Review Round Up #73

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes Big Nixon's "Sixfourfive," The Upper Crust's "Revenge for Imagined Slights," Audrye Sessions' "Audrye Sessions EP," Urban Preacher's "Urban Preacher EP," and We’ll Go Machete's "We’ll Go Machete EP."

Sixfourfive

Big Nixon
“Sixfourfive”
(Self-Released 2009)

The press material for “Sixfourfive” name-drops the Sex Pistols, Soundgarden, and Sublime, although I can’t even begin to imagine what hat those first two names were pulled out of. The latter definitely wafts in, though, especially on the bongo and THC infused “Caroline.” For the most part, this debut EP from Big Nixon is just low key, nondescript indie rock. What it lacks in originality, it makes up for in pretension and self-importance. But if it’s a casual listen you’re looking for, you could do a lot worse.

Sounds Like: Completely unobtrusive but competent indie jams

Key Tracks: “Caroline”

B-
buy it!
Revenge for Imagined Slights

Upper Crust
“Revenge for Imagined Slights”
(Camp Street Records 2009)

A lot of attention has been paid to the fact that these guys wear powdered wigs and 18th century period dress, though you’d never be able to guess at their shtick listening to their music. Combining the riffage of classic AC/DC and Kiss with over the top lyrics about a life of privilege and entitlement, The Üpper Crüst strike the right balance between irreverence and serious musicianship. You don’t need to be society’s elite to enjoy the good old-school rock here.

Sounds Like: Guitar-driven hard rock with a taste for the classics

Key Tracks: “Long Table for Two,” “Bedlam”

B+
buy it!
Audrye Sessions EP

Audrye Sessions
“Audrye Sessions EP”
(Black Label 2009)

It’s hard to imagine that a band could wring any more emotion from their music than Audrye Sessions do on this four song EP. Each track gushes with rivers of sentimentality, from “Turn Me Off”’s car commercial-ready upbeat bounce to the acoustic melodrama of “New Year’s Day.” Curiously, singer Ryan Karazija’s over-exuberant emoting does nothing to distinguish this from any of today’s plaintive indie music.

Sounds Like: Unbelievably emotional indie rock

Key Tracks: “Awake”

B-
buy it!
Urban Preacher EP

Urban Preacher
“Urban Preacher EP”
(Self-Released 2009)

These guys were born in the wrong place. Formed in Toronto, Urban Preacher is perfectly suited to smoky, dimly lit clubs nestled in the Deep South. The first two songs on their self-titled EP paint a wonderfully smooth, laid back picture of getting through life with a grin and a shot. But then the tempo gears up, and the sax-driven grooves begin to wander into garishness. And vocalist Myrrhine Faller’s rap in “Strange Obsession?” No. Just…no.

Sounds Like: Comforting, down home Southern blues-rock

Key Tracks: “On the Rooftop”

C+
buy it!
We'll Go Machete EP

We'll Go Machete
“We'll Go Machete EP”
(Cedar Fever Records 2009)

We'll Go Machete make like influences Fugazi and Quicksand, combining blunt guitar riffing and sharp, angular detours, making music that hits the sweet spot between abrasiveness and openness. The slightly glossy production and strangely universal quality of Paul Warner's vocals lend an additional layer of listenability for the music-going public at large. This debut is a rough-edged yet accessible collection of tunes that should signal good things for these Texas newcomers.

Sounds Like: '90s-era post-hardcore with a hint of poppiness

Key Tracks: "Number 12," "All at Sea"

B+
buy it!