Zeus, the band, was born from the longtime friendship of Mike O'Brien and Carlin Nicholson, who were/are members of Broken Social Scene member Jason Collett's touring band. Also featuring Rob Drake and Neil Quin, the Canadian rock quartet just released their debut full-length, entitled Say Us, an accomplished first effort and a really fun rock 'n' roll record. Blending all sorts of pop-rock elements - from sharp, Strokes-esque riffs to the driving piano-pop of New Pornographers - these guys create an eclectic yet somehow still focused set of 12 tracks that I've been unable to stay away from for long. Highlights include the jangly "Kindergarten," the bluesy pop tune "The Renegade," and joyfully sunny "Marching Through Your Head," but there are 12 very good reasons to hear Say Us as soon as possible.
Judging by the second effort from Madison, Wisconsin natives Locksley, these guys know how to have a good time. Be In Love is a hook-filled blast of British Invasion-inspired rock that starts off with a bang and rarely slows to less than fifth gear throughout 37 minutes, providing plenty of great pop moments along the way. By design, this is fairly lightweight music - more style than depth or substance - but there's nothing wrong with that and there's no denying the talent that the boys bring to these fun-loving tunes. The energetic guitar lines, playful lyrics, and sunny harmonies make tunes like the cheery "Darling, It's True" and the enjoyably wild "The Whip" about impossible not to love. I'll be both surprised and disappointed if we don't start hearing more about these guys very soon.
Elaine Lachica -
If her press page is to be believed (I see no reason why it shouldn't), Elain Lachica has been making music (piano, violin, and singing) since age 3. Apparently all that time and practice has paid big dividends, evident on her third and recently released effort, I Think I Can See the Ocean. Lachica is a gifted songwriter, singer and musician with an unusual, distinctive edge that sets her music apart from her contemporaries and her new album is a strikingly diverse one, a mixture of disparate elements that is not only fascinating but manages to somehow coalesce into a engaging whole. From the jazzy, piano and horn-led "Tumbleweed" to the grandiose "Jinx the Line" to loud, spacey "Rapture," Lachica never stays in one place for long, but for the adventurous, I Think I Can See the Ocean will be a great find indeed.
Behind My Mind (MP3)