Spirit Kid, self-
titled, RPL Audio
Emeen Zarookian's Boston
combo serves up a particu-
larly persuasive brand of
power-pop, like Badfinger
on helium, while the piano-
filled "Wait a Minute" cap-
tures the charm of peak-era
Harry Nilsson or Paul Mc-
Cartney. His first full-length
plays like a more well scrub-
bed version of From Bubble-
gum to Sky (a good thing).
Click here for "My Imagination" and here for "You Lit Up for Me."
Blackmarket, St. Vincent Decor,
Mine and Yours Records [4/20/10]
This Lake Havasu, AZ trio plies a bright brand of pop-rock
that would provide a better fit for commercial than college
radio (so it's unfortunate that the former ignores most in-
dependent releases). It isn't slick, so much as smooth in
a Britpop way, like Los Hermanos Gallagher with a lit-
tle Franz Ferdinand on the side. St. Vincent De-
cor isn't the most original CD I've ever heard,
but it's a solid release that improves on their
last long-player and offers some nice acous-
tic interludes, such as "Catch and Release."
Click here for "Tongue Twister," here for "10 and 2,"
and here for my review of Elephant in the Room.
Makaras Pen, self-titled, Projekt Records [6/15/10]
A traditional creature in Hindu mythology.
-- origin of the band's name
Born in Buffalo, this able four-piece combines the hard (the band)
with the soft (Emma Willis's vocals). See also: Lush, Curve, and
the Cranes. It's an old trick, and Makaras Pen sounds like a
throwback to a decade or so ago (the press materials des-
cribe them as "female-fronted shoegaze renaissancers").
The group's first album offers a competent interpreta-
tion, but this genre has never done much for me.
Endnote: For more information about Spirit Kid, please
click here or here; for Blackmarket, here or here; and
for Makaras Pen, here. Image from Planetary Group.