New Music Reviews

Apollo Nove
Res Inexplicata Volans
Ryko /Crammed
12 song CD


Brazilian artist/producer Apollo Nove makes his best effort to bring together classic bossa nova and electronica in a wild crash and clash of styles, and for the most part, he succeeds beautifully. The album is a smooth and silky ride, laid back with just the right amount of groove to keep it on edge.

The songs mix classic latin sounds with electronic beats and rhythms, with a nice combination of male and female vocalists, creating an otherworldly sound best described as ultra-modern lounge exotica, or acid jazz with a distinctly latin twist. Think Esquivel-meets-Astrud Gilberto-meets-The Brand New Heavies-meets-Portishead.

On the surface, this may come across to you as mere novelty, but the strength of Nove's songwriting and production makes it a serious contender for any music lover.

MISH MASH Mandate: Sambalicious
Crammed Records Website

Olivea Watson
Olivea Watson
Carport Music
7 song CD


At first glance, Olivea Watson may seem like any other singer songwriter, making her way through a bevy of heartfelt pop songs. But, as the music plays, it's obvious that there's plenty of substance to go along with her well-worn roots rock style.

The most striking thing about her is her voice, which sounds strangely enough like a cross between Chrissie Hynde and The Sundays' Harriet Wheeler. It's strong and assured like Hynde's, but there's an underlying sensitivity which keeps you guessing. It also helps that her songwriting is top-notch and creatively done, and the combination of voice and writing pull this one away from the pack.

In other words, this should be just another album by another wannabe rock star, but it shines in spite of itself---and that makes it even better in the end.

MISH MASH Mandate: Brass In Pocket
Olivea Watson Website


The Sexy Accident
10 song CD


There's something to be said about nerdy power pop that can poke fun of itself, and The Sexy Accident is a shining example. One part Cheap Trick and one part They Might Be Giants, TSA out maneuvers all expectations by weaving geeky intelligence and humor throughout their quirky rock opus.

Perhaps their finest moment is Undefeated Champion of The Arcade, where all their elements come together in a perfect unit. It's got a groovy droning guitar line, with nasal-toned vocals boasting about video gaming skills, along with a lament about the arcade being torn down to build a Rite-Aid. What's not to love?

MISH MASH Mandate: Pac Man Fever
Sexy Accident Website

Wrinkle Neck Mules
Pull The Brake
Shut Eye Records
15 song CD

This is the southern rock album that future southern rock albums will have to live up to. Eschewing standard rock and country cliches, the guys in Wrinkle Neck Mules take their sound back to their Virginia-bred basics. Simple songs and simple sounds are the name of the game, all without polish or pretension.
This is country as country gets, period. And Nashville is nowhere in sight.

With a little help from musician friends like Bonnie "Prince" Billy, the Mules slow roast their way through 15 tracks of southern delight and heartbreak. This is an album that could have just as easily crawled out of the woods 40 years ago, a timeless piece of American music, with just the right touch of Southern Gothic.

MISH MASH Mandate: Song Of The South
Shut Eye Records Website

Mind Controls
Mind Controls
Dirt Nap Records
11 song CD

Mark Sultan is back from his stint as BBQ, this time as a purveyor of all things punk. His three piece band, Mind Controls, rips and rages its way through 11 snotty garage punk songs with titles like Death Cult Shoot-Out and Self-Immolation Man.

There is a lack of production or general design aesthetic, as the tracks sound like they were recorded from the next room and the CD sleeve artwork has the appearance of being created as an afterthought at the local Kinko's. Yet, this is definitely in line with the DIY brilliance of Sultan, who builds his songs around an overall feel without concern for image. Rest assured, he nails it, as this is punk music at its naked core, raw and in the buff.

MISH MASH Mandate: Rude And Nude
Dirt Nap Records Website

12 song CD

Comeg is the shorthand moniker of UK musician Coemgen Savage, a one-man band of sorts who wrote and performed all the songs on his latest release, which is somewhat surprising, as he accomplishes a rather big sound all on his own.

Comeg's specialty is Brit pop of the highest order, drawing upon various influences that range from 60s British Invasion to 80s New Wave and beyond. Big guitars and smart pop melodies reign the day, drawing sonic pictures with wide strokes. The self-production is only lacking in the somewhat thin sound of the percussion, but otherwise this release just shimmers beautifully in all its pop glory.

MISH MASH Mandate: Pop Smart
Comeg Website

Trio In Stereo
Everyone Here Looks Familiar
6 song CD

First of all, it's obvious something is a little awry when a proclaimed trio is actually in reality a quintet. The music by this five piece trio backs up this initial strangeness, as the group defies conventional rock styles and structures for a sound that is very much their own.

There is a hint of prog rock sensibility, thrown in with a great deal of indie rock dissonance. The guitars drone and prowl aimlessly, while the keyboards and rhythm section seem to drive the band in a cohesive direction, almost as if they are forcing the group to come along for the ride. Meanwhile the vocals weave in and out of this rambling musical mess, also without any sense of direction.
The beauty of it is that it somehow works, and the band executes it flawlessly. It's hard to say whether it's on purpose, or by some divine accident, but the important thing is that it sounds great.

MISH MASH Mandate: Pscyhotic Reaction
Trio In Stereo Website

© 2006 Mish Mash Music Reviews, All Rights Reserved


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2005 Mish Mash Music Reviews, All Rights Reserved