Review Round Up #71

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes Gene The Werewolf's "Light Me Up," Devendra Banhart's "Baby," Drink Up Buttercup's "Even Think," MojoRising's "Feel What You Feel," and Mumiy Troll's "Paradise Ahead."

Light Me Up

Gene The Werewolf
“Light Me Up”
(Self-Released 2009)

Judging by the cover of Gene The Werewolf's "Light Me Up" EP, the band's frontman may just be the long lost brother of Eagles of Death Metal's Jesse Hughes. Maybe it's just the chest hair proudly on display and the personalized belt buckle. Regardless, Gene The Werewolf have a nasty ‘80s hangover. While their synthesizer-laced power ballads and rock tunes do have a slightly modern take on Van Halen and closing track "I've Got The Love" leans more towards AC/DC aren't too bad, all bets are off when the ridiculous wannabe party anthem "Come On I Gene (Ft. MC Lars)" rolls around. By that point it's pretty clear the "party" is definitely over.

Sounds Like: Smooth-talking power pop rock trying to channel Van Halen, AC/DC

Key Tracks: "I've Got The Love"

C-
buy it!
Baby

Devendra Banhart
“Baby”
(Warner Bros. Records 2009)

In the time it takes to listen to the three tracks on "Baby," you'll either be in for Devendra Banhart's new album, "What We Will Be," or you'll be out. With full instrumentation that's fun and playful while still sounding tight, it's hard to not like "Baby," with its light, endearing sound. The bass thumping "16th & Valencia Roxy Music" sounds, perhaps, as close to disco as Banhart is willing to get while "Goin Back" is easy country.

Sounds Like: Exactly what you'd expect from Devendra Banhart: lush, fun, memorable

Key Tracks: "Baby"

B+
Even Think

Drink Up Buttercup
“Even Think”
(Yep Roc Records 2009)

Drink Up Buttercup try a little too hard to be artsy on their first single, "Even Think." The psyche rockers come out swinging with the loose feel of "Even Think" before having a go at echoing avant garde for "Heavy Hand." They finish things off with a somewhat robotic but mostly true to the original take on The Buzzcocks' "Why Can't I Touch It." Drink Up Buttercup clearly know what they're going for but "Even Think" feels too much like they're trying to fit a specific mold.

Sounds Like: Psychedelic pop rock with lofty ambitions

Key Tracks: "Even Think"

C+
buy it!
Feel What You Feel

MojoRising
“Feel What You Feel”
(Self-Released 2009)

MojoRising sound like your average bar band: they have soul, some groove, a couple ballads and a feeling of undeniable familiarity. The recording of their "Feel What You Feel" EP sounds flat and the instrumentation unnecessarily scrawny. But it's without a doubt, after a couple drinks and a bar filled with your friends, that MojoRising would be able to get things moving on the dance floor for a night out at your favorite watering hole.

Sounds Like: Soul and pop rock

Key Tracks: "Walk Away"

D+
buy it!
Paradise Ahead

Mumiy Troll
“Paradise Ahead”
(Self-Released 2009)

Get ready to dance. Mumiy Troll's "Paradise Ahead" digital-only EP is synthesizer led pop rock with memorable melodies and sing-along choruses. The Russian foursome are just plain fun from the pounding melody of "Me Eskimo (Polar Bear)" to the after dark down-tempo groove of "Mothers & Daughters."

Sounds Like: Synthesizer led pop rock

Key Tracks: "Paradise Ahead"

B-
buy it!