Review Round Up #7

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes Owen Sartori's "Selections From The Cube," Western States Motel's "Western States Motel," Datarock's "Datarock Datarock," Irepress' "Samus Octology," and Night Kills The Day's "The Story of Man."

Selections From The Cube

Owen Sartori
“Selections From The Cube”
(Burst Records 2006)

By the end of his "Selections From The Cube" EP, you will be thinking, "That poor Owen Sartori." The quintessential nice guy, Sartori will let you abuse him and he will still welcome you into his arms as he suffers through his crappy 9 to 5 deskjop. Set to unassuming instrumentation that swells appropriately as choruses blend with the gentle melody of Sartori's smooth vocals, "Selections From The Cube" sticks close to convention.

Sounds Like: The nice guy singer/songwriter that speaks to everyone

Key Tracks: "Punching Bag (Naked Mix)"

B-
Western States Motel

Western States Motel
“Western States Motel”
(Firebird Field Recordings 2006)

The Western States Motel's self-titled debut has a simple and straightforward appeal: delicate songs that float gently by with their soft melodies. Tweaking that standard sound, a bit of an infectious rhythm here, an island accented groove there, The Western States Motel has blinders on as they stick to their game plan. The result is an album that is simply what it is.

Sounds Like: Soft indie melodies delivered simply, maintaining a special beauty

Key Tracks: "Powerlines"

B+
buy it!
Datarock Datarock

Datarock
“Datarock Datarock”
(Nettwerk Records 2007)

Norwegian band Datarock can do it all and are finally getting released in the US. Indie rock goes disco, pop and punk on the band's debut "Datarock Datarock," which saw release elsewhere in the world in 2005. With a sense of humor, Datarock never take themselves too seriously but never reveal the joke's punch line, either. "BMX is better than sex," the band declares on the punk rock "Bulldozer" while "Computer Camp Love" gives a nod to "Summer Nights" from "Grease."

Sounds Like: A versatile electro-indie rock album with a danceable edge

Key Tracks: "I Used To Dance With My Daddy"

B-
buy it!
Samus Octology

Irepress
“Samus Octology”
(Lost In Translation Records 2007)

The debut full-length release from Boston's Irepress offers a new guitar grinding take on instrumental progressive rock meets metal. Although "Samus Octology" could easily have been one long track, Irepress divide the album into eight tracks. Light melodies offer floating interludes before heavy guitar churning riffs enter and ever changing percussion ranges from constant pounding to quick machine gunning assaults. "Samus Octology" may be an instrumental album, but Irepress evoke more from listeners than some of their vocally focused peers.

Sounds Like: Instrumental prog rock meets metal, think Tool and Isis

Key Tracks: "Pah No"

B
buy it!
The Story Of Man

Night Kills The Day
“The Story Of Man”
(Score Records 2007)

Night Kills The Day's "The Story of Man" is an alternative rock album that borders on the dark with guitars and keyboards blazing. Thick, buzzing guitar riffs swirl with light melodies for a full instrumental result on "The Story of Man," the songs occasionally echoing with anticipation. But while Night Kills The Day easily grab your ear early on with quick moving songs, the band never step it up and take their music to the next level.

Sounds Like: A mixture of alt rock like The Killers and Razorlight

Key Tracks: "Rainbows In N.Y.C.," "Even Sharks Don't Kill For Fun"

B+
buy it!