revamped release for its 30th anniversary. The double CD set, which includes rarities like the uncompleted "Bambu" sessions, is full of dreamy piano ballads and strong, full-bodied rock that blends John Lennon with David Bowie. Although known as a wild child, Wilson offers nothing but genuine heart, especially on the previously unreleased tracks.

Sounds Like: Classic rock

Key Tracks: "Friday Night," "It's Not Too Late"

A-
buy it!
Montana Boys

Montana Boys
“Montana Boys”
(Self-Released 2008)

Did they really just name check Doogie Howser and his buddy? They sure did! Grand Rapids, Michigan's garage rockers the Montana Boys only know one volume and that's loud. The five-piece give the impression they are barely keeping it together as they roll out trippy, buzzing electric guitar and loose indie rock sounds that wanders all over the place.

Sounds Like: Indie/garage rock that can’t be tamed

Key Tracks: "Like I Do (Mr. Rastafarian)"

C
The Axe & the Tree

Jimmy Reeves
“The Axe & the Tree”
(Self-Released 2008)

There is a definite flair for the quietly understated and the overly dramatic in singer and songwriter Jimmy Reeves' debut EP, "The Axe & the Tree." With touches of the rambling alt-country sound of Ryan Adams and the effortlessly flowing and haunting melodies of Jeff Buckley, "The Axe & the Tree" manages to remain ever changing throughout. The folk tag isn't going to slow Reeves down.

Sounds Like: Full-bodied folk

Key Tracks: "Broken Glass Windows"

B+
buy it!
Everything's Alright

Nick Motil
“Everything's Alright”
(Self-Released 2008)

Singer and songwriter Nick Motil makes good on his EP's implied promise. Everything is, in fact, alright about "Everything's Alright" as Motil offers six likable pop-focused adult contemporary ballads with swelling melodies and smooth, soft vocals. But what the EP lacks is a driving force to help stop likable from quickly becoming boring as Motil repeats things you've undoubtedly heard before.

Sounds Like: Soft rock ballads

Key Tracks: "Everything's Alright"

C
buy it!
I Know Your Voice

Kessler
“I Know Your Voice”
(YMA Records 2008)

Yet another MySpace success story: one day they're nobodies and the next they're signing to a record label and quitting their day jobs. Dallas band Kessler knows how to write soaring power pop rock songs that sound just edgy enough to remain sounding young and fit into the current music scene. The band start off "I Know Your Voice" well but the songs, which all average about 3 minutes, end up running together by the end.

Sounds Like: Alt power pop rock

Key Tracks: "Love Is War"

C+
buy it!