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Quiet CompanyEveryone You Love Will Be Happy Soon: With Taylor Muse on vocals and piano, guitars, organs, synthesizers, glockenspiel, harmonica, banjo, and percussion,Tommy Blank on guitars, electric piano, organs, synthesizers, glockenspiel, vocals and melodica, Matt Parmenter on bass, vocals, piano, and Jeff Weathers on drums Quiet Company is complete. After the release of their first record Shine Honesty which won them lots of press, they took to the road for over 200 shows throughout the U.S.  During that time, Muse the songwriter of the group, began recording demos that would later become this album almost three years later. Lyrically, the record promises songs that have a pop influence, but will make you fall in love with life and then challenge everything you know about it. With about an hour of music (15 songs), Quiet Company tells stories of love, death and frustration with the world we live in– though always uplifting in their beats and tones. The songs range from the noisy energetic to the quiet and intimate with melodies that are infectious and oftentimes haunting.  Its piano-driven rock that’s fashionable with airy vocals that coat the music and big hooks that will keep you singing. 5.0 McRiprock’s.

PeoplefoodThe Status Foe EP: Members Byrne Rock, Ryan Williams and Mike Pope began working together in 2007 and solidified as a four-piece with the addition of Eitan Levy in 2008.  Late in the spring of 2008, they began working on their first self-produced effort, The Status Foe EP. Late into the summer of 2008 Eitan Levy, the drummer, decided to return to his native Israel opening a spot for Chris Mitchell to take a seat at the drum set. In February 2009, The Status Foe EP was released and fans considered it to be a tasty treat of what might be to come. It’s an EP with dark undertones, vocals that sound like another artist that I’ll be damned that I can’t recall, but work well and are oftentimes flat, but workable due to overall sound produced. Described as “uneasy listening” the album uncovers some rock that is strikingly dark, but in a relatively subtle nature that doesn’t overwhelm the listener. Again, the vocals aren’t full of range, but it works with the overall sound. Playing in and around Austin at least once a month, they state on their MySpace page: “From the land of trees, dogs, and automatic garage door openers comes Peoplefood. Between the past and future, Peoplefood lives in the temporal. Pulling influence from the ether comes as a natural tenet of the band’s sound, until it crashes under the weight of its own dogma, taking the listener to a dynamic space where we can reevaluate why we have senses in the first place. If you have a mother you will love this band.” 4.5 McRiprock’s

Down Down DownNight Tonight (EP), Day Today (EP): Admittedly San Francisco-ish (Myspace reference), the band Down Down Down, puts out two EPs with songs that they classify in the indie, soul, rock category, however, if it were my choice, I’d call it all pop. They are everywhere. Myspace. Facebook. Twitter. YouTube. You name the social networking site and they’ve probably got a connection. They update their website http://wherethetragichappens.com with bits and pieces of road trips, insights and performances on a weekly basis. Kudos to their tech savvy publicists and … well, their discipline. But on to the music. Down Down Down is pop, pure and simple. When listening to the EPs I either missed the soul and rock portion or it just wasn’t there. The lead singer, (whose name remains unknown due to no names listed under their Myspace pics), constantly pursues a falsetto almost Queen-like vocal quality throughout both EPs. This, in some instances, works well, and in others is terribly annoying. They employ simple riffs with a ska-reggae punch in some songs that are mainly simplistically guitar motivated or piano driven, but with the vocals always out-doing the music. Lyrically, there’s not much to talk about. Vocally, it’s dominated. There are moments that it feels perfectly position for radio-air play on a pop/alternative station. “Lover Run for Cover” is the most dramatic piece with the most darkness protruding from their sound, and even then it doesn’t do “emotionally dark” justice. The falsetto is toned down on this track, but it’s still there. “Built to Impress,” one of the first tracks, definitely employs a reggae-backing beat, whereas “Miles Away” begins to drift in with a little honky-tonk, but then floats aimlessly into a pop cloud. “Get Spun” starts with a short, stucco dark undertone that goes happy with piano backing and falsetto layered on top to make it a happy song, not a dark one. The EPs all kind of melt together into one big pop piece that’s similar in sound, but less dramatic and catchy than Fall Out Boy, with WAY more falsetto than they could provide, but has that same quality of popishness that’s very radio worthy. They are definitely a focused band in their sound and dedication to getting themselves out and about be it online or through performances. 3.5 McRiprock’s

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