Charmed Beautifully Twisted (self released)
Charmed has the ability to transport their audience to a mystical fantasy land. A combination of Loreena McKennitt and Sinead O'Connor, this duo creates the kind of music you might listen to while lighting candles and casting spells. Local musicians Bambi Jackson and Alicia Ultan have earth-moving voices, but fail to unleash all the magic that is locked up inside them. Ah, the things these women could do with their voices if the music were more versatile. Although Beautifully Twisted delivers some lovely songs, the album would be spellbinding if more ingredients were added into the cauldron. The pair will host a CD release party at Relaxations Coffee and Oxygen Bar (11601 Montgomery NE) on Saturday, May 14, 7 to 10 p.m. No cover.
Wan Santo Condo Wan Santo Condo (Everloving Inc.))
My first impression of Wan Santo Condo was that they were a Radiohead ripoff. Another listen and I began to realize that they are actually quite different from the alternative band. Lead singer Bob Via has a voice that reaches every altitude of greatness. At times Via sounds like Chris Cornell. In fact, the band can be compared to early Sound Garden (prior to being tainted by MTV). The versatility of the songs work both to the band's advantage and disadvantage. The songs don't follow a particular pattern which may not sway audiences. Nevertheless, Wan Santo Condo's self-titled album is an enjoyable ride while it lasts, but one you may possibly forget after it's over.
Ms. Led These Things We Say (Fish the Cat Records)
Ms. Led is a combination of early B-52's, the Go-Go's, the Waitresses and the White Stripes. Their newest effort, The Things We Say, is a cosmic rush of high energy, air-punching punk music. This is the kind of music that is best heard live with a crowd of screaming, sweaty people. The girl-power theme is pounded a bit hard, but other than that it's just pure feel-good music. What really makes this album unforgettable is the bass which contributes to the band's surf-rock sound. Lead singer Leslie Wood's energetic, girlish voice also adds to Ms. Led's appeal. The Things We Say is a guaranteed pick-me-up.