Review Round Up #9

PlugInMusic.com's Review Round Up feature provides five quick-fire music reviews on a weekly basis. This edition includes Eastern Conference Champions' "Home Away," Sea Wolf's "Get to the River Before It Runs Too Low," Union Trade's "Now The Swell," Lopside's "When You're Finally Through Being Responsible," and Ladycop's "EP."

Eastern Conference Champions
“Home Away”
(Suretone/Interscope Records 2007)

From the suburbs of Philadelphia, two former members of Laguardia and the former bass player for CKY have joined to create Eastern Conference Champions. With the band's debut album set for a summer 2007 release, they have been hinting at the overall sound by way of EPs. Such is "Home Away," a four track EP that falls somewhere in the middle of the indie rock radar with its melodic songs of full instrumentation, heavy on percussion accents and rather distinct nasal vocals (very vaguely Bob Dylan-ish).

Sounds Like: Soaring indie rock with lots of potential

Key Tracks: "The Box," "Navy Man"

B
Get to the River Before It Runs Too Low

Sea Wolf
“Get to the River Before It Runs Too Low”
(Dangerbird Records 2007)

"Get To The River Before It Runs Too Low," the debut EP from Sea Wolf, is full of gentle lullabies. While Sea Wolf is actually the brainchild of Alex Brown Church, the EP takes a different approach than that of Church's former band, Irving. Gentle lullabies, some soft and others with an engaging note of anticipation, make up the five songs on the EP. Rounded out with rich cello, twinkling keyboard melodies and Church's smooth vocals, Sea Wolf's introductory EP is charming as it generates curiosity about a full-length album.

Sounds Like: Gentle, rich lullabies fused with soft pop rock that will not lull you to sleep

Key Tracks: "You're A Wolf"

B+
buy it!
Now The Swell

Union Trade
“Now The Swell”
(Tricycle Records 2007)

The second that The Union Trade's debut EP, "Now The Swell," begins, it comes pouring out. Twinkling melodies chime gently as they linger and take their time building up into gentle waves of indie pop. The Union Trade maintains the idea of soft on the EP but rarely do so in actuality, offering a full and complete instrumental sound. Instead, the melodies never sag or fall heavily as "Now The Swell" offers four seemingly gentle songs.

Sounds Like: Swelling atmospheric rock with a dark hint in their echoing melodies

Key Tracks: "Violent and Beautiful"

B
buy it!
When You're Finally Through Being Responsible

Lopside
“When You're Finally Through Being Responsible”
(Self-Released 2007)

With six tracks that clock in at over 66 minutes, Lopside's electronic ambient music offers a little of everything. From pounding percussion paired with soaring melodies and clunking spaced out tunes that fade in and out, "When You're Finally Through Being Responsible" is like a child's kaleidoscope with the end product always changing but always constructed with the same pieces. Wanting to be experimental on later tracks, Lopside do not rush as they slowly build up and constantly alter the chattering samples and remaining safe while doing so.

Sounds Like: Ambient that ranges from nonstop pounding to nonstop droning

Key Tracks: "When," "Being"

B-
buy it!
EP

Ladycop
“EP”
(Self-Released 2007)

Brooklyn band Ladycop does not seem to want to protest very loudly on "EP." The five song recording relies heavily on smooth melodies that are layered with rapid and unrelenting drumming and soft vocals. Ladycop contrast the effortless harmonies of "Put Down the Racers" with a scratching effect and the acoustic guitar ballad "Let." The result is dynamic and ever changing indie rock that gently floats by but knows how to bare its teeth when challenged.

Sounds Like: Rock with a bit of indie to keep you guessing and engaged

Key Tracks: "Put Down the Racers," "Falling On Scissors"

B
buy it!