Waz: Mine To Remember
This former Pete Yorn guitarist might sound like Yorn vocally, but he writes
songs that are as good if not better. Mine to Remember is Waz’s first solo
effort since leaving Yorn’s band, and the songs here are so infectious, it’s
almost a sin that a label hasn’t snatched him up from the indie planet yet.
“Nothing Lasts Forever” and the title track are catchy and could find a home on
any AAA station immediately, but “Summer Love” is pure pop brilliance that could
Authority Zero: Andiamo'
New school punk meets old on Authority Zero’s second release, Andiamo’. In
Italian, the title means “We Go,” and these guys do just that right from the
starting gate. If bands like the Plimsouls and Dead Milkmen existed in today’s
Vans Warped world, they would be Authority Zero. This band can speed through
tracks like the first single, “Revolution,” and “Taking on the World,” while
displaying a reggae-ish side with “Retreat.” Sometimes their split personalities
are hard to follow, but it’s still a solid record.
LKN: In The Leap Year
I may be getting older, but I still relate to a lot of the great music out there
today. Sometimes, though, there are things I don’t quite get. Lauren K. Newman,
a.k.a. LKN, is like a female Kurt Cobain at his most depressed. This is angry
garage music that I’m sure will have its place among the collections of high
school kids, but frankly there just aren’t enough songs on here to sink your
teeth into, no matter what your age is.
Longwave: Life of the Party
Like so many of today’s artists, Longwave has a throwback sound. But for this
New York-based band, it’s more of an ‘80s retro feel akin to Depeche Mode, OMD
and early U2. The difference is that Longwave balances a Brit pop vocal and
orchestral-type sound with fuzzy guitars. Sometimes it’s incongruous, but with
songs like “Life of the Party,” “Here it Comes” and the melancholy instrumental
“Sunday Nite Health,” it’s still pretty good and bodes well for the full-length
due out later this year.
Tony C. And The Truth: Demonphonic Blues
Aptly described in the press notes as “blues n’ roll,” this debut from Tony C.
and the Truth could possibly be more amped up than Barry Bonds’ locker. Tony and
the boys are one part Tom Waits, one part Kid Rock and two parts Aerosmith. A
classic yet fresh sound (and lyrically, cover your kids’ ears) is evident
throughout. Tony is at his best on rap-infused tracks such as “Who I Are” and
“Someday,” as well as the incredibly soulful “No Pain.” A cover of the Beastie
Boys’ “Fight for Your Right” is icing on the cake of a fine debut.
This Los Angeles-based five-piece band might sound a lot like peers such as
Sevendust and Nickelback, but their sophomore effort on Warner Bros. is a good
enough collection of songs to brand them with their own identity. “Wait,”
“Rotten Inside” and “Goodbye” should have no trouble garnering AOR airplay, but
Earshot really displays versatility in testosterone with “Nice to Feel the Sun”
and tenderness with “Should’ve Been There.” Keep an eye out for these guys.