By Diego E. Montoya
The City Champs The Set-Up (Electraphonic)
The Set-Up, the second record from Memphis trio The City Champs, conjures a funky, instrumental, Mid-South-style jazz sound. Hammond organ takes the lead, while guitar and drums provide complementary rhythm. Almost every track runs more than four minutes long but keeps the listener captivated with a jam-session-like flow. The album blends fast- and slow-tempos, mixing boogaloo and Stax-influenced soul jazz.
The Suzan Golden Week For The Poco Poco Beat (Downtown Records)
All-girl band The Suzan is a blast of Japanese pop, debuting with Golden Week For The Poco Poco Beat. Energy pulses through each song with lively vocals and a never-ending up-tempo beats, and the musicians flow freely in and out of styles like new wave and garage rock.
Music is the Enemy Mr. Murdoch ... We're Ready for Our Target Audience (Sicksicksick)
This album begins with sounds of static as radio stations are being tuned, preparing you for a mishmash of metal, punk and even slam poetry. There’s distortion, hard-edged drum beats and loud, fast guitars. The vocals, as aggressive as the guitars, are mainly yelled/shouted and are at times muddled by the instruments. The singer drifts in and out of singing and talking, a style reminiscent of Suicidal Tendencies. Music is the Enemy accomplishes what it intended, smashing sounds to create a hardcore hybrid. Best song on album is “Dead Scene Meets Zombie Apocalypse.”
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Erika Wennerstrom • singer-