Local CD Revue 

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Kid Theodore, Hello Rainey
Bands with more than five members always run the risk of sounding bloated and self-indulgent, adding extraneous instruments just because they can. So it’s refreshing when a sextet like Kid Theodore creates one of the most cohesive and organic local albums in recent memory. Whether adding cabaret-style piano and Latin percussion to some ’50s-era, jazz-inspired pop, or giving a hellishly-fun choir to the song “Fashion-Able,” Hello Rainey never lets us forget that all six musicians are crucial and important to its sound. Seedy undertones on tracks like “Tomorrows Guide to Healthy Living,” and “Greetings from the Grave” are so sly that they make the use of any glockenspiel forgivable. (KidTheodore.com)
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I Hear Sirens, I Hear Sirens
Self-described ambient rockers, I Hear Sirens sound as if they weren’t paying attention in Ambient 101—that is, they make exciting music. Rather than filling time with single notes or white noise (what I connect with most ambient music), each of the five tracks on their self-titled EP is an epic that radiates with intensity and delicacy that simultaneously can tear you up or break your heart. Hopefully this EP is indication of more material from a mature and technically gifted band, even if song titles like “September isn’t too far and I’m not sure when I’ll return,” are a bit too Holden Caulfield to be taken seriously. (MySpace.com/IHearSirens)
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The Sons In-Law of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, Neokhan
TSI-LotDotUP (that’s how the kids are acronym-ing it on the street) are one of those bands that are whacked out in a way that only living in Utah can take credit for. Vocalist Ghengis Khen uses bedtime, lullaby-style to sing about topics as diverse as Lewis and Clark to the carpool lane (that’s right) to good-natured, topical George W. Bush burns that already feel dated. While there are some truly clever lyrics and (whether-you-like-it-or-no) catchiness, even a guest appearance from local news superstar Rod Decker can’t save Neokhan from feeling like a novelty album. (CDBaby.com/UtahPioneers2)
  The Happies, Flowers Are Dying, By the Way
Reviewing local artists is a tad exhausting, if only for the higher expectations of who you want to represent your scene. Finding a well-produced, original and entertaining Utah band can send any jaded music critic into hysterics, while mediocrity that’s tolerated on a national level will earn negative brownie points. That said, The Happies’ new eight-song EP is the perfect shoegazer’s soundtrack, music that could be applied to arty montages of driving in an empty city at night, but dreamy music shouldn’t always mean music that puts you to sleep. Despite the surprisingly alert “Cello My Pitchfork,” Flowers remains pleasant enough, but when we, your audience, rallies for your greatness (we really do, every band), pleasant just doesn’t cut it. (TheHappies.net)






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Ryan Bradford

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