Thursday, July 20, 2006

Review Roundup

Jeff, Castle Storm, Infinity Cat

Jeff is Jake and Jamin Orrall, rocking the Thurston Moore look in the photo to the left. (They were 16 and 14 when they started Infinity Cat.) Their third LP consists of loud, jammy stuff laid down in two days. The 13 ditties touch on prog, punk, hardcore, and metal. Jake shouts and strums, while Jamin beats the skins. To be sure: It rocks, but this kind of material works best live.

Carolyn AlRoy, Gorgeous Enormous, Wussy

Her debut is a singer-songwritery thing with country tinges. New York poet-turned-psychotherapist AlRoy sings like Lois Maffeo, which is to the good, but Gorgeous Enormous doesn't do it for me. She looks like a swell gal, though, so I feel like a wet blanket for providing such weak praise. This is a respectable effort, just not edgy/distinguished enough to stand out from the pack. Includes an okay "Helter Skelter" and a touching take on Pee Wee King's oft-covered "You Belong to Me." Produced by Matt Keating and engineered by Adam Lasus (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah).

Cake Bake Betty, Songs About Teeth!, Infinity Cat

New Jersey's Lindsay Powell is Cake Bake Betty. Be Your Own Pet's Jamin Orall co-produced and adds beats to her skeletal piano pop. Songs About Teeth! sounds nothing like BYOP, but I like it. Powell has a sweet, yet assertive voice. The word "precocious" springs to mind--and I mean that in the best possible sense.

Miss Violetta Beauregarde, Odi Profanum Vulgus et Arceo, Temporary Residence Ltd.

The title means "I hate the common crowd and I spurn them." As such, one wouldn't expect wispy words of bliss. There are none to be found on this brief collection of 16 spiky diatribes. Miss Beauregarde has been described as "one young Italian woman and her inebriating ten-euro keyboard." That she is. Songs include "I'm the Tiennamen Square Guy and You All Are the Fucking Tanks" and "The Unbearable Lightness of a Farm Tractor." Le Tigre meets Whitehouse. A refreshing palate cleanser in small doses.

Endnote: Jeff and CBB's "Sybling Symmetry" tour continues through the end of the month. Please see Infinity Cat for dates (Jake and Jamin run the label with their father, artist/musician Robert Ellis Orral). Images from the IC and Miss Violetta websites. Oh, and be sure to check out Miss V's bio. It's a corker.

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