Tokyo Police Club / Champ / Dine Alone Records
Instead of falling into a stereotypical death trap, Tokyo Police Club nail all the right notes with Champ. The second offering from the Newmarket indie rock group has less innocence and sprightly quirky charm, but it excels as it’s similar to its younger brother. They sidestep becoming the flamboyant prep star they are destined to be as the record explodes with raucous choruses (“Favourite Colour”, “Breakneck Speed”) and whimsical lines of childish sincerity (“End Of A Spark”). There are times when Tokyo Police Club seem like their drifting off into different musical cliques, but they torpedo back down to earth and complete a gem that may be more addicting to the ear than anything they’ve ever released.
Download: “Frankenstein”, “Big Difference”
Travie McCoy / Lazarus / Atlantic
If you gyrated to Gym Class Heroes in high school, you’re probably wondering: what the hell ever happened to them and why has their vocalist actually chosen to use the name “Travie”? Sherlock Holmes could probably put his finger on the reason, but let’s just blame Katy Perry for the minute transformation. Lazarus reeks of McCoy’s suave charm and is braced with pop rock riffage that puts tracks like “Need You” on a different pedestal. But as a whole, the debut acts like a newborn child forced out of a hip-hop womb by 13 different fathers . The abundance of producers like T-Pain may put McCoy’s talent in a headlock, but it also encourages him to display a type of potential that hasn’t vanished yet.
Download: “Need You”, “Akidagain”
The Young Veins / Take A Vacation! / One Haven Music
You can’t give a band a bad rap because of the history of it’s musicians. If you ignored the fact Ryan Ross and Jon Walker were once a part of Panic! At The Disco, you would be able to appreciate Take A Vacation! and it’s attempt to reintroduce 60s’ pop. Upon first listen, the record isn’t as dramatic as Panic!’s dive into trying to be The Beatles a few years back (remember Pretty Odd?). Instead, Ross shines as his vocals draw comparisons to The Zombies’ Colin Blunstone and when tied with nifty melodies and hip-shaking bass lines, the debut is a worthwhile listen that just may secure a spot in your playlist. That is until the sun runs away and summer is over.
Download: “Heart Of Mine”, “Maybe I Will, Maybe I Won’t”
Attack Attack! / Attack Attack! / Rise
The self-titled release from the Ohio metalcore band tries too hard. Kind of like those San Antonio teens pretending to be werewolves. Yeah, it sounds cool but really? For those who love the eclectic mix of unclean vocals and Cascada synth-pop, this record is for you. Everyone else can take a seat and wait to see if the quintet can shake things up in a violent manner because unlike other auto-tune druggies, there is a glimmer of hope. Sadly, one track that projects mayhem and chaotic breakdowns can’t save an album from it’s unfortunate demise.
Download: “A For Andrew”