Fiction Plane



MCA Records

This self-described “anti-pop” trio is fronted by Sting’s oldest son, Joe Sumner. Yeah, he sounds like dad, but in songs like the catchy “Listen To My Babe,” he can belt it out a’ la Chris Cornell. London-born Fiction Plane is produced by David Kahne who brought us Sublime, Earshot and Sugar Ray.

The sound is a mix of two very different sounds, influences from, The Police to Nirvana. The result is a sound comparable to nineties college rock. It works.

This combination gives us songs that range from the depressing and deep to happy and hopeful. Their talent shines in with overdubs kept to a bare minimum to give it that “live” vibe. While frontman Sumner doesn’t want to draw attention to the fact that he is son of Sting, he alludes to it in the song “Cigarette.” He sings, “Touch me cause my daddy’s rich/Marry into bigger fish.” He broke into the biz because of his credible talent, without the help of his famous father.

-Andrea Wilhelm




Record label

I totally dig this band. I first heard them a year ago and loved them. After hearing their new CD, Reap the Whirlwind, I love them even more. You’ve probably spotted these Bowling Green natives rocking out at Easystreet or Howard’s, but if you haven’t, you need to check them out.

Reap the Whirlwind is an eight song, three bonus track CD filled with balls to the wall rock. The CD hits you right away with “Genesis.” Melodic and lyrical, the song bounces back and forth between funk and rock. .

Made up of three talented musicians, Chaotic Euphoria is: Demi Trevino- screaming lead guitar and awesome lead vocals; Greg Preston- slapping the bass; and Christopher James Allen- bashing in the drum heads.

Some great songs off the CD are, “The Test,” with its thrashing guitar and intricate rhythm, and “Razor,” an instrumental gem with a bluesy guitar sound that turns around and smacks you with a wailing riff.

Keep up the good work, guys!

Well done.

-Andrea Wilhelm




RCA Records

In a lot of cases, a name can make or break a band. I mean, just think if Motley Crue would have been called Christmas and not the edgey, mean moniker they chose.

But when I was given Cave In’s RCA debut, Antenna I was having trouble taking a band called Cave In seriously. Luckily I’m open minded enough to give the CD a chance and I’m glad I did. The first track “Stained Silver” is a good kickoff filled with melodic verses and kicks in with the chorus. Track two, “Inspire,” does more of the same.

That fun trip ends with track six “Seafrost” which clocks in at almost eight minutes and seems to drag on forever. The last three minutes seemingly drag on with weird noises. It starts to get more painful than listening to U2’s Bono whine or listening to Pink Floyd without being high. Well maybe not that bad, but you get the point. The band sounds better when they try to be Stone Temple Pilots. The rest of the album is a lot like the first five songs. Solid melodic rock that could make a splash on radio if given the chance. I’m sure a station in Toledo could take a break from playing Boston and slip this into their rotation. Cave In has a sound that straddles the “just loud enough for guys but soft enough for girls” line. In fact, most CDs I’m given usually end up in the garbage after I listen to them but this one may find it’s may into my collection. Honestly, what more of a compliment do you need?

The only complaint I have is that sometimes Cave In tries to sound too much like The Beatles. I guess most bands do, but maybe other bands do it better and are not so obvious.

Overall this is a solid outing of a band I had never heard of before last week. If you are a fan of 90s or new sounding rock, then you might want to pick this up.

– Brian Horn




RCA Records

Hotwire is the newest band to come out of the Southern California region that gave us Linkin Park, Incubus, and Hoobastank. This punk, melodic and metallic hardcore band is set to share the stage with band Nonpoint for five weeks in preparation for their set on Ozzfest.

Hotwire is confirmed for the second stage for the entire duration of the rock fest.

Produced by the same guy who did Monster Magnet, Porno for Pyros, Slayer and Hatebreed, Hotwire formed in 1999 and has been touring nonstop with bands such as Kittie.

Their ominous, dark sound comes from such pop cultural influences like movie director David Fincher who gave us “Seven” and “Fight Club,” as well as author Edgar Allen Poe. Their sound has been described as “Jane’s Addiction meets the Deftones, with a hint of The Buzzcocks thrown in for good measure.”

Despite coming from an area that seems to breed rock bands, Hotwire’s sound is different than anything that has come out of that locality.

Their first 12 song, RCA debut is set for release May 6. You can check them out at Ozzfest July 22 at Blossom Music Center in Cleveland, July 24 at DTE Energy Music Theater in Detroit and August 3 at Polaris Amphitheater in Columbus.

– Andrea Wilhelm


burn, piano island, burn


Artist Direct Records

I like punk, I really do, so it is with a heavy heart that I must be frank and make some unpopular comments about punk darlings, the Blood Brothers.

It’s as if the Brothers, already respected in the punk genre, made the abrupt and costly decision to phone their latest album, Burn, Piano Island, Burn, right in. The album is 12 songs deep, but it might as well be one long, continous number. With the exception of two songs, everything pretty much sounds exactly the same.

Lead singer Jordan Billie sounds like a Perry Ferrell who forgot to take his morning Ritalin: loud, obnoxious, and attention-starved. After the first 10 minutes of Burn, the incessant screaming of Billie becomes boring, and he only saves a little face when he actually starts to sing.

“Every Breath is a Bomb,” shows promise, but only bits of it. The promise fades in and out, when once again, Billie shows signs of cognitive thoughtfulness, then just as quickly, he screams with a venom of a four year old throwing a fit. The last bright spot is Burn’s finale, “The Shame”, the album’s longest track. The words of Billie are of self-doubt, and his bandmates finally show some mature musicianship, but really, it’s too little, too late. When the Blood Brothers aren’t trying to be the quintessential punk band, they show instances of being a band that is rich in sound and inspiration. But they rely too much on being a punk band, coming off poor and uninspired.

– Joe BugBee




2/Third Man Records

This is the album that’s likely to cause the great divide among fans of this Detroit duo. Coming off the heavily hyped White Blood Cells, which, in some quarters, was hailed as the savior of a sodden rock scene, Elephant is going to snare more mainstream listeners. Kicking off with the solid Seven Nation Army, Elephant has a slightly more produced sound.

But, for all those who thought the White Stripes’, members Jack and Meg White, were more intriguing for the press and hype they managed to generate (are they a brother-sister act, a twisted take on The Carpenters? Or are they a couple?), Elephant is their most convincing disc so far. Their spartan blues-rock isn’t revolutionary by any means; the piano-dappled “I Want to Be the Boy to Warm Your Mother’s Heart” is a stripped-down rock power ballad that, with more beef and bombast, could be a Guns N’ Roses track.

But Meg’s drumming is still basic, and there’s still no bass player, so the crossover can only go so far. Plus, songs like the acoustic “You’ve Got Her in Your Pocket,” The Delta-raw,” “Ball and Biscuit”and “Fingers” have an unvarnished appeal.

The White Stripes aren’t the saviors of rock `n’ roll.

But with their respect for rock’s often-ignored blues roots, they are certainly two of its best apostles.

-Cary Darling