Local CD Revue 

TaughtMe, Invisible Rays, Morlocks, Utah County Swillers, Rattails

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TAUGHTME Ready to Go Under

Blake Henderson, aka TaughtMe, is the king of accessible, experimental pop. His densely layered instrumentals belie poetic quips and choruses dancing on heart-dropping soundscapes. An inventive solo artist, he specializes in waking-dream symphonies'the sort of songs Thom Yorke might fashion after taking a Xanax or two. TaughtMe whispers lines of unrequited love, of lessons learned and redemption won. Eerie drums syncopate emotions, shifting pain, joy, fear, regret. Hearing this, your knees buckle. Together you count “the things that really matter,” hoping “no words will ever shut” his mouth. (Exumbrella.com)

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INVISIBLE RAYS Blast Off Into Obscurity

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While it’s more impressive to watch Invisible Rays drummer/vocalist X-Ray Ray balance sticks and screams, listening to him Blast Off Into Obscurity is satisfying enough. Ray barks atonal lyrics atop Violet Ray’s spooky keys and Gamma Gamma Ray’s insistent bass, unleashing the occasional cry for good measure. This O-Town quartet is clearly devoted to sci-fi, their lyrics built largely upon various Star Wars and Star Trek references. Standout track: “Greedo,” on which Violet expresses her discontent with a lazy someone. (myspace.com/InvisibleRays)

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THE MORLOCKS Attack!

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Another drummer/vocalist, no less impressive than X-Ray Ray, leads our neighbors to the north in several rounds of organ-heavy rock. Bearing the name of both H.G Wells’ fictional subterranean race and a defunct Bomp Records garage band, Morlocks slither through groovy-ghoulie numbers fit for unconventional wakes and weddings. Standout tracks include group-shout-out “Sunny Side Up,” and “Chalice of Love,” on which the “voice of reason” promises to be your vampire. Swoon! (FerozRecords.com)

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UTAH COUNTY SWILLERS 18 Wheels of Bad Luck

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“Warning: This album will induce sudden urges to booze.” This disclaimer pretty much sums up 18 Wheels of Bad Luck, an album ripe with references to beer, babes and the endless open road. Featuring former members of Unlucky Boys, Thunderfist and Endless Struggle, the Swillers have little trouble cranking out solid, catchy numbers. While it might be nice to hear such seasoned veterans take some liberties with their rockabilly/country/trucker/punk template, 18 Wheels is ideal for both kicking up heels and kicking ass. It’s your call. (myspace.com/UtahCountySwillers)

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THE RATTAILS One. Two .. Three …

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While the opening instrumental is dominated by what sounds like an ancient Casio spewing forth “Chopsticks”-inspired notes, One. Two .. Three … slowly forays into more adventurous territory. Building on a solid platform of poetic lyrics, The Rattails construct sweet, borderline-emo ditties drenched in ’80s nostalgia. Their debut reflects a strong interest in rollercoaster romance, albeit one expressed through post-modern chats at the coffee shop. Sweet and, at times, endearing'just kick the female vocals up a notch. (myspace.com/TheRattails)

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