New from Sleep Kitchen, Mindless Pop, Catpuke, Nubya Garcia and Gorillaz

MINDLESS POP – Drivel

The cracks in emo as indie rock experience are showing especially in the debut of four-piece Mindless Pop who describe themselves rather frivolously as “Your sixth-favorite Metro Manila-based indie punk rock band.  For starters, there’s hardly any hint of punk right in the band’s song titles like “Dent”, “Floating Point Tremolo” or “Patience.”

Starting with “Wonder Why,” the foursome pitch their tent on the emo side of early ‘00s alt-rock of the Dashboard Confessional variety while reminiscent of rock ballads from the stable of the late lamented Laguna’s Railroad Records. The harmonies at the end of the first track hardly saves it from sound-alike ignominy though.

Mindless Pop still manages to introduce fresh ideas in their emo/indie rock coupling (the danceable groove of “Blindsight,” the “Ramblin’ Man wannabe riffage in “Demolish”) but these instances don’t merit a full album of mere reminders of a fading scene. Not quite hogwash, “Drivel” is still a long way off from a three-star attraction.

SLEEP KITCHEN – Songs to be weird to

The weirdness here is relative. Well, the band’s name is creatively weird but the music of Sleep Kitchen barely ranks as weird. It’s an amalgam of soul jazz//lounge

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