Short Takes

DOA receives too many submissions for our staff to ever review them all. There are a lot of discs that are overlooked, not because they aren’t good or lacked something particular, but simply because there are only so many reviews we can crank out in a given week, month, or year. “Short Takes” attempts to showcase a bunch of releases that we may never have been able to completely cover otherwise. Consider these much shorter reviews of EPs and full-length albums that will hopefully give you an idea of what these bands are about in just a few sentences.

The Orion ExperienceHeartbreaker EP


Apparently a plug from blogger Perez Hilton is a good thing for a young pop band. New York’s Orion Experience definitely seem to be having a lot of fun. The light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek songs are sweet without laying the syrup on too thick and the group vocal approach surely makes these tunes prime for a sing-a-long. If the cuts on the Heartbreaker EP don’t make you at least smile – if not break out in awkward fits of dancing – there might be something wrong with your happiness chip.

Nick MotilEverything’s Alright EP


So Mr. Motil apparently spent two years playing a five-night-a-week Vegas gig at Jimmy Buffett’s restaurant before setting sail to cut his teeth on the college circuit. Surprised you’ve never heard of him? Me neither. Nick’s EP features some lovely music – plenty of acoustic guitar, soft crooning, and touching lyrics. I have a feeling Nick Motil’s songs would be great featured on whatever 2008’s equivalent of Dawson’s Creek is.

StarkeysDilmun EP

Tigers Against Crime

Starkeys is brothers Sam and Oliver. They grew up in Bahrain, and returned to the US (Portland, Oregon) to be exact with their teacher parents in 1996 in time for high school. The duo seem to have had some interesting life experiences through childhood and adolescence, so I’m a bit surprised that their first EP, Dilmun, isn’t more varied. I guess from the backstory I expected something more exotic. The music of Starkeys is modern pop-rock with just enough flourishes to fall on the right side of lush. Worth checking out if this is your thing.

Kings Die KingsRecapture EP


Edinburgh band Kings Die Kings offer up some brooding modern rock on its Recapture EP. These guys must have been serious Cure fans back in the day. The music good and the band is quite tight, but I can’t sink my teeth into the singer’s style at all. While strange, off-kilter, and otherwise interesting vocals generally grab my attention in positive ways I’m just not feeling this guy’s voice. Take that for what its worth, cause you might just love everything about Kings Die Kings.

Tropical DepressionThe Hot Crime Broadcast EP


This San Diego, CA based duo fits into indie-tronica land rather well. The Hot Crime Broadcast EP features guitar and bass laid over a variety of electronic bits. I didn’t expect any vocals, but Tropical Depression has them. The sort of light and airy voice doesn’t mesh with the music very well in my mind. The singing draws me away from the otherwise solid compositions, and I think I’d enjoy the six tracks here more without the distraction.