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Drunk Souls- Slim Loris- Rooftop Runners- Monks of Mellonwah

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Drunk Souls
Revolution

(Self released)
France

The first song you hear on this album is "Drifter Song," a tune with a chorus that repeats over and over again "Because I'm not in the mood." The funky pop song evokes just the opposite feeling in the listener though as it sets the table for the rest of the bouncy and often joyful music that follows. The horn-laden "Human Race" is ska-tinged and designed to nudge folks onto the dance floor while "L'amour Dietetique," one of a few songs here that's sung in French, is geared more to an after party just for two. "Sullivan Story" sounds like something a young Peter Gabriel might have done if he fronted a psych band instead of a prog outfit and "Supermarket" rushes along jazzily like a sublime munchies raid on a favorite grocery store. Despite the band's name, Drunk Souls are never overbearing or out of control here; to the contrary Revolution is full of fun sounds with a sophisticated edge. Band's site

Slim Loris
Down to Earth

(Self released)
Sweden

This band is from Scandinavia but they have a sound that recalls the Los Angeles singer/songwriter scene circa the mid 1970s. Singer Mattias Cederstam has a voice and a writing style that makes Down to Earth sound like it was created in an era when performers like Jackson Browne and Poco were first exploring country/rock sounds. Most of that feeling comes directly from Cederstam's voice but the band also uses fiddle here and there to augment their organic vibe. Songs like "Break Even or Lose" demonstrate the band's ability to craft extremely catchy songs out of understated hooks, something they do throughout the album. Band's site

Rooftop Runners
We Are Here

(Self released)
Canada/Germany

Rooftop Runners is the duo of Benedikt and Tobias MacIsaac, brothers originally from Canada who now make their home in Berlin. Appropriately enough their music is an amalgam of the literate and hip sound currently coming out of Montreal flavored with the mysterious darkness that seems to be a trait of recording in Berlin. We Are Here is only a four song teaser but the sampling leaves the listener almost drooling for more; "Energize" tips its cap to the (also Berlin-influenced) Lou Reed, "She Devil" is bluesy in a White Stripes way, "Bang Bang" sounds like a Jane's Addiction/NIN mash-up and "Streets," perhaps the strongest cut found on the brief offering, is slow and steamy trip-hop drenched in luxuriant falsetto vocals. Band's site

Monks of Mellonwah
Neurogenesis

(Self released)
Australia

This Aussie band has attracted a lot of attention; their production team has worked for Nirvana, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Smashing Pumpkins and Michael Jackson. The big names have come on board to help the band fine tune their Incubus-meets-Chili Peppers sound; the Monks are neither as rocky as the former nor as funky as the latter and it sounds like the middle ground they've chosen is aimed at the Coldplay crowd. Band's site

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